- About Root
- Test drive
- About Root
- Test drive
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 could save good drivers up to $900 a year.
How does Root work?
You’ll choose and buy your plan—it starts with a great rate that could last up to 60 days. Then you’ll begin the test drive. The Root app measures your driving (braking, turns, focused driving, and how much you drive) and uses that information to calculate your final rate.
Why 60 days? If you’re a good driver, you’ll receive your final rate after 30 days. The better driver you are, the better your rate will be. Then, you’ll have another 30 days to accept your final rate or cancel.
Unfortunately, Root doesn’t work for everyone. If we can’t continue to insure you, we’ll let you know as soon as possible based on your state’s laws. That way, you can find coverage with another carrier.
The Root app also makes accessing and using your car insurance easy. You can find your insurance card, make changes to your policy, and file a claim—all in the app.
What's different about Root’s insurance from day one?
If you’re offered insurance from day one, you’re insured as soon as you choose and buy your policy. This means you’re covered by Root while you complete your test drive to determine your final rate. Unfortunately, Root doesn’t work for everyone. If we can’t insure you beyond the test drive, we’ll let you know as soon as possible based on your state’s laws. That way, you can find coverage with another carrier.
How do I get Root’s insurance from day one, before taking the test drive?
We’re expanding across the nation quickly and creating different insurance models to fit the needs and laws of each state. Depending on where you live, you may have the option to have Root Insurance immediately. Start by answering a few questions, and we’ll offer you insurance immediately, if it’s available to you.
Either way, you’ll take the test drive. The better you drive, the better your rate.
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 primarily depends on your driving skills and habits—but many of our customers have saved hundreds when compared with their previous rate.
Where is Root 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 be available in my state?
What if I move to another state?
What if Root is available in my state but I have an out-of-state license?
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 only insure good 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 calculate your final rate.
Here’s how it works:
Purchase your policy at a great price that could last up to 60 days.
Drive as you normally would—just keep your phone with you when you do. We’ll use driving data from your phone during the test drive to determine your good driving habits.
If you qualify, you’ll get a great final rate based on your good driving.
If we can’t continue to insure you, we’ll let you know as soon as possible based on your state’s laws.
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.
Okay, I’m ready to do the test drive. How do I start?
Does the Root app need to be open for trip tracking to work?
No, you actually give it permissions to run in the background on your phone when you sign up.
Can I just keep my insurance at the 60 day rate and not take the test drive?
No, the test drive is required for everyone. It’s how we keep our rates fair—by only insuring good drivers.
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.
I paid for the full 6 months at the 60 day rate but then received a lower final rate. Will I get a refund?
Yes, if you paid in full and your final rate is less than your 60-day rate, we will send you a refund for the difference.
Will my rate ever change from my final rate?
Your final rate only applies to your initial 6-month policy. Your rate may change at renewal. Your rate may also be affected at any time by policy or coverage changes that you make. Learn more about why rates change here.
Can I add other people to my policy?
As you create your profile, you will have the option to add more drivers.
Add the drivers’ information (scan their license or add it manually) and tap Continue.
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.
As long as they live at the same address, you can invite drivers to the test drive at any point before you finish your test drive. Simply open the app, tap Edit your info on the bottom of the home screen, select Add driver, and follow the steps above.
After your policy is in full effect, you can always add more drivers. (But they won’t take the test drive, and, of course, their addition will increase your premium).
I got a high score on the test drive but wasn’t offered a rate. What gives?
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 took the test drive and didn’t get a final rate. Can I try again?
Not at this time. But if that changes in the future, we’ll let you know
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 final rate, 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.
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.
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 your 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 can’t avoid driving late at night. Will this affect my score?
While we do recommend drivers avoid driving super late at night whenever possible, we understand that some folks will 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 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?
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 30 days 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?
You will not be able to change your payment date for the first 60 days of your policy. After that period, if you’re 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 will 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 need to do anything.
What if I already have an insurance policy?
Where is my insurance card?
Will my policy change after I receive my final rate?
Your policy remains the same until renewal, unless you change it. You can make any policy changes right in the app. Your rate may go up or down based on your changes. Learn more about why rates change here.
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 to my policy go into effect?
It depends on the type of change you’re making. If you add or remove a vehicle, for example, that change can be made immediately. Other changes, like those to your payment schedule, can only be made at 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 after my final rate?
Your final rate only applies to your initial 6-month policy. Your rate may change at renewal. 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)
Learn more about why insurance rates change.
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?
That depends on when the policy is canceled.
After day 60: If you cancel your policy or it is canceled 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. Please reach out to our customer service team if you have any questions
Before day 60: If you cancel your policy or it is canceled due to nonpayment, the policy cannot be reinstated.
If we cancel your policy for any other reasons, you will not be able to reinstate your policy.
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 policy with your former insurance company through the app, you must be listed as the PNI on that 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).
What is a limit?
A limit is the highest amount Root will cover if you’re in an accident where you’re at fault.. 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 car insurance 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 must pay your deductible each time.
Do you offer “full coverage”?
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 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.
Roadside Assistance is purchased separately in California.
How much coverage do I need?
There are many factors to consider when choosing your car insurance coverage, but we make sure you meet any state minimum requirements. You can learn more about our coverages, and see personalized recommendations, options, and costs in the app.
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 for damages 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 comes 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 File a claim or get roadside assistance.
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.
If you choose to use another Roadside Assistance provider, email all receipts to firstname.lastname@example.org for reimbursement.
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(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.
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.)
Anything else I should know about using the referral program?
There are a few things to keep in mind when using our referral program:
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.
How much money do I get for a referral?
It depends on your state, but it ranges from $10 to $100. Check to see how much you can get per referral by tapping Refer others at the bottom of your home screen in the app and then tapping the dollar sign in the top right corner.
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: 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 the 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.
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 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 on the process. Be sure to keep your contact information up to date in the app, and stay in touch with your claims expert throughout the claims process. This will ensure the fastest processing time.
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.
What happens if I have a claim during my test drive?
If you have a claim during the test drive, we treat it the same as any other claim. Just tap File a claim or get roadside assistance at the bottom of the homescreen in the app or give us a call and a claims expert will contact you to handle the rest.
What happens if didn’t get a final quote, but I have a claim before my policy is automatically canceled?
Not a problem. Your claim will be treated the same as any other claim as long as it’s filed while the policy is still active, until your policy is canceled.
Will you pay for my rental car?
If you purchased Rental coverage before the accident, yes. We offer coverage for a car rental while your car is undrivable or being repaired. A quick note: Rental 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 rental car?
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, you will be responsible for the tow truck costs.
Root Insurance Company reserves the right to cancel this policy at any time in accordance with our underwriting guidelines. In the event this occurs, you will be notified of the cancellation as required by your state laws and regulations.