Is Root Car Insurance Legit?

Last Updated on February 28, 2024

Root car insurance offers a revolutionary take on car insurance – insurance rates only based on how you drive. Root tracks your driving habits through an app and promises to charge you based on how good of a driver you are.

Root is a fresh concept and a new company, so many people find it hard to believe Root is legitimate. 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. Keep reading below to learn why Root is legit and how it works.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Root Insurance revolutionizes car insurance by basing rates primarily on driving behavior, tracked through a mobile app, rather than traditional factors like demographics and credit scores.
  2. Despite skepticism due to its non-traditional approach and lack of personal agents, Root is a legitimate company with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and operates legally in 34 states.
  3. Root’s unique model offers potential cost savings for drivers, especially young or previously penalized drivers, by focusing on current driving habits instead of historical records.
  4. While Root provides standard auto insurance coverages and a discount for Tesla drivers using autopilot, it lacks traditional discounts and does not cover gap insurance or rideshare activities.
  5. Insurance Panda rates Root 4.1/5

About Root Insurance

Root is a relatively new auto insurance company based in Columbus, OH. Root was founded in March of 2015 and quickly grew in size thanks to its unique technology that made it an attractive option for investors.

Root is different from other auto insurance companies for one main reason. Root determines your insurance premiums almost completely by how you drive. While other companies rely heavily on other factors, such as your demographics and credit score, Root promises to let your driving do the talking.

To join Root, you need to take a “test drive,” which involves allowing Root to track your driving habits and mileage for a few weeks. This is done through the Root app, which you can easily download onto your phone or another mobile device.

After the test drive period, Root will give you a quote (or deny coverage to you). Keep in mind that Root does deny coverage more frequently than other providers. By eliminating bad drivers from its pool, however, Root can keep its overall rates lower than other insurance companies.

Root Insurance Contact Information
Address80 E. Rich Street
Suite 500
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone Number866-980-9431
HoursMonday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET
Website URL

Root Insurance Is Not Offered Everywhere

After continued expansion, Root is now offered in 34 states. Each state has requirements that car insurance companies must meet in terms of operation, coverage, and eligibility. Root meets these requirements in 34 of the 50 states. The states that Root is legal to operate in include:

Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.

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 continue 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 reason that people do not trust the company is due to how it operates. 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 because 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 affect 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 many 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 many other discounts.

One discount Root does offer, however, is a discount to Tesla drivers who drive using autopilot. This is because recent studies have shown that Tesla’s autopilot software has resulted in 40% fewer auto accidents since its introduction in 2015. Tesla also offers its own in-house insurance program, usually the cheapest insurance option for Tesla drivers. If you drive a Tesla and Root is available in your area, you might also want to get a quote from them, as Root has been known to beat Tesla Insurance in side-by-side price comparisons.

Root also has a referral discount available. If you have a Root car insurance policy and refer a friend or family member to Root, you’ll get a discount ranging from $10 to $100.

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 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.

Root Insurance Pros and Cons

To recap, the pros and cons of a Root insurance policy include:

Pros of using RootCons of using Root
Root’s prices are lower than other insurance companies because they refused to insure risky drivers.It’s only available in certain states. Root might not be in your area yet.
Root is very transparent. You can all of see your driving information through their app.Because Root’s eligibility requirements are stringent, you might not be accepted into the program.
If you need an SR-22 form, Root can provide you with one.Root does not cover rideshare drivers. If you plan on driving for Uber or Lyft, find somebody else.
Root’s rates are mainly based on your driving habits. If you are a good driver, you should see lower rates.GAP insurance is not available.
Free roadside assistance is available with Root’s policies (except in CA).Root’s quoting process takes up to three weeks. If you need quick coverage, you should look elsewhere.

Our Rating of Root

Root Car Insurance introduces a novel approach to auto insurance, emphasizing rates determined primarily by the driver’s behavior, as monitored through its app, rather than conventional metrics like age or credit score. Founded in 2015 and based in Ohio, Root has grown rapidly, operating legally in 34 states and offering a tech-driven insurance model that requires a test drive period to assess driving habits. Despite its innovative method and A+ Better Business Bureau rating, Root faces skepticism, largely due to its app-centric service and the significant weight it places on current driving skills over driving history. The company provides standard insurance coverages and a unique discount for Tesla autopilot users, but no traditional discounts. It excludes gap and rideshare coverages, positioning itself as a modern, data-driven choice for car insurance.

Customer Service
Coverage Options


Root Insurance offers an innovative, technology-driven approach to car insurance, setting premiums based on individual driving behavior monitored through its app. While this can result in lower rates for safe drivers, especially those who are young or have a spotty driving record, the company’s reliance on app-based management and limited availability in certain states may not suit everyone. Additionally, the lack of traditional discounts and certain coverages could be a drawback for potential customers seeking a comprehensive insurance package. To try out Root, get in touch with them today.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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