How Root prices car insurance

You might already know we’re a different kind of car insurance company—based all in the Root app—and that good drivers save up to 52%. But how does Root Insurance actually work?

First, how traditional car insurance pricing works.

When you shop for traditional car insurance, you have to answer page after page of questions about your marital status, gender, history, etc.

Once you've given them all your information, insurance companies put your answers into an algorithm. They use this algorithm to put you into a category called a risk pool.

Whatever price is assigned to that risk pool is the price you get. Your monthly car insurance rate is based completely on a category you’re boxed into.

Need an example? Take a look.

BMV history is the #1 factor in a traditional car insurance rate

Pricing is largely a demographics game.

The main determining factor is your driving record, which seems fair enough. Next, they assess credit score, age, and marital status—all things that don't necessarily say anything about your driving ability. (Do all single, 30-year-old men in a specific ZIP code drive the same? No.)

Now, Root’s insurance pricing model.

Here’s how Root is different than traditional car insurance companies. If you take a look at our pricing algorithm, you’ll see the #1 factor in determining your rate.

Driving score is the #1 factor in Root pricing

When you take a test drive with the Root app, it measures your day-to-day driving behaviors. From that data, we calculate your individual driving score. And that driving score is the main factor that affects your Root car insurance rate. That’s a big deal.

Now, do we also consider other things? Sure. We use several standard factors that are mathematically predictive of risk or fraud. At this point, it would be irresponsible for us to ignore them. But we’re committed to keeping Root car insurance pricing fair by basing your rate primarily on your driving.

Go ahead and prove the number guys wrong—show us that you’re more than your demographic. Let your driving score earn you the rate you deserve.

Here's what saves you the most $$$ with Root.

Let’s go a little deeper into how Root’s car insurance is calculated. We don’t insure bad drivers. At all. And by eliminating the bad drivers—the people who cut you off in traffic, swerve through lanes, and tailgate—we save a lot of money on claims. And that savings gets passed to you.

The worst 30% of drivers cause nearly 45% of all accident costs.[1] That's a big percentage gap. In other words, the bottom tier of bad drivers are responsible for the bulk of expenses associated with accidents. That’s why traditional car insurance is so expensive.

We don’t insure high-risk drivers. Period. And that decreases the accidents we have to pay for by nearly 45%.

When we remove the worst 30% of drivers from the equation, fewer accidents occur, and we pay out less. That's why, if you're a decent driver insured with Root, you're probably paying a lot less for your car insurance.

Some Root members have told us their previous car insurance rate was almost twice as much as what they're paying with us. (And for the same amount of coverage.) That's largely because they were paying for accidents caused by bad drivers.


Now that you have the scoop on fair car insurance pricing, get ready to switch. Find out how your good driving can save you up to 52%.

Get a quote


  1. PGR Ohio Insurance Filings, March 2018 ↩︎

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