Root Auto Insurance Review: Ratings and Quotes (2024)

Root is a relatively new usage-based auto insurer that only covers drivers who pass its driving test.

Sarah Sharkey
Written bySarah Sharkey
Sarah Sharkey
Sarah SharkeyInsurance Writer
  • 7+ years writing insurance and personal finance content

  • Contributor to top media, including USA Today

A passionate personal finance advocate, Sarah’s writing has graced the pages of many of the personal finance and insurance industries’ top web publications.

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Courtney Mikulski
Courtney MikulskiSenior Editor, Auto
  • 3+ years producing insurance and personal finance content

  • Main architect of the Insurify Quality Score

Courtney’s deep personal finance knowledge extends beyond insurance to credit cards, consumer lending, and banking. She thrives on creating actionable content.

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Konstantin Halachev
Data reviewed byKonstantin Halachev
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

Updated November 17, 2023 at 11:00 AM PST

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Root offers car insurance with a focus on your driving habits. In fact, the company bases your car insurance premiums primarily on your driving habits. The company reports that safe drivers tend to tap into big savings. But drivers with unsafe habits might not be able to work with Root at all.

If you’re a safe driver looking for affordable coverage, Root might be a good option. But it’s not available in every state.

Quick Facts
  • The average cost of Root car insurance is $97 per month for full coverage and $62 per month for liability coverage.

  • Drivers seeking coverage from Root must undergo a test-drive period, which provides data to Root about your driving habits.[1]

  • Root isn’t available in Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, Washington, D.C., or Wyoming.

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Root’s rates average $62 per month for liability coverage

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How Root stacks up

As the company has expanded to more than 30 U.S. states since 2015, Root has made offering safe drivers affordable coverage a priority.

In general, Root tends to offer cheaper car insurance rates than its competition. While customer service is on par with other similar insurance companies, Root customers tend to find more discount opportunities.

FactorHow Root Compares
RatesCheaper than competitors
Customer serviceSimilar to competitors
DiscountsMore than competitors
AvailabilityMore than competitors

How does Root auto insurance work?

Root’s focus as an insurance company is to reward safe drivers with low premiums. Before you can lock in a policy with Root, you must agree to a test-drive through the Root app. The app uses telematics to monitor your driving behavior over a few weeks.

After gathering this information about your driving habits, Root will use it as a primary factor when determining an auto insurance quote for you. While it does consider other factors, how you drive matters more than your credit score, vehicle type, age, driving record, marital status, gender, or ZIP code.[1]

How Does Usage-Based Insurance Work?

How Does Usage-Based Insurance Work?

Average cost of Root auto insurance

On average, drivers with Root pay $62 per month for liability-only car insurance. For a full-coverage policy, drivers with Root pay an average of $97 per month.

Root’s average costs are significantly lower than the national average. Across the nation, the average car insurance policy costs $210 per month for full coverage and $103 per month for a liability-only car insurance policy.

Root insurance reviews and ratings

Root launched in 2015, which means it’s relatively new to the insurance industry. Overall, the car insurance company has earned relatively positive reviews. For example, the mobile app earned a 3.4 in the Google Play Store and a 4.7 in the App Store. However, some customers shared negative experiences.

Root customer reviews

In general, Root customers seem mostly impressed with the affordable rates.

While many customers appreciate the low rates, others point out that the Root app has trouble distinguishing who’s driving. Many customers reported that the app pulled in driving data when the policyholder was simply a passenger, which could push rates higher.

Most insurance companies earn both positive and negative reviews, and Root isn’t an exception. Taking a look at customer feedback can help you see what others like and don’t like about the company before signing up for a policy.

Root ratings

Insurance companies receive ratings for different metrics, like customer complaints and financial stability. Root hasn’t received some of these ratings, like an AM Best rating or J.D. Power customer satisfaction score. But it has received reviews on various customer rating websites:

  • Trustpilot: 4.3 out of 5 stars, with more than 1,100 reviews

  • Better Business Bureau: A+ BBB accreditation, 1.16 out of 5 stars, with 251 reviews

  • Google Play Store: 3.4 out of 5 stars, with more than 36,000 reviews

  • Apple App Store: 4.7 out of 5 stars, with more than 65,000 reviews

  • NAIC Complaint Index: 5.02 (Higher than expected)

Root car insurance coverage options

For every state that Root operates in, the car insurance company offers at least the state minimum required car insurance coverage. The liability coverage options include both bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage.

