Living in the Golden State?

Frequently Asked Questions for California

Do you have questions about Root’s car insurance or need insurance policy support? Find your answers here.

Here's how it works for California drivers

  • Create an account

    It's easy: download the Root app or sign up online.

  • Get a free quote

    Tell us about the drivers on your policy and how much you drive.

  • Customize and purchase your policy

    Instantly see how your price is affected by changing your coverage.

Learn more

About Root

  1. What is Root Insurance Company?

    Root is the car insurance company looking to make the industry easier. Through our app and online, our members can create an account, manage their policy, file a claim, and even access their proof of insurance card.

  2. How does Root work?

    You’ll answer some questions about how many miles you drive and your driving record. Once you have a policy, you can make updates through the Root app or online. The Root app makes accessing and using your car insurance easy. You can find your insurance card, make changes to your policy, and file a claim in the app. We can even request cancellation of your old insurance policy for you.

  3. Are you a real car insurance company?

    Yes. We do not represent or front for any other company, and we are backed by the biggest reinsurers in the business. When we started, we didn’t intend to become an insurance company, but we found it was the only way to fix a broken system and make insurance easier for everyone.

  4. You don’t have agents?

    No, everything you need is in the app and you can also go online. Plus, our customer service team is available to answer emails 7 days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET. (We try to return all emails within 24 hours.) Or, give us a call at 1 866 980 9431 Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET to speak with someone on our team directly. Claims can be filed 24/7 in the app, or you can reach our claims experts directly during business hours by phone. To report a new claim that’s only for glass damage, call 1 866 903 7243. For all other new claims, call 1 866 903 8451.

  5. What if I move to another state?

    Policyholders can transfer states if Root is offered in the new state. Check the availability map to see if the new state is covered, and contact customer service to make the change.

    Insurance in California is not based on telematics and credit score is not a rating factor. If you leave California, your rate may be based on telematics and/or credit score based on the state’s car insurance laws.

  6. Which phones does Root support?

    Root is available for iPhones (5s and above) and most Android phones. Check the Google Play Store to see if we support your Android phone.

Policy

  1. How do I pay for my policy?

    Right in the app, or online. We accept credit cards and Apple Pay, and you can choose to pay monthly or every 6 months. You can change your payment frequency, but it will not go into effect until your 6 month renewal.

    Please note, your payment will be processed immediately when you purchase your policy, even if you choose to start your policy at a later date. This applies to both monthly and 6 month customers.

  2. How does payment work?

    If you choose monthly:

    • We will process your first payment on the date you purchase the policy, even if your insurance will start at a later date.
    • We will automatically process your second payment about one month after your policy start date, using the payment method in your profile.
    • We will continue to automatically withdraw your payment each month, using the payment method in your profile.

    If you choose full term (6 months), you will make a one-time payment when you purchase your policy, even if the policy starts at a later date. We will then automatically process your payment again at your 6 month renewal, using the payment method in your profile.

  3. Can I change my payment date?

    Sure! If you’re paying monthly, you can change your payment date to be up to 5 days before your current payment date or up to 5 days after. You can only change the payment date for the current month, but next month you can change it again if you need to. (So if you change it for April, it won’t be changed for May. You’d have to go back and change it again.)

    1. In the app, tap on Policy & Payments.
    2. Select Payments.
    3. Select Next payment date, and make your adjustment.

    You can also make changes to your policy and payment information online.

  4. I’m not ready to start my policy yet. Can I choose a later start date?

    Yes. You choose a start date before you purchase the policy. The start date just has to be within 60 days. However, you pay the day you purchase the policy, even if it doesn’t start yet.

  5. How do renewals work?

    Every 6 months your policy will automatically renew. Your price may change, so we will let you know ahead of your renewal date what the new price will be. If you don’t have any policy changes or questions, you won’t have to do a thing.

  6. What if I already have an insurance policy?

    We can request cancellation of your old insurance policy for you. You can choose that option when you purchase your policy with us. It may take up to 2 weeks for your old carrier to process the cancellation, but it will be retroactive to the day you started your Root policy.

  7. Where is my insurance card?

    You can access it anytime in the app. We’ll also mail you a physical copy.

  8. What if I want to make changes to my policy?

    You can make changes to your policy right in the app.

