Score savings on car insurance with Insurify

Compare Quotes

Root has a unique way of offering auto insurance, basing each personalized quote on the driver’s habits. This often results in much cheaper than average rates, especially for good drivers.

Who Benefits Most and Least from Root Insurance?

Best For…

  • Good drivers
  • Those looking for a customized rate
  • Millennial insurance shoppers craving for a tight, telematics-driven quoting process

Not the Best For… 

  • Bad drivers
  • New or student drivers
  • Drivers who want consistent rates past the initial policy period

Root: Does tech tracking always mean significant savings? 

Root’s not a traditional insurance company—it uses advanced tech to analyze your driving behavior. So can it secure lower insurance rates and improve your driving habits, too? 

Root is an unconventional auto insurance provider that uses telematics and artificial intelligence to set drivers’ insurance rates. Root doesn’t merely rely on personal information and driving history to determine how much a policyholder will pay. Instead, Root requires users to complete a test drive, which will largely determine the users’ base insurance rates. This business model focuses more on “how you drive” in an insurance landscape that seems to put more emphasis on “who you are.” This telematic approach to insurance underwriting is especially appealing to safe drivers who want to manage their auto policy from the security of their own smartphone-carrying pockets. 

That said, not all customers are taken with this tech-savvy insurer. Some complain of rate hikes that render their initially competitive car insurance quotes moot. Others aren’t convinced that its business model forgives drivers who don’t have stellar driving records.

Root Car Insurance Quotes and Discounts

Insurance isn’t a one-size-fits-all system. No single company exposes this industry truth with more clarity than Root. Base rates for drivers vary based on a multitude of factors. And while Root claims to only quote based on how you drive, not “who you are,” that doesn’t necessarily mean other companies don’t offer their own low rates and sizeable discounts. 

Auto Insurance Quotes Comparison: Root vs. Competitors

Root offers users a unique quote based on their driving habits, and the “test drive” it requires is more of a marathon than a sprint. The driving test instructions are simple: drive as you would on any given day, for two to three weeks…as long as you have your phone on you!

If it all sounds a little scary, Root assures that your monitored driving practices (if they’re safe!) will lead to lower insurance rates.

Keep in mind that if Root decides you’re too high-risk of a driver to insure, you won’t qualify to get a quote.

Consider the Insurify quote list for the following driver: a single, 29-year-old female living in Houston, Texas; driving a 2011 Honda Accord; using her car only for pleasure driving; having a clean driving record; having a good credit score; opting for state minimum liability coverage.

Here are the real, bindable car insurance quotes this driver would receive on Insurify:

Insurance CompanyMonthly Quote
Liberty Mutual$114/month
The General$219/month

These are pretty good rates! And this is the type of low-risk driver that Root would probably love to insure. So, can low-mileage or low-risk drivers save money with Root? They should be able to, by Root’s admission. It’s up to this driver if she wants to take the driving test, prove her safe driving practices, and secure a quote with Root.

This driver can also compare Root’s car insurance rates with those she’d receive from State Farm, GEICO, Progressive, and Allstate.

Insurance CompanyMonthly Quote
State Farm$85/month

Drivers Can SAVE with these Discounts from Root

Root’s most significant car insurance discounts reward good behavior behind the wheel—as long as users buy into the telematics-driven quoting model. 

Root is not too transparent about its discount offerings but heavily advertises that drivers can save up to 52 percent on their auto insurance policy just for taking the Root test drive. 

Insurify’s official intel is that Root has applied the following price cuts for past policyholders: Driving Habits Discount, Good Driver Discount, Defensive Driver Discount, Loyalty Discount, Homeowner Discount, Seat Belt Use Discount, Early Quote Discount, and Paid in Full Discount.

Plus…a discount for Tesla drivers?! You heard that right. 

While you might not believe that Tesla owners are in the market for a good bargain, Root does over a heavily publicized discount for Tesla drivers who use Autosteer. Why? Root has bought into Tesla’s assertion that lower crash rates, thanks to self-steering cars, should translate to lower rates across the auto insurance industry.

