Root Insurance Review

  • With 3.2/5 stars in 2023, Root is a good insurance company.
  • Read Root reviews, complaints and prices before you buy.
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Renata Balasco

Senior Content Strategist

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Renata joined The Zebra in 2020 as a Customer Experience Agent. Since 2021, she has worked as licensed insurance professional and content strategist.…

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Kristine Lee

Manager, Content and Data

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  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent who joined The Zebra in 2019 as an in-house content researcher and writer. Before joining The Zebra, she was a…

Root insurance: Ratings and reviews

3.2 100% filled Star icon 100% filled Star icon 100% filled Star icon 20.000000000000018% filled Star icon 0% filled Star icon

Rating from The Zebra Question mark icon

Root is a relative newcomer to the insurance market, selling car insurance, homeowners insurance and renters coverage in a growing number of states. The ColumbusOhio-based insurance company offers a unique insurance product in the form of usage-based car insurance.

The company is one of the early adopters of telematics technology to help assign rates based on driving habits instead of more standard rating factors. Rates are then set based on your driving habits and frequency, rather than relying solely on demographic and historical information like your driving record or credit history. In fact, the company aims to discontinue using credit scores — a practice it calls "discriminatory" — by the year 2025. This is a rarity amongst insurers and shows how Root Insurance aims to try and shake up an industry that is often slow to change.

Read on to find out more about what Root Insurance customers can expect and if it's right for you.

100% filled Star icon 100% filled Star icon 100% filled Star icon 20.000000000000018% filled Star icon 0% filled Star icon
3.2 stars Rating from The Zebra
Ratings based on price, customer service, coverage, and financial strength.
Get a Quote at Root
Pros
  • Good for low-mileage drivers

  • Cheaper premiums for safe drivers

  • Top marks for online satisfaction and ease of use

Cons
  • High mileage drivers will pay more

  • Online experience only — no local agents

  • Unrated financial strength


Is Root a good insurance company?

A large part of The Zebra's review score incorporates how well Root is rated in terms of customer service. In order to determine that we looked at the following third-party ratings.

Trustpilot Reviews: 4.2/5

  • Root earned 4.2/5 stars from Trustpilot[1]

BBB Customer Reviews: 1.21/5

  • Root has a 1.21/5 rating from Better Business Bureau customers[2]

Complaint Index: Above average

  • The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) receives Above average customer complaints for Root[3]

The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey

In addition to third-party ratings, we also incorporated the results from our own consumer survey where we ranked which car insurance companies are the best based on feedback from real customers. In this survey, Root scored 8.6/10 overall, putting them in 10th place. Below, you can see where Root ranked for some of the individual categories.

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Top 5 in online satisfaction

Root earned a score of 9.21/10 in online satisfaction. This score puts this company in 1st place in this category.

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Top 5 in ease of use

Root scored 8.85/10 in ease of use, putting it in 4th place.


How much does Root insurance cost?

Currently, the national average for a 6 month car insurance policy is $880. Root policies are about $335 or roughly 62% cheaper than a typical policy, making it a worthy competitor for cheapest auto insurance options.

The table below shows how Root auto insurance compares against other top insurers.

Average Monthly Cost by Insurance Carrier
Company Avg. Monthly Premium
Root $56
Nationwide $123
Metromile $127
GEICO $129
State Farm $131
Farmers $149
Progressive $157
Esurance $172
Allstate $201
Updated: 06/08/23.

Like most insurance companies, rates begin to get cheaper the older you get, as age is directly associated with driving experience in the eyes of an insurance company. Root is no exception; the table below shows Root's insurance premiums for different age groups.

Root Costs by Age Group
Age Group Avg. Monthly Premium
Teens $146
60s $76
20s $71
50s $71
40s $70
30s $69
Updated: 06/08/23.

Dynamic auto insurance data methodology

Methodology: The auto insurance rates displayed above and throughout this page are dynamic, meaning the data will refresh when the most recent information is made available. Rates are based on a sample driver profile — a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord and full coverage. This profile was adjusted based on common pricing factors used by major car insurance companies, like age, coverage level, driving record and others.

Discounts offered 

Those looking for a number of car insurance discount options are likely to be let down. This is because Root Insurance states that it applies discounts at the onset of your policy. This is done by measuring a driver's habits through the initial test drive. Essentially, this is a safe driver discount. As such, the only real discounts drivers should expect are the following: 

  • Multi-policy: Bundle your auto and home insurance for a discount through Root Insurance.
  • Good driving record: If you maintain a good driving record, you may save money as a Root customer. This begins with three years of clean driving, with the possibility of further discounts at the five-year mark.

Learn more about Root's discount program here.

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What types of coverages does Root offer?

Root is competitive with other big-name insurance companies, offering standard collisioncomprehensive and liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage.

