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Last updated: May 28, 2024

Root Insurance Review

Good drivers can save money by doing a test drive with Root’s mobile app collecting their driving data

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Root is one of the best pay-per-mile insurance companies, especially for safe drivers. Depending on your driving, it’s potentially also one of the cheapest auto insurance providers. With usage-based insurance, commonly known as UBI, premiums are based not just on your history and vehicle, but on your driving habits. Root evaluates your driving with its app in order to calculate your premiums. You can either complete a test drive before you get a quote, or after for a discount. While Root is a great option for good drivers, it may be more expensive for those who aren’t the safest drivers. Plus, Root isn’t available in every state. In this review, I’ll go over who Root would be good for and why.

Root Car Insurance Review

Quick Look: Root Pros & Cons


  • Savings for good drivers

  • Roadside assistance included with every policy

  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau


  • Not available in every state

  • No gap insurance

Who Is Root Auto Insurance Best For?

Root Availability

Since Root primarily bases premiums on driving data, it’s best for people that drive safely. It’s not a good choice for someone who isn’t a safe driver, as you could see rates that are higher than average. Another thing to keep in mind is that Root does not offer gap insurance, so those with leased vehicles or who purchased their vehicles with auto loans will need to buy separate gap insurance. Finally, as you can see from the above graphic, Root is not available in every state, just the large majority.

How Much Does Root Car Insurance Cost?

Root’s pricing is lower than average for full coverage car insurance, costing customers an average of $984 per year while the national average is $1,924, more than double. Because Root caters to safe drivers like me, it can keep costs low, as its customers are less likely to file claims. That being said, Root is actually slightly higher than average when it comes to minimum coverage, costing $702 per year while the average is at $547.

How You Can Save On Your Policy with Root

Root Safe Driving Savings

To save the most money on car insurance with Root, you should download the Root app, drive and let the app gather your driving data, and then get a quote, which will be discounted if you drive safely. The other option is to get a quote and then test drive for a discount, but if you have time before you need coverage, I recommend the first option. Good drivers can save up to $900 a year, the company claims.

However, UBI isn’t the only way you can save with Root. The company also offers the following discounts:

  • Bundle: If you bundle your auto insurance with renters or homeowners insurance, you’ll save on each policy.
  • Paid in full: Save by paying your policy in full rather than monthly.

This is a pretty limited number of discounts, as you can see. There’s no discount for being a student with good grades, being an employee of the federal government, or being a military veteran. That’s why, if you fall into these categories, you may not encounter the most savings with Root.

My Experience Getting a Quote From Root

Root Test Drive vs. Instant Quote

Even though I’d save the most by doing a test drive first, I decided to go through the online quote process anyway to see what it was like (and what my rate would be.) There was also a phone number I could have called, but I prefer doing things online. First, Root asked me some questions, like my:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Birth date
  • Whether I rent or own my home
  • Whether I’ve moved in the past six months
  • Marital status

Then, I added my Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), some information about my driving history, and whether or not my vehicle has anti-theft equipment. Since I was the only driver, the process only took about two minutes, and then I had my quotes.

Root Quote

As you can see, with the monthly package, my plan was $1,289.40 a year for minimum car insurance in Pennsylvania, plus the included roadside assistance. This number is on the higher side because I live in Philadelphia, and insurance is always more expensive in cities versus suburban and rural areas. For more coverage, including higher liability limits and collision and comprehensive coverage, that price would have gone up to $4,767 a year, astronomical. But keep in mind that I could have saved after my test drive, or by paying for six months upfront.


If you’re not in a rush to get coverage, do the test drive before you get a quote to capture the most savings.

Since car insurance is customized based on the driver and vehicle, to find out how much you could pay, either get a quote or do the test drive. If you can avoid distracted driving, brake smoothing, drive under the speed limit, and avoid nighttime driving, you could be rewarded with a sizable discount.

Of course, that process takes a bit longer, as you’ll have to wait for a few weeks before you’ll get your quote. But as long as you can avoid a lapse in insurance coverage, it could be worth it to see how much you can save.

What Types of Auto Insurance Coverage Does Root Offer?

Root Car Insurance Coverages

Root offers the standard car insurance coverages that every company offers: property damage and bodily injury liability, collision, comprehensive, medical payments, personal injury protection, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. However, it also includes roadside assistance with all of its packages, which I’ve never seen from a company, and it offers rental car coverage, as well. Let me tell you a little bit more about each.

  • Roadside assistance: Roadside assistance will give you a jumpstart, lockout services, or tow whenever you need it. This included coverage will work for three incidents per vehicle in each six-month term, for up to $100 per incident.
  • Rental car coverage: While your vehicle is being repaired, rental car coverage will reimburse you for either a rental car or a Lyft.


Root does not offer gap insurance, which most lease and loan companies require. If you don’t own your vehicle outright, you will need standalone gap insurance. To help you search, we’ve rounded up the best auto insurance companies for gap coverage.