States Where Root Car Insurance is Offered

As of this writing, Root operates in the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The official Root Insurance Company website reports that its coverage will soon extend to Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Washington, and the District of Columbia. It has plans to operate in all 50 states soon.

Click here to find the cheapest car insurance quotes in your state.

How Does Root Car Insurance Work?

The most important and unique feature of your car insurance experience with Root is the test drive. Through telematics, Root can analyze each driver’s behavior behind the wheel, all thanks to one handy mobile app. That’s how Root calculates your quote. First, Root collects standard personal information like who you are and where you live. Then, the Root app uses telematics data on your driving behavior over a few weeks to assess your risk profile and charge your premiums accordingly.

According to Root’s website,

Braking, speed, turns, times of day, miles driven, and driving routes are all considered when calculating your quote.

By this logic, safe drivers should ace the test and see lower rates as a result, right? That’s the idea that Root is built on. Root contends that this data-driven approach gives drivers “the rate [they] actually deserve.”

Joyriders and frequent speeders, take note! Root says that it won’t insure high-risk drivers. With a smaller pool of dangerous drivers on Root’s dime, it’s less likely that Root will have to pay out insurance claims. Insurance companies make a profit when they charge in premiums than they pay out in claims. As a result, Root claims it can secure good drivers up to 52 percent a year on their insurance premiums.

Using the Root app as a new user

Root’s distinguishing feature is its smartphone app, which is central to its business model. The Root app, which is available on iOS or Android, is the central hub through which Root’s telematics technology works. Users can also access their insurance ID cards, manage their policy, submit claims, and complete payments through the app.

Prospective policyholders can download the Root mobile app to understand how managing a Root policy works. When you first sign up for the Root app, you’ll find a welcome screen that eventually leads to an “under one minute” signup process.

The app will ask for some personal information (your name, where you live, your driver’s license number, and your car’s VIN), but a handy disclaimer at the bottom of your screen will assure you that your information is 100 percent secure. (Note that you’ll still have to provide your mailing address—all of this comes before securing a quote or taking that driving test.) The official Root website assures users that the app only requires a “47 second signup” before you hit the road to take the driver’s test.

Root’s app interface is admittedly very user-friendly. With its clean aesthetics, logical progression of steps, and cheerful messaging, new users can feel secure knowing that Root is a legit organization.

You can also start the quoting process online on Root’s official website.

But before taking a test drive and getting a car insurance quote from Root, you’ll probably want to figure out just what you’re signing up for.

Root Auto Insurance Coverages

Root’s coverage options should satisfy the needs of the average low-risk driver. Virtually every coverage option Root offers (besides the always-mandatory liability coverage!) remains optional. This means that drivers on the hunt for low rates can quickly get a state minimum quote for their state’s minimum liability coverage limits.

Insurance coverages included on every Root car insurance policy appear in bold.

  • Liability coverage
    • Bodily injury liability
    • Property damage liability
  • Collision coverage (optional)
  • Comprehensive coverage (optional)
  • Medical payments coverage (optional; required by law in some states)
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) (optional; required by law in some states)
  • Rental coverage (optional)
  • Roadside assistance
  • Uninsured motorist coverage (optional)
    • Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) (required by law in some states)
    • Uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI/UIMBI)

Root is like almost all other standard or standard-preferred car insurance providers in that it offers “full coverage” car insurance. “Full coverage” car insurance is not an official industry term but commonly refers to liability coverage + collision + comprehensive.

Root Renters Insurance: Starting at just $6/month

Did you know Root also offers renters insurance for as low as a few bucks per month?

Renters insurance through Root covers your personal property. It takes care of damages from smoke or fire, temporary moving expenses, and medical costs if someone gets hurt in your rented home. Bundling renters and car insurance with Root even earns policyholders a five percent discount.

Root Home Insurance: Now expanding across the U.S.

In June 2020, Root announced that it has partnered with home insurance provider Homesite to offer home insurance in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Utah, with a promise to expand even further throughout 2020.

How Can I Pay for My Root Car Insurance Policy?

Policyholders can submit payments to Root directly through its mobile app. Root accepts credit cards as well as Apple Pay.

