The average American driver is paying about $150 per month for auto insurance.. If you’re driving tens of thousands of miles per year, that might not seem like a lot of money, but what if you only drive 7,000? That means that you’re paying about 26 cents for each mile you drive. If that seems high, and maybe a bit unfair, you’re probably right. Others may pay pennies per mile and represent a higher risk than you.
With American’s transportation habits changing, the auto insurance industry is giving urban dwellers and other low-mileage drivers more options for car insurance. One option is insurance by the mile, but is it really a better deal than traditional carriers?
Don’t Be Confused
You might have heard of Progressive’s Snapshot program or Allstate’s Drivewise. Depending on your driving habits, you may receive a discount off your normal monthly premium, with a discount for low mileage.
True insurance by the mile is different: It charges you a flat rate, plus a fee per mile.
Paying by the mile involves making a second change: In order to track your usage, companies send you a sensor to attach to your car’s diagnostic port, located near your hood release if your car was built in 1996 or later.
Some consumer advocates disagree, seeing this kind of tracking as a privacy risk. For example, Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy at the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, worries about the potential for “tremendous privacy violations” presented by these devices. His organization has submitted testimony about its concerns about “Pay As You Drive” devices to the California Department of Insurance.
The Bottom Line
Is insurance by the mile a better value than traditional car insurance? If you drive less than 10,000 miles and live in a state where it’s available, there’s a good chance that it will save you money. Don’t assume it’s your only choice, however.
If you’re a city dweller and rarely use your car – or live in the suburbs and have one car that mostly travels from your house to the train station and back – insurance by the mile will likely be very cost effective for you. If you’re on a traditional insurance policy, ask the company about its discounts for low-mileage driving. Providing that you can stay under the yearly limit, you might be able to save money without having to change insurers or install a sensor.
When you’re ready, we’re here to help. Call Loftis & Wetzel Corporation at (580) 363-3434 for more information on Oklahoma City auto insurance.