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- Sets rates primarily based on your driving behavior.
- Can supply an SR-22.
- Tech-savvy customers will appreciate that you can do just about anything from the app.
Root Insurance offers drivers a promise that most others don’t: auto insurance rates based primarily on how you drive. To get an auto insurance quote from Root, you must first take a “test drive,” where you let the company’s app track your driving behavior for a few weeks. The better you drive, the better the quote, but there’s a little more to Root than that – details below.
Root auto insurance
Most businesses rely heavily on your demographics, credit, and driving history to set rates. Root does that too, but it takes that data into account to a lesser extent, so more of your quote is based on how you drive during your two to three week test drive. Here is how it works. In fact, Root has promised to remove credit scores from its pricing model by 2025.
You can start from the Root website or download the app and go for the quote process. You will need to allow the app to access your phone’s GPS to measure driving behaviors, including speed, hard braking, driving time, cornering speed, and ride smoothness. Root claims that the app can tell if you’re a passenger through machine learning, so you shouldn’t be penalized for another driver’s behavior while driving in their car.
Once the monitoring is complete, Root will either send you a quote or refuse to cover you. The company is outspoken that many drivers are denied quotes, saying on its site that this does not cover “bad” or high-risk drivers. For those who do get a quote, this is good news: By eliminating risky drivers from its customer base, Root can charge lower premiums overall.
Root auto insurance coverage options
You can get the typical coverage options from Root, including coverage required by the state, full and collision. The company also offers:
Roadside assistance, included in Root policies at no additional cost. While most insurers offer roadside assistance for a monthly or per-use fee, Root covers up to three incidents per six-month contract, up to $ 100 per incident.
Carpool option for rental coverage. Most auto insurers offer rental reimbursement coverage, which pays for a rental while your car is in the store due to a covered wreck. Root has the same coverage but is a bit more flexible, allowing customers to be reimbursed for Lyft rides. With every complaint, the option is up to the customer, but Root says it can help you make a decision.
Lyft on us offers policyholders free Lyft rides on public holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day, New Years Eve and Independence Day. This program is not available in North Dakota.
SR-22 availability. You can get a Form SR-22, a certificate that you file with your state that proves coverage, from Root Insurance. Like most interactions with Root, you do this through the app.
Learn more about Root
Complaints: Root has had more than expected the number of auto insurance complaints compared to other insurers of similar size, according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Website: Root has an intuitive website with lots of FAQs, blog posts, and other information. You can sign up and start a quote online, but anyone who wants a quote takes a test drive, so you’ll end the process on your smartphone.
App: Root policies are completely app-based, so you can view your policy documents and ID cards, pay your bills, file and track claims, call roadside assistance and more with your smartphone. You can even request an SR-22 or change your policy from within the app, which is popular in the Apple and Android app stores.
Methodology of insurer complaints
NerdWallet reviewed complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2016-18. To assess how insurers stack up against each other, the NAIC annually calculates a complaints index for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or the share of total premiums in the industry. To assess a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by each subsidiary’s market share, over the three-year period. The ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condominiums) and life insurance.