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Root Insurance review 2023

Updated Jan 13, 2023
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At a glance

BANKRATE AWARDS 2023 WINNER

Best digital auto insurance company

See why it won
3.8
Rating: 3.8 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
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Auto

Rating: 3.6 stars out of 5

3.6

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Cost & ratings

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

4.0

Coverage

Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

2.5

Support

Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5

4.2

Home

Rating: 3.9 stars out of 5

3.9

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Cost & ratings

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

5.0

Coverage

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

3.5

Support

Rating: 1.5 stars out of 5

1.5

About Bankrate Score

Bottom Line

Root Insurance is a relatively new digital car insurance company that specializes in usage-based telematics car insurance. Rates are heavily based on how well you 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.

Pros
  • Root’s car insurance model is designed to reward drivers with safe habits behind the wheel.

  • Home and renters insurance is available to drivers insured with Root car insurance.

Cons
  • Not rated by J.D. Power for customer satisfaction or AM Best for financial stability.

  • NAIC Complaint Index of 3.20 indicates that the company receives more complaints than the industry baseline for a company its size.

  • Current availability is limited to certain states.

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Bankrate Award winner for best digital auto insurance company

Bankrate developed its annual Bankrate Awards to help you discover the best insurance companies based on your preferences. For 2023, Root was recognized as the best digital auto insurance company.

Why Root won

Root is a fairly new online car insurance company, but it stands out among online carriers for robust digital tools. Policyholders can use the carrier's mobile app to file a claim, manage their policy, access roadside assistance and explore quotes for other products like renters and homeowners insurance. These digital capabilities, combined with a good variety of discounts and strong corporate sustainability commitments earned it the 2023 Bankrate Award for best digital auto insurance company.

Root car insurance

Root is upfront about its strict eligibility requirements. Only drivers that pass the carrier's test drive will be offered a quote for car insurance. 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.

Root car insurance may be a good option 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 34 states. To get started, drivers can download the Root 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, but add-on coverage options are fairly limited. Policyholders can opt to add rental car reimbursement as well as uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Drivers who prioritize safety may be interested to know that roadside assistance is included on every Root car insurance policy.

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Pros and cons of Root car insurance

Comparing benefits and drawbacks for multiple carriers may give you an idea of which company is the best fit for your insurance needs. Here are some key points we identified with Root car insurance:

PROS

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    Car insurance rates are based primarily on real-time driving behavior

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    Car insurance policy can be managed through mobile app

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    Credit score might not be used as a rating factor in some states

CONS

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    Limited add-on coverage options

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    Not rated by AM Best for financial strength or J.D. Power for customer satisfaction

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    Not available in every state and drivers must first pass a initial test drive phase

Root car insurance cost

While the average cost of a Root car insurance policy is not available, the national average cost of car insurance is $622 per year for minimum coverage and $2,014 for full coverage. Your car insurance rates may be higher or lower depending on various car insurance rating factors and Root’s proprietary method of calculating rates.

Most insurance experts recommend comparing quotes from more than one car insurance company to find the most affordable rates for your unique situation.

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 money-saving discounts during the quoting process so that drivers won’t have to check if they qualify. This means that the company does not offer many specifics about its discounts, but lists some common ones that may be factored in during the quoting process. Some of its mentioned discount factors include:

Root car tools and benefits

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

Root home insurance

Root home insurance is offered in 17 states through its partner company, Homesite. Although home policies are not offered directly by Root, customers may 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 add-ons such as water backup coverage, earthquake insurance, service line coverage and coverage for roof damage due to wind or hail.

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This advertisement is powered by Coverage.com, LLC, a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249) and a corporate affiliate of Bankrate. The offers and links that appear on this advertisement are from companies that compensate Coverage.com in different ways. The compensation received and other factors, such as your location, may impact what offers and links appear, and how, where and in what order they appear. While we seek to provide a wide range of offers, we do not include every product or service that may be available. Our goal is to keep information accurate and timely, but some information may not be current. Your actual offer from an advertiser may be different from the offer on this advertisement. All offers are subject to additional terms and conditions.
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Coverage.com, LLC is a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249). Coverage.com services are only available in states where it is licensed. Coverage.com may not offer insurance coverage in all states or scenarios. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy, and all related decisions (such as approval for coverage, premiums, commissions and fees) and policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the underwriting insurer. The information on this site does not modify any insurance policy terms in any way.

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Pros and cons of Root homeowners insurance

Finding the best homeowners insurance could be a key part of your financial plan. In reviewing Root homeowners insurance options, it may help to take a closer look at Homesite. Here is a summary of Root homeowners insurance pros and cons may help you decide if it could work for your needs:

PROS

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    Online quoting available

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    Variety of optional coverage types available

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    Condo and renters insurance also available

CONS

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    Underwritten by partner company Homesite, not Root itself

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    Only available in 17 states

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    Not rated by J.D. Power for customer satisfaction, and may have a lower AM Best rating compared to other insurance carriers

Root home insurance cost

Although Bankrate does not have average premium data for Root or Homesite, the national average cost of homeowners insurance is $1,428 for $250K in dwelling coverage. You may contact a Root or Homesite agent to get a homeowners insurance quote.

While requesting home insurance quotes, your actual premium may vary depending on factors like the location of your home, square footage, coverage selections and more. Each home insurance company also has its own method for calculating rates, so you likely won’t know your estimated premium until you request a quote.

Root home insurance discounts

Homesite offers a number of home insurance discounts that may help policyholders save money. These include:

Root home tools and benefits

Neither Root nor Homesite mention if Root customers have access to additional services through Homesite’s home insurance policy, but Homesite does offer endorsement packages that could help policyholders pay less than if they selected the endorsements separately.

