I started Insurance Blog by Chris™ because I have a passion for insurance. Here at the blog, our job is to educate and inform people about the best insurance for them. Since then, we have grown into national brands with a large team of researchers helping people understand all forms of insurance.

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Written by Chris Huntley
Founder of Huntley Wealth & Insurance Services Chris Huntley

Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insu...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

UPDATED: Dec 20, 2021

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Here's the Scoop

  • Root’s business model focuses on a usage-based approach that enables the company to offer quotes that accurately reflect individual driver behavior on the road
  • You can buy affordable Root car insurance in over 30 states across the country, and the company focuses on selling basic coverage options as well as add-ons like rental reimbursement and roadside assistance
  • The Better Business Bureau reports an A+ accreditation, but poor customer satisfaction ratings, and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners notes complaint rates that are well above the industry average

We know shopping for car insurance coverage can be overwhelming, and you want to make sure you’re picking from the best auto insurance companies. But how do you know which companies are the best, or are at least the best fit for you? The answer to this question is more complicated than just looking at which company offers the most affordable rates.

Reading company reviews like this one, which focuses on Root car insurance, can give you the information you need to decide. Who owns Root Insurance, how can you contact the company, and where can you buy coverage? How much are average Root car insurance quotes? What other factors should you consider when deciding on a car insurance company and policy?

We’ll answer all your questions with this Root car insurance review, but before we get started, if you want to save on your rates, why not take a minute to enter your ZIP code in our rate comparison tool? You’ll get free car insurance quotes from top companies so you can compare and save right now.

How much are average Root car insurance rates?

The Root car insurance company doesn’t publish rates because of the unique way those rates are generated. Root Insurance employs a usage-based model that uses your tracked driving data (collected through the company app) to calculate rates that reflect how you drive rather than aggregate data.

Based on Root Insurance data, you may be able to save up to $75 per month on your rates by switching to Root. As long as you’re insured by Root, you’re required to use the company app, which continually tracks your driving habits. Root will calculate your updated rates based on recently-acquired driving data at every policy renewal.

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In what states can you buy Root car insurance?

You can buy Root Insurance in over 30 states across the country. Take a look at this table to see if Root is offered in your state.

Root Insurance Availability by State

StateRoot Is Available
AlaskaNo
AlabamaNo
ArkansasYes
ArizonaYes
CaliforniaYes
ColoradoYes
ConnecticutYes
District of ColumbiaNo
DelawareYes
FloridaNo
GeorgiaYes
HawaiiNo
IowaYes
IdahoNo
IllinoisYes
IndianaYes
KansasNo
KentuckyYes
LouisianaYes
MaineNo
MarylandYes
MassachusettsNo
MichiganNo
MinnesotaNo
MissouriYes
MississippiYes
MontanaYes
North CarolinaNo
North DakotaYes
NebraskaYes
New HampshireNo
New JerseyNo
New MexicoYes
NevadaYes
New YorkNo
OhioYes
OklahomaYes
OregonYes
PennsylvaniaYes
Rhode IslandNo
South CarolinaYes
South DakotaNo
TennesseeYes
TexasYes
UtahYes
VirginiaYes
VermontNo
WashingtonNo
West VirginiaYes
WisconsinYes
WyomingNo
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While Root is available in more than half of the country, if you live in one of the states in which Root isn’t offered, you won’t be able to buy coverage. However, Root is planning to expand, so you may be able to buy a policy from the company in the future.

What are the company ratings for Root Insurance?

We’ve looked at how much you could save with Root and where you can buy it, and in a later section, we’ll talk about what kind of coverage you can buy from the company. Other factors to consider when shopping for insurance include customer service ratings and financial stability.

The Better Business Bureau reports an A+ accreditation for Root Insurance, but the customer satisfaction rating on the site is a disappointing 1.31 out of five stars. In addition, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index for Root Insurance is extremely high. Take a look at this table for more.

NAIC Root Insurance Complaint Data

Complaint Data201820192020
Total Number of Complaints86850
Annual Premiums$106,371,642$451,058,558$616,842,050
Share of Premiums U.S. Market0.01%0.03%0.04%
Share of Complaints in the U.S. Market0.01%0.12%0.15%
Complaint Index1.664.554
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The NAIC gathers complaint data from insurance companies throughout the industry and calculates the average. The complaint index average is represented by the number one, which means any individual company complaint index numbers below one receive lower than the industry average in complaints.

Companies like Root Insurance, which have complaint index numbers above one, receive a higher than the average number of complaints. Between 2018 and 2019, the increase in complaints mirrors the growth in the company, and the company grew further from 2019 to 2020, but the complaint index decreased slightly. The complaint index is still nearly three times the national average. 

Financial stability is another factor to keep in mind when reviewing car insurance companies because it indicates whether or not companies can pay claims. A.M. Best is a resource for this information, but the company hasn’t yet rated Root Insurance. 

What coverage options does Root Insurance offer? 

