If you’re considered a high-risk driver despite having a clean driving record, you might wonder why your car insurance premiums are through the roof. According to Root Insurance reviews, motorists may be able to avoid this dilemma by getting coverage through the usage-based insurance provider.
Our team has reviewed the country’s best car insurance companies, and we discovered in our research that Root Insurance tends to offer affordable rates for good drivers who fall into the high-risk category. Read on to see how it compares to leading providers.
Root Insurance Rating: 4.0 Out Of 5.0
We give Root Insurance an overall score of 4.0 out of 5.0 stars for offering affordable coverage to safe drivers in the high-risk category. While price increases are known to occur and the company’s claims process receives some negative reviews, many motorists could save considerably with policies from Root Insurance.
About Root Insurance
AM Best financial strength rating: Not ranked
Insurance types: Auto insurance, home insurance, and renters insurance
States available: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Though the company has only been around since 2015, Root Insurance has made a name for itself by basing premiums off of actual driving patterns instead of sweeping demographic data. The Columbus, Ohio-based company has a fascinating model, but Root Insurance reviews reveal generally substandard customer service.
Root Car Insurance Average Cost
Unlike most auto insurance companies, Root Insurance charges policyholders based on their driving habits rather than weighing data such as age or credit score as heavily when determining rates. By using Root, good drivers who fall into the high-risk category despite having clean driving records often receive some of the cheapest car insurance rates, according to Root Insurance reviews.
The largest factor that goes into your Root auto insurance rate is the company’s “test drive.” Drivers will need to download the company’s app and let it track their driving skills for about three weeks. The more responsible you are behind the wheel, the lower your quoted car insurance rate will be.
The usual factors that affect how much car insurance is still influence your rates, just less so than from most other auto insurance providers. Still, expect the following to play a role in your average premiums:
- Location: Car insurance rates can vary greatly across state lines, with high prices found where there are higher minimum coverage limits, significant rates of car theft, and large numbers of uninsured motorists. Drivers in the city will likely pay more than those in rural areas.
- Age and gender: Young men face steeper auto insurance rates on average, though costs start to decrease as drivers hit their mid-20s.
- Marital status: Married motorists are generally considered lower-risk, so they receive cheaper rates than single drivers.
- Credit score: Those with poor credit are usually charged steep car insurance costs in most states.
- Driving history: Auto insurance prices spike for motorists with DUIs and car accidents on their driving records.
- Vehicle type: Owners of newer cars, vehicles often targeted by thieves, and cars with lackluster safety ratings pay higher insurance premiums.
The factors above will still greatly affect your car insurance rate, but Root’s test drive program is the most significant factor of all.
According to Root Insurance’s website, the company prides itself on offering prices so low that drivers don’t need discounts.
What Is The Root Insurance Test Drive?
Since it’s the most significant factor in determining your quoted rate, it’s critical to know how the Root Insurance test drive feature works. According to Root Insurance reviews, signing up for the test drive is extremely easy. Drivers must download the Root Insurance app from the App Store or Google Play and sign up for an account. The Root app will immediately start tracking your driving data and will give you a response in three weeks.
Not all motorists receive competitive car insurance quotes from the company, based on Root Insurance reviews. The company doesn’t offer coverage to irresponsible drivers, which is how it keeps rates on the lower end for those it protects. To receive coverage from Root Insurance, follow driving best practices such as:
- Braking: Avoiding hard braking while behind the wheel
- Turning: Easing into and out of turns smoothly
- Safe hours: Not driving late at night, especially during the weekend
- Miles driven: Being on the road as little as possible
- Driving routes: Not spending time on dangerous roads
While you don’t need the Root Insurance app to be open while you’re driving, you’ll need to have your phone with you behind the wheel with GPS services enabled. The app can tell when you’re a driver and when you’re a passenger.
All drivers who want quotes from Root Insurance must take the test drive. Leave plenty of time on your old auto insurance policy if you’re thinking of making the switch, and remember that not all drivers are approved for Root Insurance coverage.
Root Auto Insurance Coverage
Assuming you’re approved for Root Insurance, you might find its coverage to be a bit lacking. If you’re going for a bare-bones protection plan, expect to face no issues. However, Root Insurance reviews reveal disappointment from those hoping for add-ons.
Coverage options from Root Insurance include:
Bodily injury (BI) liability insurance covers the medical expenses for other drivers and their passengers after an accident where you are at fault. Property damage liability coverage pays for damages to other drivers’ vehicles after an accident where you are at fault.
Collision insurance pays for damages that occur while your car is moving, either with another vehicle or a road hazard, or if you flip your vehicle.
Comprehensive coverage pays for damages to your vehicle that are caused by animals or natural disasters. It also pays to repair or replace your vehicle if it is stolen or vandalized.
Personal Injury Protection
Personal injury protection (PIP) pays medical bills for you and your passengers after an accident. PIP may also pay for other expenses, such as lost wages.
Medical payments (MedPay) covers medical bills for you and your passengers after an accident.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage pays for damages to your vehicle if you are hit by another driver who does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to fully pay for the cost of damages.
Rental Car Reimbursement
Rental car reimbursement provides you with a temporary rental car while your vehicle is in the repair shop.
One major upside to Root Insurance policies is the 24/7 roadside assistance that comes standard with all plans. This feature covers battery jump-starts, towing and winching, lockout services, fuel delivery, and spare tire installations.
According to Root’s website, the company doesn’t offer rideshare coverage for Uber or Lyft drivers. Root offers no guaranteed asset protection either, so another provider may be best if you’re searching for this type of coverage.
