Root Insurance Review & Complaints

Root car insurance is available in over 30 states. Rates are based on your driving habits, and to get a quote, you’ll need to download the Root app and schedule a test drive, which will last between three and four weeks. Based on the collected data, you’ll either receive a Root car insurance quote or, if you’re too risky of a driver, the company may refuse to cover you. You can save up to $75/month on your car insurance rates with Root, but the company has an exceptionally high complaint rate.

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Written by D. Gilson, PhD
Professor & Published Author D. Gilson, PhD

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 1, 2022

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Root Insurance Company Overview
Key InformationDetails
Year Founded2015
Current ExecutivesChief Technology Officer: Anirban Kundu
Chief People and Organizational Effectiveness Officer: Michele Streitmatter
Number of Employees900
Total Revenue (2020)$294.2 Million
HQ Address80 E. Rich Street Suite
500 Columbus, OH 43215
Phone Number1-866-980-9431
Company Website

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You’re looking for the best insurance companies and wondering whether Root car insurance is the right choice for you. We know it can be overwhelming. Can you find affordable Root car insurance? Is Root an insurance carrier? How much are average Root car insurance rates?

Don’t worry; you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to answer all your questions about the Root car insurance company. We’ll tell you where you can buy Root car insurance and help you decide if Root Insurance is right for you.

Read on for our full Root Insurance review. Before you do, enter your ZIP code in the tool on this page for free car insurance quotes from top companies.

What are average car insurance rates from Root Insurance?

We don’t have average rates from Root because they’re very personal. Root uses an app to track your driving habits, rather than basing rates on the typical factors (age, credit score, ZIP code, etc.).

The company does use the normal factors, but they are not the most important thing. Instead, your driving habits are the primary factor for rates. If you’re a good driver, you may be able to save significantly with a policy from Root.

In fact, Root says you could save up to $900 per year if you switch.

You can buy six-month policies from Root, and based on your continued driving, your rates may be adjusted either up or down at your next renewal.

Where can you get Root Insurance, and how much does it cost in each state?

If you’re wondering if you can get Root Insurance where you live, you may be in luck. Root sells policies in over half of the states in the country. Take a look at this table to find out if Root is available 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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If Root isn’t available in your state, not to worry. Root Insurance is working on it. Through the company website, you can sign up to be notified when Root moves into your state.

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What are the company ratings for Root Insurance?

While rates (and saving on your rates) is probably one of the main factors you’re looking at when considering which car insurance company to choose, it’s important to know a few other things as well. For example, you want to know that the company you’re choosing has good customer service.

A few different companies provide information on company customer service, complaint rates, and more.

The Better Business Bureau reports that Root has received a high number of customer complaints. As a result, it gives Root 1.31 out of five stars. We also pulled complaint index data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) for Root Insurance. Take a look at this table to see how Root stacks up.

NAIC Root Insurance Complaint Data
Complaint Data 201820192020
Total Number of Complaints86850
Annual Premiums$106,371,642$451,058,558$616,842,050
Share of Premiums U.S. Market0.007%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 average number of complaints across the insurance industry is one. Companies with a complaint index of less than one receive less than the average number of complaints, and companies with a complaint index of higher than one receive greater than the average number of complaints.

Given this, Root has an exceptionally high complaint rate. From 2018 to 2019, the complaint rate increased exponentially (though the market share, annual premiums, and market share also increased significantly). However, it did drop slightly from 2019 to 2020.

What coverage options does Root Insurance offer?

If you’re looking to buy car insurance from Root, the company offers the basic coverage types, including:

Additionally, Root Insurance includes roadside assistance coverage in every policy the company sells to insureds at no extra charge. The only limitations are no more than three incidents per policy term, with a maximum cost of $100 per incident.

Like most car insurance companies, Root also offers insureds rental reimbursement coverage when their vehicles are in the shop after a covered accident. However, Root’s coverage includes reimbursement for Lyft rides if you don’t want to rent a car.

Root also offers the option for drivers to get SR-22 forms (if needed) through the company app.

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

Because your rates from Root are specifically tailored to your driving habits, the company doesn’t offer many discounts. However, you may be able to get a multi-policy discount (if you have more than one policy with Root) or a discount for paying for your policy in full and up-front.

