What Is Root Insurance? Is Root Car Insurance Legit?
In this article, Insurecar.Info will explore the legitimacy and features of Root Car Insurance, a newer insurance company that offers unique and affordable coverage based on driving behavior. We’ll delve into how Root Insurance works, its coverage options, the test drive process, and tips on saving money with this provider.
What Is Root Insurance?
Root Insurance, established in 2015, stands out from traditional car insurance companies by exclusively insuring good drivers. The rates offered by Root Insurance are primarily determined by a clean driving record, making it an attractive option for those with an accident and ticket-free history.
By focusing on insuring low-risk drivers, Root can provide more competitive coverage rates compared to traditional insurers who often use driving history, demographics, and credit scores to determine premiums.
How Does Root Car Insurance Work?
Root Car Insurance adopts a telematics or usage-based approach to set rates based on driving habits. Utilizing the GPS and accelerometer in a driver’s smartphone, the Root app assesses various factors during the test-drive period, including the number of hours driven, average speed, braking patterns, mileage, and more. This data enables Root to offer more affordable insurance rates to safe drivers.
Key factors that Root considers during the test-drive period are:
1. Times of day when you drive.
2. Ride smoothness.
4. Braking force.
5. Turn speed.
Drivers with safe driving habits and low-mileage patterns can potentially save money by switching to Root Insurance. Unlike other insurance providers that may label certain individuals as high-risk based on external factors such as the type of car owned, age, or gender, Root focuses solely on driving behaviors to determine eligibility and rates.
How Does the Root Insurance Quote Process Work?
Obtaining a car insurance quote from Root Insurance is a straightforward process, consisting of the following steps:
- Sign up for an account: Create an account on the Root website or through the app.
- Track your driving: Allow Root Insurance to monitor your driving habits using your mobile phone’s GPS.
- Complete the test drive: Engage in the test-drive period to enable Root to gather relevant driving data.
- Review your insurance quote: After the test drive, receive and review the insurance quote.
The Root app provides a Driver Scorecard that allows you to track your driving score and offers tips to improve it. Importantly, Root’s policy avoids penalizing policyholders based on the driving habits of others when they are passengers in a vehicle.
Following the test period, Root will either provide a quote or decline coverage based on its policy of not insuring high-risk or “bad” drivers.
How Long Does a Root Insurance Test Drive Take?
The Root Insurance test drive typically spans up to four weeks, though the average duration is around three weeks. The app enables users to monitor the remaining time of their test drive.
The duration of the test drive period may impact the time it takes to receive a quote. Some customers report receiving quotes within a week or two, depending on their driving habits during the test period.
Root Insurance Coverage Options
Root Insurance offers a range of coverage options, including:
1. Liability coverage: Covers bodily injury and property damage for others involved in an accident.
2. Medical coverage: Pays for medical expenses of you and your passengers after an accident.
3. Comprehensive coverage: Protects your vehicle from non-accident-related damages like theft, vandalism, or weather events.
4. Collision coverage: Covers damages to your vehicle regardless of fault.
5. Uninsured motorist property damage: Covers damages to your vehicle caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
6. Car coverage: Includes additional protections like roadside assistance and rental car coverage.
Insurance needs vary based on state laws and the type of vehicle driven. While some lenders may require full coverage policies, state minimum requirements typically apply. Ensuring sufficient coverage is crucial for protection in the event of an accident.
Root Insurance also offers renters and homeowners insurance, although fewer reviews are available for these newer offerings.
Additional Root Insurance Programs
Root Insurance provides several discounts and additional perks, such as:
1. Roadside assistance: Included with all policies at no extra cost, offering coverage for up to three incidents, $100 per incident, during a six-month policy term.
2. Rental car reimbursement coverage: Covers the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired after an accident, usually paid at a flat rate per day.
3. SR-22: Offers required SR-22 certificates for drivers with a DUI charge, providing proof of minimum insurance coverage to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.
How to Save Money on Root Insurance
Root Insurance’s unique pricing model already rewards good drivers, reducing the need for additional standard discounts. However, there are ways to save on Root Insurance:
1. Maintain a good driving record: Staying accident and ticket-free can help maintain coverage and prevent rate increases.
2. Focus on driving and avoid distractions: Qualify for the Focused Driving discount of up to 10% by avoiding phone use while driving.
3. Utilize advanced safety features on Tesla vehicles: Root now offers discounts to Tesla drivers who rely on automated steering.
Comparing Root Insurance savings with quotes from other providers can also help drivers find the best auto insurance rates. Reviewing quotes when renewing policies or when personal data changes is a smart approach.
Where Is Root Insurance Available?
Root Insurance operates in many U.S. states, excluding Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Interested individuals can check Root’s website for a coverage map.
Root Insurance Reviews: Pros and Cons
Understanding the advantages and drawbacks of Root Insurance can aid in determining if it suits individual needs. Some pros of Root Insurance include:
1. Easy access to insurance products and policy through the app.
2. Availability of SR-22 certificates if required.
3. Rewards for good driving behaviors and avoidance of penalties based on demographic data, marital status, and credit score.
4. Inclusion of roadside assistance with all policies.
5. Use of a highly-rated mobile app.
Root’s disadvantages are:
1. Limited discounts offered.
2. Coverage not available in all 50 U.S. states.
3. Possibility of more denials for coverage compared to other insurers.
4. Potential price increase if driving habits change.
How to File a Root Insurance Claim
Filing a claim with Root Insurance is a quick process within the app, taking less than five minutes. Users can simply open the app, take and upload photos of the damages, and wait for a customer representative to initiate contact. The app provides progress tracking and status updates for insurance claims.
Root Insurance Reviews and Ratings
Root Insurance reviews and ratings are mixed. Customers appreciate the lower rates offered by the company, but some find contacting customer service for claims difficult due to the reliance on the app for most tasks.
The Root Insurance app has received average to high ratings on both Apple and Android devices. MarketWatch rates Root Insurance at 8.0/10.0, with highest marks for availability and cost. The company also receives favorable ratings from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for its telematics-based insurance approach.
Root Insurance maintains excellent financial strength, indicating stability, and legitimacy as an insurance company. However, not all drivers may qualify for a policy, and some individuals might find better rates with other providers, particularly those with less-than-perfect driving records.
In conclusion, Root Car Insurance can be a viable and legitimate option for drivers seeking affordable coverage based on their driving habits. Evaluating individual needs and comparing quotes from various insurers can help individuals make informed decisions about their car insurance coverage.