What Is Behind Root Insurance? The Complete Guide

Root Insurance

Root Insurance was founded in 2015 and is a legitimate insurance group accredited by the BBB and backed by state insurance funds. It is the nation’s first licensed insurance carrier powered entirely by mobile. 

The main feature about Root Insurance is that your driving will set how much you save in your insurance rates – leading to personalized car insurance for responsible drivers, better rates, and easy to use mobile app experience. 

Keep in mind that the process is automated, so you don’t get personalized support from an agent, but you can call client service whenever you want. All the claim process is done online. 

In simple words, Root Insurance uses data and technology to determine base rates primarily on how people drive, not who they are. 

About Root Insurance

Root Insurance was founded by Alexander Timm, who has been working in the insurance industry since 14. His mission is to remake the process of applying for and insuring drivers. 

He has spent his entire life working on insurance. He began his career in Nationwide Insurance, and he developed Root Insurance to create a different kind of insurance company for users. 

Unlike other insurers, everything Root is doing is done on smartphones. Users can download the app and scan the driver’s license. Once this is done, Root’s software immediately updates the insurance application with the personal information requirements. 

Root’s app then collects data from the accelerometer and other sensors on the smartphone and gauge an applicant’s driving skills. On average, a driver can save 20% on the typical insurance policy. 

The idea behind Root Insurance is to use people’s data to help them. While traditional auto insurance companies rely on your driving history and demographic information to determine your rates, Root uses this information, too; it has a lesser impact on the rates. The most crucial factor for your rate quote is how you drive during that test-drive period.

How To Start With Root Insurance

How To Start With Root Insurance

To start, follow these steps:

  1. Visit Root’s website or download the company’s mobile app.
  2. Select for the quote process, which permits the app access to the GPS functionality in your smartphone
  3. The app will then start measuring driving patterns, including:
    • Times of the day when you drive
    • Turn speed
    • Speed
    • Breaking force
    • Ride smoothness
  4. After completing the test drive period, Root will send a notice telling you if the company declines to cover you or provide you with a quote.
  5. If you qualify, you will pay lower premiums as your quote is based on your driving habits. 

Root’s app can determine whether you are the driver or a passenger. So, you don’t have to worry about being penalized on the driving habits of someone else when you ride in their car. 

It is essential to understand that the company refuses many drivers who complete the test drive, as Root doesn’t cover high-risk drivers. By eliminating “bad” drivers from its client base, Root can provide lower premiums. 

If you are wondering if you are covered while taking the test drive? The answer is yes. The company offers flexible options for those who are currently insured or need same-day coverage. 

You will get a temporary 60-day policy and rate if you want to get insured from day one. After your 30-day test drive, you will be informed about your final rate having 30 days to decide whether to sign up or not. 

If you are already insured, stay with your current company, until after you received your final quote by Root. Then you can determine whether switching is the best option for you. Once you cancel your current insurance, don’t forget to let your lender know you have switched through the Root app. 

Keep in mind that usually, it takes two to four weeks to complete the test drive. You can check on the time left on your test drive app. Although some drivers might receive a quote after only a week or two, the average is three weeks, depending on how frequently you drive. 

What coverage can you get from Root Insurance

Collision and Comprehensive

If you are in an accident, collision covers damage to your vehicle while comprehensive covers the damage to your car by everything other than an accident. 


It protects against claims resulting from injuries and damage to people or property. Choose a limit of up to $250,000 per accident. This type of insurance policy will cover both legal costs and any payouts for which you would be responsible if found legally liable. 

Personal Injury Protection

Purchasing personal injury protection is mandatory when you are buying car insurance in some states. It helps pay your medical expenses if you have been in an car accident. This type of car insurance will also cover lost wages and funeral expenses. 

Roadside Assistance

This type of insurance helps drivers when their vehicle breaks down. Usually, adding roadside assistance to your auto policy will get you:

  • Towing;
  • Battery service;
  • Flat tire service;
  • Fuel delivery;
  • Lockout service;
  • Extrication.

It is included free with every policy except in California. It provides roadside services under $100. You get up six incidents per car for every 12-month policy term. 

Medical Payments

It may help pay you or your passengers’ medical expenses if you are injured in a car accident, regardless of who caused the accident. It will pay for medical care after an accident, whether you have crashed with a car, bike, or a tree. 

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

It pays for car repairs resulting from an accident caused by a driver who has too little insurance to cover all damages.

Rental Car Reimbursement

It is an optional coverage that helps pay your rental car costs while your car is being repaired as a result of a covered claim. You can also get coverage for using Lyft instead of a rental car, a distinctive option not offered by most insurers. 

Root also offers full coverage. Full coverage policies usually include liability plus collision and comprehensive coverage. Just remember that full coverage doesn’t include every type of coverage, you will pay extra for coverage such as rental car reimbursement. 

Root’s Car Insurance Discounts

You need to know that you will not get the standard discounts offered by other insurance providers since Root has a unique pricing model. The truth is that prices are low, so there is no need for a lot of extra discounts. Some of the few deals you can qualify are:

  • Up to 10% off the rates if you don’t use your phone while driving
  • Save $10 to $100 for each successful referral, except in California. 
  • For Testa users, who rely on the automated steering feature, Autosteer, they can save based on how many highway miles you drive on autopilot. 

Advantages of Root Insurance

  1. Low Car Insurance Quotes: Root offers higher coverage limits with lower rates. A great feature is that you can easily use the app to see how your rate is determined.
  2. Free Roadside Coverage: Roadside coverage is included in all Root policies, and it can be accessed from the app.
  3. Rates Base On Your Driving: Because your policy rate is base on your driving more than your demographic information, like age or gender, you will be rewarded if you are a good driver. It is especially beneficial for high-risk drivers, such as teens, who typically receive high car insurance rates through other traditional ones.  Teens won’t be penalized as much if they drive safely and responsible during the test drive.
  4. Excellent service: You can claim in minutes, thanks to the app. Root processes most claims within ten business days, which is much faster than the industry standard.
  5. Access To Claims Support 24/7 by Phone: Even though Root Insurance conducts the majority of its business through a mobile app, you can access client support representatives by phone 24/7.

Disadvantages of Root Insurance

  1. Limited Coverage Area: One of the main problems with Root it is currently is only available in 20 states. However, the company has plans to expand into more states shortly.
  2. Brand New: Even though this is not a core problem, Root was founded in 2015, so it is brand new. Some of its competitors have been for more than a century, so there is a trust issue for people.
  3. Not Every Driver Can Qualify: Root will not offer a policy to every driver. But depending on your driving ability, even drivers who need an SR-22 can qualify.

Bottom Line

Root Insurance might be a brand new company, but it has an extensive record showing that it pays client claims and will reward you with some of the cheapest car insurance rates

Remember to consider all your car cover options before deciding on the best one for you.


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