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root car insurance

Root Car Insurance Review (2020)

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Car driving down the road
Root Insurance Review
In Our Opinion:
Root car insurance can be a good option for safe drivers and those who do not use their vehicles often. The usage-based program is available in 30 states.
Industry Standing:
85
Availability:
90
Coverage:
85
Affordability:
95
Customer Service:
90
Online Experience:
90
Pros:
Rates set based on driving habits
Excellent mobile app and online user experience
Cons:
Not rated by AM Best
Slow claims processing
89

Root Insurance is a newer insurance provider that was founded in 2015 and has been steadily expanding operations across the United States. With such a short history, you may be wondering whether Root car insurance is legitimate.

See how Root Insurance compares with established, big-name insurers like State Farm, Progressive, and Geico in this review. We look at the company’s industry standing, coverage, cost, and more and explain why we put Root on our list of the best car insurance companies in the industry. 

To see how much you would pay for car insurance, enter your ZIP code below and start comparing free, no-risk car insurance quotes from top providers.

Root Insurance Highlights

Root Insurance is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, but it has offices in San Francisco, Chicago, and Phoenix as well. Root car insurance stands out because it is usage-based program. Customers use a mobile app that tracks driving habits and sets rates based on how often and how safely participants drive.

The relatively young insurer can be found in more than half of the country, but it is not yet available to drivers in Alabama, Alaska, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin, or Wyoming.

However, Root does have immediate plans to expand to cover drivers in Alabama, Alaska, D.C., Hawaii, New Hampshire, and North Carolina. You can sign up for notifications about coverage in new states on the Root Insurance website.

Root Car Insurance Coverage

Root provides auto insurance that ranges from state-required minimum coverage to full coverage, depending on drivers’ needs. Drivers can purchase all standard types of auto insurance:

  • Collision 
  • Comprehensive 
  • Bodily injury liability 
  • Property damage liability 
  • Medical payments (MedPay)
  • Personal injury protection (PIP)
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM)

At this point, Root does not offer any additional types of insurance. However, customers do have access to the following benefits:

  • Rental reimbursement: Pays for rental car coverage while your car is in the shop for repairs after an accident
  • Roadside assistance: Included with every policy and pays for services including towing, jump-starts, and lockouts

Root Car Insurance Cost

Typically, car insurance rates are set based on factors such as your age, location, credit score, driving history, and marital status. While these factors are considered when assessing Root car insurance premiums, your rate will largely be determined by your driving habits.

You can request a Root insurance quote online, or you can receive a quote tailored to your driving after using the Root mobile app for a few weeks. During the “test drive” period, the app tracks driving behavior such as smooth braking and gentle turning, as well as statistics like how often you use your phone in the car and which hours you typically drive.

Drivers who practice safe driving and drive less on nights and weekends see the lowest premiums with Root. Customers that own Teslas can also receive a discount for using Autosteer mode.

Based on reviews, many customers find that they are able to save hundreds of dollars with Root’s usage-based auto insurance program.

Root Car Insurance Reviews

Root Insurance is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an A+ rating. While it is not rated by AM Best for its financial strength, the company was recently valued at $3.7 billion, according to Business Insider. Though Root Insurance financials may not be as strong as other top providers, it is a fairly safe bet that the company will be able to honor customer claims.

Positive Root Insurance Reviews

Many customers praise Root for its low car insurance premiums and quality mobile app performance. The company is a tech-based startup, so it makes sense that its mobile app and online user interface are top-notch.

Here’s what some satisfied customers have to say about Root car insurance:

“[The Root mobile] app is truly one of the best apps, and it does exactly what it is promised to do. It saves me over $100 a month on car insurance and is extremely easy to use.” – Jessica G., via BBB

“I was skeptical at first, but after [the test-drive period, Root offered me] much greater coverage than I had, at half the price I was paying. So far, [I’m] very happy and I recommend them to all my friends.” – Gary M., via BBB

Negative Root Insurance Reviews

Most of the negative comments about Root car insurance note a slow claims process and rate increases. Here are a couple of reviews from not-so-happy customers:

“After requesting a quote several months ago and after participating in, also for several months, this company’s ‘test drive’ before they would give me a quote at all, I am convinced they must be selling clueless test drivers’ information to other companies for profit.” – Michele B., via BBB

“The claims process is a nightmare. You have to go through a third-party company, and it took nearly a month to receive my check.” – Ahmed A. via BBB

Conclusion

If you consider yourself a safe driver, Root car insurance could be worth a look, as the company puts more emphasis on driving habits and road safety than demographic factors when determining quotes. You can apply for a quote online or by taking a test drive using the Root mobile app. This will allow you to get a great picture of how much lower your rates could be.

With that said, Root Insurance seems to have focused more on developing its telematics mobile app than figuring out the claims process. The company is still young, so customer experiences with claims may yet improve over time.

Top Recommendations for Car Insurance

If you’re looking for a more established provider, consider GEICO and State Farm. Both companies topped our list of the industry’s best insurance providers and have been around for nearly a century. To see which company can give you the best rates, compare free quotes from top providers using the tool below.

GEICO: Best Overall

GEICO car insurance reviews are strong across the board, both from customers and industry experts. The insurer came in first place for several regions in the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction StudySM and holds an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best.

GEICO earned a 96-percent overall rating from our review team due to its large number of customer discounts, broad coverage offerings, and affordable rates for drivers of all types. You can learn more about the provider in our full Geico auto insurance review.

State Farm: Best For Student Drivers

Like GEICO, State Farm insurance reviews are largely positive, and the company is found among the top providers in each region in the J.D. Power Satisfaction Study.

We rated State Farm at 95 percent in our in-depth review. This insurer has discounts that may be especially attractive to student drivers, such as its safe driving program, student away-at-school discount, and good student discount. Learn more by reading our full State Farm auto insurance review.

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