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Root Car Insurance Review: Costs and Ratings (2023)

Root offers affordable coverage to good drivers in some states. But limited coverage options and an apparent unwillingness to work with bad drivers means Root is not for everyone.

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Sarah Sharkey
Written by
Sarah Sharkey
Sarah Sharkey
Written by
Sarah Sharkey
Insurance 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 by
Courtney Mikulski
Courtney Mikulski
Edited by
Courtney Mikulski
Senior Editor
Courtney Mikulski is a Senior Editor at Insurify with more than three years editing and producing personal finance content. She's experienced with insurance, credit cards, consumer lending, and banking products. Courtney works to provide easy-to-understand and actionable advice to readers looking for their next insurance provider. Her previous work with Bankrate, Reviews.com, and The Simple Dollar, helped readers make smarter financial decisions. When Courtney isn't working, you can find her hanging out with her cat or on a bike ride with her husband. She earned a bachelor's degree in journalism at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. 
Amber Benka
Reviewed by
Amber Benka
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Reviewed by
Amber Benka
Licensed Insurance Agent
Amber Benka is a licensed insurance agent specializing in auto, home, commercial, life, and health insurance.

Updated December 21, 2022

When shopping around for affordable car insurance, you might find Root in your search. Safe drivers who want to tap into a car insurance premium based primarily on how they drive might decide that Root is the right fit.

Quick Facts

  • Root uses information from its app during your test-drive period when determining insurance premiums.

  • Root doesn’t cover high-risk drivers, which leads to lower car insurance rates for drivers the company does insure.

  • You’ll have to do a test-drive before Root provides a quote. With enough information about your driving, Root can provide a quote or deny coverage.[1]

What is Root car insurance?

root insurance homepage

Root is on a mission to reimagine the car insurance industry. The car insurance company focuses on providing affordable coverage to safe drivers with updated telematics technology.

Since launching in 2015 with only car insurance options, Root has expanded to offer renters and homeowners insurance policies.

Learn More: Compare Home and Auto Insurance Bundles

How does Root auto insurance work?

Root’s focus as an insurance provider 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 about three 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, age, driving record, marital status, gender, and ZIP code.[1]

Root car insurance coverage

Root offers a suite of car insurance coverage options to drivers who exhibit good driving behaviors during the three-week test-drive period. These are the coverage options you can find with Root car insurance:[2]

  • Bodily injury liability coverage: If you cause an accident, this pays for the medical costs of the others involved. It’s illegal to drive without this coverage in nearly every state.

  • Property damage liability coverage: If you cause an accident, this coverage pays to repair the damages you caused to another vehicle or other property. Although it’s illegal to drive without this coverage, your own vehicle repair costs aren’t covered.

  • Collision coverage: If you cause an accident, collision coverage pays to repair or replace your vehicle. Paying for collision coverage will add to your premiums, but you won’t have to pay completely out of pocket for repairs. 

  • Comprehensive coverage: If your vehicle is stolen or damaged by something other than an accident, this will pay for the replacement or repairs. Comprehensive coverage will add to your insurance costs, but it covers events like vandalism and extreme weather.

  • Rental coverage: After an accident, this coverage helps pay for a rental vehicle to get around while your vehicle gets repaired. If you don’t want to deal with a rental car, you can get reimbursed for Lyft rides while your car is repaired.

  • Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage: Drivers are required to carry UMPD in eight states. If you get in an accident with an uninsured driver, this policy kicks in to cover your damages.

  • Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage: Seventeen states require PIP coverage, and it covers your and your passenger’s medical expenses and lost wages from an accident.

  • 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.

  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury: If someone who doesn’t have insurance or enough insurance injures you in an accident, this coverage will help pay for your medical expenses.

  • Roadside assistance: Roadside assistance is included with every Root 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.

Good to know:

About 13% of American motorists drive without insurance, even though 49 states require at least a minimum level of liability coverage.[3]

How to get a Root car insurance quote

Getting a car insurance quote from Root is a bit more involved than most insurance companies. Root requires prospective customers to complete a test-drive as a part of the quote process. You’ll need to download the Root app and drive around with your phone in your car for a few weeks.

After Root has gathered enough information about your driving habits, Root may send you a quote. But if your driving isn’t as good as it could be, Root might deny you coverage.

Every car insurance company uses its own underwriting process to determine coverage eligibility and premiums. While Root puts the most emphasis on your driving behavior, it also factors in your age, marital status, gender, vehicle type, and more.

