UPDATED: Jan 10, 2023

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Root Insurance

Average monthly rate for good drivers:

N/A

A.M. Best rating:

N/A

Complaint level:

High

Pros

  • Competitively low rates for good drivers
  • Free roadside assistance with every policy
  • Free rideshare on holidays
  • Offers home and renters coverage to insured drivers

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer specialty coverage
  • Not available in every state
  • Very few car insurance discounts
  • Very high number of customer complaints

The Bottom Line

If you just need basic coverage at a low price, then Root can get you on the road with cheap rates. However, its high customer complaint ratio means it’s unlikely to give you the customer service you want when filing a claim.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) tracks policyholder complaints across the industry. The median is 1.00, and Root’s complaint ratio is 2.61, meaning it receives more than twice as many complaints as other insurers its size.

Customers also give it a 1.3/5 on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website for poor claims handling and increased rates after the first six months.

Auto insurance rates going up at renewal is the biggest complaint customers have with Root, especially after saving so much upfront. Why is your auto insurance so high? Since Root sells usage-based insurance, it’s likely your personal driving habits have changed.

For example, you may have driven more than initially anticipated during your test drive, increasing your mileage. With usage-based insurance, more mileage leads to higher rates at renewal.

Is Root financially stable?

When it comes to financial strength, Root Insurance is too small to be considered by rating companies like Moody’s and A.M. Best. However, that doesn’t mean Root can’t pay out on claims, though the company doesn’t have the same large profits as other national competitors.

Although the company failed to make a profit over the past two years, it continues to underwrite new customers and reduced expenses by nearly $50 million in the last year.

So, this is good news if you’re interested in getting Root insurance. Its unique type of auto coverage allows it to offer competitively low rates to good drivers, and the company has a promising business plan that aims to have the company become self-funding over the next few years.

Keep reading to learn more about how Root insurance works and what you can do to keep your car insurance rates as low as possible.

Pros and Cons of Root Auto Insurance

Usage-based car insurance (UBI) is an excellent option for drivers with clean records who aren’t on the road very often. Companies use telematics to track mileage and driving habits, which can lead to cheaper monthly rates if you’re a safe driver with a short commute.

Root Insurance sells coverage in 34 states. You must have a clean driving record to qualify for a policy, but customer reviews boast of saving $90 or more per month.

Unfortunately, despite competitive rates for good drivers, Root has many complaints and a history of poor claims handling. It also doesn’t offer as many add-ons, discounts, or specialty coverages as most other usage-based insurance companies.

If you’re interested in saving money with UBI, we recommend comparing quotes from a few other auto insurance companies for people who don’t drive often. Our Root insurance review covers customer satisfaction and financial ratings — it also finds that drivers who want more from a company than just low rates should shop elsewhere.

How does Root insurance work?

Root Insurance is a usage-based company that judges policyholders by how they drive. It uses machine learning and a mobile app to track driving habits and mileage. Then, rates get calculated based on how well and often you drive.

Other variables will influence your Root insurance rates, including age and ZIP code. The good news is that Root considers your driving habits more important than these other factors and uses them to influence nearly 25% of your premium cost.

Since the company weighs driving habits so heavily, you must complete a test drive before getting Root insurance quotes or buying coverage. Test drive periods typically last around three weeks, and Root will deny coverage to high-risk drivers with bad habits.

The Root test drive looks like this:

  • Sign up for the test. Use the company website or mobile app to sign up for the online quote process.
  • Download the Root mobile app. The app tracks your driving habits and mileage over 30 days to accurately calculate your rates.
  • Drive safely. The better you drive, the cheaper your Root insurance rates will be.
  • Receive your quotes. Root will send you a personalized quote if you’re eligible for coverage.

Don’t be surprised if you don’t qualify for coverage. The company is very honest on its website when it says that only “good” drivers can get a policy. Root insurance rates are so low simply because the company refuses to cover what it calls “bad drivers.”

If you qualify for Root car insurance, you’ll likely get cheaper quotes than other insurers in your area.

Worried you won’t be eligible for coverage? Ask about “Root Insurance from day one” to get temporary car insurance before taking the test drive. While this doesn’t exempt you from the test, it ensures you have affordable coverage during the test period.

Root Insurance Online Features and Mobile App

Root is the first licensed insurance company to operate entirely on mobile. Customers download the mobile app to adjust coverage, add vehicles and drivers, file claims, or get in touch with an agent.

Root insurance customer service hours are 24/7 through the mobile app. In addition, the company promises that claims take three minutes or less when you file through the app, and customer reviews of their mobile experience are positive overall.

The app has 3.5/5 and 4.7/5 ratings on Google Play and the App Store, respectively.

