Car insurance can be a costly thing, depending on the company you choose, the type of coverage you’re after, the value of the deductible, monthly rate, other fees and so on. That is why you should do your homework before signing up with anyone. Read reviews, compare prices and read the terms carefully, regardless of the company you choose.
Root Insurance Co has managed to create a stir on the car insurance market. Even though it is a relatively new company, founded only in 2014, its car insurance service has kept growing in popularity from year to year. Root currently operates in 25 states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah. The company claims it strives to conquer the remaining states by the end of 2019.
How does this service work?
Unlike most of its competitors, Root Insurance doesn’t require paperwork, meetings with insurance agents and so on. Instead, Root has chosen a more modern and technology-based approach: it conducts almost its entire business via its mobile app: Root.
The Root app can be installed on iOS devices and Android alike and it takes less than 1 minute to set up an account. The app is like your personal car insurance agent, who will test you for your eligibility, before making you an offer. But instead of considering factors such as demographics, your ZIP code, age, credit score, previous car insurance rate and so on, Root only considers one thing: your driving abilities.
The Root app tests your driving skills for approximately 2 to 3 weeks, in what Root Insurance calls a ‘test drive’. You don’t have to do anything different than normally: you drive normally, when and where you have to, but during this period of time, you have to keep the GPS on your phone enabled and the app installed (you don’t have to open the app each time you have to drive, the app will run in the background).
The app is extremely complex and uses learning patterns, artificial intelligence and your phone’s motion sensors, to determine how you drive. It will analyze how you use the gas pedal, the brakes, how you take your turns, how many times you stop and start the car, during which hours you drive and more.
The phone’s sensors will be different when you are behind the wheel, on the passenger seat, on a bus, on a bike, etc., and it will only rate you when you are driving.
How much does Root Car Insurance cost?
As we’ve already mentioned it, Root Insurance only cares about your driving habits when calculating your insurance rate. Those driving habits will be analyzed and graded during the test drive and at the end of it, you will receive an overall score and a quote. The better the score, the lower your insurance rate. Root doesn’t have a fixed quote, every customer will receive a custom one, based on their driving skills.
But what does Root consider ‘good driving’? Well, as we’ve already mentioned, the most important aspects Root will consider are your braking habits, driving hours, consistency and turns.
That means you have to do your best to be consistent in your driving: no sudden maneuvers, not too many stops and starts, just try to have a smooth ride. Same goes for the way you take your turns: you have to slow down and ease into them. You should avoid hard braking as much as possible and pay attention to the way you handle the gas pedal. As for driving hours, try to do most of your driving during safe hours, when traffic and conditions are not too bad. Try to avoid late night trips as much as possible.
What does Root Insurance cover?
Root Insurance allows you to add or remove coverages according to your needs. Some of them are required by the law, but others can be adjusted to the customer’s liking.
Here’s what Root Insurance offers/covers: bodily injury and property damage (required by law in all states), personal injury protection, medical payments, roadside assistance, collision, rental, uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury and property damage. You can also opt for all of them and get a ‘full coverage’ if you want.