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Revolutionizing Car Insurance: A Guide to Root Insurance

How Root Car Insurance Works: Driving Behavior, App Monitoring, and Credit Score

Driving a car is a common part of daily life for most Americans. But with this convenience comes a responsibility to pay for car insurance.

Root car insurance is a newcomer to the insurance industry, with an innovative approach that relies heavily on the use of technology to determine rates. In this article, we will take a closer look at how Root car insurance works, its pros and cons, and what sets it apart.

Root car insurance is a relatively new player in the auto insurance world, having been founded in 2015 by Alex Timm and Dan Manges. It is considered a newcomer because it differs greatly from traditional insurance in its methods of determining rates.

While traditional insurers use a number of factors when considering a client’s policy, including age, driving history, credit score, and type of vehicle, Root insurance takes a more granular approach. Instead, they use technology to monitor driving behavior through an app, with rates adjusted based on the data received.

When signing up for Root, drivers need to download an app on their smartphones that will monitor their driving habits for a period of two to three weeks. Root tracks driving behavior such as speed, location, and sudden stops or turns.

Based on this data, a score is calculated on a scale of 0-10. The app is designed to provide drivers with feedback on their driving habits and offer tips for better and safer driving.

After the monitoring period, Root will use the driving data to determine premiums. Root car insurance also takes credit score into account when calculating rates.

While it is not the only factor used by Root, it is an essential component. The company believes that drivers with higher credit scores are more likely to be responsible and have fewer accidents.

In fact, Root offers discounts to drivers with good credit scores, making it a significant factor to consider when signing up for insurance.

The Pros and Cons of Root Car Insurance

Root offers a new take on car insurance, making it a great choice for millennials or anyone who is looking for affordable coverage. Here are some of the pros and cons of Root car insurance that are important to consider before signing up:


Affordable- in general, Root offers lower rates than traditional insurance providers.

This is because the driving behavior data collected by the app can be used to reward good drivers with discounts. Great app- the Root app is easy to use and provides timely feedback on driving habits that can lead to a safer and more enjoyable driving experience.

Good for people with no credit history- one of the advantages of Root is that you don’t need a credit history to get coverage. This is because the primary factor used by Root when considering clients is driving behavior rather than credit score.


Privacy issues- one of the most significant concerns when using Root car insurance is privacy. Since the app tracks driving behavior, it means that the company has access to all the locations and driving habits of its clients.

Limited availability- another significant issue with Root insurance is that it is only available in certain states, making it inaccessible to many people. Customer complaints- Lastly, there are some complaints from customers that the app does not always operate correctly, leading to inaccurate data being gathered and unfair premiums.

Types of Coverage Offered by Root Car Insurance

Like traditional car insurance providers, Root offers standard car insurance coverage options, such as liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage, as well as additional coverage options. Here are the coverages offered by Root:

Standard Coverage:

Liability coverage- liability coverage pays for any damages or injuries that a driver causes to others while driving.

Comprehensive coverage- comprehensive coverage pays for damages caused by non-driving factors, such as theft, natural disasters, or vandalism. Collision coverage- collision coverage pays for damages that occur when a driver collides with another car or an object.

Additional Coverage Options:

Rental reimbursement- rental reimbursement coverage covers the cost of a rental car while a vehicle is being repaired after an accident. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage- covers damages and injuries to drivers if they are in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Personal injury protection- also known as PIP, this insurance helps cover medical expenses and lost wages for drivers and passengers who are injured during a car accident.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Root car insurance offers a unique approach to car insurance that uses technology to determine premiums. With positive aspects such as lower rates, the Root app, and good coverage options, there is no doubt a lot to consider when purchasing insurance.

However, there is also its limited availability, privacy concerns, and customer complaints to factor in as well. When considering using Root car insurance or any other provider, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons and determine which one is right for you and your individual circumstances.

Regardless of which insurance you choose, remember that having car insurance is not only a legal obligation, but it also provides peace of mind knowing that you are covered in the case of an accident or unforeseen event. 3) Discounts and Savings with Root Car Insurance: Safe Driving, Usage-Based, Bundling, and Pay-In-Full Options

At Root, there are various discounts and savings options that drivers can take advantage of.

For starters, Root rewards good drivers with lower rates. The following highlights the various discount and savings options available to Root policyholders.

Safe Driver Discounts:

Safe driving is a significant factor in Root’s rates. Drivers who have an overall positive driving behavior score (between 6-10) can expect discounted rates.

Root bases rates on a driver’s behavior while on the road, such as sudden stops, acceleration, and speed. Safe drivers who refrain from using their phones while behind the wheel and have clean driving records are eligible for discounts that can range from 10-40%.

Usage-Based Discounts:

Root car insurance uses telematics technology, which allows the company to track drivers’ behavior on the road. They take this information into account when deciding insurance rates.

Usage-based discounts are given based on driving behavior, including speed, location, hard braking, and acceleration. Policyholders drive only when necessary may qualify for Root suggestions, which can yield discounts.

Root also may offer adaptive telematics for policyholders who believe safer driving at night hours or have a long commute. Bundling Discounts:

When a policyholder takes out insurance for multiple vehicles, Root offers bundling discounts, which typically result in lower premiums.

For example, bundling an auto policy with a homeowners or renters policy could result in added savings. Pay-In-Full Discounts:

Policyholders who pay their car insurance premiums in full can substantially reduce their insurance rates.

For people who can manage to pay for their premium at once, this can amount to significant savings. Maximizing Savings:

While there are many ways to get discounts and savings with Root, the most practical route for saving on car insurance is to maintain a good driving record.

