Root Auto Insurance Review: Should you buy in 2023?

Drivers looking for companies that specialize in usage-based car insurance can look into Root auto insurance.

UPDATED: Jan 10, 2023Fact Checked

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Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

Full Bio →

Written by Sara Routhier
Director of Outreach Sara Routhier

Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
Licensed Agent Cynthia Lanctot

UPDATED: Jan 10, 2023

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident auto insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one auto insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our auto insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different auto insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

UPDATED: Jan 10, 2023

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident auto insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one auto insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our auto insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different auto insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

UPDATED: Jan 10, 2023Fact Checked
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Root Insurance

Average monthly rate for good drivers:

N/A

A.M. Best rating:

Not Rated

Complaint level:

High

Pros

  • Safe drivers will pay less
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • You can personalize your coverage
  • Earn cash for referring friends

Cons

  • High likelihood of being declined coverage
  • Number of complaints is higher than average
  • No rating with A.M. Best
  • Not available in every state

The Bottom Line

Insurance like Root is fast gaining traction, but there are still not many companies that offer usage-based coverage. You should still read Root Insurance reviews and compare those reviews against other companies before making your final decision.

By making comparisons and determining what type of coverage you need, you can save the most money on your auto insurance. 

Being a safe driver and getting selected by Root will allow you to pay based on your mileage and driving habits. Make sure you’re comfortable with the Root app using your GPS and don’t forget to check the minimum auto insurance required by state.

Root car insurance is geared primarily toward the driver who hopes to be rewarded for safe driving habits. There are a few other companies on the market that allow buying usage-based auto insurance, but the main focus of Root car insurance is how you drive. Root will also look into what type of vehicle you’re driving and where you’re located, but the company will ultimately make the decision to insure you if you drive safely. 

Root Insurance is a fairly new company, being founded in 2015, whereas other companies like State Farm, GEICO, and Allstate have been around for much longer. However, Root has quickly become a comparable source of auto insurance based on its methods of figuring out what drivers will pay for their coverage. For more information on these other providers, see State Farm auto insurance review and Geico auto insurance review.

We’ll go over what policies Root offers, as well as the pros and cons of the company. If you still have questions at the end, we have an FAQ section as well.

Is Root Insurance a Good Choice?

There are many benefits to being a Root customer. Since Root will only cover safe drivers, it is able to charge less because it doesn’t have to worry about paying out claims for unsafe driving behavior. Safe drivers are rewarded by paying less for their policy. However, there are also drawbacks as well. 

Due to the fact that Root only insures safe drivers, potential customers are more likely to be declined coverage. This is how the company is able to keep its rates low. Whether or not you can get coverage also depends on where you live, because Root isn’t available in all states just yet. 

However, the number of complaints is higher than the typical average found in the industry. Most complaints are regarding the amount of time involved in handling a claim and the lengthy period for reimbursement. Other complaints include rate hikes and drivers having their coverage dropped. Root Insurance is also not currently rated with A.M. Best. 

How Root Insurance Works

Root uses real-time road data in order to provide insurance quotes. Using telematics via Root’s app on your phone, your driving habits are monitored in order to give you a personalized quote on the coverage you want. 

The way that a potential customer receives a quote is a little different when it comes to Root. First, you have to sign up for the “test drive,” which is how the company gauges your driving techniques. You can do this either from the website or the app, though you must have the app installed on your phone in order to proceed. 

Through the app, Root uses your GPS to measure your driving habits and behaviors. The amount of distance you cover, your driving routines, and habits such as hard braking and turning speed are all measured. 

Once your test drive is complete, Root will either provide you with a quote or decline to take you on as a customer. Since the company only partners with safe drivers, many drivers will not be offered a quote once they’ve completed the test drive.

This process is why Root is able to offer such low prices on its policies. Dangerous drivers often drive up the cost of car insurance. By removing these hazardous drivers from the system, Root can charge less. 

Root Insurance Rates

How much you pay for auto insurance with Root depends on the results of your test drive and whether Root decides to send you a quote. Your “scorecard” on the app will tell you how you did, such as whether or not you had smooth braking and stayed focused behind the wheel.

The test drive lasts about three weeks, and you only get one shot. Should you fail the test drive, you won’t be able to retake it. That being said, there are many reasons why drivers choose to take the test. Root offers both monthly and six-month policies, which you can pay for and manage easily through the website or the app.

