Root car insurance is a revolutionary take on car insurance, but many people don’t believe that it’s legit. There are some things that make Root seem too good to be true, as well as some points that make them seem less than on the up and up. While Root is not your traditional car insurance company, they are a legitimate and legal car insurance company with an A+ Better Business Bureau rating. Here’s why Root is legit and how it works.

Root is Legal in 22 States

root car insuranceBecause they are just getting off the ground, Root is only available in 22 states so far. Each state has requirements that car insurance companies must meet, in terms of operation, coverage, and eligibility. Root meets these requirements in 22 of the 50 states. The states that Root is legal to operate in include:

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

If you don’t live in a state where Root is legally operating, you won’t be able to use them for your car insurance company. Keep checking back with Root occasionally if you’re interested because they will be continuing to add states over time.

Reasons People Don’t Trust Root

There are several reasons that people don’t trust Root. Customers are overall satisfied with Root’s car insurance, claims, and services. The reasons that people do not trust the company is due to how they operate. First, Root doesn’t have any personal insurance agents. Everything is done through their very intuitive smartphone app, with claims processed wholly online.

Another reason that people are skeptical of Root car insurance is that they look at your current driving skills over your driving record. While your driving record and previous claims history do play a role in determining your rate, the majority of the decision rests on your current driving skills and habits. This seems too good to be true for young drivers who don’t have much time under their belt as of yet. It is also good for drivers who may have negative marks on their driving records but are still ultimately fairly safe drivers.

How Root Car Insurance Works

Root car insurance doesn’t work like most car insurance companies. You won’t be able to get a quote right away. First, you download the app and sign up using your basic information and your driver’s license. Over the next two to three weeks, the app will use your phone’s data and GPS to track your driving habits. This is called your test drive, and it must be completed before you get a rate quote.

During the test drive, several things are measured. The app tracks how hard you brake, how quickly you accelerate, your average speed, the time of day you do most of your driving, and other habits. At the end of your test drive, you will receive a scorecard that ranks you as a driver from 1 to 10. The better your score, the lower your rates.

Of course, your driving record and claims history also play a role in your quoted rate with Root car insurance. But the primary consideration is your test drive. Because of this, many drivers who are young and don’t have a lot of driving history or those who have a few indiscretions on their driving record can often get cheaper rates through Root car insurance.

Discounts Offered by Root

One of the things that makes people skeptical about Root car insurance is that they do not offer a lot of discounts. The major car insurance companies often offer discounts for good students, multiple cars, and policy bundling. You won’t find any of those discounts through Root car insurance. They are already essentially giving you a discount for your driving habits, and because of this, they do not offer a lot of other discounts. They do have a discount available if you have a Root car insurance policy and refer a friend or family member to Root and they also get a policy.

What Types of Coverage Does Root Offer

Root car insurance offers the mandated level of car insurance, as well as the typical coverage such as comprehensive and collision. They also offer uninsured motorist coverage, rental reimbursement, and free roadside assistance. Root car insurance does not offer gap coverage or rideshare coverage. If you owe more on your car than it is worth and it is totaled in an accident, you will still owe money to the bank after Root car insurance pays. If you decide to go with Root anyway, check with your lender to see if they offer gap insurance.

If you plan to use your vehicle for ridesharing such as Uber, Uber Eats, Lyft, or the like, you will not want to get coverage through Root. Root will not cover these activities in your vehicle. You may also have trouble getting coverage through Root if you use your vehicle for business, such as part of self-employment or delivery jobs.