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Root Car Insurance Review in 2022

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Jeffrey Johnson graduated summa cum laude from the University of Baltimore School of Law and has worked in legal offices and nonprofits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman University and worked in film, education, and publishing. His professional writing has appeared on sites like The Manifest and Vice, and he is the author of a novel ...

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UPDATED: Nov 22, 2021

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Key Takeaways

  • Root car insurance rates start as low as $65/mo if you qualify for coverage
  • To qualify for coverage and get Root car insurance quotes, drivers must participate in an insurance test drive
  • Root tracks driving speed, hard braking, and night driving to determine rates

If you don’t drive very often, you might consider lowering your insurance coverage or increasing your deductible. This will lower your rates but could end up costing you more after an accident. To get cheap car insurance without sacrificing coverage, consider switching to usage-based insurance, like Root car insurance.

Root uses telematics to track speed, braking, and when you drive to determine rates. Drivers can get Root car insurance rates as low as $65 if they drive under 1,000 miles per month. 

Read our guide now to compare Root car insurance quotes and learn if Root is available in your state. You may also be eligible for a bundling discount if you buy Root renters or homeowners insurance.

Before you buy Root car insurance, compare quotes from other local companies to ensure you’re getting the lowest possible rates. Enter your ZIP code now to start comparing car insurance quotes for free.

How much does Root car insurance cost?

Root car insurance will save you a lot of money if you don’t often drive or have shorter commutes. That’s because, as a usage-based insurance company, Root uses your driving times and habits to determine rates. 

Root car insurance rates can be as low as $65 for drivers on the road less than 1,000 miles per month.

Check out the table below to see how Root compares to other car insurance companies with usage-based driving programs:

Car Insurance CompanyAverage Car Insurance RatesA.M. Best Financial Rating
Root$65N/A
Metromile$65N/A
GEICO$84A++
Nationwide$95A+
Progressive$198A+
State Farm$100A++
Travelers$109A+
Allstate$161A+
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The A.M. Best financial ratings reflect each companies’ ability to pay out on claims. Root and Metromile aren’t rated yet because they are smaller companies.

Root and Metromile also offer similar rates, but Metromile charges drivers per mile while Root weighs your driving speed and style more heavily. This means that better drivers can end up saving more money with Root.

However, your Root car insurance quotes will vary based on where you live and when you drive. Night driving can raise your rates, so consider your schedule before you buy Root car insurance.

How does Root determine car insurance rates?

Typically, much of what determines the price of car insurance has nothing to do with your actual driving. Many companies use credit scores, marital status, age, and gender to determine rates, but Root bases car insurance rates on your driving behavior. 

According to its website, Root claims that your driving style will influence up to 25% of your insurance costs. At other companies, your driving habits impact 10%.

This is a huge boost for drivers who don’t have any accidents or speeding tickets on their records. It also means that Root can keep its rates as low as possible by refusing to cover the worst drivers.

The driving habits that impact your Root car insurance rates are:

  • Speed and turning speed
  • Ride smoothness
  • Time of day
  • Hard braking

To get the most accurate Root car insurance quotes, you’ll have to participate in the test drive. Download the Root insurance app and create a Root car insurance login to start. The test lasts between three and four weeks.

Does Root always track your driving? Yes, Root insurance uses your phone’s GPS to track your real-time driving habits and determine rates and eligibility. 

While it is an excellent way to test your driving habits and secure cheap car insurance, many customer reviews complain about increased rates after the test period. However, if you maintain your speed, avoid driving at night, and drive under 1,000 miles per month, you won’t have to worry about not qualifying for coverage.

Does Root offer any car insurance discounts?

Unfortunately, Root does not offer a long list of discounts like many top car insurance companies. 

However, there are still two ways drivers can lower their Root car insurance rates:

  • First, drivers can qualify for up to 10% off with a good driver discount after three years without accidents or speeding tickets. Drivers are eligible again after five years. 
  • The second way to save is with a Root bundling discount. Drivers with Root renters or homeowners insurance can save up to 5% by bundling their policies together. 

While these discounts aren’t very significant, the idea is that you’re already getting the cheapest rates possible by being a good driver.

However, suppose you’re eligible for higher discounts with other companies, including military or membership discounts. It pays to shop around and compare quotes from multiple places before you buy Root car insurance.

How much coverage does Root insurance offer?

Root offers liability-only and full coverage car insurance as well as homeowners and renters insurance in some states. This table shows the policy limits for Root car insurance:

Policy TypePolicy Limits & Deductibles
Liability-only$100,000/$100,000/$500,000
Collision Coverage$500 deductible
Comprehensive Coverage$1,000 deductible
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Liability coverage is required in every state. Collision and comprehensive are only required if you are financing or leasing a vehicle. Adding collision and comprehensive coverage will raise your rates, but Root’s affordable car insurance deductibles could save you a lot of money in the event of an accident.