    1. Open the app.
    2. Tap Policy & Payments on the bottom of the home screen.
    3. Tap Policy, then Profile information to make edits for drivers, vehicles, or address. Or select Coverages to make changes to your coverage.

    You can also make changes to your policy online. You’ll know if your policy changes affect your rate before you commit. Learn more.

  9. When do the changes to my policy go into effect?

    Immediately, unless you choose a specific date for your changes to go into effect. If you’re changing your payment frequency (from monthly to full term or vice versa), changes will go into effect at your policy renewal.

  10. If I make changes to my policy, will it affect my rate?

    Maybe, but you’ll know how it will affect your rate before you commit.

  11. Why did my rate change/increase?

    Risk is always changing and insurance rates can fluctuate for a variety of good reasons. Here are a few:

    • Changes on your end (you moved, added or removed vehicles or drivers, or your driving record changed).
    • Changes around you (serious weather changes, amount of accidents around you goes up or down, cars around you get more or less expensive to repair).
    • Changes on our end (statewide mandatory rate change, risk actuarial changes).
  12. Do I need to let my lien holder (loan/lease company) know that I’ve switched insurance companies?

    Nope—we’ll take care of that for you. If you have a loan/lease company, you do need to add them to your policy. Here’s what to do on the app:

    1. Tap Policy & Payments on the bottom of the home screen.
    2. Select Policy, then tap Vehicle loans and leases.
    3. Add loan/lease company.
    4. Enter the lien holder's name and address.
    5. Choose the vehicle with the lien.
    6. Choose if the vehicle is leased.
    7. Submit.

    You can also add them to your policy online. Once you’ve filled out this information in the Root app or online, we’ll contact your loan/lease company for you. They’ll receive all of the information they need within one week

  13. How do I reinstate my policy?

    If your policy was canceled by you or due to nonpayment, you can reinstate it up to 30 days after the original payment date. You can reinstate online or through the app:

    1. Open the app.
    2. Underneath the inactive insurance card are instructions to Tap here to reinstate your policy.
    3. Answer a few questions (we’ll want to know if anyone on your policy was in an accident since you canceled).
    4. Purchase your policy.

    You can also reinstate your policy online.

  14. If my car is totaled in an accident, will you remove it from my policy?

    Removing a vehicle from your policy is quick and easy through the app:

    1. Open the app.
    2. Tap on Policy & Payments.
    3. Select Policy, and then Profile information.
    4. Select the vehicle you wish to remove and then tap the trash can icon in the upper right corner.
    5. Delete to confirm.

    You can also remove a vehicle from your policy online.

  15. Who is the primary named insured (PNI) on an insurance policy?

    If you’re trying to cancel your old insurance policy, you must be listed as the PNI for your old policy. This means you’re listed as the main account holder with editing/canceling privileges. If you are the PNI, we’ll be able to easily end your old policy on your behalf, with your e-signature.

Coverage

  1. Do you cover motorcycles, ATVs, exotic, or commercial vehicles?

    We don’t cover these vehicles at this time. We’re working on excelling in the personal vehicle industry at the moment, but you can sign up for our email list to be notified of any changes.

  2. Do you cover Uber and Lyft drivers?

    We do cover Uber and Lyft drivers—but only when you’re driving on your own time. Once you are “for hire” as an Uber or Lyft driver, your Root personal auto policy does not cover you. Uber and Lyft each offer their own coverage for when you are working as a driver. Please refer to their websites to learn more.

  3. Do you cover vehicles with rebuilt or salvage titles?

    We cover vehicles with rebuilt or salvage titles as long as you are able to provide us with a VIN for the vehicle (and as long as the vehicle satisfies our other criteria for coverage).

  4. What is a limit?

    A limit is the highest amount Root will cover if you’re in an accident that’s your fault. Pay a little more per month for a higher limit and know you’re covered in case of a major accident. Pay less per month for a lower limit, but risk paying out-of-pocket later if an accident costs more than your limit.

  5. What is a deductible?

    A deductible is the amount you pay toward repairs (or maybe a replacement car) before Root pays for the rest. The lower your deductible, the higher your rate. That's because you would pay a lower amount toward the repairs of your vehicle, and we would pick up the rest. For example, your deductible could be as little as $100.