How to Use the Root Insurance App

The Root insurance app is key to your auto policy. It monitors driving habits and determines your rates.

Does Root track your speed? Yes, the app tracks certain driving behaviors to categorize potential policyholders into risk classes.

What driving habits does Root track?

  • Braking. Hard or frequent braking will raise your rates.
  • Speed and turning speed. Following the speed limit will lead to lower monthly rates.
  • Focused driving. Drivers who don’t use their phones while driving will earn lower rates.
  • Time of day. The less you drive at night, the lower your Root insurance rates will be.
  • Mileage. Long commutes will lead to higher rates.

Fortunately, the app can differentiate between when you’re a passenger and the driver, so your rates won’t be affected by another’s driving habits.

Turn on your mobile device’s location for the app to work. The application will monitor you over the three-week test period, and you can turn off your location once you have coverage.

How to Pay Root Insurance Online

Policyholders must log in to the app to make Root insurance payments online. Use your Root insurance login to access your account on your mobile device.

You won’t earn a discount for paying online, but you can earn a discount if you pay your annual Root insurance policy in full.

How to Get Root Insurance Quotes Online

Root insurance quotes are only available after you take the test drive. You cannot get quotes online because your rates depend almost entirely on how you drive.

In general, usage-based insurance only benefits drivers who aren’t on the road often, so consider how many miles you drive per month before comparing Root insurance quotes. In addition, we recommend signing up for a test drive to get Root insurance quotes if you have a good driving record and drive less than 10,000 miles annually.

If you’re interested in Root or other UBI companies, start shopping for local auto insurance quotes before your test drive period.

Use our free comparison tool below to get an idea of how much insurance costs in your area. Then, compare this data to the quotes Root gives you after the test drive to see how much you’ll save.

Root is a usage-based insurance company that focuses on driving habits more than any other demographic. Good drivers working from home or with very short commutes should sign up for a test drive and compare Root insurance quotes to see how much they can save.

Sign up for a test drive through the Root insurance app. It will track your driving habits, such as braking, accelerating, mileage, and speed, over a three-to-four-week period to determine if you’re eligible for coverage.

Is Root Insurance a Good Choice?

Every auto insurance company has pros and cons, so it’s important to evaluate them before considering a policy. Here are the pros of a Root auto insurance policy:

  • Competitively low rates for good drivers
  • Free roadside assistance with every policy
  • Free rideshare on holidays
  • Offers home and renters coverage to insured drivers

Root car insurance also carries many cons, including:

  • Doesn’t offer specialty coverage
  • Not available in every state
  • Very few car insurance discounts
  • Very high number of customer complaints

Root may not be for everyone, but if you have a good record and drive infrequently, you should consider the company.

Is Root an actual insurance company?

Yes, Root is a legitimate insurance company selling coverage in 34 states. It was founded in 2015 and was the first licensed auto insurer in the U.S. to operate fully on mobile.

Policyholders use the mobile app and their Root insurance login to track driving habits, get quotes, pay bills, and file claims.

Root sells affordable usage-based auto insurance to good drivers with safe habits. UBI and pay-per-mile auto insurance are relatively new concepts in the insurance industry but don’t shy away from a small insurer just because it’s new.

You could save a lot of money with Root car insurance — new customers can save up to $400 or more on their annual rates.

Where is Root insurance available?

State insurance laws set parameters for usage-based auto insurance, and this coverage type isn’t available everywhere. In addition, since Root operates 100% online as a UBI company, it has limited availability.

Root is licensed to sell property insurance in 34 states, most recently adding coverage in Florida and Alabama. However, not all types of insurance are available in each state.

Use the table below to see which types of Root insurance are available where you live.

Root Insurance Availability By State
StateRoot Auto InsuranceRoot Renters InsuranceRoot Homeowners Insurance
ArizonaYesNoYes
ArkansasYesYesNo
CaliforniaYesNoNo
ColoradoYesNoYes
ConnecticutYesNoYes
DelawareYesNoYes
GeorgiaYesYesYes
IllinoisYesNoYes
IndianaYesNoNo
IowaYesNoYes
KentuckyYesYesYes
LouisianaYesNoNo
MarylandYesNoNo
MississippiYesNoNo
MissouriYesYesYes
MontanaYesNoNo
NebraskaYesNoYes
NevadaYesYesYes
New MexicoYesYesNo
North DakotaYesNoNo
OhioYesYesYes
OklahomaYesNoYes
OregonYesNoYes
PennsylvaniaYesNoYes
South CarolinaYesNoNo
TennesseeYesYesYes
TexasYesNoYes
UtahYesYesYes
VirginiaYesNoNo
West VirginiaYesNoNo
WisconsinYesNoNo
Get Your Rates Quote Now

If your state isn’t listed, you cannot buy Root insurance.

