- Reviews.com scores Root car insurance a 4.6 out of 5 based on overall coverage, pricing, and customer satisfaction.
- Root auto insurance is a usage-based car insurance company that charges premiums based on miles driven.
- Policyholders have the option to bundle their car insurance with homeowners or renters insurance.
Root is a newer auto insurance company, emerging in the 2015 usage-based insurance (UBI) market with a new approach to traditional auto insurance. Root uses telematics to assess a driver’s behaviors and then sets premiums based upon determined risk, also factoring total miles traveled.
It is too new of a provider to qualify for ratings from leading industry scoring providers, such as AM Best for financial strength and J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction ratings. However, its expansion into the home and rental insurance markets shows continued growth. It also makes bundling your insurance a breeze, so you can collect the savings if you hold multiple policies with the same provider.
With this in mind, we analyzed and reviewed Root car insurance based on a series of critical factors, including the types of coverage available, pricing, discounts, accessibility, availability, and claims processing. Before you buy or renew your insurance policies, you may find it helpful to know how Root insurance stacks up in 2021.
Root Insurance Overview
For drivers who have confidence in their safe driving abilities, Root auto insurance may be worth a look. It is particularly easy to get started with an online quote and download the Root car insurance app, which measures driving habits for a couple weeks before a car insurance rate is determined. Unlike many other car insurance companies, premiums are based on current driving habits rather than past driving or credit history.
Although not yet rated by AM Best or J.D. Power, Root did receive a favorable insurance review from S&P Global. S&P Global points out that based upon direct premiums written, Root car insurance was the “third-fastest-growing auto insurer in the U.S. in 2018.
- Premiums based on driving behaviors This pricing platform relies on current driving behaviors and may help certain high risk drivers escape some of their past driving history.
- Ease of obtaining quote High-tech solutions allow applicants to easily obtain an initial quote and download the app for monitoring driving.
- Offers referral rewards Cash payments are made for referrals of new customers in most states.
- Completely app-based With the Root app, policyholders can view their policies and ID cards, pay bills, submit and monitor claims, call for roadside assistance, and manage all other aspects of their policy.
- Coverage not offered in all states Root auto insurance is currently only available in 31 states.
- Financial stability still uncertain Though business growth has been impressive, it is too early to predict long-term profitability by way of third party ratings.
- Limited coverage options Unlike larger insurers, Root does not offer a wide array of policy customization options and discounts for specific needs.
Root Car Insurance Highlights
Root auto insurance provides the following basic coverages, which are comparable and competitive with most car insurance companies:
- Liability protection for personal injury and property damage
- Collision coverage
- Comprehensive coverage
- Medical payments and personal injury protection (PIP)
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist
Unfortunately, as with many startups, Root has developed a relatively poor record for customer service. The most recent report from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) shows a significantly higher number of complaints made in 2020 than for the insurance industry as a whole. Root’s customer complaint index is 1.21, specifically for auto insurance which is .21 higher than average for the industry.
Root does not offer a menu of discounts and add-ons to pick and choose from. With the stated position that “We don’t put you into boxes,” Root claims to build every available discount into your basic premium. This can include additional savings when you bundle homeowners and car insurance from Root.
Despite its below average NAIC customer satisfaction scores, Root auto insurance makes it incredibly easy to submit a claim following an accident. You can use the mobile app to answer a set of simple questions and send photographs of the damages. After an initial assessment, Root follows up with more detailed questions and directions. Ideally, this process leads straight to resolution.
Root’s Car Insurance Bundling Discounts for Cheaper Insurance
Root offers homeowners insurance in certain states with a state-by-state product listing on its website. However, some policies may only be available to someone who already has a Root car insurance policy. With that in mind, Root can offer additional savings on your policy when you bundle your auto insurance with home, renters, or condo insurance.
The first step in the bundling process is to check the Root website to determine whether both car and home insurance is offered in your state. Either way, it is always a good idea to check availability with a Root representative, because the website may not reflect the most recent updates in availability.
Root Car Insurance vs. The Competition
|Provider||Reviews.com Score||J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction*||AM Best||Number of Available Discounts**|
Information accurate as of September 2021
*J.D. Power’s 2021 Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study average rating across regions. Based on a 1,000-point scale.
**Discounts available may vary depending upon state requirements and driver eligibility.
Root vs. Travelers
Both Root and Travelers offer driving behavior-based car insurance. Travelers is one of the largest carriers in the country and offers standard comprehensive coverage with a wide range of options and discounts to customize plans.
Additionally, with Travelers, you can enroll in the IntelliDrive program to measure driving behavior over a 90-day period and receive a premium discount for safe driving. Root car insurance is “all-in” with usage-based car insurance, helping safe drivers save, although more robust coverage may be limited. For the best rates, you can obtain complete quotes from both Root and Travelers using all available telematic options to compare.
Root vs. Geico
This is the classic David and Goliath comparison between Root, a high-tech startup available in a limited number of states, and Geico, one of the largest and best-known car insurance companies available everywhere in the United States.
Geico offers far more extensive coverage options and specific discounts, as well as a user-friendly website that allows an applicant to obtain quotes quickly. With Root car insurance, there may be an opportunity to achieve significant savings with good driving behavior, although users may find a difference in the customer service and attention they will likely receive with Geico.
Root vs. Auto-Owners
Auto-Owners is a higher rated company than Root in both financial strength and customer satisfaction, since Root has not beeing rated by these third-party agencies. Both Root and Auto-Owners receive excellent ratings from Reviews.com, although they both have different strengths.
With Auto-Owners, users may be able to obtain affordable, customized coverage and discounts through direct representative contact. On the other hand, with Root auto insurance, customers have the ability to control their options through technology and may potentially find lower premiums based on good driving behavior.
Root Car Insurance FAQ
Yes. Though a young company, Root auto insurance has experienced tremendous growth with positive Root insurance reviews and a well-deserved 4.6 out of 5 Reviews.com rating. Based on our own ratings, this puts Root in the same league as the largest companies and provides a unique option for a comparison quote.
Root bases premiums on driver behavior and uses its technology app with smartphones to monitor driving patterns and habits. These include braking and speeds in differing circumstances, such as turns. Root then insures safe drivers based on its own metrics, setting premiums accordingly.
While Geico is one of the country’s largest and most trusted car insurance companies, it is not necessarily the best for everyone. Root has a strong presence in the usage-based insurance market. Each company may fit your needs differently and it is always wise to obtain several quotes and compare.
Full coverage car insurance commonly refers to a plan that provides liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage and collision and comprehensive coverage. Root insurance offers all three of these types of coverage and more.
We evaluated Root car insurance based on discounts, coverage, online resources, financial strength, and customer satisfaction to determine Reviews.com scores and create our best car insurance reviews. To compare car insurance companies with other providers across the board, we calculate each Reviews.com score based on the following:
- Discounts: Auto insurance companies that advertised more discounts received higher scores in our methodology.
- Financial Stability: Reviews.com utilized AM Best ratings to assign a score based on each car insurance company’s financial stability.
- Customer Satisfaction: J.D. Power ranks car insurance companies by customer satisfaction, so we used its 2021 Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study to compare the average rating of insurers across all regions.
- Coverage: Car insurance companies were awarded higher scores for advertised coverages beyond the body liability, property liability, collision, and personal injury protection.
- Online Resources: We reviewed the digital resources of each car insurance company and awarded higher scores to insurers with mobile claim estimates, digital insurance cards, and more.