If you only check out one page on my Root car insurance blog, this is the one to see. Lots of people are apprehensive about Root, wondering if Root is legit and if quotes from Root are as good as Root says they are. The advertising says you can save up to 50% by switching to Root, which is a pretty tall order. I wasn’t sure at first either, but when I read about Root, I decided I had to see for myself.
Throughout this blog, I’ve captured my experiences using the Root car insurance app as well as Allstate Drivewise. I put the two in a head-to-head challenge… mostly because I’m a nerd who likes data, but also because I’m a single mom who really needs to save money anywhere I can. I thought Root might do that for me, but it’s also a “new” thing on the market, which makes a lot of people suspicious about whether it’s legit or not. So, I ran my challenge. I will do other comparisons in the future, but I think the most pressing questions are answered here.
Does Root Offer the Same Coverage as Allstate?
Sort of. As you’ll see in my chart below, there are minor differences, but when there are, Root comes out on top. For example, Rental car coverage is a little cheaper with Root, plus you can get Lyft credits instead of a rental car. The Allstate towing coverage cuts you off at $50 per incident, while Root gives you up to $100. Aside from that, the policy I picked via Root is seemingly identical to what I had with Allstate.
It’s also worth noting that Root is more like a “marketplace.” You can customize any of the coverage levels and they let you see exactly how much more or less you’ll pay. It’s all done via the app and very transparent. So, if I wanted more or less coverage than I had previously, it would be easy for me to set up. Try doing that wit Allstate?!? Umm… I’m guessing that would require a lengthy call with a rep and would be much less transparent. Can you imagine that call? Asking for each of the various price points individually? What a mess.
Policy-By-Policy Coverage Comparison: Allstate vs Root
Screenshots of Allstate and Root Policies
Got Something to Say or Want to Try Root?
I’d love to hear your experiences too. You can either comment on this page or click “Share Your Story” at the top if you have a blog-worthy narrative. If you’ve decided you want to download the Root car insurance app and do your own test drive, use the link here and they’ll give us both $25 after you qualify for a quote.
Although I haven’t been blogging as religiously as I initially thought I would, I think I’m at about day 26 of my Root test drive. My story probably isn’t too different from yours. I saw an ad for Root car insurance, saw that the savings could be astronomical, and decided I just might be willing to leave Allstate- a company I’ve literally been with for my entire life as a driver. After I started the Root test drive, I realized Allstate’s Drivewise program also works similarly. You download the app. They track you. You get a 3% discount for using it and can qualify for as much as 15% cash back, whereas Root strictly reduces fees because they don’t insure bad drivers and save costs by only operating online, and they help good drivers save cash up front.
Anyway, I’m a single mom. Money is super tight. I’ve had trouble paying my car insurance premiums and even got a cancellation notice a few months back because I ran into an unexpected car problem that had to be taken care of. That cost me my “good payer” discount… not that it was worth much anyway, but every little bit helps. My point being, I’m super broke most of the time, and I really needed to reduce costs wherever I could. I previously asked Allstate about it and they offered no solutions. I even asked about signing up for Drivewise when it was a thing you plug into your car vs. an app and was told I’d have to wait until my policy renewed… but, I’m on auto-renewal, so I just kept paying like usual and it would renew for six months again, and I’d remain locked in. It sucked.
I Faced a Glitch on My Final Day
The Root app glitched out on me today. It said: “You’re so close, but something looks off. Contact support.” I sent off an email to support first thing this morning (around 7am). I didn’t get a response back, but around 10:30am I got a notice saying my quote was ready.
Root Will Save Me $100/ Month
Root is Saving Me 64%
If I’m purely comparing apples to apples, it’s $59 vs $163.44 per month paying month-to-month, meaning I’m saving 64%. Root’s last estimate to me was 20-40% savings. Lol Yeah. Wow. Just wow. My final Root score was an 8/10, by the way. I’m clearly not a perfect driver, but I’m not a bad one either. *pats self on back*
Share Your Root Test Drive Experience
I haven’t signed up for Root car insurance yet. I’m waiting until the funds hit my account to enable me to prepay the full six months, so I’ll probably sign up in the next day or so. I’ll be adding more blogs here, such as a side-by-side comparison of plans and more details about what happened when I signed up. However, what I’d really like is to add some commentary from you, the readers. If you’ve signed up for a Root test drive or have used Allstate Drivewise or similar, click “Share Your Story” at the top, so I can share your experience with other readers too!