Root Insurance Rates

Root stands out from the competition with cheap rates. Some customer reviews reveal an annual savings of around $300-$400 compared to other major companies like Geico and Progressive.

Search the table below to see how much Root insurance costs in your state:

Average Minimum Liability Rates by State Where Root Insurance is Available
StatesAverage Monthly Liability Rates
Alabama$47
Arizona$44
Arkansas$42
California$48
Colorado$36
Connecticut$65
Delaware$89
Florida$52
Georgia$55
Illinois$37
Indiana$34
Iowa$22
Kansas$37
Kentucky$56
Louisiana$48
Maryland$72
Mississippi$41
Missouri$38
Montana$31
Nebraska$29
Nevada$50
New Mexico$38
North Dakota$35
Ohio$33
Oklahoma$40
Oregon$53
Pennsylvania$43
South Carolina$50
Tennessee$37
Texas$49
Utah$45
Virginia$38
West Virginia$43
Wisconsin$33
Get Your Rates Quote Now

These average minimum liability rates for drivers with clean records in your state give you an idea of what to expect from Root’s policy prices. Of course, you could get even lower rates if you’re an exceptionally good driver, but Root only offers insurance quotes to drivers who take the test drive.

You can sign up for a temporary policy with “Root Insurance from day one” based on your existing driving record, but you must take the test drive to receive coverage for longer than 30 days.

How much does Root home insurance cost?

Root home insurance quotes are only available to customers with existing auto policies. However, we found that the average monthly Homesite insurance rates are $125, 24% less than the national average.

You must have a Root auto policy to qualify for homeowners or renters insurance. However, if you bundle your policies, you’ll qualify for up to 10% off your car insurance rates.

Unfortunately, along with poor customer service, Root’s availability is limited. In addition, even if Root auto insurance is available where you live, it doesn’t guarantee that home or renters insurance is available to you.

Speak with a Root insurance agent if you want to bundle your auto policy with Root home or renters insurance. If you can’t find Root insurance where you live, compare multiple quotes to find cheap homeowners insurance coverage with another company.

How much does Root renters insurance cost?

If you have up-to-date Root car insurance, you can ask an agent for renters insurance quotes, but your quotes will be from Homesite Indemnity.

On average, Homesite rates average $24 monthly, much more expensive than other popular renters insurance companies.

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Root Insurance Discounts Available

Root doesn’t offer many car insurance discounts. For example, since it considers driving habits over personal rating variables, you won’t qualify for a good student or occupational discount.

However, safe drivers earn the lowest rates. Root rewards a 10% “focused driving” discount to those who avoid looking at their phones while they drive. Tesla owners can also earn a safe-driving Autosteer discount for using their vehicle’s automated steering feature.

Two other discounts Root offers relate to your policy:

  • Multi-policy discount. Bundle a Root home insurance or renters policy with your auto coverage to earn a 5%-10% discount.
  • Paid-in-full discount. Pay your six-month policy in full to get an additional discount on your auto insurance rates.

You’ll get more discounts with other insurers and probably find more affordable home and auto insurance bundles from other companies. Nevertheless, if you qualify for coverage, Root will likely offer lower rates than the competition, even after all the discounts.

Root Insurance Coverage Options

Root sells the minimum insurance required in most states and full coverage. The amount of insurance you need depends on where you live and whether you lease or finance your vehicle.

For example, you must carry collision and comprehensive coverage if you lease your car or have an auto loan. Most lenders require additional coverage to protect their investment, and Root offers the full coverage auto insurance you need to meet the requirements.

The standard types of insurance you can buy from Root include:

  • Liability-only insurance. Covers injuries and damages you cause to other drivers or pedestrians in an at-fault accident.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist protection (UM). Pays for damages to your vehicle if a hit-and-run or uninsured driver hits you.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP). Covers hospital bills, funeral services, and lost wages after an accident.
  • Medical payments coverage (MedPay). Can be used to cover medical costs associated with accident-related injuries.
  • Collision auto insurance. Pays for damages to your vehicle in an accident or collision, no matter who is at fault.
  • Comprehensive auto insurance. Covers damages not caused by a collision, including vandalism, theft, natural disasters, riots, and fire.

State insurance laws set the minimum level of liability coverage you need, but you may also need to carry UM and PIP insurance if you live in a no-fault state, leading to higher Root insurance rates. So, shop around to see if another company offers a better price before taking the test drive.

