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Root or USAA: Which company is best for you?

Root and USAA both offer solid auto and homeowners insurance options. Use the following analysis comparing the two companies to decide which is right for you.

Root car insurance

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3.0 Rating from The Zebra Question mark icon

As one of the first insurance companies to fully adopt telematics technology, Root resides at the cutting edge of pricing strategies, assigning rates based on customers' driving habits instead of more traditional rating factors.

The company's eventual goal is to curtail the use of credit scores in its pricing tactics by 2025. Root auto insurance could be a solid option for those who drive less frequently. 

Pros Cons
  • Growing geographic availability
  • Affordable for infrequent or safe drivers
  • Offers basic insurance lines (home, renters, auto) with few add-ons
  • High customer complaint ratio (NAIC)                                     
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USAA car insurance

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5.0 Rating from The Zebra Question mark icon

USAA is one of the most popular car insurance companies in the nation. The company regularly resides at the top of customer satisfaction surveys, including those conducted by The Zebra and J.D. Power. USAA has earned some of the industry's best ratings in customer and claims satisfaction.

Pros Cons
  • Top customer satisfaction scores
  • A wide range of coverage options and benefits
  • Very affordable premiums
  • Limited eligibility                      
Learn more

Which company comes out on top?

USAA (if you're eligible)


USAA's customer service, rates, and coverage are difficult to beat. The catch is that the company's coverage is only available to U.S. military service members and their families. For drivers ineligible for USAA, Root is a good option with some potential for savings. 

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Ratings comparison: Root vs. USAA

We gathered ratings and reviews from leading third-party sources to measure claims satisfaction, customer complaint totals and other important factors. See below these ratings.

Root vs. USAA
Ratings comparison Root USAA
Financial strength (A.M. Best) Not Rated Superior
JD Power (claims satisfaction) Not Rated Excellent
JD Power (customer satisfaction) Not Rated Excellent
NAIC rating Below Average Excellent
The Zebra's editorial review score 3/5 5/5
The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey Not Rated 4.6

Which company scores best?

USAA


USAA is among the highest-rated and -regarded insurance companies in the country, so it's no surprise it comes out on top in the comparison versus Root. 

The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey methodology

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 2021.


Root vs. USAA: discount comparison

Compare the companies' discount options for car insurance in the below table.

Root vs. USAA: discount comparison
Discount comparison Root USAA
Good student
Multiple policies
Multiple vehicles
Air bags
Good driver
Defensive driver
Driver training
Telematics
Annual mileage
New vehicle
Military

Telematics options: Root vs. USAA

USAA and Root both offer telematics programs that measure your driving habits and calculate the level of risk you pose. Telematics-powered insurance represents Root's primary value proposition and underpins the carrier's entire pricing strategy. 

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Root Insurance

Root is among the most popular telematics insurance companies. Root uses its telematics app to gather information and calculate customer premiums. Rates are then set based on the driver's actions behind the wheel and total mileage, rather than on factors such as demographic information and credit score.

usaa logo
USAA SafePilot

USAA's usage-based plan allows customers to have their driving habits monitored in exchange for cheaper auto insurance rates. A discount of 10% is available at signup, with savings of up to 30% possible for safe drivers at the next policy renewal.

Zebra Tip: Choose Root for telematics


Root's easy-to-use mobile app and telematics-native approach to insurance separate it from traditional companies (even those like USAA that offer telematics savings).


Roadside assistance: Root vs. USAA

See below info on the roadside assistance packages offered by Root and USAA.

Root

Every Root policy includes roadside assistance, helping drivers in the event of car trouble. One of the few extra coverages available from Root is rental car coverage. If you purchase this coverage, Root will reimburse costs up to a specific amount for a rental car until your vehicle is fixed or replaced after a collision. Root also reimburses its customers for rides through Lyft

 

USAA

USAA offers the below roadside assistance services:

  • Towing
  • Flat tire changing
  • Fuel delivery
  • Jump-starts
  • Lock-out service
  • Stuck vehicle assistance

Note: USAA membership includes these services at reduced rates for policyholders who don't subscribe to roadside assistance.

tow truck

Root vs. USAA: home insurance

Each company offers home insurance policies. Read the below comparison to figure out which company is the best fit for you.

