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Frequently asked questions

About Root

  1. What is Root?

    The insurance industry is broken. We're here to fix it. To that end, Root is the first car insurance company that was founded on the relentless pursuit of fairness. We use an app to rate drivers based on how they actually drive—not just their demographics. By not insuring bad drivers, Root is able to save good drivers as much as 52% on their car insurance.

  2. How does Root work?

    The Root app tracks your driving (think braking, turns, and how much you drive) and uses that information to calculate your rate. If you’re a good driver, you’ll receive a quote—the better driver you are, the better your rate will be.

    The Root app also makes accessing and using your car insurance easy. If you receive a quote, you can customize and purchase your policy right in the app. You can find your insurance card, make changes to your policy, and file a claim in the app. You can even choose to have us cancel your old insurance policy for you.

    Get the app
  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 reinsurer 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 fair. We have fully embraced this challenge and are determined to change car insurance for the better.

    Root partners

  4. But you don’t have agents?

    Nope. Everything you need is in the app. Plus, we have customer support available 9am-11pm EST, 7 days a week.

  5. How will I know I’ll save money with Root? How much can I really save?

    You won’t know until you do the test drive—it depends on your driving skills and habits—but many of our customers have saved 52% (or more) off their previous rate. Only one way to find out!

  6. Where is Root available now?

    Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah. We’re rapidly expanding into other states, too — click here to see if your state is coming soon!

    View state map
  7. When will Root be available in my state?

    We’re getting there as fast we can! Because each state is regulated differently, it takes longer to get into some states than others. Go here to sign up for a notification when we get to your state.

  8. 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.

  9. Is my rate based completely on my driving ability?

    Driving ability is the single largest factor we consider when deciding your quote, as you can see in this colorful graph (look at all that orange!).

    We do take into account several standard factors which are mathematically predictive of risk or fraud—it’s the responsible thing to do—but we’re committed to eliminating as many factors as we can as technology progresses and artificial intelligence gets smarter.

    (You can learn more about how Root prices insurance here.)

    How Root calculates prices

  10. Why don’t you insure everyone?

    This one is simple—because 30% of drivers cause 50% of all accidents! We don’t think good drivers should have to pay for other people’s bad driving, so we don’t insure bad drivers. That means good drivers save.

    Bad drivers cause most accidents

Test Drive

  1. What is the test drive?

    The test drive is how we determine your good driving habits. We then use that information to calculate your rate.

    Here’s how it works:

    1. Download the app.
    2. Blast through our 47 second signup.
    3. Drive as you normally do—just keep your phone with you when you do.
    4. We’ll use driving data from your phone to determine your good driving habits. It usually takes 2-3 weeks.
    5. If you qualify, you’ll get a great quote based on your good driving.

    Test Drive

  2. What qualifies me as a good driver?

    Braking, speed, turns, times of day, miles driven, and driving routes are all considered when calculating your quote. You basically just need to follow the rules of the road and be mindful of other drivers when you’re behind the wheel.

  3. Okay, I’m ready to do the test drive. How do I start?

    Download the app, go through the 47 second signup, and hit the road.

    Get the app
  4. Does the Root app need to be open for trip tracking to work?

    Nope. You actually give it permissions to run in the background on your phone when you set up the test drive.

    Permissions

  5. Do I need to leave GPS on during the test drive?

    Yes. Without it we will be unable to determine your quote.

  6. Can I get a quote without taking the test drive?

    Every policy owner must take the test drive! It’s only fair.

  7. Can I add other people to my policy?

    Yes, you can add other people to your policy as long as they live at the same address. (We encourage it!)

  8. Does everyone on my policy have to do a test drive?

    Not currently. However, it’s highly recommended that everyone who will be on your policy take the test drive. The more people who do the test drive, the better we can determine the discount you deserve!

    Multiple drivers on policy

  9. What if I’m a bad driver?

    Our models don’t work with every situation, so we may not offer you a quote. That just means you could save more with another carrier, and we don’t want to stand in the way of you saving money.

  10. I took the test drive and didn’t get a quote. Can I try again?

    Not at this time, sorry! But if that changes in the future, we’ll be sure to let you know.

  11. Will taking the Root test drive affect my rate with my current insurer?

    Absolutely not. Your current insurer will never know you flirted with us.

  12. Will you sell my data to other companies?

    Never. We care about your privacy.