Additional Auto Coverage from Root Insurance

Root does not offer much in terms of specialized coverage, but it does sell a few add-ons that give it an edge over other small insurers.

Additional auto coverages you can get from Root include:

  • Roadside assistance. Free 24-hour roadside assistance is available with every Root policy and covers up to $100 in services, including tows, jump starts, fuel delivery, and more. Drivers can use roadside assistance three times per six-month period.
  • Rental reimbursement. Root will pay for your rental car if your vehicle is in the shop for repairs after a covered claim. Drivers can also choose to use rideshare, and Root will reimburse them for the cost of their rides.
  • Lyft on Us. This coverage is unique to Root and pays for policyholders’ Lyft rides on holidays, including St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s, and Independence Day. Availability varies by state.

Root insurance also files SR-22 for drivers who need it. SR-22 insurance is a form stating you carry at least the minimum amount of insurance. For example, the DMV will require it if you have a suspended or restricted license. Learn more about auto insurance for high-risk drivers.

If you need to file SR-22, call your Root insurance agent and ask them to file the form on your behalf. You’ll have to pay a processing fee every year you’re required to file. Fees vary by state but typically cost $15-$30.

Other Types of Insurance Offered by Root

Root Insurance specializes in car insurance, but policyholders can buy homeowners or renters insurance through Root’s partnership with Homesite Indemnity.

Homesite has strong financial ratings but very poor customer service. It receives three times more complaints than other insurers its size and ranked last in the J.D. Power Home Insurance study. Read our Homesite Indemnity insurance review to find out more about the company.

Root Insurance vs. Competitors

Unlike other insurance companies, Root considers your driving habits more important than personal demographics like age, gender, and credit score. According to its website, Root aims to remove credit scores completely from its rates in 2025.

Typically, younger drivers and those with poor credit pay higher rates, but not with Root. Drivers of all ages must take a test drive to qualify for coverage and will earn rates based on how they drive. This is a big deal, considering other insurance companies only use driving habits and history to influence around 8% of your overall insurance costs.

Root uses driving habits to influence nearly a quarter of your rates, helping good drivers save more money. Learn more about why auto insurance companies do credit and background checks and how Root insurance differs.

How does Root compare to other auto insurance companies?

Cheap monthly rates might make Root stand out, but how does it really compare to other auto insurance companies? Unfortunately, cheap insurance rates are Root’s best quality.

Root comes with poor customer service reviews when compared to other companies. Customers report dissatisfaction with the claims department, reporting instances of mistaken coverage and claim denials.

Root also doesn’t have the same financial strength as other larger, more popular companies. Instead, it’s a much smaller insurer backed by different investors, including Redpoint Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank.

However, this doesn’t mean it’s financially incapable of paying out claims — it’s just not large enough to survive major market fluctuations the same way national insurers like Geico or State Farm would. Learn more about the 10 largest auto insurance companies in the U.S.

The Bottom Line: Who should buy Root auto insurance?

Root is a usage-based insurance company that focuses on driving habits more than any other demographic. Good drivers working from home or with very short commutes should sign up for a test drive and compare Root insurance quotes to see how much they can save.

Sign up for a test drive through the Root insurance app. It will track your driving habits, such as braking, accelerating, mileage, and speed, over a three-to-four-week period to determine if you’re eligible for coverage.

Most drivers won’t qualify for Root insurance quotes, so it’s important to realize you likely won’t get coverage if you have a habit of speeding or hard braking or drive more than 10,000 miles per year.

Root also has poor customer service ratings, especially regarding claims. Good drivers who avoid accidents and moving violations will have a better experience with Root insurance than those who need to file a claim.

If you can’t get auto insurance from Root, compare quotes from other local companies in your area to find affordable coverage. Get started with our free quote comparison tool below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Root a real insurance company?

Yes, Root, Inc. was founded in 2015. It became the first entirely-mobile insurance company in the U.S. Root sells property insurance in 34 states and partners with companies like Tesla and Carvana to offer unique auto policies customized for their drivers.

Who owns Root Insurance?

Alex Timm, one of Root’s original co-founders, owns the company after co-founder Dan Manges retired in 2021.

Does Root insurance cover rental cars?

Yes, drivers can buy rental reimbursement to cover a rental car while their vehicle gets repaired after a covered accident or collision. They can also choose to use rideshare, and Root will reimburse them for the price of their rides.

How do I add another car to my Root auto insurance policy?

Use the Root insurance mobile app to add another vehicle or driver to your policy. Log in to the app and choose “Auto Policy.” From there, tap “Policy Information” to see your coverages. You can also change the number of vehicles and drivers on your policy.

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Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

Full Bio →

Written by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker