Mileage-Based Auto Insurance is Green – Let’s Go

Jan 19, 2012 10:00 AM ET

Originally published on the CSRHub blog and Triple Pundit

By Carol Pierson Holding

In this election season, we’re hearing a lot about reducing the role of the federal government. Letting the states decide the issues. Turning national legislation like Roe v Wade back to the states. Even shuttering federal agencies like the EPA. The cry for smaller government runs through both Republican and Democratic campaigns. 

But then you run into something as sensible as mileage-based auto insurance, which has lingered for years in state legislatures while people who don’t drive much continue to pay up to 30% more than they should for insurance. Society suffers too: an effective economic incentive for driving less is lost so accident rates remain unnecessarily high and the environment suffers. Doesn’t this seem like something that should have been federally mandated? 

I’m not advocating a federal mandate that insurance companies offer Pay-As-You Drive (PAYD) — I do believe in free markets — but a mandate that states figure out how to adjust their labyrinthine insurance statutes to accommodate this potentially game-changing option. With a deadline.

Mileage-based insurance or PAYD was first explored in 1925. Since then, the issue has been studied and analyzed and reformulated dozens of times. With the advent of technology that would allow real-time mileage monitoring, the issue gained steam among environmentalists, social justice advocates and safety proponents, all of whom found remarkable benefits from PAYD.

Continue reading about PAYD insurance

Carol Pierson Holding writes on environmental issues and social responsibility for policy and news publications, including the Carnegie Council's Policy Innovations, Harvard Business Review, San Francisco Chronicle, India Time, The Huffington Post and many other web sites. Her articles on corporate social responsibility can be found on, a website that provides sustainability ratings data on 5,000 companies worldwide. Carol holds degrees from Smith College and Harvard University.

CSRHub is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) ratings tool that allows managers, consultants, academics and activists to track the sustainability performance of major companies. We aggregate data from more than 125 sources including seven leading socially responsible investing (SRI) analysts, Carbon Disclosure Project, indexes, NGOs, crowd sources, and government agencies to provide our users with a comprehensive source of employee, environmental, community, and governance information on nearly 5,000 publicly traded companies in 65 countries. CSRHub is a B Corporation.