  13. I drive for a living. Will that affect my test drive?

    Currently, every trip you take during the test drive will count towards your quote, regardless of why you’re driving. For people that drive for work, like ambulance drivers, police officers, mail delivery personnel, and truck drivers, this means the trips you take for work will be used in addition to your personal driving to calculate your rate. Unfortunately, we don’t have a solution for this yet, but we have very smart people working very hard on it. We want everyone to get the discount they deserve.

    We encourage you to take the test drive anyway! Good drivers are often surprised at how low their quote is—even with their work trips. We can also let you know if your work driving has impacted your score (just message us at [email protected]).

  14. Wait. How do you know that I’m the driver and not the passenger?

    Have a friend with a lead foot? A NASCAR racer moonlighting as your Uber driver? Don’t worry. Those trips won’t be factored into your quote. Once you download the app, we use machine learning algorithms to identify patterns in the location and motion data we receive from your phone. These patterns are different based on whether you are driving a car or are a passenger. The patterns also change for other modes of transportation, so we can tell if you’re driving a car, riding a bike, or taking the subway. By only using the data collected from when you’re driving, we are able to determine your quote based on your driving habits alone.

  15. Won’t the test drive drain my phone battery?

    We do our best to make sure that our test drive is as battery friendly as possible—many customers report no change or very little change. The good news? Any short-term inconvenience can lead to big savings.

  16. What does it mean when my Android phone says it’s “crunching numbers”?

    When your phone senses a change in location, you’ll sometimes get a notification to let you know we’re paying attention.

    If you see this notification when you’re not driving, it’s just a false start. Your phone realizes pretty quickly that you are not actually driving, but it still may send this notification—don’t worry, the algorithms on our end will sort everything out.

  17. What if Root is available in my state but I have an out-of-state license?

    Not a problem! In most cases, as long as Root is available in your state, you can still sign up for the test drive or be added to a policy. There are a tiny handful of states we’re still working on, so if you have any trouble, shoot us a note.

Policy

  1. How do I pay for my policy?

    Right in the app. We accept credit cards and Apple Pay, and you can choose to pay monthly or every 6 months.

    Payment options

  2. What if I already have an insurance policy?

    We’ll cancel your old insurance policy for you. You can choose that option in the app. Easy!

  3. Where is my insurance card?

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

    Digital insurance card

  4. Will you share my data with other companies?

    Never. We promise.

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

    You can make changes to your policy right in the app. It’s as easy as:

    1. Open the app
    2. Tap the Policy tab on the bottom of the screen
    3. Click Edit in the top right corner

    Edit policy info

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

    Immediately, unless you choose a specific date for your changes to go into effect.

  7. If I make a change to my policy, will it affect my rate?

    Maybe! But you’ll know how it will affect your rate before you commit.

  8. Do I need to let my lien holder know that I’ve switched insurance companies?

    Yep! You want to make sure they know about your new policy with Root. We help you do that right in the app. Here’s what to do:

    1. Tap Policy on the bottom of the screen.
    2. Tap Lien holder.
    3. Enter the lien holder and address.
    4. Choose the vehicle with the lien.
    5. Choose if the vehicle is leased.
    6. Save.

    This will create a PDF that you can send to your lien holder. To send it, there are just a few more steps.

    1. Tap Policy on the bottom of the screen in the app.
    2. Select Documents.
    3. Tap the orange arrow in the upper right-hand corner.
    4. Select how you wish to send the document.

    We can also fax the document to your lien holder. After you complete steps 1-6, simply send an email to [email protected] with the fax number.

Coverage

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

    We don’t cover these vehicles at this time. We’re working on dominating 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 coverages for when you are working as a driver. Please refer to their websites to learn more.

  3. Do you offer full coverage?

    Yes. Full coverage consists of Liability, Collision, and Comprehensive coverages. You can see all of the coverages we offer here.

    Coverage overviewCoverages
    Get the overview
  4. 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! Click here to sign up for notifications.

  5. Do you offer an SR-22?

    Yes, and they’re free!

  6. Do you insure teenagers?

    Yep! We insure good drivers of any age. In fact, teenagers who are good drivers can get much lower rates with Root, because most traditional insurance companies rate solely based on demographics—leaving teenagers with the most expensive rates. At Root, we take into account how teenagers actually drive, so they can save some serious $$$.

  7. What will my policy cover?

    At a minimum, your policy will cover Liability Insurance (required by law), Roadside Assistance (included with every policy), and any coverages required by your state.

    Your Root Insurance 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.

  8. How much coverage do I need?

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

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

    Yes! If you’re driving a rental car anywhere in Canada, the United States, or the US territories, you’re covered by your Root policy. Vacation, anyone?

    Rental coverageRental coverage
    View details
  10. 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.