Something to keep in mind is that Root Insurance lacks an AM Best financial strength rating. While this doesn’t necessarily mean the company is in a poor financial position, you’ll have no way of knowing the company’s ability to cover your insurance claims.
Root Usage-Based Insurance
You don’t need to opt into a usage-based insurance program with Root Insurance, as the main factor that determines your rates is the test drive telematics service. While the company doesn’t offer usage-based insurance discounts on top of that, Root Insurance reviews mention that your initial rate will largely reflect your driving performance.
Root Insurance Mobile App
It’s important for a digitally focused company such as Root Insurance to have a robust mobile presence, and it definitely does. The provider’s app makes it simple for drivers to set up a test drive, pay for their insurance policy, file claims, and reach out for roadside assistance.
You’ll find a mix of opinions when searching for Root Insurance reviews that focus on the app. While it earns a solid 4.7 stars out of 5.0 on the App Store, users on Google Play only give the Root Insurance app 3.5 stars. It’s worth noting that many of these negative Root Insurance reviews have more to do with car insurance policies than the app itself.
Root Insurance Reviews
Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating: A+
BBB complaints in last three years: 350
Trustpilot rating: 4.4 / 5.0
You’ll find a wide variety of opinions and scores when looking up Root Insurance reviews. Drivers on the BBB give the company a poor 1.3-star average out of 5.0, while Trustpilot reviewers offer a more encouraging 4.4-star average rating. On Google, more than 4,600 Root Insurance reviews give the company an average of 4.0 stars.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) determines how many customer complaints each insurance provider receives compared to the national average. In the most recent data, Root Insurance received four times as many complaints as most providers. This is not a good sign for anyone considering coverage from Root Insurance.
Positive Root Insurance Reviews
Many customers experience rock-solid service from Root Insurance, with low rates and superb service sitting just an app’s click away.
“I have been a customer for three years and have had a great experience. After an initial test drive, I was offered an awesome price and it didn’t go up at all for two years. Unfortunately, I got into a crash and they handled everything super quickly, all from the app.”
– Robert via Trustpilot
“I was in an auto accident and unfortunately my vehicle was totaled. Root handled my claim very quickly and made the experience a lot less painful. I received my settlement money within days.”
– Angela Fryar via Google
Negative Root Insurance Reviews
Customers who leave negative Root Insurance reviews regularly mention the frustrating Root claims process and unreasonable price hikes after a few months of coverage.
“Over the years, the rates have consistently risen. Mind you, my driving record is perfect. No accidents, tickets, or points on my license ever. The rates now are almost triple what I was paying when I started with Root.”
– Uriah Henry via Google
“You get what you pay for. They really lowball you on estimates for the repairs. I was stuck with an additional $2,600 to pay out of pocket because I could find no one to fix my car for what they would pay.”
– Melissa L. via BBB
Looking through Root Insurance reviews makes it apparent that dramatic price spikes are fairly common with the company. There are many stories of premiums doubling about a year after drivers sign up for car insurance coverage with Root Insurance.
Other Recommendations For Car Insurance
Accident-free drivers who are regarded as high risk, such as teen drivers or those with poor credit scores, should consider Root Insurance. However, we recommend getting free quotes from top-rated providers–like Progressive and Geico–to find the best choice for your needs.
Progressive: Best Usage-Based Insurance
With Progressive’s Snapshot® program, drivers can join a usage-based insurance program that works similarly to the one offered by Root Insurance. Progressive is already known for having affordable car insurance premiums, and Snapshot is just one more way to save.
You’ll find that Progressive insurance offers added security, as the provider receives an A+ rating from AM Best for financial strength as well as an A+ rating from the BBB. Learn more by reading our full Progressive insurance review, where we list Progressive cost estimates and explain coverage and discount options.
Geico: Best Overall Provider
While many car insurance companies make drivers search for savings, Geico offers extremely affordable prices from the start. Expect to receive competitive coverage at bargain prices when you choose Geico, our team’s choice for the Best Overall Provider.
Geico is backed by an outstanding A++ rating for financial strength from AM Best and a similarly excellent A+ score from the BBB. Between its discount rates and strong performance across the board, it’s easy to see why Geico is the country’s second-largest auto insurance provider.
Because they’re two of the most well-known and respected car insurance companies in the U.S., many look to compare Geico vs. Progressive. We’ve done a full comparison to make the choice simpler. You can also read our Geico insurance review for more information about the provider.
Frequently Asked Questions: Root Insurance Reviews
How We Rate Insurers
Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of car insurance providers. While there are multiple qualities that make a car insurance company successful, our review team focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:
- Cost: Cost can be difficult to compare between insurers because so many factors impact annual premiums. The cheapest insurer for one driver may not be the cheapest for another. To determine our cost score, we look at insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services, discount opportunities, and consumer reports.
- Coverage: To determine our coverage score, we look at the number of coverage options available as well as coverage limits and deductible options. Our ratings also take into account additional services and benefits like roadside assistance.
- Reliability: It’s important that an auto insurer is able to meet its claims obligations. Companies with a strong financial strength rating from AM Best score best in this category. Established insurers with a long history of reliable service also receive positive marks.
- Service: We comb through customer reviews on sites like the BBB to learn about customer experiences. Insurers with a low volume of complaints score well in this area. We also consider the claims process, giving higher ratings to car insurance providers that offer easy-to-use claims apps.
*Data accurate at time of publication.