Whether you pay for your policy in monthly installments or as a six-month premium, automatic payments (also at renewal) are available through the Root app.

It’s also worth noting that drivers in need of an SR-22 can access the form directly in the Root app. Yep, Root will help drivers file an SR-22.

Either way, the quickest and easiest way to compare real quotes on your own is to take a few minutes to build your dream policy on Insurify. If you want to compare your Root quote against real, bindable quotes from top-rated national and regional insurance companies, Insurify’s free questionnaire takes mere minutes—no purchase or information-sharing required.

How Often Will Root Increase My Premiums?

Root claims that it’ll find its drivers the lowest rates that they can “sustainably offer.” It also admits that it might raise rates due to policy or life changes, changes to your driving environment, or statewide mandatory rate changes.

Do these justifications pass the Internet’s sniff test? Several policyholders have complained of unforeseen rate hikes at renewal, with some even wondering whether to delete the app and start the driving test over again!

And for want of an accident forgiveness program or a clear-cut customer loyalty policy, Root might not be the best option for drivers looking for stable rates. Root will recalculate your rates based on perceived risk after your initial policy period. If you’re unsatisfied with any sudden changes to your rates, spare the online venting and compare your new rates to real, same-day auto insurance quotes immediately.

How Does Root’s Claims Process Work? 

To file a claim with Root, all you need is the app. Here’s how:

  1. Tap “File a Claim” on the bottom of your app’s home screen.
  2. Select “File a Claim” to report your claim. Root says that the process should only take five minutes.
  3. Once you’ve thoroughly described the nature of the incident, you have the option to add photos to your request.
  4. Expect a claims expert to contact you to review the claim and discuss the next steps.

To reach Root’s claims department over the phone, call 1 (866) 903-8451. Call 1 (866) 903-7243 for claims that solely involve glass damage. 

After a claim is settled, Root will send your payment through the mail.

How Can I Cancel My Root Car Insurance Policy?

To cancel an auto policy through the Root app, simply:

  1. Go to “Policy & Payments.”
  2. Click on “Policy.”
  3. Click on “Cancel my Policy.”

If you’re still owed any pro-rated premiums from Root, you’ll be refunded within three to five business days.

Most importantly, you must make sure you have another car insurance policy set in place so that you don’t have a lapse in coverage.

How Much Does Uber/Lyft Coverage Cost with Root?

At the moment, Root does not offer its own rideshare insurance plan. Click here to find the best car insurance companies for Uber and Lyft drivers.

Insurance Companies Similar to Root

These companies are at the forefront of the digital insurance revolution. 

If you like the idea of Root’s data- and tech-driven business model, you might also like Metromile. This pay-per-mile insurer allows customers to use a telematics device to track their driving and subsequently set their rates. Metromile is great for low-mileage drivers. Clearcover also promises low prices through artificial intelligence and streamlined quoting services.

But if Root doesn’t work out, where are users flocking to at the highest rates? According to Insurify’s internal database of over 2 million car insurance applications and analysis of external sources, drivers who used to hold Root car insurance most often switched to the following companies:

Root Car Insurance Reviews

It’s fair to assume that most customers won’t take to their computers to write a glowing review of their insurance provider. It’s the negative experiences that stick with us and often end up on message boards and review aggregator sites.

Online reviews of Root range from ecstatic to frustrated.

This Reddit user, a poster on r/personalfinance, notes that Root might prove best for young urban drivers who don’t rack up many miles.

Others have noted the savings they’ve secured with their Root policy:

Another couple of recent reviews on Clearsurance warn policyholders to look out for rate increases. These serve as good reminders of why it’s always good to shop for car insurance every six months:

Root is an accredited business through the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an A+ rating. This rating is independent of the fact that 119 complaints have been filed against Root since its founding. If these impact your decision-making process when assessing an insurance company, take time to sift through the comments on BBB. Root representatives have a good track record of addressing or resolving these complaints.