If you require additional coverage, Root also offers affordable uninsured motorist and personal injury protection (PIP):

  • PIP coverage: up to $10,000 per person
  • MedPay coverage: up to $10,000 per person 
  • Uninsured Motorist coverage: $30,000/$50,000/$60,000

If you need customizable coverage, Root insurance offers two add-ons:

  • Roadside assistance
  • Ridesharing rental reimbursement

Root roadside assistance is included with every car insurance policy and does not cost anything extra. It covers up to three services every six months (up to $100) and includes jump-starts, towing, and more.

For an additional cost, drivers can add Root ridesharing rental reimbursement. This covers up to $50/day and $1,500/accident in rental car or rideshare costs after an accident.

Since Root car insurance caters to those who don’t drive often, a rental car may not be necessary. The perk here is that policyholders can choose if they want a rental car or rideshare.

If you’re looking for specialized policies, Root won’t offer you the options you need. However, for drivers who don’t drive often, basic coverage without customizations is very affordable.

Be aware that not all policy types and coverage options are required or available in all states. For example, Root roadside assistance is not available in California.

Is Root insurance available in my state?

Root car insurance is currently available in 31 states. Root renters and homeowners insurance availability is even more limited, and homeowners insurance policies are only available to existing policyholders with car insurance. 

Take a look at the table below to see if Root insurance coverage is available in your state:

StateRoot Car InsuranceRoot Homeowners InsuranceRoot Renters Insurance
ArizonaYesYesNo
ArkansasYesNoYes
CaliforniaYesNoNo
ColoradoYesYesNo
ConnecticutYesYesNo
DelawareYesYesNo
GeorgiaYesYesYes
IllinoisYesYesNo
IndianaYesNoNo
IowaYesYesNo
KentuckyYesYesYes
LouisianaYesNoNo
MarylandYesNoNo
MississippiYesNoNo
MissouriYesYesYes
MontanaYesNoNo
NebraskaYesYesNo
NevadaYesYesYes
New MexicoYesNoYes
North DakotaYesNoNo
OhioYesYesYes
OklahomaYesYesNo
OregonYesYesNo
PennsylvaniaYesYesNo
South CarolinaYesNoNo
TennesseeYesYesYes
TexasYesYesNo
UtahYesYesYes
VirginiaYesNoNo
West VirginiaYesNoNo
WisconsinYesNoNo
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Coverage is not available in Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mass, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, or Wyoming.

How do I file a Root car insurance claim?

Root offers multiple ways for drivers to file a claim, but the company prefers to handle most claims through its app. Drivers can upload photographs when they file through the mobile app, and a claims adjuster can digitally access any relevant information as well.

If you don’t use the mobile app, you can file a Root insurance claim on their website. If you prefer to speak with a live person, call the Root car insurance phone number at 1-866-980-9431. You can call this same number to cancel Root auto insurance or make policy changes, too.

Please note that agents are only available during business hours, between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. You also won’t be able to reach anyone on the weekends.

Many customer reviews complain about being unable to reach an agent or claims adjuster, which could be due to the insurance office’s limited hours. If you need someone after hours, we recommend filing a claim online as soon as possible or using the app.

How are Root customer service reviews?

Despite offering competitive rates, most Root car insurance reviews are negative.

According to the Better Business Bureau, Root customer service is a dismal 1.29/5. Its NAIC complaint ratio is also high at 1.85, meaning it sees 85% more complaints than other companies its size.

Some complaints are directed towards the claims department for slow response times and not being able to get in touch with an adjuster. However, it’s worth noting that most of these complaints relate to the insurance test drive. 

The most common complaints are denial of coverage after the test drive and an increase in rates after the first six months. These are irrelevant if you’re a good driver.

If you have good driving habits, you can easily get accepted for coverage at affordable rates. But a slow claims process can slow down your healing process after an accident. Before you buy Root car insurance, read customer reviews closely to see if the company’s values align with your needs.

Buying Root Car Insurance: The Bottom Line

Root car insurance is an excellent option for drivers with clean records who drive less than 1,000 miles a month. Rates can be as low as $65/mo, with drivers who drive between 250-500 miles per month locking in the best rates. 

However, where you live and when you drive will determine how much you pay. Root isn’t available everywhere, and your state insurance laws will dictate the amount of coverage you need. 

Root also doesn’t offer customizable coverage options or very many discounts. You may still find cheaper coverage elsewhere if you qualify for membership discounts or need unique coverages. 

Finally, Root car insurance reviews are poor. A slow claims process and increasing rates after the first six months are the most common complaints among customers. You shouldn’t have to worry about your rates going up if you’re a good driver, but a slow claims process may outweigh cheap rates if you’re looking for a company that focuses on customer service.

Before you buy Root car insurance company, comparison shop here to find the best usage-based car insurance company near you. Enter your ZIP code below to get started with free quotes from local companies.

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