Nationwide’s Pay-Per-Mile ProgramTelematics device that plugs into car diagnostics port

A Pay-Per-Mile program is ideal for consumers who drive less than the average driver. Such as people who live close to work, work from home, use public transportation, or have an extra car that is rarely driven.  This program offers the same coverage as a traditional auto policy but with a monthly premium based on the actual number of miles driven.

How does the pricing work on a Pay-Per-Mile plan?

The premium consists of two parts: the base premium and the variable rate (cost-per-mile) premium.

If you are interested in seeing if it is a good fit for you then ask your agent to quote you.  The quote will use what you estimate your annual miles on each vehicle to be and will show you the base fixed rate for each vehicle and an estimated monthly charge based on estimated miles.  It will also indicate what the cost per mile for each vehicle is.

If you decide the plan is right for you and you start the policy and pay for one month. That first or initial payment is determined by adding the base fixed rate and the estimated cost per mile charge.  After the effective date of the policy Nationwide mails you the telematics device(s) for all vehicles you enrolled in SmartMile.  Keep in mind the vehicle must be 1996 or newer and be device compatible to be enrolled. Once received you have 5 days to plug the device into all enrolled vehicle’s diagnostic ports (OBD-II port).

The device(s) will start monitoring miles driven meaning all the future monthly deductions will be based on actual miles driven.

Here is an example using made-up numbers:

Your base rate is $50 and the per-mile charge is $0.0690 per mile.  You have estimated you drive 500 miles per month so you are expecting to pay about $84.50.

500 estimated miles x .0690= $34.50. The $50 base rate + $34.50 estimated cost per mile=$84.50.

However, in one month you actually drive only 300 miles.    300 miles X 0.0690=$20.70 for the per mile charge.   Then $50 base rate  +20.70(per mile charge)= $70.70 total.

So what happens if you decide to take a road trip? The good news there is a road trip exception and only the first 250 miles count on a single day.

This program also offers the opportunity to earn up to a 10% discount for safe driving behaviors. This earned safe driving discount is then applied at the next policy renewal.

The driving behaviors that are used to determine the safe driving discount are:

  • Hard Braking/ Accelerating
  • Nighttime driving
  • Number of stops (on each trip)

You will be able to log into the SmartMile portal at any time to see how you are doing and to keep track of your mileage and your monthly payments.

SmartMile Pros:

  • Same coverage but lower pricing than traditional auto policies for consumers who drive less than the average driver.
  • Ideal for older drivers whose rates have increased due to their age but drive very little.
  • Pay as you go for what you actually use or drive.
  • Opportunity to be rewarded with a 10% discount for safe driving behaviors.

SmartMile Cons:

  • The telematics device(s) remain plugged into your vehicle(s) for the policy duration. So you are always monitored.
  • Not all vehicles qualify. The vehicle must be 1996 or newer and be device compatible to be enrolled.
  • The discounts only apply to enrolled vehicles.
  • Billing needs to be set up on monthly automatic deduction from checking or recurring credit card because the monthly charges based on miles driven can be accurately adjusted each month.
  • The policy is required to be set up on paperless delivery. You must agree to enroll in electronic billing and policy documents.


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