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Pay by the mile car insurance? Only if you live in Texas

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

“When you stop your car, we stop your premium”

That’s the tagline of MileMeter, a company that provides auto insurance “buy” the mile (get it?). In a video on the company’s website, founder and CEO Chris Gay says they started the company because they were frustrated with what was available. Here’s an excerpt from the video:

“We wanted to create an insurance company that is fair, and made sense. If you walk to work, or you take mass transit to work, or you are a low-mileage driver, you could be a MileMeter customer. It also creates a financial incentive for you to drive less, which means we’ll have fewer traffic injuries, less smog from vehicle emissions, and a number of other social and policy benefits.”

Wow. Now there’s a company speaking my language.

“Paying by the mile would be significantly better for me, and probably for a ton of other bike commuters out there.”
— real estate Adam Rust

North Portlander Stephanie Turner — a mom of two who works from home and uses a bike to get around the neighborhood — heard about it a few days and “got really excited”. But when she called for a quote she found out they only do business in Texas.

Adam Rust is a Southeast Portland-based real estate agent. He also emailed me the link after hearing about MileMeter (they were recently featured in a national NBC story).

Rust says he was just asking his insurance agent about getting a break on his rates because he only drives a car once a month. As a real estate agent, Rust said he’s forced to pay a premium that’s about $70 higher (per six months) than the average user — even though he’s “not in the same camp as other real estate agents”.

He gets around a lot by bike, and only uses his car sparingly. “Thats why paying by the mile would be significantly better for me,” he said, “and probably for a ton of other bike commuters out there.”

Rust, like Stephanie Turner, was disappointed to learn MileMeter was only available in Texas. His plan is to “try to mobilize the bike community to support this kind of insurance so that it can be bought by the mile in Oregon.”

I agree with Adam. The Portland market is especially ripe for car insurance like this.

Check out MileMeter.com and drop the company a line if you’d like to encourage them to open up shop here in Oregon (or any other state for that matter).