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Where is Root car insurance available?
Root plans to launch in Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and West Virginia soon. Root added three new states in two months at the time of writing, so the company is growing quickly and plans to continue to expand its availability. To learn about availability for your own state, sign up for notifications online.
Yes, Root Insurance is a legitimate insurance company accredited by the BBB and backed by state insurance funds,, just like big national insurers. Root’s a startup company founded in 2015
The company’s not out to scam drivers or pull a bait and switch with low rates you can’t actually qualify for. You won’t get personalized support from an agent, but you can call customer support almost any time, and the easy claims process is all done online.
How does Root car insurance work?
Root’s innovative app determines your rates based on how you actually drive. Using your smartphone’s accelerometer and GPS, the Root app can determine your speed, mileage, hours driven, braking distance and more.
Safe, low-mileage drivers often report in customer reviews that they save a lot of money by switching to Root. Drivers who can’t get good rates with other insurance companies are also good candidates for Root, including high risk drivers, young drivers and drivers with sports cars.
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. But, to a lesser extent, Root also considers your driving record, general demographics and your overall credit history — factors more traditional insurers use too.
If your driving doesn’t meet Root’s requirements, Root will decline offering a quote. You won’t be able to retake your test drive to sign up for a policy.
How does the quote process work?
Download the app. To get started, download the app for Android or iPhone and sign up for your test drive (except in California). You can go to the Root site and click Get the App.
Set up the app. Log in through email or Facebook, and then enable location, motion and notifications. Scan your driver’s license and enter any other personal information.
Take your test drive. Root’s app will monitor your driving habits for two to three weeks to decide your rate, though some drivers require anywhere from one to four weeks to set a rate.
Keep track of your score. You can keep track of how you’re doing during the test drive with the app’s Driver Scorecard, which rates how well you break, turn and maneuver down the road. The app suggests ways to improve your driving score.
See your score. After you’ve logged enough trips for a score, 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.
Get your custom rate. Root then calculates a quote and presents a policy that matches your on-the-road behaviors if your score meets Root’s criteria.
Am I covered while I take the test drive?
Yes, Root offers flexible options depending on whether you’re currently insured or need same-day coverage. To get insured from day one, you’ll get a temporary 60-day policy and rate. After your 30-day test drive, you’ll see your final rate and have 30 days to decide whether to sign up.
If you’re already insured and are still considering options, stick with your current insurer until after you’ve completed your test drive and gotten your final quote. Then you can decide whether to make the switch. You can even cancel your current insurance and let your lender know you’ve switched through the Root app.
What car insurance can I get from Root?
Root offers a full range of liability, collision and comprehensive coverage. The app also allows you to see how limits can affect your monthly rate, which comes in handy when narrowing down the coverage you want at a rate that fits your budget. Many drivers who switch to Root report that they can increase their limits for less than the cost of their current insurance, according to several Reddit threads.
Bodily injury. Covers injuries to others that result from an accident you caused. Choose a limit up to $250,000 per accident.
Property damage. Protects you if you damage another person’s property in an accident. Choose a limit up to $250,000 per accident.
Collision. Covers damage to your vehicle caused by an accident
Comprehensive. Pays for repairs if your car is damaged by something other than an accident — for instance, fire or vandalism.
Medical payments. Pays for medical care after an accident, whether you’ve collided with a car, a bike or a tree.
Personal injury protection. Covers medical expenses, lost wages and other indirect costs for you and your passengers after an accident.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Pays for car repairs if you’re in an accident caused by a driver without sufficient insurance.
Uninsured motorist property damage. Covers damages to your car if you’re hit by an uninsured driver.
Rental reimbursement. Pays for you to rent a car or otherwise get around while yours is in the shop for repairs after an accident.
Roadside assistance. Included free with every policy except in California. Reimburses you for towing, jump-starts and emergency assistance on the road. Just send photos of receipts to Root’s customer service.
What discounts can I get with Root?
For qualifying customers, Root Insurance offers a string of discounts and rewards.
