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Frequently asked questions
Do you have questions about Root car insurance? Find your answers here, or use the in-app support for help with your policy. Want to see how much you could save? Start your quote online.
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What is Root Insurance?
The insurance industry is broken. We’re here to reimagine 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 hundreds on their car insurance.
How does Root car insurance work?
The Root app uses technology in smartphones to measure driving behavior—such as braking, speed of turns, driving times, and route consistency—and determines who is a safe driver and who isn’t. By only insuring safe drivers, Root can offer more affordable rates. And the entire Root experience is simple and easy.
You can do everything in the app—customize and purchase your policy, find your insurance card, make changes to your policy, and file a claim. We can even request cancelation of your old insurance policy for you.
How will I know I’ll save money with Root? How much can I really save?
Where is Root car insurance available now?
Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia. We’re rapidly expanding into other states, too—check out our availability map to see if your state is coming soon.
When will Root car insurance be available in my state?
We’re working to bring Root car insurance nationwide as quickly as possible. Because each state is regulated differently, it takes longer to get into some states than others. Sign up for a notification when we get to your state. Or you can begin your test drive to get a head start.
What if I move to another state?
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. We’re still working on a few states, so if you have any trouble, send us a note.
Which phones does Root support?
Is my car insurance rate based completely on my driving ability?
Driving ability is the single largest factor we consider when deciding your quote.
We do take into account several standard factors that 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 (like your credit score) as technology progresses and artificial intelligence gets smarter.
Why don’t you insure everyone?
This one is simple—because 30% of drivers cause nearly 45% of all accident costs. 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.
What is the test drive?
The test drive is how we determine your good driving habits. We then use that information to help calculate your rate.
Here’s how it works:
Sign up in less than a minute
Drive as you normally would-keep your phone with you when you do
We'll use driving data from your phone to measure your driving behaviors. It takes about 3 weeks.
If you qualify, you'll get a quote based primarily on your good driving. The better you drive, the more you could save.
What qualifies me as a good driver?
Braking, speed of turns, times of day, miles driven, and driving routes are all considered when calculating your quote. Basically, follow the rules of the road and be mindful of other drivers when you’re behind the wheel.
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.
Does the Root app need to be open for trip tracking to work?
The Root app does not need to be open. You actually give it permissions to run in the background on your phone when you set up the test drive.
Do I need to leave GPS on during the test drive?
Yes. Without GPS, we won’t be able to determine your quote.
You enable GPS when you set up permissions after installing the app. Or, you can enable it later by updating your settings to "always allow” location access.
How do you know that I’m the driver and not the passenger?
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. And don’t worry, it takes a little time for your Driver Scorecard to update. By only using data from when you’re driving, we are able to determine your rate based on your driving habits.
Can I get a quote without taking the test drive?
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. In fact, we encourage it.
Here’s how you invite others to the test drive:
When you create your profile, you will have the option to add more drivers.
Add the drivers’ information (scan their license or add manually) and tap Continue.
After you complete your profile, you will be taken to the invite screen. Tap Invite next to each new driver’s name.
The other drivers will receive a text message with a link to download the Root app (they have to use this link to be included on your policy).
Each driver will create an account (attached to yours) with their own email address, and will start their test drive.
Did you forget to add someone when you created your profile? No worries—you can invite drivers to the test drive at any point before your test drive is complete. Here’s what you do:
Open the app.
Tap the menu in the top left corner.
Select Auto Policy.
Tap Profile info.
Select Add new driver.
When everyone on the account finishes their test drives, you’ll get your quote. You can always add more drivers after you have a policy, but they won’t take the test drive, and of course their addition will increase your price.
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 takes the test drive. The more people who do the test drive, the better we can determine the discount you deserve.
What if I’m a bad driver?
Root isn’t the right fit for everyone. Our models don’t work with every situation, so we may not offer you a quote after the test drive. That just means you could save more with another carrier, and we don’t want to stand in the way of your saving money.
I took the test drive and didn’t get a quote. Can I try again?
Not at this time. But if that changes in the future, we’ll be sure to let you know.
Will taking the Root test drive affect my rate with my current insurer?
Absolutely not. Your current insurer will never know you tried Root.
Will you sell my personal data to other companies?
I drive for a living. Will that affect my test drive?
Currently, every trip you take during the test drive will count toward your quote, regardless of why you’re driving. For people who drive for work, like EMTs, 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.
But, we encourage you to take the test drive anyway. Good drivers are often surprised by 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 firstname.lastname@example.org).
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 could lead to big savings.
What is the driver scorecard?
The driver scorecard is how you can keep tabs on how the test drive is going. When you drive, we consider things like braking, turning, safe hours, and safe phone use to calculate your score.
