Root Insurance reviews claim drivers can save money through this provider, but rates depend solely on driving history. Drivers with a clean driving record free of accidents and tickets will receive the most affordable rates. As you compare your car insurance options, it may be worth requesting a quote from Root Insurance.
What Is Root Insurance?
Root Insurance is a newer insurance company founded in 2015. Unlike traditional car insurance companies, Root Insurance offers affordable car insurance by only insuring good drivers. Auto insurance rates through Root Insurance primarily depend on a clean driving record.
Because Root Insurance insures drivers who are less likely to file a claim, the company can offer better coverage rates. Traditional auto insurance companies use your driving history and demographic information to determine your rates. Some also use your credit score, which is only allowed in some states.
While Root Insurance may also consider these factors, your driving record is the main factor when determining rates. Root Insurance issues a car insurance quote following a test drive period. One of the most significant advantages of a usage-based insurance provider is that policyholders aren’t rated based on factors outside of their control, like age, gender, and credit score.
How Does Root Car Insurance Work?
Like other telematics or usage-based insurance providers, Root uses technology to set rates based on driving habits. The GPS and accelerometer built into your smartphone are engaged during the test-drive period, allowing the Root app to determine the number of hours you drive, your average speed, braking distance and pressure, mileage, and other factors. By only covering safe drivers, Root can offer more affordable insurance rates.
After you activate the mobile app, Root will start measuring your driving behaviors, such as:
- Times of day when you drive.
- Ride smoothness.
- Braking force.
- Turn speed.
Low-mileage drivers with safe driving habits can often save when switching to Root Insurance. Since driving habits are the key factor in determining your rates, you may qualify for a lower cost if you are a good candidate for Root, even if you’ve been deemed a high-risk driver by another company because of the type of car you own, your age, or other similar factors.
How Does the Root Insurance Quote Process Work?
Requesting a car insurance quote from Root Insurance is easy with the following steps:
- Sign up for an account on the Root website or within the app.
- Permit Root Insurance to track your driving, which allows the app to use your mobile phone’s GPS.
- Complete the test drive.
- Review your insurance quote.
You can keep track of your score by watching the Driver Scorecard in the mobile app. This scorecard also gives you tips to improve your score. According to Root Insurance, the app uses machine learning to determine whether you’re a driver or a passenger. You shouldn’t see any penalties based on the driving habits of someone else when you ride in a car.
After you complete the test period, Root will notify you that the company is declining coverage or provide a quote. The company refuses many drivers who complete the test drive based on the company’s policy that Root doesn’t cover high-risk or “bad” drivers.
Denied coverage is one of the biggest complaints about Root Insurance. If you qualify for a quote based on your driving habits, this is a good thing, as you will usually pay lower premiums than when compared to other insurance providers like State Farm or Geico.
How Long Does a Root Insurance Test Drive Take?
Root Insurance monitors your driving for up to four weeks, although the average is three weeks. You can check the length left on your test drive within the mobile app. Some customer reviews report receiving quotes within a week or two, although the length depends on how much you drive during that period.
If you receive a quote, you’ll have up to 30 days to accept it. When you receive your quote, comparing the rate against other insurance providers with similar coverage is a good idea.
Root Insurance Coverage Options
Root Insurance is a usage-based insurance program that offers traditional insurance policies, including:
- Liability coverage: Liability insurance covers bodily injury and property damages for others besides the driver.
- Medical coverage: Medical payments coverage covers your and your passengers’ medical expenses following an accident.
- Comprehensive coverage: Comprehensive insurance covers your vehicle from causes unrelated to a car accident. These causes may include theft, flooding, vandalism, or weather-related damages.
- Collision coverage: Collision insurance covers your vehicle’s damages, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
- Uninsured motorist property damage: Uninsured motorist property damage covers damages to your vehicle if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.
- Car coverage: Root Insurance offers car coverage protections, like roadside assistance and rental coverage.
Insurance needs vary, depending on your state laws and the vehicle you drive. For example, most lenders require borrowers to carry a full coverage policy. Minimum coverage insurance requirements vary from state to state.
While you can typically choose the level of coverage you need as long as your lender doesn’t require full coverage, you’re still required to meet your state minimums. Make sure you have sufficient insurance coverage to protect you in the event of an auto accident.
Root Insurance also sells renters and homeowners insurance policies. These insurance policies are newer, with fewer Root insurance reviews available.
