Root car insurance review 2021: Is it legit? | finder.com
Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.

Root car insurance review 2021

Last updated:  

Try the Root telematics app to see how much your safe driving could save you.

finder.com's rating: 4 / 5

★★★★★

Bottom line: Low-mileage, safe drivers can take advantage of low rates if you live in Root’s service area, though you’ll have to prove your driving skills first.

Included free

Roadside assistance

New car protection

Accident forgiveness

Details

States served Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia
Roadside assistance Included free
Accident forgiveness Yes
New car protection No
Pay schedule 6 months, monthly
Claims methods Online, Email, Phone
Rideshare coverage Yes
SR-22 support Yes

Pros

  • Low, transparent rates
  • Rewards good drivers
  • Free roadside help
  • Fast claims

Cons

  • Not every driver can qualify
  • Not available nationwide
  • App-based only
Anti-theft device discount Yes
Bundling discount Yes
Defensive driving discount Yes
Good student discount No
Loyalty discount Yes
Homeowner discount Yes
Military discount No
Safety device discount Yes
Special employment discount No
Usage-based discount Yes

Expert review

Roslyn McKenna

Review by


Roslyn McKenna is an insurance publisher for Finder, where she's driven to help people get a great deal on insurance to protect their families and finances. Roslyn earned a BA in writing and communications from Maryville College and has written professionally for more than a decade, showing up on Bankrate, MSN and Reader's Digest.

Expert review

Founded in 2015, Root Insurance is a legitimate insurance company accredited by the BBB and backed by state insurance funds, just like big national insurers. This pay-as-you-go insurance startup may reward your safe driving with lower rates than you’ll find elsewhere. Root’s premise is that good drivers shouldn’t have to pay high rates for car insurance.

First, you’ll prove your driving skills with a test drive through its app that monitors your driving for a few weeks. Then you’ll get a rate based on how much and how well you drive. But if your driving’s not up to snuff, Root will decline offering you a policy after your test drive is over.

Unlike traditional insurers, Root’s prices are weighted based on your test drive, instead of focusing on demographic factors like your credit score, age and gender.

How do I sign up?

  1. Download the app. Sign up for a test drive through the app, unless you live in California. You can go to the Root site and choose Download the app now to send a download link to your phone.
  2. Set up the app. Log in and enable your location, motion and notifications. Scan your driver’s license and fill in any details.
  3. Take your test drive. Root’s app will monitor your driving for two to three weeks, though the test period can range from one to four weeks.
  4. Keep track of your score. Track how you’re doing with the app’s Driver scorecard, which rates how well you brake, turn and maneuver. The app also suggests ways to improve your driving.
  5. See your score. After you’ve logged enough trips, Root rates your driving on a scale of 1 to 10. If it’s lower than you’d like, use the remaining time in your test drive to improve your score.
  6. Get your custom rate. If your score meets Root’s application standards, the app calculates a quote and recommends your coverage.

What discounts can I get with Root?

For qualifying customers, Root Insurance offers a string of discounts and rewards baked into your final rate.

Root’s premise is rewarding good drivers with low rates, so it doesn’t offer the same discounts as other car insurers, like for good students. However, you can get a few discounts if you qualify.

  • Referral. Invite your friends to sign up through a personalized referral link and save $10 to $100 for each successful referral, except in California.
  • Tesla autopilot. Use Autosteer during the test drive in your Tesla and save based on how many highway miles you drive using autopilot.

What coverage can I get from Root?

Many drivers who switch to Root report increased coverage limits for a lower cost than their previous insurance, according to several Reddit threads.

The only caveat: Root currently doesn’t offer gap insurance, which protects you if your car is totaled and your claim check is less than your car loan balance.

