For those who work from home, carpool frequently or use public transit more than they drive, Nationwide is launching SmartMiles, an auto insurance policy for low-mileage drivers.

Building on its telematics SmartRide offering, SmartMiles allows Nationwide customers to pay for the miles they drive, providing more control over the cost of their auto insurance.

SmartMiles uses a small device to track the miles driven by that vehicle. Members can keep tabs on their miles driven through the SmartMiles member portal.

“SmartMiles was developed to provide a program that allows our customers the freedom to control their auto insurance expenses based on how much they drive and how safe they drive,” said Teresa Scharn, Nationwide associate vice president who helps build and manage the insurer’s telematics program.

SmartMiles is currently available in Illinois. Nationwide plans to roll out SmartMiles in additional states throughout 2019.

Scharn said that while other insurance companies’ mileage-based insurance programs look only at miles driven, Nationwide’s SmartMiles telematics program takes many factors into account, “creating a more personalized offering.”

Nationwide customers in multiple-car households have the option of selecting a program for each vehicle, as opposed to a one-policy-fits-all for multiple vehicles.

How It Works

For example, a member of a family that commutes 75 miles to work round-trip each day and their college student, whose car is seldom driven, can be on the same Nationwide policy with auto insurance rates that are custom to each situation. The member would save on premium by enrolling the college student’s vehicle in SmartMiles, while the commuter’s optimum usage-based program would be Nationwide’s SmartRide product.

The plans include a road trip exception. While daily mileage is capped at 250 miles, a driver who takes an extensive road trip won’t be heavily impacted that month. Also, the insurer offers up to a 10 percent discount for safe driving after the first renewal.

According to the insurer, there are no contracts or long-term requirements for the program. Should a member or a household’s driving patterns change, they can move their vehicle from SmartMiles to SmartRide at any time.