“Why I joined Root Insurance”: A customer review

From Savings to Service, Here are 5 Reasons Root is the Best Auto Insurance Company for Millennials

Like many young adults, Michael Tobin was shocked to discover how much he’d have to pay for car insurance when he left his parents’ carrier.

“I think the initial quote was $530 a month or something ridiculous,” Michael said. “I had two things on my license: a legal-tint ticket and a no-front-license-plate ticket. So they weren’t accidents or speeding—no moving violations.

“And (my dad) was like, ‘OK, that’s not going to work.’”

Michael instead settled for a $300 monthly rate through another carrier, but after three months, the search resumed. He paid the $500 cancellation fee and ended up at a third carrier for $180 a month.

Then Michael discovered Root Insurance through an Instagram ad and was immediately drawn to the app’s design and concept. Right away he downloaded the app and signed up for the test drive.

“Then for a day or two, I did that cliche thing: ‘I’m going to drive really slowly and safely,’” Michael said. “But I honestly forgot about it and went back to driving normally.”

Two weeks later, his quote was ready. His rate? $76 a month.

And as for his dad? “He was like, ‘Wow!’” Michael said. “He definitely got sold on it pretty quickly that it was a valid service.”

Michael hasn’t looked back since. What follows are five reasons he’s stuck with Root, as told to us over burgers at Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails, where we interviewed him for National Get To Know Your Customers Day (July 19).

Michael Tobin’s 5 Reasons for Sticking with Root

Monthly Premiums and Deductibles Are Lower

It’s funny, when I bought my car last year I was putting in the new VIN number and I was like—all right, it’s a new car and it’s turbo so it’s probably going to go up a bit. It turned out it was $12 less (a month), so now my bill is $61 a month, full coverage.

I’m actually working on a (YouTube) review of the Root app. I want to show what it’s like to go in and change your coverage of everything. Because starting out with these other companies, it was like $1,000 deductibles—crazy high.

So I want to go in and change everything to the lowest and highest coverages and show how it’s still less than $80 a month, which is crazy. My friends paid that for their old Civics on barely any coverage.

The App is Easy to Use

It’s just so easy logistically (to use the app). And anything I’ve thought of over the months (that Root could do to improve), you’ve always been one step ahead. When that UI (user interface) update came out, I even tweeted about it, like, “Oh man, this is the design update I didn’t even know I wanted.”

Multiple Ways to Communicate

A lot of times I find myself not contacting customer support; if I have to return something, I won’t if it’s too hard to contact them. Obviously I will if it’s expensive and worth it, but if I go to their website and it says, “Call us between these hours and talk to a blah blah blah,” I’m just like, “Eh.”

I like having options, from email to phone calls to social. They all have their place, but it’s nice when it’s personable, like it is with Root. I’ve had a couple of questions—I think they were toward the beginning to justify my dad—and each time I went straight to your Twitter.

Social Media Presence Builds Rapport

For me, it’s always about customer service. I don’t care if things break, if the company messes up or anything like that. For me, it’s, how can you fix it?

I haven’t had an accident so I haven’t had a lot of experience with claims or having to utilize the actual service. But it’s one of those things where, like on social media, the funny GIF replies really help build up a (bucket of positive experience).

If one day something happens, you guys did something I didn’t like, there’s already so much rapport and positivity built up, that I know I’ll be like, “OK, no worries. All’s forgiven.”

Because I have that rapport with you on social media, it feels as if Root as a whole has my back if I ever need you. I love when companies have that family vibe, whether you work there or you’re a brand new customer who just joined.

So many other companies wait until something bad has already happened but by that point, it’s too late; there’s no rapport. You’re just a scummy company I don’t like. That’s half the reason I left (one car insurance carrier).

Tesla Discount Shows Forward-Thinking

The whole insurance industry is fighting against what Tesla stands for, so any company that's like, “Oh yeah. We embrace Tesla.” That’s extra bonus points.

Root is the company that always strives for innovation. You saw a problem in the market and attacked it head-on, no matter how much the old giants were standing in your way. You’re raising the bar and people are catching on very quickly that it’s not gimmicky. You’ve built genuine trust—that’s the best marketing you have.

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