Allstate Milewise Insurance: The Good and the Bad

Allstate Milewise is a pay-per-mile program that saves users an average of 20%. The simple Allstate Milewise plug-in device records data from your car and uses that information to adjust your insurance cost. Allstate Milewise reviews show that the Milewise program is a good option for low-mileage drivers, and generally offers better savings than Allstate's low-mileage discount. Read on to see what people are saying about Allstate Milewise and compare rates for yourself.

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

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Written by Eric Stauffer
Founder & Former Insurance Agent Eric Stauffer

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jul 27, 2022

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Allstate Milewise Pay-Per-Mile Auto Insurance Review Summary
Allstate Milewise SummaryDetailsFrom the Experts...
Usage-Based Insurance ProgramsOffered by a few companies for the last 10 yearsNational Association of Insurance Commissioners
AvailabilityOffered in 15 StatesAllstate Insurance Company
Rate DiscountsAround 20% and offered in some trial marketsAllstate Product Management
RateDaily rate calculated based on normal factors plus a per-mile chargeAllstate Insurance Company
Tracking Driving Habits Driving miles and habits tracked with a device plugged into the Onboard Diagnostic (OBD-II) port in the vehicleCarMD
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Allstate Milewise Insurance is a pay-per-mile insurance plan designed to help low-mileage drivers save on their premiums. While pay-per-mile plans are poised to be the new trend in car insurance, Allstate was the first major insurance company to get on board with the Milewise program. And, as one of the best auto insurance companies around, it’s no wonder that Allstate led the charge in pay-per-mile innovation.

But is the pay-per-mile model right for you? Is Allstate Milewise all it’s cracked up to be? We’ve pulled some average savings data, sample premium comparisons, and both raving and scathing customer feedback to bring you a comprehensive review of the program so you can decide for yourself.

So whether you’re looking for an alternative to traditional car insurance plans, or have just heard a lot about Milewise and want to understand what all the hype is about, read on to learn all the ins and outs.

To search for Allstate Milewise car insurance rates, enter your ZIP code to compare pay-per-mile car insurance rates today.

What is Allstate Milewise?

The Allstate Milewise plan uses an unusual, prepaid system of billing, and is geared towards drivers with low annual mileage, like stay-at-home parents, retirees, telecommuters, and others who drive less miles per day than the average driver.

Just like traditional insurance policies, pay-per-mile programs like Milewise offer standard coverage products such as liability, comprehensive coverage, and collision, all of which apply whether your car is parked or on the move. When deciding on your insurance, be sure that your coverage meets at least the minimum liability requirements for your state.

As a usage-based insurance plan, Milewise uses a plug-in device that records information from the vehicle.

Allstate’s Drivewise, the company’s other usage-based insurance program, has been shifting away from the use of this device in recent years and mainly uses an app for mobile devices.

While some programs give discounts for driving fewer miles and allow self-reporting of mileage, this program calculates mileage daily. The in-car device is necessary for sending ongoing data back to Allstate.

There is also an app that lets you use an Allstate Milewise login to track your miles driven and allows access to your account. The Allstate Milewise tracking app is where you can see funds being deducted and lets you anticipate when more funds will be pulled from your credit or debit card on file.

Currently, Milewise is offered in 15 states. It has expanded in recent years from a trial in three states. The company plans to expand into other states soon.

For comparison, let’s look at the average monthly Allstate car insurance rates in the states where Milewise is available.

Allstate Annual and Monthly Car Insurance Rates by State with Milewise®
States with Allstate Milewise®Allstate Average Annual RatesAllstate Average Monthly Rates
West Virginia$3,821$318
New Jersey$5,714$476
Washington D.C.$6,469$539
Average of all states where Milewise® is available.$4,720$393
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Milewise rates should be even lower than these monthly averages.

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What’s the difference between Milewise and Drivewise?

They sound similar, but the difference is actually pretty simple: Milewise only looks at how many miles you drive when calculating your auto insurance rate, while Drivewise looks at your driving habits as a whole. Drivewise provides the insurer with a report of how you drive while Milewise only records and calculates auto insurance rates by mileage.

How does the pay-per-mile insurance program work?

Let’s start with the basic principles of pay-per-mile auto insurance. Basically, these programs base auto insurance premiums on how many miles you drive, making them great for people who don’t drive all that much, but definitely not worth it for those covering lots of road on a daily basis.

In more recent trials of the program, Allstate is playing with ideas like adjusting the Allstate pay-per-mile daily rate from week to week based on driving habits. This would introduce even more savings for drivers.

As an actual auto insurance plan, pay-per-mile offers savings well above those of mere discount programs. Allstate promises the potential to pay a lot less for car insurance than traditional policies.