  • Collision. Covers damage to your vehicle caused by an accident.
  • Comprehensive. Pays for damage to your vehicle caused by anything other than an accident.
  • Liability. Covers injuries to others or property damage from an accident you caused. Choose a limit up to $250,000 per accident.
  • Medical payments. Pays for your medical bills after an accident.
  • Personal injury protection. Covers medical expenses, lost wages and other indirect costs for you and your passengers after an accident.
  • Rental car reimbursement. Pays for a rental car while your car’s in the shop after an accident. You can use Lyft instead of a rental, a unique option not available from most insurers.
  • Roadside assistance. Included free except in California, for up to three incidents per car for every 6-month policy. Covers any roadside service under $100, including towing, battery jumps and emergency assistance.
  • Underinsured motorist. Pays for your car repairs if another driver causes an accident but doesn’t have enough insurance.

Does Root offer full coverage?

Yes, you can get full coverage through Root. Full coverage policies typically include liability plus collision and comprehensive coverage.

However, a full coverage policy doesn’t include every kind of coverage — you may pay extra for coverage like rental car reimbursement.

Can I bundle insurance policies with Root?

Yes, Root offers renters insurance and home policies in a select number of states. You get 5% off renters insurance premiums if you bundle car and renters insurance, or 10% off your home insurance by bundling car and home policies.

However, before buying Root home insurance, you have to start a car insurance policy with the company first.

What does the Root app look like?

Root car insurance reviews and complaints

Overall, customers have a positive experience with Root Insurance, especially with their rates — a few say they’ve saved over $100 a month.

Negative reviews focus on inaccurate driving scores during the test drive and billing issues. As of October 2020, Root earns a little under 2 out of 5 stars on the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

However, two signs of solid customer support is its A+ BBB rating and its accreditation by the agency. The high rating shows that Root reps have replied to negative complaints on the site.

Compare Root to other companies

Root isn’t the only usage-based insurance company. Drivers have saved up to 40% with telematics policies from national companies, like Progressive Snapshot, Allstate DriveWise, Liberty Mutual RightTrack or Nationwide SmartRide.

Consider your options before deciding which is for you.

Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Accident forgiveness Safe driver discount Available states
Progressive
Optional
30%
All 50 states
Discover coverage that’s broader than competitors, valuable discounts up to 30% off and perks like shrinking deductibles that reward no claims.
USAA
Optional
Yes
All 50 states
Affordable car insurance with highly rated customer service. Only available to military members and veterans and their family.
Allstate
13%
All 50 states
Your dedicated agent can help you find the best savings with multiple discounts and rewards programs.
The AARP Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford
Optional
Yes
All 50 states
Enjoy low rates for mature drivers, plus freebies and AARP member perks like free replacement cost coverage. Only for drivers over age 50.
Root
52%
Available in 30 states
Track your driving to receive a low rate that reflects your driving skills, and enjoy a fully app-based policy experience.
Liberty Mutual
Optional
30%
All 50 states
Earn free accident forgiveness after five years claims-free and customize your policy anytime online at the tap of a button.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

How does Root car insurance work?

Like many usage-based or telematics insurers, Root sets your rates based on how you drive. Using your smartphone’s accelerometer and GPS, the Root app determines your speed, mileage, hours driven, braking distance and more.

While factors like age and marital status are considered, your driving score is weighed more heavily than with traditional car insurance companies. Safe, low-mileage drivers often report that they save a lot of money by switching to Root, as do young or high-risk drivers who can’t get low rates elsewhere.

WATCH: Is Root car insurance the best out there?

How much is Root car insurance?

Your test drive is the largest factor that Root considers when putting together your policy and price, except in California where telematics-based rates are illegal.

To a lesser extent, Root also considers your driving record, certain demographics and your overall credit history — factors that more traditional insurers use. However, Root has nixed including occupation and education in your score, and it plans to cut credit score from its rating factors by 2025.

If your driving doesn’t meet Root’s requirements, Root won’t offer a price or let you open a policy. You can’t retake your test drive to sign up, a letdown if you don’t have another car insurance option lined up.

Am I covered while I take the test drive?

That depends. Most drivers can’t get instant coverage. If you’re insured but are considering options, stick with your current insurer until you complete the test drive, which could take up to 30 days.

Some qualifying drivers will get 60 days of temporary coverage while they complete the test drive. If you like your final rate and experience with Root, you can cancel your current insurance and let your lender know you’ve switched directly through the Root app.

