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Root Insurance review 2022

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Luis Alvarez/Getty Images
woman in car looking at cellphone
Luis Alvarez/Getty Images
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Root Insurance is a relatively new car insurance company that specializes in usage-based telematics car insurance, based entirely on how well they drive, as tracked by Root’s advanced mobile app. Drivers who are interested in Root car insurance first need to pass the company’s test drive trail before being offered a quote.

Perks Drawbacks
Drivers with safe driving habits may benefit the most from Root’s car insurance model Not rated by J.D. Power for customer satisfaction or AM Best for financial stability
Home and renters insurance is available to drivers insured with Root car insurance National Association Of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) score of 5.24 indicates that the company receives around 5 times as many complaints as the industry baseline
Current availability is limited to certain states

Root is upfront about its strict eligibility requirements. Only drivers that pass the test drive will be offered a quote for car insurance to see how much they might save. The company’s rationale is that if it only offers coverage to good drivers, every driver that is part of the insurance pool will pay less in premiums overall. Find out what else you might need to know about this company in Bankrate’s Root Insurance review.

Root car insurance | Bankrate Score: 1.8

Root car insurance is best suited for drivers who want their car insurance rates to be based on how safely they drive. This could be an advantage for demographics that typically face high rates, such as young and new drivers. The company has also pledged to remove credit scores as a rating factor by 2025, eliminating further barriers for people to obtain affordable car insurance.

Root car insurance is currently only available in 32 states. However, the company is selective about who it accepts as a policyholder. To get started, drivers will download the Roots mobile app and test drive with it for a few weeks. If drivers pass the test, they will be offered a quote. The company offers the minimum standard coverage options, like bodily injury and property damage liability, and drivers are able to add more. Roadside assistance is included on every Root car insurance policy, but drivers can choose to include more coverage like collision and comprehensive coverage and rental car coverage.

Root car insurance discounts

Root claims that good drivers can save up to $900 per year by switching to one of its auto policies. Part of Root’s aim to streamline the quoting process is to automatically apply discounts during the quoting process so that drivers won’t have to check if they qualify.

Some common car insurance discounts include:

  • Driver status discount: These discounts depend on a driver’s individual profile. For example, they could be a member of a professional organization or military member or they could be a full-time student with a high GPA.
  • Vehicle-specific discounts: Features built into your vehicle, such as passive restraints, after-market theft deterrents and airbags, could earn you a discount. If these features do not show up after pulling your vehicle identification (VIN) number, you can ask your insurance agent if they can be added to your policy
  • Policy discounts: You may save when you make certain decisions about your policy, such as paperless billing, pay-in-full or starting a new policy before your current one ends.

Root car services

Root offers a few additional benefits to car insurance policyholders. Drivers could earn free Lyft credits during certain holidays and earn cash rewards by referring friends to the company. In addition, roadside assistance is included in every car insurance policy.

Root home insurance | Bankrate Score: Not rated

Root home insurance is offered through its partner company, Homesite. As home policies are not offered directly by Root, customers may not be able to use the Root mobile app to manage their homeowners insurance policy and file claims. Homesite offers the standard homeowners insurance coverage, like dwelling coverage, personal property and personal liability. Depending on where you live, you may be able to include other options as well.

Root home insurance discounts

Homesite offers a number of home insurance discounts to save money. These include:

  • Home purchase discount: If you purchased a new home, this discount could be added to your policy.
  • Burglary or fire protection discount: Homes with central monitoring or a direct line to fire or burglar alarms and sprinklers in every room could qualify for this discount.
  • Age of roof discount: Homes with a roof less than 10 years old can earn this discount. This would also apply if you were to purchase a new roof.

Root home services

Neither Root nor Homesite mention if Root customers have access to additional services through Homesite’s home insurance policy.

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Other Root perks worth considering

Root also offers renters insurance in some states, which could be useful for renters to have some personal property, liability and loss of use coverage.

Root social responsibility

Root insurance has a data-driven approach that’s shaking up the car insurance industry. This includes a report on how poor credit plays a role in continuing systemic inequalities in car insurance rates. With the driving data collected through its mobile app, Root also releases a yearly report to support its distracted driving campaign to show how damaging this practice can be.

Beyond the car insurance industry, Root Insurance is also motivated to uplift other community efforts. The company has a well-documented history of social responsibility, supporting everything from LGBTQ+ spaces, STEM programs for underserved students and cancer research. Root employees participate annually in Pelotonia and have raised more than $175,000 for cancer research to date.

Not sure if Root is right for you? Consider these alternatives

If you’re not quite sure if Root insurance is the right company for you, consider these other insurers with comparable features:

  • Lemonade: If you are looking for another car insurance provider that uses telematics data to calculate your car insurance policy and you live in Illinois or Tennessee, Lemonade could be an option to explore.
  • Allstate: Allstate’s Drivewise program is another usage-based telematics car insurance. Drivers can participate even if they don’t have an Allstate car insurance policy.
  • Geico: Geico is known for its low average premiums and its DriveEasy program rewards Geico customers with discounts based on safe driving habits.

Written by
June Sham
Insurance Writer
June Sham is an insurance writer for Bankrate. Before joining the team, she worked for nearly three years as a licensed producer writing auto, property, umbrella and earthquake policies.
Edited by
Insurance Editor