With so many factors at play, it’s helpful to compare quotes across multiple insurance companies. You can compare quotes through Insurify’s quote-comparison tool by starting with your ZIP code. A quick search allows you to compare Root’s premiums to those from other companies.

Learn More: How to Compare Car Insurance Rates

Root auto insurance rates by driving history

Like other auto insurance companies, Root considers your driving record when determining monthly premiums. Drivers with a clean driving record tend to pay less than risky drivers with violations and accidents on their record.[4]

For example, Root policyholders with an at-fault accident on their record tend to pay more than drivers with a clean record.

Driving RecordAverage Monthly Cost
Clean record$129
DUI$131
Ticket$161
At-fault accident$161
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

Younger drivers with less experience on the road tend to have more accidents than older drivers. When determining premiums, insurance companies tend to charge higher premiums to younger drivers.[4] Older drivers can typically lock in a lower rate.

For example, teenage Root drivers pay an average of $240 per month. After turning 25, average monthly premiums for Root drivers drop significantly.

AgeAverage Monthly Cost
Younger than 20$240
25$128
30s$126
40s$132
50s$132
60s$116
70s$114
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.

Check Out: Best Cheap Car Insurance for Young Adults

Root car insurance discounts

Discounts offer a way to lower the total cost of your car insurance premiums. Root incorporates several discounts into its policies:

  • Safe driver discount: Root only works with drivers it deems as “safe,” which means your safe driver savings are incorporated directly into your quote.

  • Payment discount: If you opt to pay for your Root policy up front, you can unlock a discount. Ask for this option before making your payment.

  • Usage-based discount: Root incorporates your usage-based discount after collecting information about your driving habits during the test-drive. You won’t have to ask for this money-saving opportunity.[5]

Root Insurance bundling options

In addition to car insurance, Root offers renters and homeowners coverage. If you bundle either with your car insurance policy, Root offers a discount. But the exact details of and eligibility for Root’s bundling discount will vary among policies.[5]

See Also: Compare Home and Auto Insurance Bundles (2022)

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Root Insurance reviews and ratings

Root launched in 2015, which makes it a relatively new player in the established insurance industry. Overall, the app has mostly positive reviews, scoring a 3.5 on Google Play and a 4.7 on the App Store. But some customers reported negative experiences with the company.

Root customer reviews

Like most insurance companies, Root has a mix of positive and negative reviews. Here’s what recent customers have said about Root on review sites:

Neki McMilllan Root Review Olivia Cassel Root Review Geri Zwahlen Root Review Mega Rox Root Review Baylen Doss Root Review

Root ratings

Here’s how the company stacks up on various rating sites as of December 2022.

  • Trustpilot: 4.3 out of 5 stars with 546 reviews

  • Better Business Bureau: A+ BBB accreditation, 1.3 out of 5 stars with 232 reviews

  • Google Play Store: 3.5 out of 5 stars with over 36,000 reviews

  • Apple App Store: 4.7 out of 5 stars with over 63,000 reviews

Root vs. other car insurance providers

The car insurance market is highly saturated. With no shortage of auto insurance providers, it’s helpful to see how Root stacks up against the competition.

Root vs. GEICO

Geico Homepage

The company’s friendly gecko makes GEICO a familiar choice. In contrast to Root, which only works with safe drivers, GEICO works with drivers of all kinds. And GEICO advertises a long list of possible discounts, much longer than Root’s telematics-based “good driver rates.” On average, drivers pay $52 per month for a policy through GEICO.

For people with clean driving records, the average monthly premium with Root is $129 — more than twice the $46 monthly average for drivers with clean records with GEICO car insurance.

Root vs. Progressive

Progressive is another major insurance company that offers coverage to drivers across the nation. As the third-largest auto insurer in the nation by market share, Progressive may offer drivers more coverage types than Root. Progressive’s add-on coverage options can vary by state, but it offers options like loan/lease payoff, rideshare coverage, and custom parts and equipment value, which Root does not.

Like Root, Progressive also rewards good drivers in the form of savings through its Snapshot program. Snapshot, a telematics program, monitors your driving habits to determine your next premium. Progressive reports that drivers save an average of $156 on their six-month premium after renewing their policies.

Root vs. State Farm

State Farm Homepage

State Farm is the largest insurer in the nation by market share, which means it’s several times larger than the relatively new Root. On average, drivers pay $50 per month with State Farm. With its large footprint, State Farm works with good and bad drivers.