How long does the test drive take?

You typically complete your test drive in two to four weeks. You can check on your time left in the app. Some drivers report getting a quote after a week or two, while others go as long as six weeks. The average is three weeks, depending on how much you drive.

Common questions about Root car insurance

Car insurance ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

Our insurance team analyzes car insurance providers to help you choose the best car insurance for you. We rank insurers from one to five stars based on key factors including customer satisfaction, policy options, price, billing, claims, and support. We create these rankings to help you narrow down an insurance provider that best suits your budget and coverage needs.

Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

Ask an expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our finder.com Terms of Use and Privacy and Cookies Policy.

14 Comments

    Default Gravatar
    Juanita
    June 15, 2019

    So my license will be suspended if I don’t get insurance on the next few days. If I download the app and make the payment being asked would I be able to have any documentation to show my local Dmv that I have insurance?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Bella
      June 16, 2019

      Hi Juanita,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Once you passed the driving test, have the quotes and make a payment, you can access your insurance through the app and they’ll mail you a physical copy of your policy and coverage that you may show in your local DMV.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,
      Bella

    Default Gravatar
    Chris
    April 16, 2019

    Can I get a sr22

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangco
      April 17, 2019

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for getting in touch! To know if you can get an sr-22 from Root is to take a test drive and get a quote, you need only your driver’s license and basic personal information. When it’s time to sign up for a policy, you’ll provide your Social Security number, banking details and vehicle information. To know the exact requirements of Root, I suggest to contact them directly.

      Hope this helps!

      Best,
      Nikki

    Default Gravatar
    Georgia
    April 3, 2019

    Are there any actual reviews on ROOT Insurance? I don’t feel comfortable providing my personal information online to anyone. How can I get the assurance that this company is legit?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Joshua
      April 4, 2019

      Hi Georgia,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you. 😃

      Root is a registered and legitimate company which is accredited by the BBB and has hundreds of reviews from active policyholders. Thousands of people have used Root.

      To help you know more whether your information is safe with them or not, I highly recommend that you read the privacy policy found on their website. You can also directly get in touch with Root and get an idea of whether they are truly the company for you or not.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

    Default Gravatar
    Sir
    February 19, 2019

    I downloaded the app about 6 weeks ago and I have been driving for about that time and still have not received a quote. Why?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Joshua
      February 20, 2019

      Hi Sir,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Typically, Root will monitor your driving habits for two to three weeks. If you haven’t received a quote, it could be that you haven’t logged enough trips for a score or it could also mean that you didn’t pass their test drive.

      Since we don’t represent Root, I can’t exactly tell you the reason you haven’t received a quote yet. It would be best to directly get in touch with Root to learn more.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

    Default Gravatar
    Josh
    February 17, 2019

    Does Root cover motorcycles?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Jhez
      February 18, 2019

      Hi Josh,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Root does not cover motorcycles, ATVs, exotic, or commercial vehicles at this time. They’re working on dominating the personal vehicle industry at the moment.

      Alternatively, you can use our Motorcycle Insurance Finder to see other motorcycle insurers.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

    Default Gravatar
    Do
    October 20, 2018

    Do you cover RVs?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangco
      October 22, 2018

      Hi there,

      Thanks for your inquiry!

      Root doesn’t cover motorhome at the moment. If you’d like more options, you can compare mobile home insurance and get quotes to help you find the provider that’s going to fully meet your needs at a price you can afford.

      As a friendly reminder, carefully review the Product Disclosure Statement of the product before applying. You may also contact the insurance provider should you have any questions about their policy.

      Regards,
      Nikki

    Default Gravatar
    Mahesh
    August 1, 2018

    Does the root Insurance have a full coverage?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangco
      August 1, 2018

      Hi Mahesh!

      Thanks for leaving a question on our page.

      Yes, Root Car insurance offers full coverage. This includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverages.
      To know more information about this, simply visit their website.

      Aside from Root car insurance, you can compare car insurance companies that also offer full coverage that might be suitable for you.

      Hope this helps!

      Regards,
      Nikki

Go to site