December 1 , 2020
At Root, we believe car insurance should be fair.
Our mission at Root is to unbreak the car insurance industry one policy at a time.
As a company, we put a lot of thought and focus into what it means to offer fair auto insurance, whether we’re talking fair plans, fair pricing, or fairer risk assessment.
A lot of traditional car insurance companies base your rate on factors that have nothing to do with your driving—from where you live to your credit score, marital status, and age. That doesn’t seem fair.
And although Root takes these factors into consideration when pricing your insurance—we use several standard factors that are mathematically predictive of risk—we look first and foremost at how you actually drive, using your test drive through the Root app.
That’s because your driving habits are the most fair and reliable indicator of whether you're a good driver, and therefore, a good risk. Do you tailgate other drivers, or text and drive? If you’re unsafe behind the wheel, that matters to us. Taking the Root test drive is easy; changing your demographics is not.
During the test drive, our app measures your day-to-day driving behaviors. From that data, we calculate your driving score. Your score is the main factor that decides your Root car insurance rate.
So, if you’re a safe driver, you could save more at Root, especially when compared with traditional insurance companies that don’t take how you drive into consideration.
Good drivers deserve better rates. That’s fair.
It’s not fair for you to pay more for bad drivers.
Our technology empowers us to offer customers fair car insurance. We use your test drive to determine if you’re a good driver—the only kind of driver we insure.
That’s because the worst 30% of drivers are responsible for nearly 45% of all accident costs. This means that the bottom tier of bad drivers are responsible for the lion’s share of accident expenses—and it’s why traditional car insurance can get so expensive.
We don’t insure high-risk drivers, and that decreases the accidents we have to pay for by almost 45%. When we remove the worst 30% of drivers from the equation, fewer accidents happen, and we pay less in claims. That savings is passed onto our customers, because they aren’t paying for accidents caused by bad drivers.
Paying less for your car insurance by not paying for the careless driving of others—that’s fair.
It’s not fair for your credit score to determine your car insurance rate.
By basing rates on demographic factors like credit score, the traditional car insurance industry has long used unfair and biased practices in its pricing. Traditionally, credit score can be the second most heavily weighted factor that goes into a person’s rate, behind driving record.
Relying on credit score keeps insurance financially out of reach for many and disproportionately harms certain groups—reinforcing inherent bias and systemic discrimination. In fact, a few states, like California and Massachusetts, already don’t allow credit scores to be factored into car insurance pricing because it disadvantages low-income drivers.
Individuals with a low credit score—or none at all—often face higher car insurance premiums, or they could be denied coverage altogether. This means that certain groups of people often pay more for their car insurance, including historically under-resourced communities, immigrants, people struggling to pay large medical expenses, people with errors in their credit information, and people who have suffered economic hardship.
At Root, we base rates primarily on how you actually drive. So while credit scores do play a relatively small role in our current pricing model, we don’t account for them at anywhere near an industry average. What’s more, we’ve already made some strides in eliminating bias from insurance ratings by never using someone’s occupation and education in our rates. But we recognize none of that is enough. The best drivers should pay the lowest rates, regardless of their demographics or credit rating.
That’s why we’re committed to dropping credit score from our rates entirely by 2025.
The reality is that the best drivers can sometimes have bad credit scores—by using the technology in our app, we’re able to base your car insurance rate primarily on how you drive, not who you are. That’s fair.
You can learn more about how and why we’re dropping credit score from our insurance pricing here.
It’s not fair for your home to be unprotected because of where it’s at.
But, if you live in a home that is considered high-risk or plan to move somewhere that insurance companies consider high risk due to severe weather, or high instances of crime, vandalism, or theft; you might have difficulty getting an affordable home insurance policy—or getting covered at all.
In addition, if your house’s plumbing, electrical, or heating and cooling systems are very old and out of date, your home might be considered high risk to insure.
If you’re having trouble getting homeowner’s insurance, or have already been turned down by a few insurers, here are some steps you can take to get your home covered:
Speak to your realtor or the previous owner to see what company formerly insured your new home.
Talk with your new or current neighbors about which insurer covers their homes.
Check with your state insurance department.
FAIR plans were created in the 1960s to make home insurance available to people living in areas with an abnormally high level of risk over which they had no control.
They might cost more than traditional private insurance and offer less coverage or only offer assistance with coverage. In addition, the level of coverage they provide can vary by state. Often, getting a FAIR plan requires that a homeowner make improvements to their home that limit risk in order to get covered. But these plans can help provide protection where other options don’t exist.
Root stands for fair car insurance.
At Root, we believe in the power of progress, no matter how long or challenging the road.
We’ve built our company around changing the status quo—in and out of the industry. Whether that means making our pricing fairer, bringing meaningful systemic change to the industry, or supporting champions of progress like Bubba Wallace, our mission to unbreak car insurance means we’re committed to upholding fairness and fixing what’s broken.
So regardless of how you’re a champion off the track—an ace parent, pro at work, diligent student, first-rate napper, future athlete, sometime-cook, or great listener—whoever you are, we know you’re much more than a demographic.
Earn a fair car insurance rate that’s based primarily on your driving—not who you are. Download our app today to see how Root compares.
PGR Ohio Insurance Filings, March 2018