Root Auto Insurance Review

Root auto insurance primarily focuses on your driving habits. Before you get a final quote, you’ll need to take the Root driver’s test. Therefore, Root might be a good choice for safe drivers, but it isn’t suitable if you don’t have the best driving habits.

UPDATED: Jul 20, 2022Fact 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...

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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.

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Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
Licensed Agent Cynthia Lanctot

UPDATED: Jul 20, 2022

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A Concise Overview

  • Root promises low prices to customers who practice safe driving habits and pass its monitoring test
  • While prices are low, Root is notoriously picky about who it will insure, and it sometimes denies drivers who don’t score well on the driving test
  • Root is too new to have an A.M. Best rating, but the Better Business Bureau gives it an A+

Most car insurance companies use complex formulas that consider a variety of factors to determine your rates. From your age to your credit score, understanding why you pay a given amount every month can be confusing.

Root Insurance envisions a different future for car insurance. Rather than using statistics to determine your rates, Root auto insurance promises to focus on your driving habits. You’ll need to take the Root driver’s test before you get a finalized quote, but good drivers might earn lower rates than they could with another company.

For drivers asking, “Is Root Insurance legit?” the answer is yes. Although this young company struggles with customer complaints, it can offer lower insurance rates than its competitors.

Root might be a good choice for you if you’re a safe driver, but it probably isn’t suitable if you don’t have the best driving habits. Explore if Root is the right provider for you below, then compare quotes with other companies to find the best rates possible.

What is Root auto insurance?

Root is a relatively new company — it’s only been providing insurance since 2015. Currently, Root covers drivers in 34 states, but it has plans to expand nationwide as soon as possible.

Getting a quote from Root is different compared to most other insurance companies. You can get a quick quote by entering your information into a form, but it won’t be your final price. Instead, Root will give you immediate coverage lasting up to 60 days. You’ll need to start a driving test using the Root app within 30 days of your policy’s effective date.

The driving test tracks your driving behaviors, including turn speed, hard braking, which routes you take, when you drive, and how many miles you drive. You don’t have to worry about having your phone on you when you’re a passenger because the app can detect when you’re behind the wheel.

Root’s driving test lasts about three weeks, and you can test all the drivers on the policy during this period. Once Root has gathered enough information about your driving habits, you’ll receive a new quote. You’ll have 30 days to decide if you want to accept or reject the new quote and find coverage elsewhere.

Root is pickier than some companies about which customers it accepts. There is a chance that Root will deny you coverage if you don’t pass your test with a high enough score. Root claims that accepting drivers with the best scores helps keep rates down for other customers.

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What types of car insurance does Root sell?

Each state Root currently operates in requires drivers to carry a minimum auto insurance. Most states only require liability car insurance coverage, though some require uninsured motorist or medical payments.

Although you only need to meet your state’s minimum insurance requirements, it never hurts to have more coverage. Increasing the coverage on your policy will ensure your car is protected no matter what happens.

You have several options for insurance with Root, which it separates into three categories: liability, car coverage, and medical coverage. Liability insurance includes the following:

  • Bodily injury. As half of the liability coverage, this portion covers injuries you cause to other people in an accident. It does not protect you or your passengers.
  • Property damage. As the name suggests, this portion of liability coverage pays for damage you cause to other cars or property.

Does Root offer additional coverage?

Root offers more options for car coverage:

  • Collision. If you want help repairing your car after an accident, you’ll need collision insurance. Collision coverage pays for repairs after you cause an accident or if you’re in a hit-and-run.
  • Comprehensive. Comprehensive coverage protects your car from other sources of damage. Root includes windshield replacement in its comprehensive insurance plans.
  • Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD). UMPD coverage will repair or replace your car if a driver with inadequate insurance hits you. It also covers hit-and-run accidents.
  • Rental car. Root will reimburse you for alternative transportation when your vehicle needs repairs. You have the option of renting a car or using Lyft.
  • Roadside assistance. Roadside assistance provides help when your car is stuck on the side of the road. As a bonus for Root drivers, roadside assistance is included in all policies.

Finally, Root offers several options to help with medical expenses after an accident:

  • Medical payments. MedPay helps pay for expenses after an accident. This coverage follows you in and out of state and applies if you’re injured on public transportation or in someone else’s car.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP). PIP coverage helps with medical bills for you and your family members after an accident. No-fault states require PIP coverage.
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury. This coverage will help pay for your medical bills if a driver without enough insurance hits you.

This is the extent of coverage options Root currently sells, but you can sign up for notifications for future products. You can also buy homeowners or renters insurance, but availability is limited.

How much does Root auto insurance cost?

You can get an immediate quote from Root by filling out the online form with your basic information. You’ll need to pass your driving test to get your true quote, but you’ll likely save money compared to other companies.

To get an idea of how much you might pay with Root, look at the average insurance cost in each state it serves below.

StateAverage Monthly State Minimum RatesAverage Monthly Full Coverage Rates
New Mexico$46$87
North Dakota$25$68
South Carolina$53$94
West Virginia$43$89
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Remember that Root is best for safe drivers with good habits. If you frequently drive late at night, tend to be aggressive, or spend a lot of time behind the wheel, you’ll probably see higher rates.

Root doesn’t offer discounts on its insurance. Instead, it uses a two-step process to find you the cheapest quotes possible.

First, Root promises not to put you in a box. It pays less attention to traditional factors that shape rates, like age, gender, and credit scores. Root doesn’t offer discounts because they claim not to penalize you just for being you.

Second, Root’s driving test acts as a discount for good driving habits. As long as you consistently drive well, you’ll earn low rates.

What do Root insurance reviews say?

Root promises cheaper prices than other companies by offering drivers the chance to prove their skills. It also keeps customers as informed as possible about upcoming new products. However, promises on a website only take you so far.

You should look at reviews to better understand how well Root does. As a small, new insurance company, it doesn’t have a financial strength rating from A.M. Best. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives Root an A+.There are over 200 reviews on the BBB site, most of which are negative. While customers mention low prices, many are unimpressed with the claims process. A common theme amongst complaints is that getting in touch with customer service can be extremely difficult.

However, it’s not all bad news. Root works hard to protect its customers with unique perks, including the Lyft on Us program. Lyft on Us provides Root customers free rides from Lyft on St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and Independence Day.

Customers also enjoy how easy it is to use the Root app. From making claims to contacting customer service and everything in between, the Root app has everything you need. The best thing about Root — according to its customers — is the price. Prices are so low that potential customers frequently ask, “Is Root car insurance legit?” Most people say they save hundreds on their insurance and can’t find a better price anywhere.

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Find the Best Auto Insurance for Your Needs

Root might be right for you if you practice safe driving habits. Although the company struggles with its customer service reviews, low prices and exciting perks make taking a look worthwhile. You’ll need to take a test that monitors your driving behaviour, but the savings might be worth it.

If Root sounds like it might be right for you, your next step is to get a quote and start your driving test. Afterwards, compare quotes from other companies to ensure you get the best price and product.

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