State Farm offers two telematics programs, Drive Safe & Save and Steer Clear. Drivers with good habits can save up to 30% on their insurance premiums.

More about Root Insurance

Root offers drivers a highly rated mobile app to manage their insurance needs. But only good drivers who show safe driving habits during the test-drive can qualify for a Root car insurance policy.

Root pros and cons

Every insurance company comes with its advantages and disadvantages.

Pros

  • Savings for safe drivers: Root rewards good drivers with lower premiums.

  • High-quality telematics app: Root’s highly rated app makes it easy for safe drivers to tap into a discount.

Cons

  • Bad drivers are excluded: If Root determines that your driving habits aren’t a good fit, it won’t offer you a policy.

  • Not available everywhere: Root isn’t available in some states.

What is Root’s test-drive?

Root requires drivers to take a test-drive before it provides a car insurance quote. After downloading the app, you simply bring your phone with you while you drive, and the Root app will run and monitor your driving in the background. The company evaluates your driving based on smooth braking, focus, gentle turning, and nighttime driving.

It typically takes around three weeks for Root to gather enough information about your driving habits. At the end of the test-drive, Root may offer you a quote. Drivers who drive recklessly won’t receive a quote after the test-drive period.

Filing an auto insurance claim with Root

If your vehicle needs repairs after an accident or storm, you can file a claim online or through the app. It should take around three minutes to file your claim.

When filing a claim, be prepared to describe the accident in detail. Plus, you must provide pictures of the damage from as many angles as possible. After the claim is filed, Root will reach out to you about the next steps.[6]

Root car insurance exclusions

Root offers many standard auto insurance policy options. However, the add-on coverage options are limited. For example, you won’t find gap insurance or rideshare insurance options through Root.[2]

Root Insurance FAQs

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about Root car insurance.

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

  • Root is a promising option for safe drivers. But with limited coverage options, Root isn’t a good choice for all safe drivers. Consider comparing quotes from several providers to find the best deal for your situation.

  • You can file a claim with Root in as little as three minutes. Based on the largely positive Trustpilot reviews, Root seems to pay out claims in a reasonable time frame with minimal hassle.[6]

  • Root tracks your driving during the test-drive phase. After that point, it’s unclear if the Root insurance app continues to track your driving habits.

Compare Car Insurance Quotes Instantly

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  • Data scientists at Insurify analyzed more than 40 million real-time auto insurance rates from our partner providers across the United States to compile the car insurance quotes, statistics, and data visualizations displayed on this page. The car insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers' vehicles, driving records, and demographic information. Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Service's database of auto insurance rates. With these insights, Insurify is able to offer drivers insight into how companies price their car insurance premiums.

Sources

  1. Root Insurance . "Take the Root test drive and save." Accessed December 15, 2022
  2. Root Insurance . "The right car insurance coverage is waiting for you." Accessed December 15, 2022
  3. Insurance Information Institute . "Facts + Statistics: Uninsured motorists." Accessed December 15, 2022
  4. Insurance Information Institute. "What determines the price of an auto insurance policy?." Accessed December 15, 2022
  5. Root Insurance . "Discounts for what matters." Accessed December 15, 2022
  6. Root Insurance . "File a claim online or in the Root app." Accessed December 15, 2022
Sarah Sharkey
Written by
Sarah Sharkey
Linkedin

Insurance 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.

Learn More
Courtney Mikulski
Edited by
Courtney Mikulski

Senior Editor

Courtney Mikulski
Edited by
Courtney Mikulski
Senior Editor
Courtney Mikulski is a Senior Editor at Insurify with more than three years editing and producing personal finance content. She's experienced with insurance, credit cards, consumer lending, and banking products. Courtney works to provide easy-to-understand and actionable advice to readers looking for their next insurance provider. Her previous work with Bankrate, Reviews.com, and The Simple Dollar, helped readers make smarter financial decisions. When Courtney isn't working, you can find her hanging out with her cat or on a bike ride with her husband. She earned a bachelor's degree in journalism at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. 
Amber Benka
Reviewed by
Amber Benka

Licensed Insurance Agent

Icon of a woman
Reviewed by
Amber Benka
Licensed Insurance Agent
Amber Benka is a licensed insurance agent specializing in auto, home, commercial, life, and health insurance.