Metromile plans to start letting customers use bitcoin to buy insurance or receive payments for insured claims, beginning later this year.
The San Francisco-based InsurTech said the use of bitcoin covers both eligible and approved claims, and customers can still transact in dollars for policy purchases and claims if they wish. Metromile also claims to be the first insurance company to accept premiums and pay claims in cryptocurrency.
“Decentralized finance and blockchain have the potential to lower transaction costs, increase the speed of handling customer needs and create more flexible payment options,” Metromile Chief Executive Officer Dan Preston said in prepared remarks. “Starting with bitcoin, we hope to drive further adoption of this technology and create more equitability and autonomy for all.”
Metromile is digital insurance platform and pay-per-mile auto insurer. The technology is cloud-based and designed to help carriers be more efficient, automate claims and reduce fraud-related losses.
Here’s the rationale behind the cryptocurrency decision: Metromile believes allowing cryptocurrency payments will support its commitment to fairer insurance and promote financial resilience for policyholders, as cryptocurrency becomes mainstream and more commonly used.
Plans call for Metromile to purchase $10 million of bitcoin in the 2021 second quarter in order to adopt cryptocurrency as an additional choice for insurance premiums and payment of claims. Metromile said it will be working closely with regulators to satisfy any concerns, with the goal of serving policyholder interest for more payment options and faster claims resolution.
Metromile became a public company in February 2021 after merging with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) – a kind of shell corporation that has already obtained public company status. The transaction was expected to give Metromile up to approximately $294 million in cash to reduce existing debt and accelerate growth.
Plans call for expansion into new markets, more partnerships and new products/features.
Metromile said it would begin a nationwide expansion of its pay-per-mile auto insurance in the second half of 2021.