Allstate’s Senior Vice President for product management reported in early 2020 that two-thirds of policyholders on Allstate’s Milewise trial in Arizona are seeing rates decrease from week to week because of less driving. Allstate reported that the average rate decrease is about 20%.

Allstate Milewise auto insurance operates on a prepaid account system in which the insured puts money into the account and sets up automated payments via an associated credit card.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners tells us that Usage-Based Insurance (UBI) programs (the fancy name for pay-per-mile insurance) were introduced about a decade ago. The first iterations were mileage-based discount programs linked to a GPS meant to reward good drivers.

As of a few years ago, there were over a million cars in the United States using telematic devices to record driving habits. That number has only increased as many consumers look for ways to save on their auto insurance premiums.

Over time, some of these programs have evolved into actual insurance coverage plans. Currently, there are a few insurers offering pay-per-mile programs. There’s Metromile, Nationwide’s up-and-coming SmartMiles program, and Esurance, which Allstate actually owns.

Allstate’s recent slip out of the top three insurance companies (Progressive took the number three spot in 2018) may well have something to do with the company’s decision to try something new.

To learn more about Allstate, read our Allstate car insurance review.

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How do you use Allstate Milewise?

Milewise is different from other pay-as-you-go programs in that it takes the term “milewise” literally. When you start the program, you put money into an account, and every time you complete a trip, the “cost” of that trip is deducted from that account. When the account balance hits a minimum threshold, more funds are automatically added from the credit card you link to the account.

You can track all of this through the app, which is linked to the device and your Allstate account.

Insurance is billed based on a daily rate, which is calculated using the same factors that are used to determine traditional insurance rates. Factors such as age, gender, location, driving record, vehicle type, and even credit score can impact your insurance rate.

These same factors will be used by Allstate to determine your Milewise rates. The difference is that with traditional insurance, this rate is charged each day regardless of whether or not you drive your vehicle.

With Milewise, however, a per-mile rate is calculated, and you pay that same amount for every mile you drive. When you do drive, the device that is plugged into your car records how many miles you drive from start to finish. When the trip is complete, your per-mile rate is deducted from your account.

That means that if you take multiple trips in one day, there will be multiple deductions from the account. You can use your Milewise Allstate login to check this.

But don’t worry: Milewise stops charging you once you hit a certain amount of miles for the day. This means that a road trip will not equal a sudden, large deduction from your account.

Rather than earning a discount over a period of time for driving habits, this program charges you as you use it, meaning no more monthly bills, and no waiting through an evaluation period to see what kind of discount you have earned.

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What data does Milewise use?

The Milewise device uses only the miles driven to calculate how much you pay each time you drive, but it records more than that. In addition to your mileage, the device records:

  • Time of day
  • Speed
  • Specific driving events like hard braking (what other driving events are included isn’t explained)
  • Location

Any and all information the plug-in records is accessible through the app, along with feedback on driving habits.

How does Allstate use my information?

Only your actual miles driven is used to determine your rate. All other information is used to provide you with specific feedback, which can help you become a better driver, and subsequently get better insurance rates. As mentioned earlier, Allstate is now exploring the idea of using your driving data to also calculate any rate decreases based on safe driving.

Feedback will appear in the app, where you can view trip history, maps of trips taken, and feedback on driving habits aimed at encouraging safer driving.

Does Milewise give you auto insurance discounts?

It’s important to note that Milewise does not give you a discount in the way that other usage-based programs do. Instead of calculating a rate for the insurance policy term and then applying an Allstate low-mileage discount, how much you pay is determined by how much you drive.

When comparing traditional insurance with Allstate, they do offer several discounts to drivers. The table below outlines all the things that Allstate will give you a discount for.

Car Insurance Discounts Offered by Allstate
DiscountDiscount Percentage
Anti-Lock Brakes10%
Claim Free35%
Daytime Running Lights
Defensive Driver10%
Distant Student35%
Driver's Ed10%
Driving Device (excludes Milewise Device)20%
Early Signing10%
Electronic Stability Control2%
Farm Vehicle10%
Full Payment10%
Good Student20%
Green Vehicle10%
Multiple Policies10%
Newer Vehicle30%
On Time Payments5%
Paperless Documents10%
Paperless/Auto Billing5%
Passive Restraint30%
Safe Driver45%
Senior Driver10%
Utility Vehicle15%
Vehicle Recovery10%
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The Allstate site does not say specifically whether or not traditional discounts apply to the calculation of your base and per-mile rates. They are calculated using the usual rating factors.

A traditional policy would then apply discounts like multi-car discount, auto/home bundling, and anti-theft devices to discount the calculated rate; it is unclear if this insurance program does something similar.

This approach to billing makes anticipating your auto insurance costs easier. Other usage-based programs make big promises of large discounts but rarely deliver, with average discounts well below the advertised potential.

Drivers with these programs will not know what kind of discount they’ll get until they have been in the program for a while. Milewise makes everything clear from the start.