Root does not offer accident forgiveness, which ensures that your rates will not go up just because you had an accident. Rather, if you get into an accident while your car is insured with Root, your premiums may increase, even if the accident wasn’t your fault. But keep in mind that with policies with accident forgiveness, you usually pay more in premiums to begin with.

Additionally, Root is available in most states, but it is not available in:

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

If you’re looking for coverage in these states, look for a provider with nationwide coverage such as State Farm, Allstate, or Nationwide. All of these providers offer usage-based insurance just like Root, so you could still see massive savings from tracking your driving.

Root: Customer Satisfaction Data

When it came to third party ratings, I could only find data from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Root has been BBB-accredited since 2017 and has an A+ rating. However, customers only gave it 1.15 out of five stars on average; that said, most insurance companies have low BBB customer ratings, so this didn’t scare me away. What did worry me was the fact that Root has a 1.2 on the NAIC Complaint Index, which compares the number of complaints it receives about a company to its size. This means that Root has 1.2 times the number of complaints it should have, indicating poor customer service.

Category X company
Better Business Bureau customer rating 1.15 out of 5
Better Business Bureau rating A+1
National Association of Insurance Commissioners 1.22

Filing a Claim with Root

When it came to filing a claim with Root, I could do it either in the Root app or over the phone. Strangely, I couldn’t do it on my computer. However, the app option seemed easiest, as I could answer a few quick questions and take pictures of the damages directly in the app. Most customers can do it in a few minutes, the company claims, and should receive a response within a week.

While Root was not part of J.D. Power’s 2023 Claims Satisfaction Study, it was included in the 2024 CRASH Network Report, which surveys repair shops on their favorite insurers to work with.3 Overall, Root ranked at number 65 out of 88, with a C rating. That’s not great, but it’s also not surprising, given the NAIC Complaint Index Score and low BBB customer rating. And unfortunately, a C is about on-par with the top-ten major insurance companies, none of whom scored higher than a C+, and some of whom scored as low as a D+.

Ultimately, when it comes to claims with Root, you may be disappointed on how long you have to wait.

Root's Website and Mobile App

Root App

Root has a really easy-to-use website and app that even the least technologically-savvy among us will have no issue navigating. It was easy to find information about coverages, discounts, and how Root insurance works, written in simple language. I also found the iPhone app to be similarly user-friendly, although the Android app had lower ratings, 3.3 out of five stars compared to 4.7 with the iOS app.

Many Android-users complained that the app gathered driving data even when they were passengers in the car, resulting in higher premiums. I’ve seen this complaint with other UBI apps, so Root is not alone in dealing with this issue. However, I was pleased that someone from Root’s customer service team responded to every review offering their help.

App Rating (out of 5)
Root: Better car insurance iPhone — 4.7 stars

Android — 3.3 stars

Methodology – How We Review Insurance Companies

We consider the following factors when reviewing car insurance companies:

  • Claims: When it’s available, we use data from J.D. Power’s annual Claims Satisfaction study, which surveys customers, as well as the CRASH Network’s annual report, which surveys repair shops, on their experiences dealing with insurance companies regarding claims.
  • Customer satisfaction: We combine third-party data from the Better Business Bureau, J.D. Power, as well as the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which compiles a standardized complaint index. That being said, we take the BBB’s customer ratings with a grain of salt, as they are by and large very negative.
  • Coverages: Companies will always have the coverages that states require, but we also look for companies with add-ons like roadside assistance, gap insurance, and rental car coverage.
  • Pricing: We compare a company’s average price for full and minimum coverage insurance to other companies, compiling them into a national average.
  • Third-party ratings: We analyze financial strength ratings from organizations like Standard and Poors, AM Best, and Moody’s.
  • Digital tools: We use a company’s website and mobile application to see how user-friendly they are. We also look at reviews on the Apple and Google Play stores to see what other customers thought.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Root car insurance legitimate?

Yes, Root car insurance is a legitimate company founded in 2015. It’s been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2017 and has an A+ rating. As of April 2024, it is a publicly-traded company licensed in 34 states.

Why is Root so cheap?

Root is so cheap because it bases its premiums off of customers’ driving data, rewarding safe drivers with lower premiums. However, it would not be cheap for someone who did not drive safely during the test drive, which is why the company caters to good drivers.

How does Root insurance work?

With Root insurance, drivers either get a quote first and then test drive, or vice versa. For the test drive, customers download the Root app, which picks up their driving data for a few weeks. Once Root has enough data, it gives the customer a quote, or a discount based on their driving.

Who is Root Insurance affiliated with?

Root Insurance Company is a publicly-traded company, so it’s not owned by or affiliated with any other company.


  1. Business Profile: Root. Better Business Bureau. (2024).

  2. Root Prop & Cas Ins Co National Complaint Index Report. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2023).

  3. Top Rated U.S. Car Insurance Companies for 2024. Crash Network. (2024).