    And of course, the opposite is true. You could choose a higher deductible—say, $1,000—and pay less for your insurance. But if you ever need to use your Collision or Comprehensive coverages, you'd have to pay this higher amount first before your insurance kicks in and covers the rest of the costs.

    Deductibles are per incident. It's not like health insurance where once you pay your deductible for the year, insurance covers the rest. If you need to use your Comprehensive coverage three times in a year, you would have to pay your deductible each time.

  6. Do you offer “full coverage”?

    There’s actually no such thing in the industry. But the term usually refers to Liability (Bodily Injury & Property Damage), Collision, and Comprehensive coverages. And yes, Root offers all of these coverages. In California, Liability coverage is required by law as part of your insurance policy. You can see all of the coverages we offer here. Check out Car insurance in everyday English to better understand what these coverages mean.

  7. Do you offer gap coverage?

    We do not offer gap coverage at this time, but we will be sure to let you know if that changes! Sign up for notifications.

  8. Do you offer a deductible waiver?

    We include Collision Deductible Waiver (CDW) coverage with every policy. With CDW, your collision deductible is waived if you’re in an accident and the person liable for the accident is uninsured.

  9. Do you offer an SR-22?

    You can request your SR-22 form directly in the app by tapping on Profile, then Policy documents, and then SR-22. The app will guide you through the rest. It’s easy to do. This feature hasn’t fully launched for FR-4 or FR-19 forms, but it’s coming!

  10. Do you insure teenagers?

    Yes. You can add and remove drivers through the app or online.

  11. What will my policy cover?

    At a minimum, your policy will cover Liability coverage (required by law) and Collision Deductible Waiver coverage. You’ll need to call our Customer Service team to have CDW removed from your policy at 1 866 980 9431.

    Your quote will likely offer you the same coverages provided by your previous insurance company—from there, you can customize your quote to include any additional coverages you need.

  12. How much coverage do I need?

    There are many factors to consider when choosing insurance coverage, but we make sure you meet state minimum requirements. You can learn more about our coverages, and use the app (or go online) to see personalized recommendations, options, and costs.

    You can also read our 5 tips for first-time car insurance buyers or the 4-part series on How to choose car insurance coverage, in everyday English:

    Choosing Liability, Bodily Injury & Property Damage coverage

    Choosing Collision & Comprehensive coverage

    Choosing MedPay, PIP & UM/UIM coverage

    Choosing Rental & Roadside Assistance coverage

  13. Does my policy cover me when I’m driving a rental?

    Yes. If you’re driving a rental car anywhere in Canada, the United States, or the U.S. territories, you’re covered by your Root policy.

    Please note: we can only provide the same coverage you purchased on your own vehicle. So, if you only have Liability on your covered car, you’ll only have Liability on your rental, and you may want to purchase additional coverage from the rental car company if you want expenses covered for any damage you may cause to the vehicle. Otherwise, you could end up paying out of pocket.

  14. Do you cover windshield repair/glass damage?

    If you have Comprehensive coverage, yes! We cover any repairs to your windshield. If you need to replace the windshield, we may first apply your deductible.

  15. What if I have questions about changes to my coverage?

    You can review information about all of our coverages. If you still haven’t found the answer you’re looking for, contact Customer Service and we’d be happy to help.

  16. Do you offer Roadside Assistance?

    Roadside Assistance can be added to your policy for an additional cost. Any service under $100 is covered for vehicles on your policy, up to three incidents per vehicle, per 6-month policy term.

  17. How does Roadside Assistance work?

    We make it easy through the app, if you carry Roadside Assistance on your policy. Here’s what to do:

    1. At the bottom of your home screen in the app, scroll left and tap File a Claim.
    2. Choose Roadside Assistance. Any service under $100 is covered for vehicles on your policy, up to three incidents per vehicle, per 6-month policy term.
    3. If you owe anything for a service, you can pay through the app.

    If you choose to use another Roadside Assistance provider, email all receipts to [email protected] for reimbursement.

  18. If I get into an accident, will I be deemed a bad driver and lose coverage?

    We understand that life happens, and we’re committed to being there to make things easier for our customers when it does. We also understand that one accident is rarely an indicator of driving ability. That said, it wouldn’t be fair or responsible of us to ignore a pattern of accidents, and we reserve the right to cancel coverage in certain circumstances.