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Who is eligible for Allstate Milewise?

Milewise is only available in a limited number of states, but as far as we can tell, anyone can sign up. The driver and vehicle need to qualify under Allstate’s usual guidelines for coverage.

It appears to be open to both new and existing customers, although it is likely existing Allstate customers will have to cancel their current auto insurance policy and start a new one under the Milewise program.

In general, vehicles must be 1996 or newer to use the plug-in devices associated with usage-based insurance. This isn’t an Allstate-specific mandate, but pretty much a standard due to the technology needed to record and transfer information via the device.

How does the Allstate Milewise device work?

Milewise has two parts: the in-car device and the app. Let’s talk about the Allstate Milewise device installation.

The device will be mailed to you and easily installs into the Onboard Diagnostic (OBD-II) port in your vehicle. In most cars, that’s located under the dash. While the device comes with directions, this handy guide from CarMD can help you locate the port in your particular vehicle.

Is your Allstate Milewise device not working? Allstate offers customer service support to help troubleshoot the device and run diagnostics. You will also have the option to rely on the Milewise app for data while you are troubleshooting the device.

With the device plugged in, the app can be downloaded and installed on a mobile device. The app is mainly used to track information about the program. You can still probably use the program without installing the app, but that is not stated one way or the other on the site.

The app does, however, offer important billing information and lets you stay on top of what you’re spending, so it is useful and most drivers will likely want it installed.

Are Allstate Milewise reviews positive?

It’s difficult to compare Milewise to the other usage-based programs out there since there are only a few that operate on a per-mile basis.

Allstate Milewise Reddit reviews are mixed, but they state that it would only be financially beneficial for someone driving 25 miles or less a day. So be sure to consider your future driving habits when deciding whether or not pay-per-mile is for you.

Milewise-specific reviews say that if you are looking at increased regular driving, then flat-rate insurance may be a better option.

Since the Nationwide program is so new to the scene, Metromile is the biggest competitor for Allstate’s new program.

Metromile is established and operates in more states, but Allstate does have the potential to catch up and exceed them for coverage area quickly, given the fact that they are already operating nationwide.

The Metromile program still uses a monthly billing system, with the bills adjusted each month based on the actual miles you’ve driven. The Allstate approach to billing provides more immediate information and no surprises on a monthly bill.

That said, some drivers may find it frustrating to have funds pulled from their account to replenish the Milewise funds at unexpected times, rather than bills at regular intervals.

Metromile sets its daily billing limit higher than Milewise, topping out at 250 miles a day, whereas Milewise stops at 150 miles.

As an example, the distance from Chicago to New York City is about 800 miles. Our sample driver has a standard base rate of $48 per day and a variable mileage rate of $.06 per mile. The table below outlines the cost for this driver making the same trip with different pay-as-you-go programs.

Pay-As-You-Go Car Insurance Program Comparison
Pay-As-You-Go ProgramTrip RateTotal Trip Cost
Allstate Milewise$48 Base Rate
$.06 x 150 mile cap
Metromile$48 Base Rate
$.06 x 250 mile cap
Nationwide Smartmiles$48 Base
$.06 x 250 mile cap
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As mentioned, each of the programs has a daily mileage cap. This means that miles driven after the cap are free. Allstate’s Milewise quote comes out cheaper for the road trip driver in this situation because of the differences in the mileage caps.

It’s difficult to consider Esurance a competitor since they are owned by Allstate and only offer their pay-per-mile service in Oregon. That program uses a six-month policy term with monthly billing and not the daily billing of the parent company’s option.

Allstate’s site does not state whether there is a penalty for canceling if the program does not work for you. Other such programs do have penalties, so it is something to be aware of.

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What’s the bottom line?

Overall, Allstate Milewise offers a lot of transparency in the billing compared to other usage-based programs. This type of program is new to the insurance scene but is showing some early success.

Milewise is the only program in which you pay as you go on an immediate basis. It is regarded by some as the best pay-per-mile car insurance. It may take a while for users to get used to the new billing setup and budgeting.

Milewise may offer great savings for people who do not drive much. If you commute more than a few miles, run the kids around to endless soccer games, or are simply on the road a lot, it may not be for you.

If you fit into the former category and live in one of the areas where the program is currently offered, it might be worth a try. As far as we can see, there is no real risk to the program.

Although there is the possibility of a cancellation penalty if you change your mind.

It will take some time before the verdict is really in on Allstate’s new plan, but the early data looks promising for certain groups of drivers.

Whether you’re looking to buy Allstate Milewise car insurance, another pay-per-mile plan, or just looking to compare car insurance rates, our free tool can help. If you’re ready to buy Allstate Milewise, or any car insurance for that matter, enter your ZIP code to compare pay-per-mile car insurance quotes today.

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