So… I took some time off from reporting on my Root test drive. Life happened. I really haven’t driven much at all since then. After my last entry, I drove one more time, and I really didn’t drive well at all. I was lucky enough to win tickets to Band Splash, for those of you who live in the area and are familiar with it. That was pretty much the high point of my year so far- I’m a huge fan of the Dreamers and never get to go out much. Unfortunately, I was also helping my new roommate move in the same weekend. Needless to say, the stars didn’t align well. The day of the concert, I figured I’d be fine as long as I got out there by 8:45pm or so- just to catch the last band, but I had to run a bunch of errands first- jetting from one end of the valley and back again. Allstate nailed me for every possible offense- speeding and hard braking. The app may have been right that time. You know… Dreamers. Meh. Suffice it to say, I didn’t make it and I totally blew both my scores for driving that way. On top of that, we still haven’t finished unpacking my new roomie and my car keys are MIA. They’ve been gone for a week now. They may be in a box somewhere, in the trash, or goodness knows where, but I’ve devoted at least 10 hours to looking for them, so now I need to pony up some cash in order to get a new transponder key… see, Uplanders have this nifty ignition lock device to prevent theft. All keys have a little chip in them. No chip, no engine start. The dealers charge $150 for a single replacement key and programming. Boo…
Allstate Drivewise Still Sucks
In all the melee, I haven’t been driving. I’ve been a passenger numerous times, but I haven’t been driving. The Allstate Drivewise app marks me down as the driver every time. Somehow, my estimated return became 3%, down from 8% despite the fact that I haven’t driven. I deleted all the trips that weren’t me and my return is at 4%. I’m becoming less and less a fan of Allstate every day.
Root Rates Me 8/10
During my night of horrible driving, my Root score dropped from 9 to 8 and it now says I may save 25-40% instead of up to 50%. Fair enough, Root, I shot myself in the foot. I don’t know if Root is counting all these other trips toward me or not, but I’ve been an 8 since the day after the concert. As of today, it says I have 1-2 days left of the test drive. So, it now looks like I’ll wrap up as an 8 instead of a 9 or 10. Whether that will reduce my payments enough to make the switch worthwhile, I don’t know.
Join Me on My Root Test Drive
I’ll continue documenting anything noteworthy, should it pop up before my test drive concludes. Failing that, I’ll be popping back in with the final results if/when Root offers me a quote.
If you’ve tried Root or a car insurance app like Root and think others will benefit from hearing it, click “Share Your Story” at the top.
For day ten of my Allstate Drivewise/ Root test drive, I got to do a few experiments, mostly with Drivewise because Root doesn’t tell me squat. It’s still coming along swimmingly, but the data it gives you is minimal.
Allstate Drivewise Doesn’t Know Who’s Driving
I’ll explore the tech behind how some of these apps determine who’s driving in a future blog. Obviously, because Root doesn’t show you your driving history, you’ll have no way of knowing if it tracked a trip or not. Allstate Drivewise, however, gives you maps of your trips. Suffice it to say, I did go out to lunch with a friend the other day and my friend drove while I sat in the passenger seat. Neither car insurance app so much as blinked. Root didn’t change my rating and Allstate didn’t log the drive there or back. However, I went to a concert last night. I drove to my friend’s house. From there, we caught a Lyft to a venue. After the concert, we caught a second Lyft to a restaurant. After dinner, we caught a third Lyft back to my friend’s. I followed the same pattern getting into the vehicle each time; my friend opened the rear passenger door, I got in, and I slid across the back seat until I was seated behind the driver. Again, I don’t know if Root tracked any of these and decided I was driving, but I do know Allstate Drivewise assumed I was behind the wheel going from my friend’s house to the venue. It didn’t log the other two as me though.
You Can Delete Allstate Drivewise Trips to Improve Your Score
A lot of the data Allstate Drivewise has reported thus far has been inaccurate, including instances of speeding at over 80mph. As such, my latest stats concluded I could anticipate 0% cash back at the end of my cycle. I decided to remove several trips from my Allstate Drivewise record and noted them as “Trip Info Incorrect” in the app. I can now anticipate 8% cash back again. Truth be told, it really doesn’t matter because if Root gives me a decent quote, I already know I’m leaving Allstate at this point. I mostly did it for kicks to see what would happen.
Root Still Gives Me 9/10
Part of me wonders if Root doesn’t give out all the info Drivewise does because it’s just as inaccurate. However, I’ve remained a 9 or 10 for my whole Root test drive, so I’m thinking they’ve got stuff down that Allstate doesn’t yet- tech-wise and competitive rate-wise, of course.
Follow My Root Test Drive
I’ll be reporting back the results of my Root test drive as I go and comparing it to Allstate Drivewise. Check back to see how it ends. If you’ve used either car insurance app and think others can benefit from hearing your experiences, click “Share Your Story” in the main menu.