They also offer coverages for drivers in states with unique coverage requirements, like personal injury protection (PIP), uninsured and underinsured motorist and medical payments coverage. Root's additional coverage options are limited so customers with special coverage needs may have to look elsewhere. Drivers who only need standard coverage should find Root sufficient for most needs. 

  • Roadside assistance: Root auto insurance includes roadside assistance in every policy, helping drivers in the event of car trouble. This does not cost extra with Root as it typically does with other insurers. 
  • Rental car coverage: One of the few extra coverages available from Root is rental car coverage. If you purchase this coverage, Root will reimburse you up to a specific amount for a rental car until your vehicle is fixed or replaced after an accident. Root will also reimburse you for rides through the rideshare company Lyft.

Read more about Root's coverages here.

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The Hawthorne Effect

Studies have shown that if we think we're being watched, we tend to behave more honestly. One name for this is the Hawthorne Effect, from a set of studies done nearly 100 years ago at the Hawthorne Works factory in Cicero, Illinois. More recently, a group of scientists at England's Newcastle University found that people cleaned up their breakroom more often when a poster showing a face or even a pair of eyes was posted nearby.

With smartphone apps like Root tracking our driving habits, companies hope that the feedback we get will help us make safe driving a priority.


Root insurance review: Summary

Root is an insurance company that is trying to do things differently. However, that doesn't mean that they will necessarily have the best insurance rates available. Because it measures your driving habits through a mobile app, Root car insurance may not be the best choice for high-risk drivers or those who find themselves driving an excessive amount. Things like hard braking and mileage are measured and incorporated into your insurance rates. However, if you are a relatively safe driver, you might even be able to save money. With a wide range of car insurance coverage options, it could be a good fit for many motorists.

Methodology — how The Zebra reviews insurance companies

The team of insurance experts at The Zebra considers the company's standing in five main categories to come up with an overall rating. These metrics are weighted according to importance and are detailed below:

  • Price (20%): Using the base profile detailed below, we compared the company's average rate with the national average. If it surpassed this average, we gave a lower rating; if it fell below, we awarded a higher rating.
  • Coverage (20%): The highest-scoring companies offer a variety of coverage options, including bundling options, roadside assistance, telematics, beyond-basic coverage levels, and a variety of other coverage types.
  • Customer service (30%): We averaged ratings from JD Power, the NAIC complaint index to come up with a rating for the company's customer service. In instances when a company is not rated, we may use alternative rating agencies such as the Better Business Bureau and Trust Pilot.
  • Financial strength (10%): We use AM Best to determine a company's financial standing. In some cases when a company is not rated by AM Best, we may use an alternative measure such as Demotech.
  • The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey (20%): The Zebra conducts an annual survey measuring customer satisfaction for many of the top insurance companies with the goal of ranking both the best auto insurance companies and best home insurance companies. Read more below.

For our auto insurance review, we analyzed more than 83 million insurance rates spanning every U.S. ZIP code using a sample user profile: a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord, good credit and full coverage at these levels:

  • $50,000 per person/$100,000 per incident for bodily injury liability
  • $50,000 per incident for property damage liability
  • $500 deductibles for collision and comprehensive coverage

For our home insurance review, rates are based on a sample user profile: a 45-year-old married homeowner living in a 2,500-square-foot single-story home built in 2011 with these coverage levels:

  • $200,000 for the dwelling
  • $20,000 for other structures
  • $100,000 for personal property
  • $100,000 for personal liability
  • $1,000 deductible

These sample premiums are dynamic and automatically refresh whenever the newest data is made available.

To generate pricing for particular rating factors, we adjusted this profile based on common pricing factors used by major car insurance companies. These factors include credit score, coverage level and others.

For The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey, findings are based on an online quantitative survey of 4,134 current U.S. auto and home insurance customers, with Census-balanced sampling by age, gender and region. Categories with n=<20 responses are considered insufficient sample size and are not reported. This survey was developed by The Zebra and executed by independent research firm Maru/Blue in 2023.


Root insurance: Frequently asked questions

Root's app-based insurance is good for safe, low-mileage drivers. High-risk and high-mileage drivers are likely better to look elsewhere. Even with above-average complaints to the NAIC, Root ranks in the top ten of The Zebra's Satisfaction Survey for small to mid-sized carriers.

Yes, Root Insurance is a legitimate car insurance company accredited by the Better Business Bureau and known for its app-based platform, where rates are determined primarily by actual driving behavior, monitored through the app.

Root uses its app to monitor driving habits, offering policies only to those deemed "safe" after a test drive. They continue tracking driving behavior even after the test period to determine renewal rates.

Root Insurance offers competitive rates by using their app to monitor and reward safe driving behavior. Only those deemed as "good" drivers during a test drive period are offered a policy, allowing Root to maintain lower premiums.

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About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance editorial content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.