How 15 minutes saved me $1,000 in car insurance

by phil on Monday Mar 28, 2011 11:42 PM

I never thought I'd say this, but I love Texas. Texas is the only state that has pay "by the mile" auto insurance. For the Texas minimum plus collision coverage I just bought, I'm paying $100 to cover 1,000 miles via MileMeter. Ever since I've been riding my bicycle to work, I've been driving my car an average of 20 miles a week, which comes to 520 miles for a 6-month period. And now that I'm on a metered insurance, I bet I'll even drive less. That means for the entire year, I'll pay no more than $200. Previously, I was paying about $1,200 through GEICO.

The sign-up process for MileMeter was super-simple. From start-to-finish it took me 10 minutes. All you have to do is take a photo with both your driver's license and odometer in the same shot.

Are there any catches? Well, unlike GEICO, MileMeter's claims office isn't open 24 hours a day. However, unlike GEICO, their complaint index is 0, whereas GEICO's is 1.52. That means GEICO has a 52% higher rate than the average auto insurance company for justified complaints into the Texas Department of Insurance. MileMeter didn't have any complaints in 2009. (Granted, they only had 317 insured that year).

And overall the company just feels right. Check out this New York Times video of the founder discussing the early days of the company. Cool fact: they got early funding from Amazon, which has been known to invest in companies that gel with their unstated mission of excellent customer service (i.e. Zappos).

I don't work for MileMeter, but I love reporting on great user experiences, especially when it comes to transportation. I've also been an avid fan of Car2go in Austin, which provides cheap pay-as-you-go carsharing. With MileMeter, Car2go, and my trusty bicycle, I feel like I'm truly living out the future of transportation.

The title of this post says 15 minutes. It took me 10 minutes to sign up for MileMeter and 5 minutes to cancel GEICO. To GEICO's credit, canceling was really easy.

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