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UK Pay-Per-Mile Insurer Raises $400K, Looks to Autonomous Vehicles

  • Emma Sandler
  • July 6, 2017
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A startup called By Miles — a pay-per-mile insurance app — plans to launch in the United Kingdom by yearend, after raising more than $400,000 in seed funding in June from Jaguar’s InMotion Ventures and investment firm Hambro Perks Ltd., Mobility Finance has learned.

By Miles, which recently rebranded from Just Miles, is a London-based, metered insurance provider and is currently operating in beta with 100 testers. The company’s monthly subscription will cover a car when it’s parked and it will only charge customers for the exact number of miles they drive. The company intends to use its funding to develop technology and hire new people, James Blackham, co-founder and chief executive of By Miles told Mobility Finance.

As a pay-per-mile insurance, By Miles operates by sending customers a telematics device that can be attached to the car in order to determine the distance driven. However, the physical telematics device will eventually be phased out after initial launch Blackham said.

“I think the real priority is to get [By Miles] launched and to the place we want to get to,” he said. “For next year, our priority will be the connected car,” adding that the company is working to connect to newer cars that can instantly sync for a journey without an outside device or human intervention.

By Miles is not alone in this new form of auto insurance aimed at driver frequency. Cuvva, another UK-based company, allows people to subscribe to an inexpensive and basic monthly insurance and then “top up” with more coverage via hourly rates when the car is in use. Metromile is a San Francisco-based insurer that works similarly to By Miles on a pay-per-mile basis. Blackham argues milage rates are a “more appropriate measure of risk,” than hourly because if you are stuck in traffic for a few hours the risk is lower than if you drive fast over several miles in a few minutes.

By Miles hopes to expand to the rest of Europe following its U.K debut, and is even looking to the future of autonomous vehicle insurance as well.

There are three separate phases of liability during an autonomous vehicle ride, which no insurance company offers yet, including when the car is parked, when it’s being driven by a human, and when autonomous capabilities are activated, Blackham said. There is no timeline for By Miles to address autonomous vehicle insurance, he added.

“As cars become more shared, that implies more metering and more usage-based-insurance,” he said. “So we are building out risks and models and creating a product for customers now that’s ready for the future.”

 

 

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