Additional Root Insurance Programs
Root Insurance also offers a few discounts and added perks, including:
- Roadside assistance: Roadside assistance comes with all Root insurance policies at no additional cost. This inclusion is one way Root differs from other insurers, as most providers require an additional monthly fee or a per-use cost. Within a Root policy, drivers have coverage for up to three incidents, $100 per incident, in every six-month policy term.
- Rental car reimbursement coverage: Root Insurance also offers rental car reimbursement coverage, which covers the cost of a rental car while your vehicle receives repairs following an accident. Rental car reimbursement is usually paid at a flat rate per day.
- SR-22: Root Insurance offers required SR-22 certificates following a DUI charge. An SR-22 form is a document the insurance company sends to a state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV) proving that you carry the minimum insurance coverage required by your state.
How to Save Money on Root Insurance
Since Root Insurance has a unique pricing model that rewards users for good driving, the insurer doesn’t offer the standard discounts you may qualify for with other insurance providers. The prices are already low, so drivers don’t need a lot of extra discounts. However, you can save on Root Insurance with the following tips:
- Maintain a good driving record: Staying accident free and ticket free can help you maintain your insurance coverage with Root Insurance and prevent rate increases.
- Focus on driving and avoid distractions: Root Insurance offers a Focused Driving discount of up to 10% if you avoid using your phone while driving.
- Use advanced safety features on Tesla vehicles: In a Root Insurance news release, Root stated it now offers discounts to Tesla drivers who rely on the automated steering feature.
Comparing your Root Insurance savings with other insurance quotes can also help you save on auto insurance. Comparing insurance quotes each time you renew your policy is typically a good idea. If any of your data changes, make sure you request updated quotes.
If you receive any traffic violations or are involved in an accident with Root Insurance, you may notice a price increase once your policy renews. The insurance provider may even decline a policy renewal.
Based on information from NerdWallet, you can save on your Root Insurance policy by buying multiple policies and paying your premium upfront. Root Insurance recently added other insurance types to its offerings, which may allow you to bundle your policies together.
Where Is Root Insurance Available?
Root Insurance is available in many U.S. states, except Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. You can visit Root’s website to review a coverage map.
Root Insurance Reviews: Pros and Cons
Understanding the pros and cons of Root Insurance can help you decide if it’s a good option for you. A few pros of Root Insurance include the following:
- You can easily access your insurance products and policy on the app.
- You can obtain an SR-22 certificate if necessary.
- You’ll receive rewards for good driving behaviors and avoid penalties for broader factors, like demographic data, marital status, and credit score.
- You can enjoy roadside assistance included with all policies.
- You can use a highly rated mobile app.
Root’s disadvantages include the following:
- Root offers limited discounts.
- Coverage is not available in all 50 U.S. states.
- The provider may deny coverage more than other companies.
- A price increase is possible if your driving habits change.
How to File a Root Insurance Claim
Once you have a Root Insurance policy, you can file a claim within the app. Filing an insurance claim in the Root app takes less than five minutes. Open the app, take and upload photos of the damages, and wait for a customer representative to contact you. You can use the app to track progress and receive status updates related to your insurance claim.
The length of time an insurance claim with Root Insurance takes depends on the specific details of your accident. The type of claim and value of damages impacts the timeline of most auto insurance claims.
Root Insurance Reviews and Ratings
Root Insurance reviews and ratings are mixed. While most customers claim they received lower rates with a new Root policy, they also report that contacting customer service with claims can be difficult. Most tasks with this insurance company are done through the Root Insurance app, making speaking to a live person challenging.
However, the Root Insurance app has average to high ratings and reviews on both Apple and Android devices. On Apple, the Root Insurance app has a 4.47/5 star rating. Android users give the Root Insurance app a 3.4/5 star rating.
Root Insurance has more customer complaints through the Better Business Bureau (BBB) than other insurance companies of a similar size. Complaints and ratings, however, vary depending on location. MarketWatch rates Root Insurance an 8.0/10.0 with its highest ratings in availability and cost. Ratings for Root Insurance also reflect the National Association of Insurance Commissioners‘ feedback on telematics-based insurance.
According to The Zebra, Root Insurance has an excellent financial strength rating, which means it’s considered stable by AM Best. Root auto insurance is a legitimate company, although not all drivers will qualify for a policy. You may find better car insurance rates through another provider if you have a less-than-perfect driving record.
Idalia Garcia is a licensed insurance agent with extensive knowledge of various insurance lines. She has more than 12 years of experience in auto insurance and 10 years in property insurance.