My Dad and Insuretech

We needed an insuretech solution. Metromile! I had been introduced to them at the DigIn conference several years ago.

My Dad is 89 and daily we touch base on how my day has gone.  He regularly reminds me about potential clients who have fallen off my radar or asks for updates on our newest development.  While I realize that this kind of interest is more attributable to him being my Dad, I was surprised when we found ourselves in the middle of the insuretech world, while troubleshooting an unexpected expense of his.

My dad recently moved next door to us from his cross-town location.  Now each night, instead of a phone call, I pop in and we catch up on the day and then I walk his dog and ours.

Car Insurance for My Dad

A few weeks ago, he shared that his auto insurance premiums went up when he moved from uptown to our neighborhood.  He is with a well-known direct writing, national carrier whom he had been with several years. While he was on the phone with them, doing his change of address, they did let him know his premium would be impacted.

However, when he got the bill in the mail…he paid much more attention to the fact that the annual increase was close to $500.

While the move had been to get him closer to us, it also had reduced some of his monthly expenses.  Popping up his insurance premium was reducing the overall benefit and something he had not even considered.

I offered to reach out to my agent who is with a different national carrier.  He is very responsive but is not an independent agent, so he would have only one option to offer.  His response was that the new quote was in line and he could not do better. My Dad should stick with the current carrier.

When my Dad and I got together the following evening, we started plan B discussions.  My first thought was to use an online quote platform to verify the pricing. However, last time I did that, I ended up with 12 agents calling me within 6 minutes of asking for some quotes.  I wanted to avoid that if I could.

Then came the first AHA moment.  My Dad said, “you know, I don’t drive much more than 200 miles a month”.  Wow, that is not much. I guess I just had not done the math…at 89 years old, my Dad was not out on the road that much anymore.

Dad was not your normal insurance consumer.  He was a niche user.

The second AHA was “let’s Google ‘auto insurance for low mileage senior drivers’”!

The most intriguing result was “The 10 Best Car Insurance Policies for Seniors of 2019”.

The list showed, “Best Overall”, “Best Runner Up”, “Best Discount” and then the sixth choice was “Best for Occasional Drivers”.

Ha, we did not need a traditional insurance solution.  We needed an insuretech solution. Metromile!

I had been introduced to them at the DigIn conference several years ago.  

To some extent, I guess I expected that our agents would have brought up an option such as Metromile, even if it was not their product.  I wonder though, that like me, they had not considered my Dad as a low mileage driver with unique insurance needs? Were they even aware of Metromile?

Regardless, now that we were aware of Metromile, the customer journey began.

I should say that I did most of the web navigating and all the front-end work for my Dad.  I believe he would have completed everything on his own, but this was faster and more fun to do together.  Plus, I wanted to experience the Metromile customer journey for myself.

The website felt like sitting in a living room talking to your agent.  No excessive or intrusive questions. They did not even immediately ask for the VIN #.  We matched current coverage from his in-force policy with Metromile’s limits and reviewed the results.  Once my Dad saw the savings, he was fully engaged and no longer a casual shopper.

Metro uses a base sum for minimum billing and then adds on a per mile usage cost.  It looked like my Dad would save $30-40 a month. Now in the past, I have seen my Dad revert to a traditional solution for a consumer choice after he reflected on the realities.  I told him to think it over and we could decide in a couple days.

Dad was ready to go.  After just a day he said he was ready to switch to Metromile.  We went back to our saved quote and finished it up. Once complete, we waited for the Metromile Pulse.  The Pulse is the device that would securely track the miles driven.

It arrived right on time.  Attractive packaging. Easy install.  

Now my Dad is almost daily, checking in on his Metromile portal.  He is fascinated with the trip tracking. Going to his old grocery store is now not a given decision as it is 12.1 miles distant and there are other very good options within half that distance!  Decisions.

Now, our evening visits are punctuated with updates from my Dad about his recent trips around town, what his monthly insurance bill is up to so far and strategizing how to better plan his driving!  

The insights for me are

  • Age has nothing to do with insuretech.  If it is relevant, it can be on the table.
  • Insuretech can be fun….even “fascinating”
  • Traditional agents may not know about some “insuretech” options
  • Good consumer facing insuretech companies keep the customer experience simple and comfortable.

How does this impact ViewSpection

  • How to get closer to users for some customer journey feedback
  • Simplify our user experience, based on customer support desk history
  • What could we leverage to amp up the fun and engagement

I am going to be on the lookout for some other cool insuretech and get it in the hands of my Dad…and see what happens.


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