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Root Car Insurance App Review: Good Drivers Save Up To $100/Month

If you’re a driver in pursuit of low rates and aren’t in a rush to get coverage, Root Car Insurance will work out for you just fine.

Its sleek mobile app has made filling out claims relatively easier; through this feature, Root Car Insurance has gained a ton of positive reviews.

On the other hand, if you’re content with anything other than broader coverage and affordable rates, unfortunately, you’re reading the wrong review.

Before you get right into the nitty-gritty, you’re wondering whether the Root Car Insurance app is for real or just another knock-off app that’s not worth your time and money.

This post gives an honest opinion of the Root Car Insurance App based on results of whether it’s a commercial success or an absolute failure. For that reason, I did my research on Root Car Insurance and gave the app a shot.

Here’s my bias-free review, complete with everything you need to know about the Root Car Insurance (App). (Just so you know, it’s not a scam site).

What is Root Car Insurance?

Root Car Insurance is a low-cost, straight-to-the-point smartphone app that does away with the more complicated network of agents. The unique insurance company debuted officially in the U.S. market on the 25th of October, 2014.

It was developed by one gentleman, Alexander Timm, ideally for experienced drivers and amateur driver who are yet to establish their presence on the roads. Since his early teens (14 yrs), Mr Timm was always fascinated by all things insurance.

When he started experiencing the industry’s loopholes, he was determined to do something that would revolutionize the car insurance industry – Root Car Insurance. With the company came the special (and simplest) smartphone app that gets rid of the need for the complex network of insurance agents.

The Ohio based company’s chief marketing point and overall strength rest upon providing its users with pocket-friendly rates. It does this based on a customer’s smartphone along with elaborate telematics.

If you’ve taken a test drive and you’re eligible for a quote, you may find it hard to find rates like those provided by Root Car Insurance. Even if you don’t qualify for a quote, there’s a wide array of basic coverage options for you. A select number of drivers may need authoritative policy add-ons.

If, for example, you purchased a new automobile a few days ago, you stand to enjoy a state benefit from gap insurance; Root Insurance doesn’t offer this to their users at the moment.

How Successful is Root Insurance So Far?

Root received regulatory approval from the Illinois insurance board towards the end of 2017. It, later on, set a goal to become ‘almost national’ by filing for a ten-state approval (which it received) in the first quarter of 2017.

Currently, Root has about 20 employees and well over $7 million worth of initial funding thanks to Drive Capital. Timm, 31, stated that the company seeks to recruit more employees not only from the U.S. but other parts of the world as it continues to extend its services to the global community.

Silicon Valley Bank is funding Root’s reserves, while Maiden Re, Odyssey Re and, Munich Re provide reinsurance. As a financially combined unit, they have managed to catapult Root Insurance to the leading capital position.

Pros & Cons of Root Car Insurance

The following is a quick rundown of the perks and downsides of Root Car Insurance.

Pros

Simple to join

The moment you’ve downloaded the app, you’ll give root permission to keep an eye on your driving habits for 2-3 weeks, in what is referred to as a test drive.

Based on your on-the-road conduct, you will be presented with a suitable insurance policy.

Fast claims

Unlike most insurance companies, Root Insurance customers are provided with full access (24/7 basis) to fast claims support on the phone.

Root takes approximately a week and three days to process your claim, contrary to most companies that take months to process a single claim.

It’s cost-effective

Root claims to save its policyholders a maximum of 52% on their auto insurance coverage.

To prove this point, there’s a whole load of reviews in praise of Root Car Insurance and how it has saved them a considerable amount of money.

Rewards competent drivers

Drivers who prove their ability to exercise discipline and shun any distractions are rewarded with bountiful savings.

For drivers who don’t use their phones while on the road can save a bonus 10 percent on their insurance quote.

Offers roadside assistance

No matter your Root insurance policy (basic liability included), you qualify to receive free roadside help.

The app offers detailed information on how to contact nearby Root Insurance agents (support@joinroot.com) every day from 9 am to 11 pm, who are ready to provide their assistance.

Makes you a better driver

An extra advantage worth mentioning is the fact that Root Insurance inspires you to be a better driver. According to recent studies, human beings tend to well-behaved when they know they’re being watched. The name given to this theory is the ‘Hawthorne Effect.’

An experiment carried out at England’s Newcastle University confirmed this theory. It revealed that students practiced a better sense of hygiene whenever there was a poster with a pair of eyes or a poster with a face in their rooms.

As creepy as it sounds, the only time we are at our best behavior is when someone (or something) is watching.

With the presence of intelligent smartphone apps such as Root monitoring our driving habits, companies sincerely hope that the all-seeing insurance app will transform us into better drivers.

Cons

  Offers zero gap coverage

If you’re either leasing or financing a vehicle, there’s zero coverage that bridges the remaining balance on your vehicle and the one that’s taken care of in a complete loss.

Limited area coverage

At the time of writing, Root Insurance services exclusively 20 states in the U.S. However, it intends to roll out a nationwide coverage in the course of this year (2019).

