Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001 and has an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in ...

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Content Writer & Entrepreneur Shuman Roy

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: Jun 29, 2022

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The Truth in a Nutshell

  • Root car insurance employs a usage-based insurance structure to offer rates that are individual to you
  • Root car insurance sells coverage in over 30 states and offers basic coverage options like liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage and a few add-ons
  • The Better Business Bureau accredits Root with an A+, but the company has a high rate of complaints

When you’re shopping for car insurance coverage, we know you have an overwhelming number of choices. And not only do you have to consider which company, but you may be wondering about traditional offerings versus the pros and cons of usage-based car insurance like what Root car insurance sells.

Who owns Root Insurance? How much are average Root car insurance rates? How does Root Insurance use your driving data to generate quotes? Can you save with Root Insurance?

With this Root car insurance review, we’ll answer your questions about the company and give you the information you need to decide whether the coverage is right for you.

Before we get started on our review of Root car insurance, take a moment to enter your ZIP code in the tool on this page. You’ll get free quotes from top companies so you can compare and save.

What are the average car insurance rates from Root Insurance?

Root Insurance doesn’t publish rates because they’re more tailored to individual drivers than rates from traditional insurance companies. While your personal characteristics are taken into account, the focus of the rate calculation process is your driving behavior.

Affordable Root car insurance is possible because of the company’s approach to calculating rates. First, Root uses telematics technology to track your driving habits through the company app. This data is then used to calculate a quote that accurately reflects your behavior on the road.

Depending on your driving habits and what you’re paying your current insurance company, you may be able to save up to $75 a month ($900 a year) if you switch to Root.

The company offers six-month policies, and your rates are adjusted at each renewal based on your current driving data.

Where can you get Root Insurance?

You can buy Root car insurance in quite a few states. Scroll through this table to see if coverage is offered in your state.

Root Insurance Availability by State
StateRoot Is Available
District of ColumbiaNo
North CarolinaNo
North DakotaYes
New HampshireNo
New JerseyNo
New MexicoYes
New YorkNo
Rhode IslandNo
South CarolinaYes
South DakotaNo
West VirginiaYes
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Root plans to expand beyond the 30 or so states in which coverage is currently sold, so if it’s not offered where you live yet, this could change in the future.

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What are the company ratings for Root Insurance?

Shopping for insurance coverage can be overwhelming, given the sheer number of options available. There are a few ways of differentiating between companies, including comparing rates. In this section, we’re going to review two other factors that can play a part in your decision-making process: customer service and financial stability.

Data from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) indicates poor customer service and numerous complaints. While the BBB gives Root an A+ accreditation, customer reviews result in 1.31 out of five stars. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint data for Root further supports this information. Take a look at this table to see what we mean.

NAIC Root Insurance Complaint Data

Complaint Data201820192020
Total Number of Complaints86850
Annual Premiums$106,371,642$451,058,558$616,842,050
Share of Premiums U.S. Market0.01%0.03%0.04%
Share of Complaints in the U.S. Market0.01%0.12%0.15%
Complaint Index1.664.554
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The NAIC uses the number one to represent the average number of complaints received by insurance companies across the industry. As you can see, Root Insurance ranks well above that.

The company saw a significant increase in complaints from 2018 to 2019 (which may, in part, be due to the rise in market share and annual premiums). And while there was a slight decrease between 2019 and 2020, the complaint index is still exceptionally high.

Finally, we consider financial stability.

Companies like A.M. Best review financial data for insurance companies and rate them for their financial stability. This can tell you whether they’re capable of paying out on any outstanding financial obligations. However, A.M. Best hasn’t yet rated Root Insurance, possibly due to how recently the company was started.

What coverage options does Root Insurance offer?

For those requesting Root car insurance quotes or thinking about requesting a quote, you’ll find that Root focuses on standard coverage options for its drivers, including:

  • Liability coverage
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage

One of the major selling points for the company, aside from how the rates are generated, is the roadside assistance insurance coverage. If Root Insurance insures you, you’ll automatically get roadside assistance coverage for free. This coverage includes a maximum of three incidents per six-month policy term and a limit of $100 per incident.

You can also purchase alternate transportation coverage for a fee, which pays for a rental car when your vehicle is in the shop for repairs after a covered incident. If you’d prefer to use a Lyft while your car is unavailable, Root’s alternate transportation coverage will pay for that as well.