You can check your scorecard to see how you’re doing on some of these driving habits—to make sure things are going well or so that you know where to make improvements. Once we’ve recorded enough trips, we’ll give you an overall number score for how you’re doing.
Why isn’t my scorecard showing me a score?
We show you a score at the top of the scorecard once we’ve measured enough data from your driving. If you don’t see a score, it just means you haven’t driven enough yet for us to determine how you’re doing.
I got a high score on the test drive. Why wasn’t I offered a quote?
Driving is the number one factor we consider when we determine if Root is the right fit for someone, but there are also other predictive factors we have to consider. Unfortunately, that means we still may not be able to offer you a quote, even if you received a high test drive score.
Want to know more? You can see a breakdown of what we consider here.
I can’t avoid driving late at night. Will this affect my score?
While we do recommend drivers avoid driving very late at night whenever possible, we understand that some people still have to drive late. The good news is that when you drive is only one factor we consider in your overall score, so as long as you’re driving safely, everything should be fine.
My test drive has been stuck for the last couple of days.
If this happens, make sure your location services are on. If they are, follow these steps:
Delete the app.
Restart your phone.
Download the Root app again, and the test drive will pick up where you left off.
If you still have problems after 24 hours, contact customer support.
How do I pay for my policy?
You can right in the app. 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.
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.
Can I change my payment date?
If you are paying monthly, you will be able to make payments 5 days late (or 5 days early). Please note that choosing to pay late or early in a given month does not permanently change your payment due date. For example, if you change your payment date in April, it will not be changed for May.
Here’s how to change your payment date for this month:
Tap Payment Date.
Select the drop-down arrow and a calendar will appear.
Choose an available date.
Tap Submit to confirm your change.
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. But it’s very important to note that you pay the day you purchase the policy, even if it doesn’t start yet.
How do renewals work?
Your policy will automatically renew every 6 months. Your price might change, so we’ll let you know what the new price will be ahead of your renewal date. If you don’t have any policy changes or questions, you won’t have to do anything.
What if I already have an insurance policy?
Where is my insurance card?
What if I want to make changes to my policy?
You can make changes to your policy right in the app. It’s easy:
Open the app.
Tap Auto Policy.
Tap Profile information to make changes to driver, vehicle, or address. Or select Coverages to make changes to your coverage.
You’ll know if your policy changes affect your rate before you commit. Learn more.
When do the changes I make 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), that change will go into effect at your policy renewal.
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.
Why did my rate change/increase?
At Root, we are committed to fairness. We will always give our good drivers the lowest rates we can sustainably offer. That said, 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, such as risk actuarial changes.
Do I need to let my lien holder (loan/lease company) know that I’ve switched insurance companies?
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:
Tap Auto Policy.
Select Financial institution details.
Tap Add loan/lease company.
Enter the company’s name and Continue.
Enter the address and click the orange arrow.
Choose the vehicle with the lien or lease and Continue to save.
Once you’ve filled out this information in the Root app, we’ll contact your loan/lease company for you. They’ll receive all of the information they need within one week.
How do I reinstate my policy?
If your policy was canceled by you or due to nonpayment, you may still be able to reinstate.
Here’s what you do:
Open the app.
Underneath the inactive insurance card are instructions to Tap here to reinstate your policy.
Answer a few questions (we’ll want to know if anyone on your policy was in an accident since you canceled).
Purchase. You will be charged for the days between cancellation and reinstatement. Your bill for the next month will come on the date it usually did.
If it is too late to reinstate, the option will not be available in the app. Reach out to our customer service team if you have any questions.
If my car is totaled in an accident, will you remove it from my policy?
We are not able to make changes to your policy for you, but removing a vehicle from your policy is quick and easy.
Open the app.
Tap Auto Policy.
Select Profile information.
Choose the vehicle to remove.
Tap the trash can icon and Continue to see your updated price.
Who is the primary named insured (PNI) on an insurance policy?
If you’re trying to cancel your old insurance policy in the app, 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.
Do you cover motorcycles, ATVs, exotic, or commercial vehicles?
Do you cover vehicles with rebuilt or salvage titles?
We cover vehicles with rebuilt 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). Visit our article on Salvage and Rebuilt Title Insurance to learn more.
What is a limit?
A limit is the highest amount Root will cover if you’re in an accident that you caused. You can choose to pay more per month for a higher limit and know you’re covered in case of a major accident. Or, you can pay less per month for a lower limit, but you risk paying out-of-pocket later, if an accident costs more than your limit.
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 after a covered incident, and we would pick up the rest. For example, your deductible could be as little as $100.
And the opposite is true, too. 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 deductible 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.
Do you offer “full coverage?" What does "full coverage" mean?
There’s actually no such thing as full coverage in the industry. But the term usually refers to Liability (Bodily Injury and Property Damage), Collision, and Comprehensive coverages. Root offers all of these coverages.
