Car insurance is a necessary evil: premiums can be costly and if you are involved in an accident you will still have to pay a deductible before coverage begins. and despite the monthly cost, you can save tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in the worst case scenario.
But you’re here because you’re a penny hoarder – and that means you love to find ways to save. That’s where root Auto insurance really shines.
What is Root Car Insurance?
In a market dominated by Australian geckos and arrogant but optimistic saleswomen, Root doesn’t stand out for his quirky ads, but rather for his approach to reporting. Rather than relying on your demographics and creditworthiness, Root offers an offer based on your actual driving patterns. This concept is known as usage-based insurance, or UBI.
So, if you are a safe driver with a good driving history, Root will save you money.
The Root Insurance Company is located in Columbus, Ohio with offices in Chicago, San Francisco, and Phoenix. The company is a relatively new player in the insurance space, founded in March 2015.
Although Root is best known for its auto insurance, the company has started to focus on tenant and homeowner insurance. If you bundle tenant insurance with Root car insurance, you can save 5%. Likewise, you can bundle homeowner insurance with your root auto policy for savings.
Our Root Review: At a glance
Some of the defining features of Root Insurance:
- Great mobile app
- Standard roadside assistance
- Usage-based insurance
- Ideal for young drivers and drivers with low credit scores
|Guidelines offered||Car insurance, home insurance and tenant insurance.|
|Auto coverage options||Liability, collision, comprehensive breakdown assistance, rental, property damage for uninsured motorists, protection against personal injury, medical payments as well as uninsured and underinsured physical injury to motorists.|
|Automatic coverage is not offered||GAP insurance, carpooling insurance and pet insurance.|
|Bonuses||Vary depending on your driving habits; Root offers up to 52% savings for good drivers.|
|Eligibility to participate||Must qualify as a sufficiently safe driver; Root often denies bad drivers.|
|Availability||Not available in every state.|
Can I get full coverage with Root Auto Insurance?
There is no single definition of “full coverage” within the auto industry. Rather, different states have different requirements. However, full coverage usually means liability, collision, and full coverage. Root offers all three and a few more.
Here’s what you can get with Root Car Insurance:
This is the minimum coverage that every driver should have. At Root, this includes personal injury and property damage coverage.
Root’s collision coverage pays off for repairs to your car (or a replacement vehicle) when you cause an accident. It also covers you if you are the victim of a hit-and-run or are involved in a collision caused by someone without insurance.
The more expensive / valuable your vehicle is, the more collision protection costs.
So what about damage to your car? is not the result of a collision? This is where Root’s extensive coverage comes in. Comprehensive covers all damage to your vehicle Not caused by an accident, including acts of nature, theft, and vandalism.
Again, a newer, more expensive vehicle means a higher rate.
On a hiatus from typical auto insurance companies, Root includes roadside assistance with every policy. There is usually an additional charge for this. With the highly rated Root mobile app, Root makes it easy to call roadside assistance.
Root offers coverage options for rental car reimbursement or – another step that gives Root that millennial start-up feeling – Lyft reimbursement in case your car is inoperative for an extended period of time.
Root distinguishes between the coverage of property damage caused by uninsured motorists and the coverage of uninsured and uninsured personal injury. Together, these guidelines cover your property and medical expenses in the event that you have an accident with someone who is uninsured or underinsured.
Personal protection and medical payments
If you live in any of 17 states that require Personal Protection (PIP), you can do this through Root. It can cover medical expenses and even lost wages due to lost work due to an accident for you and your passengers. Root also offers medical payments (MedPay).
A note on GAP insurance, carpooling insurance, and pet insurance
From this point on, the Root auto insurance offers will not include GAP insurance. GAP, or guaranteed automatic protection, is useful when you place a total burden on your vehicle but owe more than is comprehensive or collision-proof. So it fills the gap between what you get from your core coverage and what you still owe on the car, whether financed or leased. Many lenders require you to carry the GAP, which root can quickly rule out out of consideration for many drivers.
Carpooling is becoming increasingly popular with large insurance companies, but Root does not offer it as an option. If you’re driving for Uber or Lyft, you may want to find a policy that offers ridesharing that covers you while you work but currently doesn’t have a customer.
Similarly, some companies have started extending coverage to pets that have been injured in an accident. Root does not currently offer this.
What Makes Root Different From Other Auto Insurance Companies?
While standard roadside assistance is a unique aspect of root insurance, it is not the biggest differentiator for young car insurance. UBI is.
Root claims it saves drivers significant amounts of money – up to 52% – on monthly auto insurance premiums. This is because typical auto insurance companies pull up credit reports and check your demographics (age, gender, zip code, occupation, etc.) to see what they think is a reasonable rate for you. Instead, Root will analyze your actual driving performance and offer you a low rate as long as you are a good driver.
How to get an offer from Root
The offer process for root is by nature quite complex. To get a quote, download the root app on your smartphone and enable GPS tracking. Drive as usual for a few weeks (three on average) while root gathers all kinds of data about the app that needs to run in the background. Root calls this his test drive period.
During this test drive, Root uses GPS tracking via the smartphone app to measure:
- How to stay focused while driving (phone down, looking at the road)
- How smoothly you brake and accelerate (watch out for those hard stops)
- How smoothly you turn (no sudden jerks on the steering wheel)
- What time of day do you drive (night drives are inherently more dangerous)
Once the root app has collected enough data from your test drive, the company will create an offer. If, based on the data, you are found to be a poor, distracted, or risky driver, Root may deny your request for coverage. Because Root doesn’t take on high-risk drivers, the cost of insuring its customers is lower, so those savings can be passed on to you.