You can also get an SR-22 form through the company app, should you need one. However, keep in mind that Root typically doesn’t insure high-risk drivers, so you may not be able to get the coverage you need if you also need an SR-22.

Are there any discounts or other perks available with a Root Insurance policy?

If you have more than one policy with Root, you may qualify for a multi-policy discount. However, Root’s usage-based rate structure reflects actual driving data from you, allowing Root to offer you the lowest rates possible given your specific situation. As a result, there are few other discounts available from the company.

To reward customers, Root does offer a few perks. For example, in certain states, you may be able to get free Lyft credits to apply on holidays. You can also earn cash for referring friends and family to Root Insurance.

How do you buy and manage a Root Insurance policy?

Because of the usage-based rates structure employed by Root, you won’t get a quote from the company instantly. Instead, you’ll have to follow a process that enables Root to collect the data needed to calculate your quote.

The first step is to contact Root through the company website or the Root app. If you haven’t already, you’ll be directed to download the app. From there, you’ll need to connect the app to your GPS and sign up for a test drive, which allows Root to track your driving behavior.

During your test drive, which typically lasts between three and four weeks, the app will track everything from your speed and how hard you brake to when you drive and how you maneuver your vehicle on the road.

Once you’ve completed your test drive, one of two things will happen. You’ll either receive a quote from Root or be denied the option to buy coverage.

In general, Root won’t sell coverage to drivers deemed too high-risk. This helps keep rates lower and reduces the risk to the company. If you do receive a quote and decide to buy coverage, you’ll find that you can manage nearly every aspect of your policy through the app.

Root continuously tracks your driving and uses the most up-to-date data to calculate your quote at each policy renewal. The Root app doesn’t have to be open for the tracking to occur.

If you’re concerned that with the app continuously tracking your movement, you’ll pay for others’ poor driving, don’t worry. Root uses machine learning to determine when you are or aren’t behind the wheel and excludes the data collected when you aren’t driving.

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How do you file a claim with Root Insurance?

One of Root Insurance’s goals is to offer a quick and straightforward claims process, free of the complication and frustration that often accompanies filing claims. You have a couple of options when you need to file a claim, including the Root app or the company customer service number, 866-980-9431.

It should take an average of three minutes to file a claim with Root in most cases. When you’re still at the accident site, you should either call the customer service line or open the app and get started. With the app, all you need to do is follow a few steps:

  • Provide information on the type of accident
  • Take pictures of the scene, focusing on the damage
  • Wait for Root to contact you to finalize your claim
  • Review regular updates from Root on the status of your claim

Root will review all the information you provide, ask for clarification or additional information if necessary, and complete your claim. Payouts are provided either through electronic deposit or by check.

What are the pros and cons of Root Insurance?

Root isn’t for everyone. If you regularly brake hard, drive over the speed limit, often drive at night, etc., you may find your rates are higher with Root because they reflect your riskier driving habits. And depending on how high-risk you are, Root may refuse to cover you. To help you decide if Root could meet your car insurance needs, we’ve compiled some pros and cons.


  • Root provides SR-22 forms when needed
  • The Root app is comprehensive and supports total policy management
  • Your rates are tailored specifically for you based on your driving


  • Root isn’t currently available in every state
  • The company has an exceptionally high complaint index
  • Root may not offer coverage to you if your test drive indicates high-risk driving behaviors

You may find your pros and cons list for the company is a little different than ours, depending on your situation.

What else should you know about Root Insurance?

Alex Timm and Dan Manges founded Root Insurance in an effort to reimagine what the insurance industry could look like if rates were based on you as an individual rather than on aggregate data.

The Root Insurance app is more than a way to track your driving habits. As we noted earlier, you can use the app to manage nearly every aspect of your policy. You can get the app through either the Google Play store or the App store.

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Root Car Insurance: The Bottom Line

Root car insurance company can provide a usage-based insurance model that tailors rates to individual drivers’ behavior by using telematics technology. Interested drivers sign up for a test drive through the Root app. This test drive lasts between three and four weeks, and Root uses the collected data to calculate a quote.

Root promises savings of up to $900 on your rates when you switch. In addition to using the app to sign up for a test drive, you can use the Root app to manage your policy, pay your bill, and file claims. It also continually tracks your driving habits, so your rates stay up-to-date at each policy renewal.

Comparison shopping is the best way to save on your rates, so before you leave our Root car insurance review, use your ZIP code in the tool on this page. You’ll get free car insurance quotes from companies in your area so that you can compare and save.