While your driving habits will be the primary focus in determining what your rate will be, Root also uses a few other factors as well.

Common variables used by most auto insurance companies are the following:

  • Where you live
  • Your age
  • Your credit score
  • Your driving record
  • What vehicle you drive

Below is an example of what drivers can expect to pay for minimum coverage across the country.

Compare these rates with full coverage auto insurance below. You will notice a large increase in price but you are also a lot more protected.

Besides your coverage options, insurance companies will use your driving record to set premiums. A driver with several speeding tickets or other infractions will be seen as high risk and companies will charge more to cover anticipated future claims. For more information, see cheap auto insurance companies that accept drivers with multiple accidents.

Take a look below at how much you can expect rates to increase after a single traffic ticket.

Drivers will see an even larger increase after a car accident where you are considered at fault.

Does auto insurance cover DUI accidents? It will be no surprise that the largest rate increases will happen if you get a DUI on your record.

Your credit score can also play a role in how much an insurance company charges. Insurance companies consider drivers with bad credit to be high risk. For more information, see buy cheap auto insurance for drivers with bad credit.

Take a look at the table below to see how rates fluctuate depending on a driver’s credit score.

 

You should also note that Root is only available in some states. According to the company website, Root is available in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Root also offers an availability map to show where coverage is going to become available soon.

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Root Insurance Discounts Available

If you’re hoping to get a Root insurance discount, you may find that your choices are limited. Since insurance like Root is based on usage, and the company only takes on safe drivers, it’s difficult to tack on an additional safe driver discount. 

The following are the auto insurance discounts that are offered with Root: 

  • Multiple-policy discount. Root offers homeowners, renters, and auto insurance, which means you can bundle and save. 
  • Discount for paying up front. If you purchase a six-month policy, paying for the entire six months can net you some savings.
  • Don’t use your phone while driving. You can save up to 10% off your insurance rates if you don’t make calls, text, or use any other apps on your phone while driving.
  • Autosteer. If you’re a Tesla driver, this is a discount given if you use the automated steering feature.

As with most auto insurance companies, you will want to keep your policy updated if anything changes, because some discounts may not automatically apply. 

Root Insurance Coverage Options

Your Root insurance policy is going to be unique based on your personal preferences and where you live. Each state has different requirements when it comes to auto insurance, so what you need will vary. Often the coverage required by your state is going to include liability auto insurance and protection from uninsured motorists. 

However, if you want more than just the minimum level of insurance, you can also get full coverage from Root. This means you would have not just liability, but collision and comprehensive coverage as well. 

The following are the coverage types that Root offers: 

  • Collision coverage. Collision provides coverage for any repairs that will be necessary after an accident, no matter who is at fault. 
  • Comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive allows for protection against anything outside of an accident, including hitting a deer or any weather-related damage. 
  • Bodily injury and property damage liability. This coverage will pay for any injuries, property damage, or fatalities that are caused by an accident where you were at fault. 
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. If another driver does not have insurance or a minimum policy that doesn’t cover the damage they’ve done, this coverage will protect you. 

Root also offers 24/7 roadside assistance with every policy, except in California and Nevada, where it must be purchased separately. 

Root Insurance App and Website 

Root has both an app and a user-friendly website. According to its website, you can get a quote in less than five minutes, though you’ll still need to take the test drive first. 

Root also states that you’re able to file a claim in minutes minus any paperwork. Reviews for Root Insurance have been mixed. While there are many positive testimonials on its website, there have also been customers who complain about the claim process. Root has received an A+ from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

If you’re interested in a Root Insurance quote and you want to talk to an agent, all you have to do is enter what state you live in and the website will tell you the number to call.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Root a trusted and real company?

Root is a real company with many testimonials listed directly on its website. Not all drivers will be qualified for a policy, but it all depends on the initial driving test.

Who is the owner of Root Insurance?

The CEO and co-founder of Root Insurance is Alex Trim, who wanted to create a car insurance company that had its prices dependent on driving habits rather than specific demographics.

Can you add another car to your existing Root auto insurance policy?

Yes, you can add other vehicles to an existing policy using the Root mobile app. Open the app, tap on your auto policy, go to your profile information, and then from there you’ll be able to make changes to your vehicles, drivers, and other personal information.

How do I file a claim with Root?

You can file a claim directly through the website or the app. You can also call the Root Insurance phone number assigned to your state if you select “call an agent” from the website.

