Root vs USAA: Which is Better for You?

Read on to see which company is best for you.
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Ross Martin

Insurance Writer

Credentials
  • 4+ years in the Insurance Industry

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. He specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

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Kristine Lee

Insurance Analyst

Credentials
  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty
  • 4+ years of Experience in the Insurance Industry

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 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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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. 

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3.0 stars Rating from The Zebra
Ratings based on price, customer service, coverage, and financial strength.
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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)                                     

USAA car insurance

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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.

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5.0 stars Rating from The Zebra
Ratings based on price, customer service, coverage, and financial strength.
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Pros Cons
  • Top customer satisfaction scores
  • A wide range of coverage options and benefits
  • Very affordable premiums
  • Limited eligibility                      

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. 

Compare rates and start saving today!

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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

Methodology:

These results are based on a survey of 2,722 U.S. insurance policyholders assessing satisfaction with their car and homeowners insurance providers. The survey was conducted using Survey Monkey and designed by our in-house team. It aimed to collect detailed insights from a census-balanced sample reflecting age, gender, and region.

Questionnaire

The questionnaire included demographic questions about age and gender identification and detailed inquiries into insurance experiences. Key topics:

  • Duration with insurance provider and coverage specifics, including teen drivers.
  • Claim filing experiences and satisfaction with claims handling.
  • Customer service interactions, trust in providers, and likelihood of recommending their insurance.
  • Use and satisfaction with digital tools and usage-based insurance programs.

Respondents rated their satisfaction on a Likert scale from 1 to 10 and provided qualitative feedback.

Data Analysis

Data were analyzed focusing on descriptive and inferential statistics to identify satisfaction trends and demographic impacts. Data cleaning and weighting were applied to ensure accuracy, alongside strict confidentiality protocols to protect data security.


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. 

root logo
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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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.

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3.0 stars Rating from The Zebra
Ratings based on price, customer service, coverage, and financial strength.
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  • 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).

USAA homeowners review

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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. 

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5.0 stars Rating from The Zebra
Ratings based on price, customer service, coverage, and financial strength.
Learn more
  • 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.

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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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.