Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder
You love to drive. And you’re actually a good driver. That means you’re responsible. You don’t speed or drive recklessly, and you brake slowly. You’re not zipping through traffic like a NASCAR driver racing to the checkered flag. Getting there safely is your goal.
Unfortunately, your car insurance company doesn’t take that into account when it sets your rate. It looks at national averages to figure out where it thinks you fit — so you pay based on how other people drive.
That just doesn’t make sense.
We found a company that does things differently: Root Insurance. It actually bases your rate on how you drive, not who you are. We talked to two drivers who switched to Root and saved money for their good driving skills.
‘One Accident Doubled Our Bill’
Amanda Collins, 27, and her husband both had good driving records — until one mishap.
“My husband was in an accident a year ago, and our insurance was going to charge us a lot for an accident that wasn’t his fault,” she says.
Collins says their combined premium for their 2016 Nissan Versa Note and 2009 Mini Cooper went from $180 per month to double that — and other companies were quoting even more.
Then she found Root Insurance, a company that charges you based on how you drive now, not just your driving history. She and her husband decided to download the app and take the test drive.
“Setting up was super easy,” says Collins. “You set it up, put your information in and let the app do the work while you drive. You don’t even have to pull up the app. It runs automatically in the background.”
The Root test drive lets you prove your driving skills by letting the app track your acceleration, braking and other driving metrics. After two to three weeks, your test drive is complete, and if you qualify, you’ll get an insurance quote from Root with suggested policy options. And you can customize the coverage to suit your needs. Bottom line: The better you drive, the more you could save.
“Root doesn’t [only] go by past experience,” says Collins. “They go by how you drive. [My husband] had one accident in his whole life, and it screwed up our whole quote. We saved $2,352 a year and $196 a month! Enough said!”
Don’t Pay Extra for Bad Drivers
Xander Tango, 27, was frustrated by his car insurance.
“I was always told that after the age of 25, my insurance would go down,” he says. “It turns out that was a lie! It stayed high until I switched to Root.”
Root’s new approach to auto insurance appealed to him.
“The world is changing,” he says. “Why should we have to pay extra for statistics on other people? I think drivers need to be rewarded for not having any accidents.”
Tango was paying $165 per month for coverage on his 2010 Chevy Malibu. When he switched to Root, his bill dropped to $76 per month with similar coverage. That’s about a 56% savings.
Not only does Tango save money by being a great driver, he refers his friends and family, too. Referrals* earn him anywhere from $10 to $100 dollars each. Once Tango gets paid for his referrals, he saves that money and puts it toward his next premium. Boom. More savings.
Don’t Pay for Bad Drivers
Are you a good driver? If you want to see whether you have what it takes to get a better car insurance rate, give Root a try.
First, download the Root Insurance app. (It’s available in 21 states.**)
Then take the test drive. Everything happens in your smartphone. You don’t need to turn on the app or anything; it just works in the background.
After two to three weeks, your test drive is complete, and if you qualify, you’ll get your quote.
Bottom line: The better you drive, the more you could save.
* Referral program not available in all states.
**Root Insurance is available in Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.
Disclaimer: Savings based on national reviews reported by actual customers. Form 1. ROOT RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REFUSE TO QUOTE ANY INDIVIDUAL A PREMIUM RATE FOR THE INSURANCE ADVERTISED HEREIN.