Useless without the app

Root Insurance relies squarely on its app to link you to their nearby agents. When you drive along a road with no internet connection whatsoever, there’s no chance of getting any assistance.

Unclear financial stability

No extensive record details Root Insurance’s claim to pay its users. Additionally, the company hasn’t undergone a thorough evaluation of reliable insurance rating firms.

In Which States Can You Access Root Insurance’s Services?

As mentioned earlier, Root is only available in only 20 states. However, it intends on extending their coverage in South Carolina, North Carolina, Nebraska, Georgia, Connecticut, and Alaska.

For now, these are the only states you can enjoy Root’s efficient services (in descending order):

  • Utah
  • Texas
  • Pennsylvania
  • Oregon
  • Oklahoma
  • Ohio
  • North Dakota
  • New Mexico
  • Montana
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • Maryland
  • Louisiana
  • Kentucky
  • Iowa
  • Indiana
  • Illinois
  • Delaware
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona

Approximately six months ago, Root included four additional states – a clear indication that the company is expanding its availability rapidly.

How Does Root Auto Insurance Work?

Like most drivers, you make think that you’re pretty good behind the wheel. One issue that pops up is the fact that the car insurance rates are issued based on some drivers’ questionable driving skills. How fair is that? Synonymously, Root Insurance is at the top of their game trying to tackle this common problem.

The Root Insurance app gauges your driving conduct and estimates a cost-based solely that data – how fast you brake or accelerate, the number of miles you drive per minute, etc. You will receive a quote based on your overall on-the-road performance.

Advanced Technology

They use the industry term UBI (usage-based insurance) with the notion that competent drivers who don’t exert additional miles on their vehicles shouldn’t pay similar rates as their incompetent counterparts. Like most services today, you’ll enjoy lower prices in exchange for a little personal information.

CB Insights reports that public participation in UBI has increased over the years. So far, they’ve tracked over ten insurers who, since the start of 2018, have mentioned their telematics programs in corporate earnings calls. This has indicated that driving apps are quickly becoming a popular strategic prime concern.

As obvious as it may sound, you need to have your smartphone with you while on the road. Root will gather information related to your driving behavior. The app makes use of advanced telematics, which is just sensors that monitor your what time and how long you drive, your speed as well as every stop you make along the way.

Despite this, the Root app isn’t completely foolproof. For instance, if you carry your phone along with you for a bike ride, Root may dock you for ‘speeding’ through the residential streets.

For Root to record your vehicle information, address, and name, you have to either input the data manually or scan your driver’s license. Once you confirm that the info you’ve provided is okay, only then can you proceed to the test-drive part of the registration.

Typically, most drive sessions last approximately 3-4 weeks though you could get your results in less than two weeks. You can choose to drive to and from work, around town, and wherever else that’s efficient enough for the app to give credible results.

Throughout your time on the road, Root will keep a countdown screen of the time you have left to the end of your test drive. After a few days -or weeks- of waiting, you will receive your quote.

How To Decide On A Suitable Coverage

Once you have a clear picture of the coverage level that’s just right for you, there are a couple of extra taps before you’re finally done. First off, start by choosing a particular date to start your policy. It could even be as soon as that same day. From here, decide on whether you want a six-month or month-by-month billing cycle.

Can I Cancel My Coverage?

Most people aren’t aware that they can cancel their coverage any time. If you ever decide to do this, some companies will refund you for every penny you’ve already paid for in advance. Root offers to handle the uncomfortable breakup tete-a-tete for you, contacting your insurer and informing them that you’re shifting gears.

At the end of the cancellation process, there’s a confirmation screen that pops up. Once you confirm your decision, you’re ready to get your insurance cards mailed to you. Root makes payment easier by providing two payment options: Apple Pay and credit card.

What are the Types of Car Insurance Coverage Offered by Root Insurance?

Root Car Insurance offers a couple of auto insurance add-ons, coupled with the complete suite of basics. Consequentially, drivers in search of highly specified coverage, including gap insurance or ride-share, would be served better by a conventional auto insurance company, such as Allstate or Farmers.

Roadside assistance

 Refunds you for towing and offers emergency assistance while on the road. You’ll have to send photos of your receipts to Root’s customer desk at no cost at all. Root Insurance works in association with Blink to offer roadside assistance.

Policyholders have the option of requesting services from alternative companies. For a fee of $1,000 per incident, Root Insurance covers a maximum of three incidents for each policy term for six months.

 Rental reimbursement

 Enables you to rent a car or travel from one place to another while yours is getting some much-needed repairs right after an accident. Root Insurance offers every one of its policyholders the option of receiving Lyft credits, contrary to being refunded for a rental automobile. This is a unique coverage, considering it’s very few auto insurance companies offer this option.