This table shows Root’s official Insurify Composite Rating, based on a combination of reviews from aggregator sites:

SiteCustomer RatingNumber of Reviews
Total Score4.53 / 561,632
App Store4.7 / 536,403
Google Play4.3 / 524,943
Clearsurance3.1 / 5281
Trustpilot2.7 / 55

Root Insurance is rated 4.53 out of 5 based on 61632 reviews.

Root Mobile App Review

Obviously, Root can only work for drivers who own smartphones. The Root app is the central functionary of Root’s entire business model, from tracking to quoting to claims payment. 

That’s all the more reason why the app’s reviews are so critical—when rating the app, users are ostensibly evaluating the insurance company itself. 

With high marks on both the Apple Store and Google Play, it seems that both iPhone and Android users are content with the Root app’s functionality. The biggest gripes are usually with the aforementioned rate hikes—not with the app itself.

App storeRatings (Out of 5)User reviews
Mobile App (iOS) 4.731,646
Mobile App (Android) 4.221,144

Frequently Asked Questions: Root Car Insurance

What is Root Insurance and how does it work?

Root is a digital car insurance company that claims to offer rates based on "how you drive," not "who you are." Founded in 2015, the company claims to secure drivers low rates by primarily calculating rates based on their performance on a weeks-long, telematics-monitored driving test. It's free to sign up, regardless of your current car insurance company. Root is unique in that the quoting, claims, and servicing processes are all centralized in via the Root mobile app.

How good is Root Insurance?

Root earns high praise from younger drivers who claim the business model's convenience and competitive rates take the burden off of the insurance quoting and claims processes. However, some policyholders contend that unexpected rate hikes are typical after the first policy period. Root only offers drivers one rate after a mandated test drive, as opposed to the multiple quotes they can compare online through an auto insurance quotes comparison site.

Who owns Root Insurance?

Root, Inc. is the parent organization of Root Insurance Company. Root was founded in March 2015 by Alex Timm and Dan Manges. Timm now acts as Root's CEO; Manges is its Chief Technology Officer. The company has headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.

How can I compare car insurance quotes from companies other than Root?

To find and compare the best and cheapest insurance quotes in your area, use an auto insurance quotes comparison site like Insurify. Side-by-side, apples-to-apples comparison of state minimum to premium car insurance policies is the insurance shopping of the future—so save time and money by comparing your Root quote to all of the quote options you find on Insurify.

Is Root the cheapest car insurance in your area?

While Root might be the next big insurance company—time will tell!—there’s another data-driven platform that’s the next big thing in insurance, period.

With Insurify, you can say goodbye to dishonest insurance agents or manual searching for quotes from every single provider you can think of…who has time for that?

Root might be the best bet for the most careful drivers out there. But you won’t be positive that your quote from Root is the best deal you can get if you don’t compare it to several others.

The insurance industry is vast, and Root is only one piece of the puzzle! Insurify will save you hours of manual searching and let you compare cheap car insurance quotes from top-rated national and regional companies. If you’re honest about your good driving record, we bet you can find some of the lowest quotes out there—whether you’re on the hunt for state minimum coverage or all the perks of premium protection.

Root Auto Insurance Overview

Root was founded in March 2015 by Alex Timm and Dan Manges. Timm now acts as Root’s CEO; Manges is its Chief Technology Officer. The company has over 800 employees as of 2020 and has headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.

In late October 2020, Root officially started trading on the stock market, raising $724 million in its initial public offering (IPO). That amounts to a multi-billion dollar valuation.

Visit Root’s official website at www.joinroot.com.

Root Contact Information

Headquarters address80 E Rich Street Suite 500 Columbus, OH 43215
Customer support phone number1 (866) 980-9431
Customer service email addresshelp@joinroot.com
Updated April 16, 2021

Nick Dehn is a content specialist for Insurify. A seasoned writer, Nick has produced feature pieces, opinion editorials, and press releases for start-ups, small businesses, and local news publications. He now develops content full-time for Insurify, researching and writing data-driven studies and producing insights on the insurance industry. Media appearances on behalf of Insurify include NBC, CBS, and NPR affiliates across the country. Nick is an alumnus of Williams College, where he graduated cum laude with a degree in English and Sociology.