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Allstate Milewise Insurance Review & Complaints| Pay-per-mile

Allstate Milewise (review below) auto insurance is a pay-per-mile program that results in an average discount of 20%. The Allstate Milewise device is a plug-in that records data from your car and Allstate Milewise reviews suggest that it is a good option for low-mileage drivers.

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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...

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UPDATED: Sep 9, 2020

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Allstate Milewise Pay-Per-Mile Insurance Review
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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Are you looking for an alternative to traditional car insurance plans? Allstate Milewise is a pay-per-mile insurance plan. Pay-per-mile is poised to be the new trend in car insurance, and Allstate was the first major insurance company to get on board with its Milewise program and is one of the best insurance companies if you’re looking for an innovative car insurance company.

Allstate’s Milewise program allows drivers to pay based on the number of miles they drive. This new system can be confusing, but our Allstate Milewise review will clear it up.

To learn more about Allstate, read our Allstate car insurance review. To search for lower rates, you can begin with our FREE tool above to browse different insurance plans. To start answering some of your Allstate Milewise FAQs, start reading now.

How does Allstate Milewise work?

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

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

Take a look at the brief Allstate Milewise video below to get the highlights of the Milewise program.

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

As a usage-based insurance plan, Milewise uses a plug-in device that records information from the vehicle. Allstate’s other usage-based program, Drivewise, has been shifting away from the use of the device in recent years and mainly uses an app.

Milewise versus Drivewise, however, is very different. Milewise does not look at all of the driving habit information that Drivewise does. It is only interested in mileage to calculate the cost.

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 card.

Currently, Milewise is offered in 15 states. It has expanded in recent years from a trial in 3 states. The company plans expansion into other states soon.

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What is Usage-Based Insurance?

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners says that Usage-Based Insurance (UBI) programs evolved around a decade ago as a mileage-based discount program linked to a GPS. These programs started as a discount program for good drivers.

A few years ago there were over a million cars in the United States using telematics devices to record their driving habits. That number has increased today as many consumers are looking for ways to save on insurance premiums.

Over time, some of these programs have evolved into actual insurance coverage plans.

Currently, there are a few insurers are offering pay-per-mile programs. While Nationwide has recently launched its Smartmiles program,  Esurance, which Allstate owns, and Metromile are the two other programs that have been offering this type of coverage for a little while now. How well this program works for Allstate may well determine whether or not other big insurance companies decide to also try it out.

Take a look at the video below to understand how this trend has shaped insurance plans and drivers.

Today, more than just a discount program, Allstate promises the potential to pay a lot less for car insurance than traditional policies. Milewise operates on a prepaid account system, where the insured puts money into the account and sets up automated payments via an associated credit card.

In more recent trials of the program, Allstate is playing with the idea of adjusting the Allstate Milewise daily rate from week to week based on driving habits. This would introduce even more savings for drivers.

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 better driving. Allstate reported that the average rate decrease is about 20 percent.

Using Allstate Milewise

Milewise is different from other pay-as-you-go programs in that it takes the term 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 the 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.

Take a look at this brief video to understand things that 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, you are charged when you drive.

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.

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.

When the account hits a minimum threshold for a balance, 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.

In the following video, an Allstate agent gives you a rundown of some benefits of utilizing Milewise.

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.

Milewise Data

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

The information that is recorded is provided to the user in the app, where feedback is provided to the driver regarding driving habits.

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How Allstate Uses the Information

The actual miles driven is used to determine how much the driver pays.

The other information is used to provide feedback. 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 the insured can view trip history, maps of trips taken, and feedback on driving habits aimed at encouraging safer driving.

Milewise Discounts

As we have already discussed, Milewise does not give you a discount in the way that other usage-based programs do. Instead of calculating a rate for the policy term and then applying discounts by percentage, 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
DiscountPercentage
Anti-Lock Brakes10%
Anti-Theft10%
Claim Free35%
Daytime Running Lights
2%
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. But, while a traditional policy would then apply discounts like multi-car, auto/home bundling, and anti-theft devices to discount the calculated rate, it is unclear if this program does something similar.

This approach to billing makes anticipating your 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.

Eligibility 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 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. The Allstate site does not say that specifically for this program, but that’s a standard due to the technology needed to record and transfer information via the device.

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Allstate Milewise Device

Milewise has two parts: the in-car device, and the app.

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.

This video will demonstrate the Allstate Milewise device installation process for an insurance tracking device.

Some users have reported that the Milewise device is 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 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 let you stay on top of what you’re spending, so it is useful and most drivers will likely want it installed.

Allstate Milewise Reviews

It is 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 state that it would only be financially beneficial for someone driving 25 miles or less a day. Consider your future driving habits as a means of determining your insurance choice. Milewise 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.

It is established and operates in more states. Allstate has 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 have 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. Metromile billing tops out at 250 miles a day rather than the 150 miles of Milewise.

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
$57.00
Metromile$48 Base Rate
$.06 x 250 mile cap
$63.00
Nationwide Smartmiles$48 Base
$.06 x 250 mile cap
$63.00
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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 is 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.

Overall, this program offers a lot of transparency in the billing compared to other usage-based programs. 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.

The 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.

This type of program is new to the insurance scene but is showing some early success.

Allstate Milewise: The Bottom Line

Milewise is a newer program that 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 a 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 at Allstate Milewise, other pay-per-mile plan, or just looking to compare rates, our FREE tool can help.

References:

  1. https://content.naic.org/cipr_topics/topic_telematicsusage_based_insurance.htm
  2. https://www.carmd.com/wp/locating-the-obd2-port-or-dlc-locator/

About Eric Stauffer

Author: Eric StaufferI am a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. My 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.

3 Comments

  1. How is the mileage from my car transmitted to Allstate??

    Do I need a cell phone with an App??

    Does disconnecting my battery make any change to anything if I store my car??

    Reply
  2. can I have this discount if I have a Canadian drivers license and reside part-time in Arizona

    Reply
  3. Is the discount applied only to liability part of my insurance ?

    Reply

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