To help simplify insurance policies for interested drivers, Root Insurance focuses on offering standard types of auto insurance, including:

  • Liability coverage
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage

Root also offers a couple of options for policy add-ons. One selling point for the company is that roadside assistance is automatically added to all policies for free. This coverage includes up to $100 per incident for up to three incidents in a six-month policy term. You can apply this coverage if you need a tow, lock your keys in your car, get a flat tire, etc. 

For those who are interested, rental reimbursement is also an option you can add to your policy. However, unlike roadside assistance, this isn’t automatic or free for all covered drivers. If your vehicle is damaged in a covered incident, you’ll be able to pay for a rental car or Lyft rides while your vehicle is being repaired with Root’s rental reimbursement coverage. 

Root also offers SR-22 forms for drivers who need them. However, since SR-22 forms are typically only required for high-risk drivers, you may not be able to buy coverage from Root if you find yourself in a situation that requires an SR-22 form, as the company avoids selling policies to high-risk drivers. 

Are there any discounts or other perks available with a Root Insurance offer? 

Root Insurance only offers a couple of discounts because most of the other typical discounts are automatically applied to keep rates low. The exception is a multi-policy discount, which applies if you have more than one policy with the company.

You may also qualify for a few perks with the company, including earning free Lyft credits in certain states. These credits can be applied for Lyft rides on various holidays. You can also earn cash from Root by referring family and friends to the company.

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How do you buy and manage a Root Insurance policy? 

If you decide to request a quote from Root Insurance, you’ll need to download the Root app and sign up for a test drive. This will also require enabling the GPS on your phone. During the three-to-four weeks of the test drive, Root will collect data on how you drive, including: 

  • How you brake
  • How you turn
  • How fast you drive
  • When and where you drive

This data is then used to calculate a quote that reflects your driving. It’s important to remember that this data is used to assess your risk level as a driver, impacting your quote and determining whether you get a quote. As we noted earlier, if your driving test indicates you’re too high risk, Root Insurance may refuse to offer you a quote. 

While this can be frustrating for those who drive less cautiously, for drivers who are insured by Root, the company’s refusal to insure high-risk drivers is a factor that helps keep overall rates lower because of the reduced risk to the company. 

After you buy a Root Insurance policy, you’ll need to keep the app engaged as it continues tracking your driving for the duration of the policy. Root will use the most recent data to adjust your rates when you’re ready to renew your policy. You can also use the app to file claims, pay your bills, add or remove cars or drivers, and more. 

How do you file a claim with Root Insurance? 

Filing a claim with Root Insurance takes only a few minutes. Root focuses on offering a quick and straightforward process you can follow through the company app, or you can also call the customer service line at 866-980-9431 if you prefer. 

On average, filing a claim should take three minutes, and you should start the process while you’re still at the scene of the accident.

Whether you call customer service or file through the app, you’ll need to collect all the relevant information about the accident. That includes the amount of damage, location of the incident, time of day, and the names and contact information for everyone involved. You should also take photos of the accident from as many angles as possible. 

Once you have all the information together, you can submit it through the app or by following the directions provided by the customer service representative. As your claim is being reviewed, the company may reach out if there are questions regarding the information you provided. You can check your claim status at any time in the app, and if your claim is approved, you have the option of either a check or electronic deposit. 

What are the pros and cons of Root Insurance? 

In this Root car insurance review, we’ve done our best to pull together the information you need to make an informed decision about the company and its coverage offerings. To make it even easier for you, we’ve distilled everything we’ve discussed into a few pros and cons. 

Pros: 

  • Root Insurance offers SR-22 forms through the app 
  • With the Root app, you’ll be able to manage nearly every aspect of your policy 
  • Your rates are based on your driving data which means they may be cheaper that average

Cons:

  • Root isn’t sold in every state in the country
  • Root’s complaint rate is significantly higher than average
  • If you’re too high risk, Root may not be willing to sell you a policy 

This list may vary depending on your needs and situation. 

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What else should you know about Root Insurance? 

Alex Timm and Dan Manges founded Root to address issues they saw in the insurance industry. Both felt the traditional approach to pricing insurance polciies was unfair and outdated, and they sought to find a better way. Their answer to the problems they saw in the insurance industry was Root Insurance. 

Without the Root app, the company’s business model isn’t possible. With the app, you can fully manage your policy, and Root can continually track your driving behavior. The data collected through the app is the key to the rates calculation process, ensuring you get the fairest and most affordable coverage for which you qualify. 

Root Car Insurance: The Bottom Line

You could save up to $900 on your rates by switching to Root, which may be a compelling enough reason for some, despite the company’s poor customer satisfaction rating (1.31 out of five stars from the BBB) and a high number of complaints (nearly three times the national average, according to the NAIC).

If you’re a safe driver who regularly follows all posted traffic signs, speed limits, etc., Root’s usage-based approach may enable you to maintain consistently low rates. However, if you’re a riskier driver, coverage may cost more. In some cases, you may not even be able to buy a policy from Root.

Whether the usage-based approach offered through Root car insurance is a good fit for you or not, you can still save on your rates by comparing quotes from multiple companies. Get started on comparison shopping by using your ZIP code in the tool on this page to get free car insurance quotes from top companies.