Root customer satisfaction

When reviewing an insurance company, it may be helpful to get a sense of how satisfied customers are with its insurance products and customer service. This may help give you an idea of what it might be like to be a policyholder. Third-party agencies like J.D. Power, AM Best, Standard & Poor's and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) may provide additional insights on customer satisfaction and financial strength. You might also consider speaking with current policyholders to get an idea of their experience with a carrier.

Root auto satisfaction

Root car insurance was not rated by J.D. Power in its annual Auto Insurance Study for customer satisfaction by region, nor did it rank in the agency’s Insurance Digital Experience Study. However, Root's private passenger car insurance has a NAIC Complaint Index of 1.79, compared to the industry baseline of 1.00, indicating it earned more complaints than expected for a company of its size.

Root homeowners satisfaction

Root home insurance was also not rated by J.D. Power for customer satisfaction. Homesite has a few different NAIC code numbers, but most had homeowners complaint indexes lower than the industry baseline, demonstrating fewer complaints than expected in the market.

How to file a claim with Root

Root car insurance claims can be filed through its mobile app or online. New claims can also be opened by calling 1-866-980-9431, while updates on existing claims can be reached through 1-866-489-1985.

Root home insurance claims can also be opened through its mobile app or by calling 1-844-208-0665.

Root availability

Root car insurance is currently available in 34 states. It is not available in the following states or Washington, D.C.:

  • Alaska
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

Root home insurance is available in 17 states:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah

Other Root perks worth considering

Root offers renters insurance in nine states. Policyholders may save up to 5 percent by bundling car insurance and renters insurance policies.

Root corporate sustainability

Root has a data-driven approach that is unique in the car insurance industry. The company issued a report on how poor credit plays a role in continuing systemic inequalities in car insurance rates. The carrier plans to discontinue the use of credit scores in determining its rates by 2025 and encourages other companies to follow suit with its "Drop the score" initiative. 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 has a well-documented history of social responsibility including donating over $300,000 for cancer research. The company also supports the Wendell Scott Foundation which provides services for at-risk youth. Lastly, Root issues an annual Environmental Progress Plan to evaluate its sustainability and promote a low-carbon economy.

Not sure if Root is right for you?

If you're not sure that Root is the best car insurance company for you, you might consider getting a quote from one of the following comparable companies:

Root vs. Lemonade

Lemonade could be a good option if you are looking for another car insurance provider that uses telematics data to calculate your car insurance policy. The company also takes a socially-conscious approach by planting trees to offset its customers' CO2 emissions and allowing customers to choose which charities to donate unused premium to. Lemonade also underwrites their own home insurance policies and won our 2023 Bankrate Award for best digital home insurance company. However, Lemonade car insurance is currently only available in Illinois, Ohio and Tennessee.

Learn more: Lemonade Insurance review

Root vs. Allstate

Allstate is a national carrier that also offers its Drivewise telematics program for those who want to earn discounts and further rewards based on real-time driving behavior. As a bonus, drivers don’t need to be an Allstate customer to participate. Allstate also offers an array of home, auto and life insurance products which could be ideal for customers who want to handle all their insurance needs with a single company. Although Allstate also has robust digital tools, the carrier's average rates are significantly higher than the national average.

Learn more: Allstate Insurance review

Root vs. Clearcover

Clearcover aso takes a tech-forward approach to car insurance, with online quoting and claims services. All policy management and billing can be handled through its mobile app, and customer service agents are available at any time for assistance. Like Root, Clearcover's homeowners insurance is underwritten by a partner company, Hippo Insurance. Compared to Root, Clearcover is available in fewer states.

Learn more: Clearcover Insurance review

Is Root a good insurance company?

Bankrate’s insurance editorial team reviewed over a hundred carriers to help you find the best car insurance. Drivers who want a robust mobile and online platform to handle their car insurance needs might find that solution in Root Insurance. Because of its strict eligibility requirements and requires a test drive, not every driver will qualify for coverage. However, those that do may pay premiums based mostly on their driving abilities, and not factors like age and credit score (although this hasn’t been fully phased out yet).

For those that also want home insurance coverage, Root has a partnership through Homesite, but does not underwrite policies itself. This also means that policyholders would not be able to manage their home insurance through the Root app, which could be an inconvenience.

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Methodology

Bankrate Scores

Our 2023 Bankrate Score considers variables our insurance editorial team determined impacts policyholders’ experiences with an insurance company. These rating factors include a robust assessment of each company’s product availability, financial strength ratings, online capabilities and customer and claims support accessibility. Each factor was added to a category, and these categories were weighted in a tiered approach to analyze how companies perform in key customer-impacting categories.

Like our previous Bankrate Scores, each category was assigned a metric to determine performance, and the weighted sum adds up to a company’s total Bankrate Score — out of 5 points. This year, our 2023 scoring model provides a more comprehensive view, indicating when companies excel across several key areas and better highlighting where they fall short.

  • Tier 1 (Cost & ratings): To determine how well auto and home insurance companies satisfy these priorities, 2023 quoted premiums from Quadrant Information Services (if available), as well as any of the latest third-party agency ratings from J.D. Power, AM Best and the NAIC, were analyzed.
  • Tier 2 (Coverage & savings): We assessed companies’ coverage options and availability to help policyholders find a provider that balances cost with coverage. Additionally, we evaluated each company’s discount options listed on its website.
  • Tier 3 (Support): To encompass the many ways an auto insurance company can support policyholders, we analyzed avenues of customer accessibility along with community support. This analysis incorporated additional financial strength ratings from S&P and Moody’s and factored a company’s corporate sustainability efforts.

Tier scores are unweighted to show the company's true score in each category out of a possible five points.

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