Root’s whole premise is rewarding good drivers with low rates. And so it doesn’t offer the discounts that mainstream car insurance providers do, like those for good students.
Like many other startups, Root provides special referral discounts, except in California. If you love the savings you’re getting with Root, invite your friends to sign up through a personalized referral link. Depending on where you live, you could make anywhere from $10 to $100 for each successful referral.
Pros and cons of Root car insurance
Rewards good drivers. When calculating a quote, Root weighs most heavily your overall driving behaviors, rather than demographic information like age or gender.
Fast claims. Root processes claims within 10 business days — which is faster than the industry standard of several weeks.
Includes roadside help. Root policies include roadside assistance, except in California, easily accessed from the app.
No agents. Root operates out of an app only or with online support. But you can get help each day by phone from 9 am to 11 pm ET or email email@example.com.
Limited states. Root services 20 states only at the time of writing, though it plans to roll out nationwide in 2019.
Overall, customer have good things to say about their experience with Root Insurance, especially the rates they’ve gotten with this startup — a few saying they’ve saved over $100 a month. Negative reviews focus on inaccurate driving scores on the test drive and billing issues.
At the time of writing, Root earns 4.1 out of 5 stars on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), where it’s accredited since January 2017. A good sign of solid support: Root reps have so far replied to every negative complaint on the site.
How to contact Root Insurance
If you’re not able to get the help you need through the app’s support menu, you have options to speak with a representative, depending on your needs:
General questions. Contact Root Insurance’s customer support team at 866-980-9431 weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm ET or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Claims assistance. Call 844-867-2514 at any time.
Roadside assistance. Call 855-982-1720 at any time.
How do I find a Root Insurance agent near me?
Root Insurance runs all business through its smartphone app or online account management. You’re not assigned a dedicated agent, and you won’t have the opportunity to visit an office to discuss your policy or claim.
Compare Root to other providers
Pay by miles driven
Low base rates
Drive less, pay less
Our top pick: Metromile
Only pay for how much you drive with the Metromile app. Get rates from $29/month plus pennies per mile.
Quality auto insurance with good coverage doesn’t have to cost a pretty penny — especially if you’re a responsible driver. But Root Insurance asks you to prove it, requiring you to sign up for a test drive that monitors a few weeks of your driving on the road.
If you’re up for the test, this startup may reward your good driving behaviors with lower rates than you’ll find elsewhere. And so far, its policyholders like what it offers.
If your driving record isn’t as clean as you’d like it to be or you need specialized coverage compare your car insurance options to find a provider that meets your needs.
Common questions about Root car insurance
Root Insurance uses an app-tracked test drive to weed out drivers it considers too risky, monitoring how you brake, turn and accelerate over the course of a few weeks. That’s true of all states except California.
By not insuring high-risk drivers, Root deals with fewer claims, passing along the savings through lower rates on your policy.
You won’t know if Root can save you money until after you complete its test drive, except in California. After two to three weeks of the app monitoring your driving behavior, you’ll see a quote. Many Root policyholders say they’ve saved 50% or more on their previous rate.
Yes, as long as they live at your same address. To add another driver, edit your profile in the app.
Other drivers you add to your policy receive a text message encouraging them to download the app and start their test drive, except in California. When everyone on the account finishes their test drives, you’ll get your quote.
No. But Root encourages everyone to take a test drive to qualify for the lowest rate you’re eligible for.
As with all other business you’ll conduct with Root, you’ll start a claim through the app on your phone:
In the app, tap File a Claim to start the process.
Add requested information about your accident — including insurance information for other involved parties — uploading photos of the damage to submit with your claim.
Root will call within one business day with an update and any next steps.
Root claims to pay out claims within 10 business days by check. And you can track the progress of your claim through the app. Or call Root’s claim support 24/7 at 844-867-2514.
Root claims its app will be able to determine whether you’re in the driver’s seat based on your phone’s orientation, location, speed and GPS. But if the app fails to decide where you’re sitting, you can update the ride with the correct driver from the app.
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