But in many states, Root offers more than the bare minimum coverages; other options include the following:[2]

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/100x100/24f1697280/car-key.svg

    Rental reimbursement coverage

    After an accident, this coverage helps pay for a rental vehicle to get around while your car is in the shop for repairs. If you don’t want to deal with a rental car, you can get reimbursed for Lyft rides instead.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/5285c4cd74/uninsured-or-underinsured-motorist-coverage.svg

    Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage

    Some states require this coverage, which pays for your injuries and property damage if someone without insurance — or with limits too low to cover your costs — causes an accident.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/abffe6238f/financial-protection.svg

    Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage

    Some states require PIP coverage, and it covers your and your passenger’s medical expenses and lost wages from an accident.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/4c9753bdbe/medical-payments.svg

    Medical payments (MedPay) coverage

    Similar to PIP coverage, eight states require MedPay coverage, and it pays for the medical bills for injuries from an accident. It covers both the driver and any passengers involved in the accident.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/100x100/9997698e9e/emergency-roadside-service.svg

    Roadside assistance coverage

    Root includes roadside assistance with every policy. You’ll have coverage for three incidents of up to $100 per vehicle per policy term. If you need a jump start or a tow truck, this coverage should help you out.

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Root auto insurance rates by driving history

Most insurance companies take your driving history into account when determining car insurance premiums. In general, drivers with clean driving records pay less for car insurance than drivers with past incidents.[3]

Root auto insurance works a little bit differently. Instead of focusing on your driving record, Root looks at your current driving behaviors. If you commit to safe driving habits, and Root confirms this by tracking your driving, you should find more affordable rates than a risky driver.[1]

The table below shows average monthly rates for Root drivers with varying levels of incidents on their driving record.

Driving HistoryAverage Quote: Full CoverageAverage Quote: Liability Only
Clean record$97$62
With speeding ticket$147$94
With at-fault accident$154$98
With DUI$133$85
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Root car insurance cost by age

Teen drivers pay more for car insurance than older drivers because they have less experience behind the wheel and are more likely to engage in riskier driving behaviors like speeding, driving under the influence (DUI), and other violations.[4]

The trend holds true with Root. In general, young drivers pay more for Root car insurance than older drivers.

The table below includes the average monthly quotes for different age groups for a full-coverage policy through Root.

Age GroupAverage Monthly Quote
Teens$111
20s$102
30s$82
40s$88
50s$80
60s$75
70s$76
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Root car insurance discounts

The right discounts can make a big difference to your auto insurance costs. Root offers various discounts to help you tap into savings.

Below is a closer look at the car insurance discounts you might be eligible for through Root.

Discount% Discount
Safe driverUndisclosed
Driver student status5% to 25%
Anti-theft discounts5% to 15%
Bundling policiesUndisclosed
Pay-in-fullUndisclosed 
Usage-based discountUndisclosed

Root vs. other insurance companies

The car insurance market is highly saturated, which means that drivers have many insurance companies to choose from. Root is relatively new to the car insurance industry, but the company takes a different approach — by choosing to focus on driving habits, Root is able to reward safe drivers with relatively low car insurance premiums.

Here’s how Root stacks up against other car insurance companies.

Insurance CompanyLiability OnlyFull CoverageIQ Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
Root $62$973.9
Elephant$98$1743.8
Mile Auto$54$1003.5
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.
  • Insurify uses an in-house, proprietary method to rate and review the best car insurance companies. The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 crucial criteria, including average premiums, customer satisfaction, discounts, third-party ratings, and more, to calculate a final score for a company.

    Criteria are weighted by importance to the consumer — factors such as customer reviews and affordability influence the score more than availability and third-party ratings. With the IQ Score, Insurify is able to provide quantitative ratings for drivers to better compare car insurance companies and make informed decisions to meet their coverage needs.