Because Root focuses on this driving data, it is not suitable for aggressive drivers. But Root might be a good choice if you’re a teenage driver, a safe driver on a budget, or a driver with a low credit rating who is paying insanely high prices because of your personal finances.
In fact, Root intends to stop checking credit scores as part of its pricing model by 2025.
Use the root app
You have access to everything you need for your root insurance.
Filing a claim with Root
The root app makes filing a claim (or getting roadside assistance) incredibly easy. According to Root, the application process in the app only takes three minutes.
However, if you’d rather speak to a live claims expert, you can call during normal business hours. There is also a 24/7 hotline that you can use to make a claim. However, you may not be able to speak to a live person.
As someone who has had an accident in an area with a bad signal, I recommend taking a screenshot of your proof of insurance and saving it in case you cannot use your phone.
Access to insurance cards
While Root provides physical paper insurance cards, the company also provides proof of insurance for insurance cards directly in the app.
You can also use the root app to make payments. You can either pay at the same time every six months of the term or in monthly installments using a credit card, debit card or Apple Pay.
Got an SR-22
When you need an SR-22, rooting the app makes it easy. Just a few clicks of the thumb and you’re done.
Note: SR-22 are not a guideline. Instead, it is a document that your car insurance company will present to prove that you have adequate car insurance. If you’ve been convicted of a DUI, repeated traffic offenses, or your license has been revoked for driving without insurance, you may need this form to restore your license.
Where is root available?
Feeling super jazzed to get rid of the gecko and switch to root? Not so fast. Unfortunately, root auto insurance is not offered in every state. (Roots tenant and homeowner insurance is available in even fewer states.)
At the time of writing, Root Car Insurance is available in the following states:
Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia
That’s you tilt Get root if you live in one of the following states (for the time being):
Alabama, Alaska, District of Columbia (Washington, DC), Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington (State), Wisconsin and Wyoming
How Much Does Root Car Insurance Cost?
Since pricing is based on your individual driving habits during and after your test drive, there is no standard offer for root car insurance. However, since Root turns down many drivers who seek quotes, the insurance company is can Offer lower prices to qualified drivers. Some of the ads on the Root website include promises of “up to 52% off your car insurance” or “savings of up to $ 900 / year”.
However, after the first six months (and every six months), Root reserves the right to change your car insurance rates, especially if you have poor driving habits. Additionally, Root can customize your six month offer based on crime rates in your area, accident rates in your area, average weather in your area, the price of cars in your area, other drivers in your policy, and other vehicles in your policy. Even so, your driving record is the most important factor in calculating your rate.
Root customer service
You get what you pay for at Root.
While the price for good drivers is usually far better than well-known insurers like Allstate, Progressive and Geico, Root Insurance lacks customer service. And the last thing you want to do after a stressful accident is a bad customer experience when you make your claim.
How do we know the customer service is so bad? While the root mobile app has exceptionally high customer ratings on both the App Store and Google Play, the company’s customer service scores are among the lowest in the industry. Based on data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Root receives complaints from customers at a rate 2.2 times the national median for auto insurance.
While complaints determine the range, the most common negative feedback for Root about how long it takes to process claims and unexpected surcharges.
Advantages and disadvantages
Overall, is Root Insurance a good auto insurance provider? Let’s weigh the pros and cons:
- Low prices. As long as you are a good and safe driver, you can expect to save significantly on the cost of more typical insurance policies.
- Standard roadside assistance. Most insurers sell roadside assistance as an add-on. With root, it’s standard.
- Great mobile app. Unsurprisingly, Root has a user-friendly, highly rated app that is more of a start-up vibe that appeals to tech geeks.
- A solution for people in difficult demographics and with bad credit. Your age and your financial situation do not have to hold you back with burdensome insurance premiums. Because Root is monitoring driving habits rather than your past financial mistakes, you can potentially save big bucks on car insurance.
- Terrible customer reviews. Root is consistently among the worst-rated auto insurance companies for services. Appraisers have problems with surcharges and the duration of the reimbursement.
- No cap coverage. If your lender needs CAP insurance, you will need to buy a different policy.
- Not good for bad drivers. Sure, we should all strive to be great drivers, but some of us are born with just a lead foot. If you are, chances are you’ll be wasting your time on the test drive as Root is relentless on rejections.
Who is the root insurance best suited for?
Because insurance is usage-based, root car insurance is ideal for safe drivers – those who are not known for texting and driving, hard braking, speeding or other bad driving habits. Younger drivers, drivers with low credit scores, or drivers who fit into the more expensive demographics (think young men with expensive cars) can particularly benefit from Root.
You shouldn’t consider root if your lender is in need of cap insurance.
More information on head office owners and rental insurance
To be eligible for Root Home Insurance, you must Got to You currently have a root car insurance policy. You can opt for covers that protect your physical home, family and guests in your home, as well as your personal belongings. The policy is customizable, although as a co-owner I would recommend that you get all types of insurance coverage.
However, tenants are lucky. You don’t need root car insurance to take out renter insurance. Even better, Root has policies starting at $ 6 a month. This isn’t a bad price if all you want to do is check the box to indicate to your landlord that you have insurance. You can choose between personal property coverage and personal liability insurance.
Timothy Moore is an editorial and graphic design researcher and a freelance writer and editor on topics such as personal finance, travel, careers, education, animal care, and automotive. He has been working in this field since 2012 with publications such as The Penny Hoarder, Debt.com, Ladders, WDW Magazine, Glassdoor and The News Wheel.
This article originally appeared on www.thepennyhoarder.com