Do you offer gap coverage?
Do you offer an SR-22?
You can request your SR-22 form directly in the app by tapping on Auto Policy, then Document Requests, and then SR-22. The app will guide you through the rest. It’s easy to do.
Do you insure teenagers?
Absolutely. 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 could save some money. Learn more about our car insurance for teens.
What will my policy cover?
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.
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 and use the app to see personalized recommendations, options, and costs.
You can also read our blog How much coverage do you really need? or the 4-part series on How to choose car insurance coverage, in everyday English:
How to choose Liability, Bodily Injury and Property Damage coverages
How to choose Rental and Roadside Assistance coverages
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 U.S. territories, you’re covered by your Root policy. Roadside Assistance, however, does not extend to a rental car.
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. 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.
Do you cover windshield repair/glass damage?
What if I have questions about changes to my coverage?
Do you offer Roadside Assistance?
We not only offer it, we include Roadside Assistance with every Root policy. Simply make a request through the app. Any service less than $100 is covered for vehicles on your policy, up to three incidents per 6-month policy term.
Roadside Assistance is purchased separately in California.
How does Roadside Assistance work?
We make it easy. Here’s what to do:
At the bottom of your home screen in the app, tap Claims & Roadside.
Choose Roadside Assistance, and the app will guide you through the simple process to request help.
Any service less than $100 is covered for vehicles on your policy, up to three incidents per 6-month policy term.
If you owe anything for a service, you can make the payment over the phone. There will be a number provided for you in the app.
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.
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.
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.
Do you have a referral program?
Yes, we do. We have found that good drivers know other good drivers. By referring your friends, you help us grow our community of good drivers. Even better, when one of your friends takes the test drive and gets a quote, you both earn a cash offer. It’s our way of saying thanks for keeping the roads safe.
How does the referral program work?
Refer us to your friends using your personalized referral link (it’s in the app).
Once a friend signs up, we’ll keep you updated on their progress.
If they take the test drive and qualify for a quote, you get paid and they get paid. That’s what we call a win-win.
Repeat steps 1-3. You can earn up to $1,000.
How will I get paid?
You’ll be able to claim your bonus right in the app. You can do a bank account transfer, get a Visa prepaid card, use PayPal, or choose a gift card to any of the provided vendors.
(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. The referral program is not currently available to all users, including those in California and North Dakota.)
Is there anything else I should know about using the referral program?
There are a few things to keep in mind:
You MUST use your personalized referral link to refer your friends. If you don’t, you won’t get your bonus offer (no exceptions). We can only pay you for the referral if your friend uses your link.
You get paid when your friend takes the test drive and 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 after the test drive, but the more friends you refer, the more chances you’ll have to get a bonus offer.
Bonuses are not available for senders and receivers who are on the same policy.
The referral program is not currently available to all users, including those in California and North Dakota.
How much money do I get for a referral?
Do I have to have an insurance policy with Root to refer someone?
How many people can I refer?
As many as you want, but keep in mind that our referral program isn’t yet available to all users, including those in California and North Dakota.
How long will it take to get my referral bonus?
It depends on how you choose to claim your bonus:
Gift card: we’ll send it to your email immediately
PayPal: up to 1 business day
Bank transfer: 2-4 business days
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.
How do I report a claim?
Accidents are tough. We make filing your claim easy. Here’s what to do:
Tap File a claim or get roadside assistance at the bottom of the home screen in the app.
Choose File a claim to report your incident anytime directly in the app. It only takes 3 minutes, and it allows us to get started on your claim right away.
Provide as much information as possible in the app. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the details available.
You’ll have the option to add photos to your claim.
A claims expert will get in touch with you to review your claim and discuss next steps in the process.
Visit our car insurance claims page to learn more.
Or you can reach our claims experts directly during business hours by phone (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET). New claims can be made 24/7 in the app or by calling: 866 980 9431.
If you’re not a Root customer, but you were in an accident with someone who has Root Insurance, you can file a claim online.
How will I get paid for my claim?
We will send you a check in the mail or provide an electronic payment.
How quickly do I need to file a claim?
We highly recommend you file your claim immediately, while the details are still fresh. The more details we have of your accident, the more efficiently we’ll be able to resolve your claim.
Will you pay for my rental car?
If you purchased Rental car coverage before the accident, yes. We offer coverage for a car rental while your car is undrivable or being repaired. A quick note: Rental car insurance covers the cost of a rental vehicle up to your limits when a covered car is in the shop as part of a claim for a covered accident or loss. It doesn't apply to vacation car rentals.
How long can I keep a car rental?
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 will cover the towing costs. If you don’t have Collision coverage, you will be responsible for the tow truck costs.