  19. If someone else drives my car and they get into an accident, will my vehicle still be covered under my Root policy? Or, if I drive someone else’s car, will my Root policy still cover me?

    Yes, if you give permission to someone else to drive your car, and they get into an accident, your vehicle will still be covered by your Root policy. However, if someone in your household is regularly driving your car, they should be listed on your policy.

    Your Root policy also covers you if you drive another car, but if the vehicle is insured separately on another policy, damages would be covered by that policy.

Claims

  1. How do I report a claim?

    Accidents are tough. We make filing your claim easy. Here’s what to do:

    1. Tap File a claim on the bottom of the home screen in the app.
    2. Choose File a claim to report your incident anytime directly in the app. It only takes five minutes, and it allows us to get started on your claim right away.
    3. Provide as much information as possible in the app. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the details available.
    4. Optionally, add photos to your claim. (We make it easy.)
    5. A claims expert will get in touch with you to review your claim and discuss the next steps in the process.

    Or you can reach our claims experts directly during business hours by phone. To report a new claim that’s only for glass damage, call 1 866 903 7243. For all other new claims, call 1 866 903 8451.

  2. How will I get paid for my claim?

    We will send you a check in the mail.

  3. How fast will my claim be paid?

    Once you’ve filed your claim, your claims expert will contact you as soon as possible to provide any next steps and to update you with the process. Be sure to keep your contact information up to date in the app and to stay in touch with your claims expert throughout the claims process. This will ensure the fastest processing time.

  4. How quickly do I need to file a claim?

    We highly recommend you file your claim immediately, while the details are still fresh on the brain. The more details we have of your accident, the more efficiently we’ll be able to resolve your claim.

  5. Will you pay for my rental car?

    If you purchased Rental Car coverage before the accident, yes! We offer coverage for a car rental or reimbursement for rideshares like Lyft (for short-term needs) while your car is undrivable or being repaired. A quick note on terms: Rental Car insurance covers the cost of a rental vehicle up to your limits when a covered car is in the shop after an accident as part of a claim for a covered accident or loss—it isn’t insurance coverage for vacation rentals.

  6. Wait, I can use ridesharing like Lyft instead of a rental car?

    You can! (Pretty cool, we agree.) If your car is going to be in the shop for just a few days—especially if you live in the city or have a short commute—ridesharing may be an easier way for you to get around. And we want this to be easy.

  7. How long do I get a rental car for?

    It’s up to you! You choose your own limits when you buy Rental Car coverage.

  8. Do I have to decide between Lyft credits or a car rental when I purchase my policy?

    Nope. You can decide at the time you use your Rental Car coverage.

  9. How do I get a tow truck after an accident?

    If you’ve been involved in a car accident and you need a tow truck to move your car, contact the police. They will help move your vehicle to a safe location once you report the accident.

    Our Roadside Assistance will not cover a tow truck in the event of an accident. If the other party is at fault for the accident, their insurance will cover those costs. If you’re at fault, Collision coverage will cover the towing costs. If you don’t have Collision coverage, you will be responsible for the tow truck costs.

  10. What if my car is damaged or made undrivable by a storm (hurricane/flood/tornado/hail/water damage)? How can I get around?

    Accidents and vehicle damage are tough. Filing a claim is easy in the Root app. Here’s what to do:

    1. Tap File a claim on the bottom of the home screen in the app.
    2. Choose File a claim to report your incident directly in the app. It only takes five minutes, and it allows us to get started on your claim right away.
    3. Provide as much information as possible in the app. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the details available.
    4. Optionally, add photos to your claim. (We make it easy.)
    5. A claims expert will get in touch with you to review your claim and discuss the next steps in the process.

    Or you can reach our claims experts directly during business hours by phone. To report a new claim, call 1 866 903 8451.

    If you carry Comprehensive and Rental Car coverage on your policy and you’ve filed a covered claim (like storm/flood damage or a broken windshield), Root will help you to set up a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired. Alternatively, you can get reimbursed up to your limits for rideshares like Lyft to help you get around. Learn more about coverage options here.

  1. I need more help — is there someone I can speak with?

    Sure. You can reach our Customer Service team by email at [email protected].

  2. Member of the press?

    Visit our press page.

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