The majority of car insurance firms will charge you the same amount as other drivers even if you rarely drive. You might consider this as being unfair and unreasonable. I agree with you. That is not smart and it is only good for the insurer – you drive less, smaller change of accident, but still paying the same insurance fee. What if there is a firm that measures how long distance you drive and charge you accordingly? Doesn’t it sound a fair game now? This post will review a firm called Metromile that exactly does that for its customers.
In this review post, we will find out details about the firm and see how the market has perceived their products using my sentiment analysis techniques. First thing first! Let me share what I’ve found about the firm. You can judge if the company is trustworthy or not.
The U.S.-based firm was founded in California in 2011 and is based in San Francisco. Metromile is a car insurance company that offers pay-per-distance insurance. According to this Wikipedia page, Metromile has raised $205 million. In 2016, they acquired a carrier to enable them to perform underwriting operation in-house. Considering the fact that the firm is continuing its business since 2011, the company must have a firm foundation that can last for the future as well. The Wikipedia page revealed that the revenue of Metromile is around $100 million even though the insurance firm has only 200 employees.
Their main and only product is pay-per-mile insurance. The name is quite self-explanatory. You will pay the cheap base rate every month, but beyond that, you only pay for the distance you drive. This approach is beneficial to low-mileage drivers. You drive less, you pay less. Then, you might wonder how they know the driving distance? They invented a device called, Metromile Purse, to measure the mileage. The device can be plugged into the onboard diagnostic port of your car. You may have seen this port at a repair shop. A mechanic plugs a diagnostic device that tells the status of your car into that port.
If you are worried about the size of the device, it is not very big. It is similar to a printer ink cartridge. I don’t think it will ruin the design of your card. When you plug it into the port, the device transmits the distance information to Metromile servers. And, they use the data to calculate your rate. Their service is only available in the U.S. Among the states, you can use Metromile only in Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington according to the Wikipedia page.
One more interesting product from an insurance package will be Metromile app. The Purse device does not have a display and you cannot interact with the device itself. Metromile app removes those inconveniences. You surely will want to know an expected rate for the current month and the mileage. And, the app will churn out useful analysis for you as well. In their About Us page, they explained, “We also believe in the power of data science and machine learning to make car insurance better and less complicated.” As a data enthusiast, I agree with their opinion.
Using their data analytics technologies, they will inform you of various helpful points. The firm explains that the app can show you variations of speed on each trip. In addition, the app notifies you of fuel cost and driving duration. You may be able to use the data to optimize your drive and save cost. Thanks to the plugin device that can communicate to your app, it shows you the location where you park your car. Since it knows your parking spot, it can alert you about sweeping alerts to let you avoid tickets. This function is available in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco.
Since the Metromile Pulse has an access to the plug, it can read your car status. And, the mobile app will show you the health of your car on the display. Unlike the device that mechanics use, the app will present the data in a user-friendly way.
Coverage & Claim
This section will explain about the coverage and how a claim works. Metromile covers roadside assistance, glass repair, and all other claims depending on what coverage you subscribe to. I don’t think that in terms of coverage, they cover less than other ordinary insurers do. In their website, they have listed conveniences you can enjoy when you claim. One is the speed. Unlike other insurance firms, Metromile lets you submit a claim via the mobile app. Thanks to their underwriting capacity in-house, certain types of claim can be resolved within hours. Of course, they also have a phone line and a website for a claim or for any assistance.
Once you submit your claim, you will be assigned with a representative that will handle your case. If you want to check the status of your claim, you can simply call the representative or email the person.
May Want to Drive Less
I checked Metromile’s blog articles on their website, and their latest post caught my attention. The blog article introduced a customer’s feedback, “I think it’s amazing how you can see your exact mileage at any point. As my friend, another Metromile customer, said, ‘I actually think twice about driving because I can see the mileage.’ I’d say that’s probably the case for a large amount of customers, so rounded up you guys are helping to decrease drivers’ carbon footprints. Pretty awesome.”
It is great to become environment friendly. But, to me, that also means it can reduce cost to run your vehicle. If something makes you think twice about driving, it will lead to driving less, thus less fuel consumption. So, you can benefit from reduced insurance fee initially and in the long run, you can also save gas money. I will personally want to seriously consider switching my insurer to Metromile, but unfortunately, they are not available here.
AI Claims Assistance
In the first section, I put the quoted remark from the Metromile homepage that explains the use of data science and machine learning technologies. So, how do they actually benefit you? To you, it would be faster and simpler. If you have had any claim experience with other insurer, you may have gone though several phone calls, damage inspection, and other paper works. Their AI system, however, will verify your claims in several seconds and complete them fast. With the automated process, you will be guided on exactly what details you have to provide to Metromile for your claim.
What’s is amazing is that they will use the data from the Purse device to accurately reconstruct the accident scene, which fastens the approval steps. Although they have this AI system, we can still contact their agents if things are not clear or for any enquiries.
I think that Metromile understood the needs of drivers and found the need for improvement in the industry. But, it would be fruitless if the market does not appreciate it and positively accept it as Metromile would have hoped. I will dedicate this section to share my analysis result on customer reactions to Metromile and their products and services. For this, I compiled more than 740 customer reviews from the Metromile homepage and used sentiment analysis techniques.
Word cloud is one of the great and fun ways to understand customer sentiments toward a product or a service. In a word cloud, you can see specific words in different sizes. The larger it is, the more people used that word to describe it. The 740+ reviews allowed me to generate an interesting word cloud that let me reach a positive conclusion. For the word cloud below, I used customer review titles to generate it. Have a look!
To interpret the word cloud, just follow your eyes and see what you see. You will see that most of the big words are all positive. This means that customers have had a positive experience with the firm. People used words like “great”, “good”, “best”, “love”, “easy”, “happy”, and many more good terms to describe Metromile. This analysis would already give you a good impression on Metromile. To add more detail to my analysis, let me also share the result of sentiment analysis.
In the word cloud, we were able to observe what descriptive words people used to talk about Metromile. The word cloud is based on the titles of customer reviews, but the sentiment analysis chart was generated by the contents of the reviews. In the customer sentiment analysis, we will see more specific types of feeling that people showed in their review. In the analysis, you can see 10 different sentiments such as positive, negative, trust, anticipation, joy, fear, sadness, anger, surprise, and disgust.
The technology behind the chart is straightforward. The analysis algorithm holds 10 different lists – each containing words of one of the 10 sentiments. When this algorithm runs, it checks if every word in the input matches any in the lists. When matched, it is counted as one and is categorized in one of the 10 sentiments. My analysis on the positive reviews appears as below.
The chart is also not difficult to understand. You can see that the positive sentiment is ranked number one. The first spot is followed by “negative”, “trust”, “anticipation”, “sadness”, and “fear”. There are some negative feedbacks, but the positive sentiments outnumbered the negative ones. Thus, we can conclude that people have positive feelings toward this online insurance firm.
The combination of research on Metromile and customer sentiment analysis supports the fact that people generally love Metromile. If you are interested in a pay-per-mile car insurance policy, you will want to definitely check out their service. I hope that you would be able to save your money with Metromile.