Will Root cover a rental car?

Yes, a rental car will be covered as long as you’re driving in the U.S., any U.S. territories, or Canada. You’ll still have to follow your policy limits and be mindful of the fact that your roadside assistance won’t be transferable.

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Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

Full Bio →

Written by Sara Routhier
Director of Outreach Sara Routhier

Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
Licensed Agent Cynthia Lanctot

Reviews
for Root Insurance

3.23 (602 reviews)
2
January 26, 2023

Dhz7z8xn3

Trash fire

Root is garbage! The two times I needed to use the roadside assistance I recieved no help and was left stranded with no answers.
1
January 17, 2023

farrinpointer

Do NOT buy insurance from Root!

I’ve had Root insurance for three years. My monthly premium went up $90 per month (so $1080 per year) with no explanation. No tickets, no claims, no accidents, and no late payments. When I reached out to the company for an explanation, they said it’s either something you did, a change on our end, or something we can’t explain. Literally, that was the explanation. And then, when I asked for a review and an actual explanation Root Insurance s...
I’ve had Root insurance for three years. My monthly premium went up $90 per month (so $1080 per year) with no explanation. No tickets, no claims, no accidents, and no late payments. When I reached out to the company for an explanation, they said it’s either something you did, a change on our end, or something we can’t explain. Literally, that was the explanation. And then, when I asked for a review and an actual explanation Root Insurance said the cost is what it is, you can pay it or not. What kind of company is this?
1
January 14, 2023

hxdtj2014

Not recommended

Root is really good at keeping increasing the rate while refusing to give reasons. My full coverage of Root increase from $500 to $650 after half a year, and this time, to $800! I have a clean driving history without any accidents during the coverage period of time. It's insane to increase the rate without providing any reasons. Already switch to another company. I would never recommend this auto insurance company.
5
January 5, 2023

maliasnowden

hassle free who needs Geico

quick fast easy to use. Very low pricing same day declaration delivery and the add-on is done hassle free
1
December 19, 2022

Rene_

root insurance kidding his own clients

1. root insurance increases the rate by over 50% in half a year 2. After you have paid the full rate in one time you get no invoice despite demand. An invoice is rejected by e-mail. You only get a credit card receipt. Unbelievable!
5
December 16, 2022

jaybrown7025_gmail_com

Simple and Plan

I joined the Root team via Credit Karma after a long look at what the correct policy would look like for me. After going on line and getting better coverage the choice was simple and plan. Go Root!
5
December 13, 2022

Chuy

IT’S TRUE!… GOOD DRIVER!, INCREDIBLE QUOTES

Took their Drivers Test, upon completion I was quoted an amazing price that was lower than any other auto insurance company I had received quotes from! And the best thing is IT WAS FOR FULL COVERAGE!!!! 🤗 All the other places quoted me more, and it was only for Liability.
5
December 4, 2022

Isaiah_

Good quote, could be better

Cheaper then progressive for the same coverage. Test drive app is buggy though, I was penalized heavily for distracted driving and when I contacted support they just said “stop texting and driving”. I was not texting and driving. I do use my phone for gps, calls, and music. Support claims this should not affect my score, but it did.
3
December 3, 2022

BRapatz

Beware Rate Quotes Are Not What They Seem

Beware before cancelling your current insurance that the original price quoted from Root is most likely not what you are going to get after the "test drive" even when you have a high cumulative score (all drivers on policy even when only one driver actually drives the vehicle insured). After 30 days of test driving for myself (not in the insured car) and my son (in the insured vehicle), we received 10/10 and 9/10 scores, the 6 month rate was inc...
Beware before cancelling your current insurance that the original price quoted from Root is most likely not what you are going to get after the "test drive" even when you have a high cumulative score (all drivers on policy even when only one driver actually drives the vehicle insured). After 30 days of test driving for myself (not in the insured car) and my son (in the insured vehicle), we received 10/10 and 9/10 scores, the 6 month rate was increased $90! I was expecting a further discount. Ha! I was going to insure my other vehicle but I just do not trust this company. Interesting to see what happens to the rate upon 6 month renewal. Hopefully, I never have a claim to further test the integrity of this company.
1
October 26, 2022

Roxy_81

Don’t use this company

After being with Root for a year and having a clean driving record they increased my insurance by $90 with no legitimate reason
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