Root does offer a few perks for insureds, including the free Lyft credits for certain holidays (in certain states) and the opportunity to earn cash if you refer other people to Root.

How do you buy and manage a Root Insurance policy?

As we noted earlier, Root Insurance doesn’t quote policies in the same way as some more traditional insurance companies. Instead, your rates are based on your specific driving habits. To get Root car insurance quotes, you’ll need to follow a few steps.

First, you’ll need to reach out to the company through the website or the company app to start the quote process by signing up for a test drive. Once you sign up for a test drive, you’ll need to allow the company to track your driving behavior. This will require you to enable the app to connect with your GPS.

The app will track your speed, braking, when you drive, how you turn, etc. On average, the company will track your driving habits for three weeks, but the test drive can last as long as four weeks. At the end of the test-drive period, Root will either send you a quote based on the collected data or let you know you’re not eligible.

Root does not typically cover high-risk drivers, so the company may refuse to cover you if the test drive data indicates you aren’t a “good” driver. If you get a quote from Root and decide to buy a policy from the company, you’ll be able to manage your policy through the company app.

And if you’re wondering, does Root insurance always track your driving? The answer is yes; once you’re insured by Root and have the app on your phone, it tracks your driving continuously.

Root does note that the tracking function includes machine learning that can determine whether you are the one driving, so you won’t be penalized if you’re in the passenger seat when someone else is driving and exhibiting risky behavior.

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How do you file a claim with Root Insurance?

If you’re in an accident or another damaging incident, you can file a claim with Root either on the company website or through the app. If you have a policy with Root and go through the website, it will direct you to either use the Root app to finish filing your claim or call Root’s customer service number at 866-980-9431.

Root promises the claims filing process will take about three minutes of your time if you use the app. It’s best to start the claims process while you’re still at the site of the incident. The app will walk you through the steps to file the claim:

  • Answer questions like what type of accident you were involved in
  • Take pictures of the damage (get as many angles as you can)
  • Root will reach out to you to finish the claims process
  • Root will continue to keep you updated on each step of the process, both through the email and the app

The company will then review the damages and work with you on completing the claim. If a payout results, you can elect to receive it either by check or electronic deposit.

What are the pros and cons of Root Insurance?

Like most insurance companies, there are pros and cons to buying insurance from Root, and depending on your circumstances, Root may or may not be for you.

Some of the major pros of the company are that you can get an SR-22 if you need one, and the Root app is one of the more comprehensive car insurance apps available from an insurance company. Additionally, because Root tests and tracks your driving, your rates are tailored specifically for your driving habits.

However, there are some downsides. As we noted earlier, Root isn’t available in every state. The company has a reputation for declining to cover risky drivers, and Root has a significant number of complaints about customer service.

Only you can decide if Root car insurance coverage is right for you, given the pros and cons and how those affect your specific situation, age, driving record, etc.

What else should you know about Root Insurance?

Root Insurance was created in 2015 in response to the current structure in the insurance industry. The goal is to make car insurance fair for all insureds by basing rates on individual driving habits.

You can manage most, if not all, of your Root insurance policy through the Root app, which is available through the App Store and the Google Play store. You can use the Root app on both iPhones and Android phones.

If you’re wondering how can I get my car off of Root insurance, all you need to do is use the app to either remove specific vehicles from your policy or navigate to the “cancel my policy” page.

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Root Car Insurance: The Bottom Line

Root uses a usage-based rate structure that starts with a test drive. This test drive can last between three and four weeks, and Root will use the collected data to provide you with a quote (or refuse to cover you if you’re too high risk).

You can save up to $900 on your insurance rates by switching to Root, and you’ll be able to manage your policy almost entirely through the Root app. This includes facilitating tracking your driving habits, paying your rates, and filing claims. Root Insurance is available in over half of the states in the country and is working toward being available in all 50 states.

Whether or not you live in a state where Root Insurance is offered, you can save on car insurance from companies in your area by using your ZIP code in our tool to get free quotes and compare.

Are you looking for free insurance quotes?

Your one-stop online insurance guide. Get free quotes now!

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