Drivers with accident-free and violation-free records are most likely to receive lower rates. Root also offers a test drive evaluation: Individuals who complete the test drive evaluation through the app and allow Root to track their driving habits for a few weeks can receive car insurance discounts.

Another way to maximize savings is by taking advantage of a multi-vehicle policy. Much like bundling discounts, individuals with multiple vehicles that require insurance may save money by bringing the vehicles to Root.

4) Getting a Quote and Making a Claim with Root Car Insurance: The Quote Process and Filing a Claim

As promised, I will discuss the process behind obtaining a quote for Root car insurance and filing a claim if an accident occurs. Quote Process:

Getting a car insurance quote with Root is easy and can be completed entirely through the mobile app.

Here are the steps to follow:

1. Download the Root app onto your smartphone, which is available in both the Apple Store and Google Play Store.

2. Sign up and give the app permission to access your phone’s location and motion sensors.

3. Provide information such as your name, date of birth, vehicle type, and driving history.

Root will then start tracking your driving behavior using the app. 4.

After two to three weeks, the company will have enough data to generate a driving score that will be used to determine your insurance rate. 5.

If you like the rate and coverage options, you can enroll in a policy instantly through the app. Filing a Claim:

Filing a claim with Root is easy and can be done entirely through the mobile app.

Here are the steps to follow:

1. Log in to the Root app on your smartphone.

2. Choose the “Claims” option found on the app’s menu.

3. Follow the steps provided to submit an incident report.

This includes the date, location, parties involved, and damage description. 4.

Once the report has been submitted, a licensed claims representative from Root will reach out to you to guide you through the rest of the claim process. 5.

You may also track the status of your claim and communicate with Root’s insurance adjuster for updates through the mobile app. In conclusion, Root car insurance provides nearly everything individuals need when it comes to car insurance, from discounts and savings options to an easy and quick quoting process and an effortless claim process.

Although Root isn’t available in every state, it continues to expand, making it accessible to even more drivers. 5) Evaluation of Root Car Insurance: Advantages and Considerations

Like any insurance provider, Root has its advantages and considerations to consider before signing up.

Advantages of Root Car Insurance:

Affordable for Good Drivers:

Root offers competitive rates to good drivers by allowing you to pay only for what you need, eliminating some of the factors that traditional car insurance considers, including age and credit score. No Credit Score Consideration:

Root doesn’t factor credit scores into its calculations, so if you have a poor or limited credit history, it won’t prevent you from getting insurance.

Your driving data is what Root uses when setting rates. Easy-to-Use App:

Root has an app that is easy to use and provides feedback on driving habits and how to improve your driving behavior.

Drivers can track how they’re doing and make changes to improve their driving habits. Roadside Assistance:

Root offers roadside assistance, which is a significant benefit for drivers.

Root provides towing, jump-starts, tire changes, and other services. Bundling Options:

Root offers homeowners, renters, and landlord policies, and if you purchase two or more policies through the company, you can save some money.

Considerations with Root Car Insurance:

Privacy Issue:

One of the biggest concerns with Root is that it tracks drivers’ behavior through a telematics tracking system. Some drivers find it invasive to have their every move tracked, especially when driving data may be stored and potentially vulnerable to being hacked.

Limited Availability:

Root car insurance is currently only available in a limited number of states. If you don’t reside in any of these locations, you won’t be able to pursue Root as your insurance provider.

Customer Complaints:

While many of Root’s customers are satisfied with the car insurance provider, there are complaints related to technical difficulties with their phone app, issues with their policies, or problems with customer support. Rate Increases After Initial Policy:

Drivers may experience rate increases after their initial policy period.

These rate increases can result from being identified as higher-risk drivers based on your driving data with Root. No Coverage for High-Risk Drivers:

If you have a history of poor driving behavior, Root may not be the best fit for you.

The insurance provider caters only to safe or good drivers, so if you’ve been in numerous accidents or have received several traffic citations, you may not be able to obtain insurance with them. Lengthy Quote Process:

Root’s quote process may take longer than other insurance providers, due to its focus on continually tracking your driving habits to evaluate acceptable risk levels.

While this approach is useful once someone becomes a customer, it may slow down the quote process or discourage people who are in a rush to get insured. 6) Root Car Insurance FAQs: Ongoing Tracking, Good Score, and Claim Process

Root car insurance uses technology to change the traditional insurance model.

Here are some typical questions people have about Root and how it functions. Ongoing Tracking of Driving Habits:

Root car insurance uses continuous tracking of your driving and collects data on your behaviors, such as sudden stops and hard turns, to calculate your driving scorecard.

While some drivers may feel uncomfortable with this level of ongoing tracking, Root uses this data to set your rates, which can be favorable toward good driving habits. Good Score for Root Car Insurance:

A high score from Root indicates that you’re showing responsible driving behaviors such as smooth braking, cautious speed, and safe acceleration.

Demographics do not play a role in determining your score, and Root counts all your trips as part of its evaluation process. Claim Process with Root Car Insurance:

If you need to file a claim, Root provides a claim section within its app.

The process starts by submitting an incident report. Once it’s assessed, you’ll hear back from a claims representative, who can answer further questions throughout the process.

In conclusion, Root car insurance offers a unique approach to insurance by using telematics and an app to track driving behavior to determine rates. It provides various discounts for safe driving, bundling, and paying in-full.

However, it also comes with considerations, including privacy issues, limited availability, customer complaints, rate increases after initial policies, no coverage for high-risk drivers, and a lengthy quote process. Overall, Root car insurance is a response to changing customer needs in an ever-evolving insurance marketplace, and individuals should consider options that fit their needs and lifestyle.

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