    Comprehensive coverageComprehensive
    View details
  11. What if I have questions about changes to my coverage?

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

  12. Do you offer roadside assistance?

    We not only offer it, we include it with every Root policy! Whether you need a tow truck or a jump start, Root will cover the help you need.

    Roadside AssistanceRoadside Assistance
    View details
  13. How does roadside assistance work?

    We make it easy. Here’s what to do:

    1. Take care of whatever you need to get back on the road—whether you’re locked out of your car or need help changing a flat.
    2. Send photos of your receipts to [email protected]. (If you use Blink, you can forward your receipts.)
    3. We reimburse you for the costs.
  14. What does it mean to be in a no-fault state?

    A no-fault state limits liability in an accident. Each person in the accident has their own insurance cover any injuries or lost wages they sustain (Personal Injury Protection coverage, or PIP), up to a certain amount. All no-fault states require PIP coverage.

Referrals

  1. You have a referral program?

    We do! We have found that good drivers know other good drivers. If our customers refer their friends, they can help us grow our community of good drivers. The referral program is our way of saying thanks. Sure, we could spend our marketing dollars on flashy commercials and celebrity endorsements, but we’d rather see that money in your hands.

    Referral program

  2. How does the referral program work?

    1. Refer us to your friends using your personalized referral link (it’s in the app!).
    2. Once a friend signs up, we’ll keep you updated on their progress.
    3. If they qualify for a quote, you get paid and they get paid. That’s what we call a win-win.
    4. Repeat steps 1-3. You can earn up to $1,000.
  3. How will I get paid?

    You’ll be able to claim your bonus right in the app. Here’s what you do:

    Make sure you have the most recent version of the app.

    1. Open the app.
    2. Tap on the Referral tab.
    3. Tap on the $ to see your unclaimed bonuses.
    4. Choose how to get your bonus.

    Each time you get a bonus, you can choose how you want to be paid. You can do cash (a bank account transfer, a Visa prepaid card, or PayPal), or you can receive a gift card to any of the awesome vendors provided.

    (Due to some restrictions, some people may not be able to claim their bonus in the app. Don’t worry! We’ll send you a check in the mail.)

  4. Is this a scam?

    No. It’s our sincere way of thanking our customers for spreading the word about Root and helping us build a community of good drivers.

  5. Any catches?

    There are two things to keep in mind when using our awesome referral program.

    1. You MUST use your personalized referral link to refer your friends. If you don’t, you won’t get paid (no exceptions). Sure, we love when you tell your friends about us over drinks. Blast how much you saved in your newsfeed. But unless a friend uses your link, we can’t pay you for the referral.
    2. You get paid when your friend qualifies for a quote, whether they choose to purchase a policy or not. Unfortunately, we don’t pay for referrals when the friend does not qualify for a quote, but the more friends you refer, the more chances you’ll have to get paid.
  6. How much money do I get for a referral?

    It depends on your state, but it could range from $10 to $100 depending on where you live. Check the Accounts tab in the app to see how much you can get per referral.

  7. Do I have to have an insurance policy with Root to refer someone?

    Nope! If Root isn’t the right choice for you, you can still refer the friends whom you think would be a good fit. Just download the app, create a profile, and tap on the Refer Friends tab on the bottom of the screen.

  8. How many people can I refer?

    As many as you want, as long as they live in a state where Root is currently available.

  9. How long will it take to get paid?

    It depends on how you choose to claim your bonus:

    1. Gift card - we’ll send it to your email immediately
    2. PayPal - up to 1 business day
    3. Bank transfer - 2-4 business days
    4. Visa prepaid card - 5-7 business days (sent in the mail)

    If we send you a check, you can expect it in 2-3 weeks.

Claims

  1. How do I report a claim?

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

    • Tap the File a claim button in the app.
    • Call and leave your information.
    • Be sure your contact information is up to date in the app, especially your phone number. The easier it is for the adjuster to get in touch with you, the quicker we will be able to work on your claim.
    • An adjuster will get in touch with you within 24 hours.

    Report a claim

  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?

    Usually 7-10 business days, which is significantly faster than the industry standard. Just be sure to keep in contact with your adjustor throughout the claims process, and to keep your contact information up to date in the app.

  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 coverage before the accident, yes! We offer coverage for a car rental or Lyft credits (for short-term needs) while your car is being repaired.

    Rental coverageRental coverage
    View details
  6. Wait, I can get Lyft credits 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—Lyft 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 car rental for?

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

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

    Sure. You can reach us by email at [email protected].

  2. Member of the press?

    Visit our press page.

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