Root vs. Elephant

Elephant has been around since 2009 and sells many kinds of insurance, including auto insurance. Currently, Elephant works with drivers in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Like most car insurance companies, Elephant considers your driving history when determining your premiums. But unlike Root, Elephant won’t track your driving habits, which means good driving habits won’t positively influence your car insurance premiums.

If you’re a rideshare driver, Elephant might be a better fit because it offers rideshare coverage. Additionally, Elephant offers a longer list of car insurance discounts, including a work-from-home discount and claims-free discount. However, the limited availability across the country will eliminate Elephant as an option for many drivers.

Root vs. Mile Auto

Mile Auto offers pay-per-mile car insurance policies. Essentially, this means that you’ll pay for the number of miles you drive, on top of a base rate.

The car insurance company currently offers policies in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.

According to Mile Auto, low-mileage drivers can save between 30% and 40% off their current rates. If you’re an infrequent driver, Mile Auto might be a better choice than Root. Also, Mile Auto measures your mileage through monthly odometer pictures that you provide. That means Mile Auto won’t monitor your driving habits, which Root does.

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How to file an auto insurance claim with Root

You can file a claim with Root to ask the company to pay for damages and injuries after a covered incident. Below is a closer look at the steps you’ll need to take:

  1. Open the mobile app. You can file a claim through the app.

  2. Answer some questions. You’ll need to provide some information about the incident.

  3. Take pictures. Provide as many pictures of the damage as you can.

  4. Wait. Root will reach out with any additional questions or simply complete the claim on their end. You’ll receive the claim amount via check or electronic payment.

Root car insurance FAQs

Learn about switching car insurance companies, and check out the answers to common questions about Root car insurance.

  • Is Root legitimate?

    Yes. Root is a legitimate insurance company. Root is relatively new to the insurance industry, but the company offers affordable policies for safe drivers.

  • How does Root insurance work?

    The premise of Root auto insurance is to reward safe drivers with low premiums. Most drivers need to complete a test-drive through the Root app to receive a final auto insurance quote. When you work with Root, the company will continue to monitor your driving behavior through the mobile app.

  • What is the average cost of Root car insurance?

    The average cost of Root car insurance is $97 per month for full coverage and $62 per month for liability coverage.

  • Is Root good at paying claims?

    It’s a little unclear. Root has a NAIC complaint index of 5.02, which is five times more than expected for a company of its size. With the high number of complaints, it’s possible customers experience a bumpy claims process.

Methodology

Insurify data scientists analyzed more than 90 million quotes served to car insurance applicants in Insurify’s proprietary database to calculate the premium averages displayed on this page. These premiums are real quotes that come directly from Insurify’s 50+ partner insurance companies in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quote averages represent the median price for a quote across the given coverage level, driver subset, and geographic area.

Unless otherwise specified, quoted rates reflect the average cost for drivers between 20 and 70 years old with a clean driving record and average or better credit (a credit score of 600 or higher).

Liability-only premium averages correspond to policies with the following coverage limits:

  • Bodily injury limits between state-minimum rates and $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident
  • Property damage limits between $10,000 and $50,000
  • No additional coverage
Full-coverage premium averages correspond to the same bodily injury and property damage limits in addition to:
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible

Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Services’ database of auto insurance rates.

Sources

  1. Root. "Take the Root test drive and save." Accessed November 13, 2023
  2. Root. "The right car insurance coverage is waiting for you." Accessed November 13, 2023
  3. III. "What determines the price of an auto insurance policy?." Accessed November 13, 2023
  4. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. "Teenagers." Accessed November 13, 2023
Sarah Sharkey
Sarah SharkeyInsurance Writer

Sarah Sharkey is a personal finance writer who enjoys helping people make savvy financial decisions. She covered insurance and personal finance topics. You can find her work on Business Insider, Money Under 30, Rocket Mortgage, Bankrate, and more. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Courtney Mikulski
Edited byCourtney MikulskiSenior Editor, Auto
Courtney Mikulski
Courtney MikulskiSenior Editor, Auto
  • 3+ years producing insurance and personal finance content

  • Main architect of the Insurify Quality Score

Courtney’s deep personal finance knowledge extends beyond insurance to credit cards, consumer lending, and banking. She thrives on creating actionable content.

Featured in

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Konstantin Halachev
Data reviewed byKonstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

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