Conventional Coverage Options Offered by Root Insurance

  • Comprehensive coverage. This option caters for all kinds of repairs when your car is damaged by vandalism, fire or anything other than an accident.
  • Personal injury protection. Covers all your lost wages, medical expenses, and various other indirect charges for you and those with you after an accident.
  • Bodily injury. Pays for medical treatment of those wounded critically in an accident as a result of your on-road negligence.
  • Underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. Caters for car repairs if you get involved in an accident caused by an incompetent driver with insufficient insurance.
  • Collision coverage. Takes care of car repair fees after an accident.
  • Medical payments. This coverage caters for your hospital bills and medical care after an accident with a car, a tree or a bike.
  • Property damage coverage. Shields you if ever you wreck someone’s property in an accident.
  • Uninsured motorist property damage. If you’re hit by a driver who is uninsured, this coverage option will cater to all forms of damages.

What Do Policyholders Think of Root Car Insurance?

Since it was made available to the general public, Root Insurance has mostly received some positive reviews. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has filed no official complaints against it since its conception three years ago.

Additionally, drivers enjoy relatively lower rates than those offered by other carriers. This further proves the fact that Root Insurance’s marketing is true to its word. The biggest complaint among most users of the app is the fact that it takes time – a long time – to receive a quote.

In its defense, Root Insurance reasons that the long wait time is the reason why its able to offer competitive yet pocket-friendly auto quotes.

What Discounts Does Root Insurance Offer?

Customers who qualify for Root Insurance services are eligible to enjoy a string of unbelievable rewards and discounts. The whole premise behind Root Insurance is, of course, rewarding deserving drivers with meagre rates.

This makes it stand out from other mainstream car insurance providers who offer mediocre discounts for good drivers.

Like most other startups, Root offers unique referral discounts. If you’re satisfied with the amount of savings you’re getting from Root, tag along a friend or family to sign up via a personalized referral link.

Based on your location, you stand to make anywhere between $10 to $100 for every successful referral you make.

Which are a Few Alternatives to Root Insurance?

1. CityMile

The technology used by Brazil’s CityMile bridges the gap between good drivers, their vehicles, and of course, their insurers.

CityMile also makes use of usage-based insurance (UBI) to assist insurers to collect data, change driver behavior and increase adoption. They firmly believe that we can make car ownership more affordable and safer for both the insurer and the driver.

2. Telematic

If you’re establishing something in need of driving, location or telematic-related conduct data, telematic.io is the company for you. The only thing that sets it apart from the Root Car Insurance app is the fact that it integrates rather quickly with its Saas-based smartphone app. In minutes (maybe seconds, even), you can collect a vast amount of data.

3. Motion-S

Motion-S builds intelligent, intuitive and flexible Telematic Solutions that makes drivers’ experience on the road more efficient, safer, and smarter. Based in Luxembourg, Motion-S works optionally with select OBD devices that can be plugged into standard diagnostic ports within the vehicle’s dashboard.

It offers Insurance Telematics, location-based and advanced analytic services, as well as Fleet Management Solutions.

4. byteRyde

byteRyde, like the Root Car Insurance app, makes use of Usage Based Insurance (UBI) policies to find drivers the best rates on car insurance. byteRyde provides two ways for customers to save a few bucks on car insurance – usage-based pricing and comparison shopping.

The moment you download the byteRyde app, you’re awarded a RydeKarma score depending on your actual driving conduct. Your score will then be used to get you the best possible deals from other car insurance companies.

5. MetroMile

Based in the U.S., Metromile offers reasonably-priced car insurance on a pay-per-mile basis. This company charges customers for the actual miles they cover, not some flat rate that forces low-mileage drivers to pay considerably more for high-mileage drivers.

MetroMile has a rather complex mode of operation – which makes it stand out from the rest of the car insurance companies. With the help of the installed Metronome device in your car, MetroMile brings a whole new driving experience via an interactive Android/iOS app.

So, is it Legit or Not?

If you’ve read this in-depth review from the top, you can easily tell that Root Car insurance is 100% legitimate. It’s a fully accredited insurance company by the BBB. Root Insurance isn’t out to pull a bait or scam drivers with enticingly low rates that even the best driver cannot apply for.

By simply switching to Root, you can save some pretty pennies if you’re an excellent low-mileage driver. Alternatively, if you haven’t gotten good rates with similar insurance companies, you make a good candidate for Root.

The same applies to drivers with sports cars, high-risk drivers and young drivers.

Final Thoughts

Good coverage coupled with quality auto insurance doesn’t always have to make you dig deeper into your pockets – especially if you play by the book whenever you’re out for a drive.

Because most drivers claim to be responsible drivers, Root Insurance will require more action and less talking by asking you to sign up for a comprehensive test drive. For a couple of weeks on the road, every move you make will be monitored by the app.

If you’re not one to back down from a challenge, you may find that this startup resourceful. Once you pass the test, you’re eligible to receive much lower rates than those offered by other companies elsewhere. So far, Root Insurance policyholders are not complaining.

For one reason or another, if your driving record isn’t as flawless as you’d want it to be, go ahead and find a provider that caters for your needs by comparing different car insurance options. If you lack specialized coverage, comparing insurance options can also work out for you.

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