Root homeowners insurance review

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3.0 Rating from The Zebra Question mark icon

Root allows its car insurance customers to add home insurance through its partnership with Homesite. Root home insurance is not available as a standalone insurance policy: a customer must be enrolled in Root's car insurance program to be eligible. Root claims customers who bundle home and auto policies receive 10% discounts on their home insurance premiums. 

Based on Root's middling home insurance customer satisfaction scores, homeowners looking for top-notch customer satisfaction may want to find a policy with another carrier.

  • Customer satisfaction (J.D. Power) — Not rated: Root’s homeowners insurance partner, Homesite, is currently unrated by J.D. Power.
  • Claims satisfaction (J.D. Power) — Not rated
  • Financial strength — Excellent: Homesite’s financial outlook is considered stable by AM Best.
  • NAIC Rating — Above average: Homesite received more customer complaints than average, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
Learn more

USAA homeowners review

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5.0 Rating from The Zebra Question mark icon

Similar to USAA's car insurance offerings, the company receives outstanding customer reviews and ratings from outside rating agencies. Indeed, The Zebra's customer satisfaction survey found USAA was the top company in each category offered. 

  • The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey — 4.6/5: USAA topped every category of The Zebra's homeowners customer satisfaction survey.
  • J.D. Power Rating — Among the Best: J.D. Power rates USAA above average in claims and customer service satisfaction.
  • Financial strength — Superior: A "Superior" financial strength rating by A.M. Best shows USAA's ability to pay out claims is solid.
  • NAIC Rating — Excellent: Regarding USAA, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) received relatively few customer complaints when compared to the market median.
Learn more

Which company comes out on top?

USAA (if you're eligible)


For those homeowners with eligibility through military service, USAA is a fantastic option for homeowners insurance. The company's affordable rates and a wide selection of coverage options also contribute to its status as a great choice.


Root vs. USAA: homeowners discount comparison

Each of the two companies offers home insurance discounts. Compare these side-by-side below.

Root vs. USAA: Homeowners Discount Comparison
Discount comparison Root USAA
Claims free
Recent home buyer
Multi-policy
Newer/more durable roof
Protective devices (smoke/burglar alarms, etc...)
New home construction

Zebra Tip: Consider discounts when purchasing home insurance


Root and USAA both offer basic homeowners insurance discounts. When comparing insurance options, be sure to look out for discounts that apply to you.


Other insurance products and bundling options

Root and USAA offer other insurance products and the option to bundle policies to save money. Compare alternative offerings from the companies below.

Root vs. USAA: other insurance products
Other products Root USAA
Boat insurance
Condo insurance
Life insurance
Homeowners insurance
Travel trailer insurance
Renters insurance
RV insurance
Motorcycle insurance
Mobile home insurance
Umbrella
ATV insurance
Pet insurance
Commercial insurance

Find the best insurance policy for your needs.

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RECENT QUESTIONS

Does state farm require you have a police report to file a claim?

Most companies do not require you to have a police report to file a claim. Double-check with State Farm to make sure but you shouldn't have any problems.
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Does State Farm cover rodent damage to my car's electrical wiring through comprehensive coverage?

While I can't speak specifically for State Farm,&nbsp;most companies will cover damage caused by a rodent under comprehensive coverage. For specifics about your State Farm policy, you will want to contact them directly.
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My car was towed by an apartment complex, will State Farm reimburse me for the towing cost?

Roadside assistance covers towing but it won't cover your car being towed by someone else. Your insurance company will not cover the cost of your car being towed from parking in the wrong location.
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To get an exact answer you would want to contact State Farm directly. Most companies will allow four cars on a policy.
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Ross Martin photo
Ross MartinManager, Content Quality

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. As a licensed insurance agent, he specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

Ross holds a master's degree from Royal Holloway, University of London and has a background in copywriting and education. As a former teacher, he applies his educational skills to explain insurance concepts in ways that consumers can understand.

Ross's work has been cited by The New York Times, AxiosInvestopedia, The Simple DollarThe BalanceCar and Driver and Fox Business. He has been quoted by CNET, I Drive Safely and Kin Insurance

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 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.