Where does the time go? I’m already on day nine of my Root car insurance test drive. For anyone who just joined us, I’m an average suburban chick with 2.5 kids, an ancient mom van, and a good driving record. I decided to give Root a go because Allstate’s premiums are killing me. After starting the Root test drive, I realized Allstate’s Drivewise program worked similarly and might give me cash back as opposed to initial savings, so I’m running both apps at the same time to see where it goes.
Allstate Drivewise is Dumb
Seriously. I give up trying to make sense of it. A drive I made this afternoon said it stopped tracking due to low battery. Umm… no. It tracked me to my destination. I checked back later and that notice was gone, but it didn’t track me on the way home. My battery was at 33%, so…. Yeah. Drivewise does whatever Drivewise wants to do, and that seems to include marking speeding and hard braking. You’ll have to check my blog on Allstate being a liar for those details or I’ll rant again.
My Current Drivewise Stats
Hard Braking: 2 events
Extreme Braking: 1 event
Miles Below 80mph: 120.3
Miles Above 80mph: 0.8
Miles Driven During…
High Risk Hours: 0
(High Risk= Weekdays 11pm-4am, Weekends 11pm-5am)
Moderate Risk Hours: 57.9
(Moderate Risk= Weekdays 12pm-11pm)
Low Risk Hours: 22.4
(Low Risk= Weekdays 4am-12pm)
Lowest Risk Hours: 40.8
(Lowest Risk= Weekends 5am-11pm)
Projected Cash Back: 0%
Root is Boring and Predictable (and that’s ok)
Root isn’t giving me all the stats like Drivewise does, but it doesn’t really need to. I don’t know what else to say other than it seems to be working as expected and it hasn’t surprised me.
My Current Root Stats
Estimated Driving Discount: 25-50%
Safe Hours: 10/10*
*Root doesn’t give number scores for the final four categories- it uses a sliding scale and doesn’t use words or numbers to tell you your rank. Based on the visual indicators, I gave myself a rank assuming a 0-10 scale.
I Miss My Battery Life
These apps continue to drain my battery. I was at 100% charge and lost 2/3 of it in about four hours. I think at this point, it’s pretty obvious I won’t be keeping Allstate, so I’ll be deleting the app. Root doesn’t need to keep tracking you once you’ve been offered a quote, so I imagine the drain will be far less significant. I’m looking forward to that.
See Where My Root Test Drive Goes
Root has not offered me a quote yet, so my leaving Allstate is contingent upon that, and upon Root offering me a good quote, of course. I’ll be updating this blog as I go, so check back if you’d like to hear more. You can also click “Share Your Story” in the main menu if you’ve used Root or similar and you think the audience here can benefit from hearing about your experience.
It’s day eight on my Root test drive. If you’re following along with me, welcome back. If you’re new here, here’s the 411…
I’ve had Allstate my whole life, have a great record, and am sick of the high premiums. I saw an ad for the Root car insurance app and decided to give it a go. That inspired this blog, and while trying it out, I found out Allstate is doing something similar with its Drivewise program, so I decided to run them both and see which served me better.
Root Customer Service Responded About Non-Tracking Glitch
In other news, I finally heard back from Root customer service about it intermittently behaving as if I had changed my settings and not tracking me. It took like four days or so to get a message back. Anyway, they don’t know what caused the issue and are forwarding the case to the engineering team, but suggested that if it is impacting my ability to be tested, I can delete the app and start the test drive over using a new email address. Hmm… So… I’m filing that little tidbit away for a rainy day. Nice to know there is a way to restart a test drive. However, I am sticking with this one, though I plan to do as little freeway/ rush hour driving as possible.
For what it’s worth, Root has been catching all the drives that Allstate Drivewise has scolded me on and is missing my better drives, with the exception of one instance of “extreme braking,” meaning the Root glitch is not improving my score, but it could be hurting it because it’s missing good drives. Meh. I think I’ll get it back up to 10 again as long as I’m not out when the idiots are.
Take the Root Test Drive with Me
I’m logging the results of this experiment as I go, so as I write, I have no idea if Root will even give me a quote, nor what it will be. Keep checking back for updates if you want to hear how this ends or download the app for yourself.
If you’ve used Root or something similar and want to tell our readers about it, you can also click “Share Your Story” in the main menu.
I’m doing the Root test drive and am on day seven. I realized right after I started this that Allstate offered similar tech, so I decided to download both apps, compare them, and see who offered the best rates.
Allstate Drivewise is a Liar
Meanwhile, Root Continues to Sweet-Talk Me
Root Would Be My Passenger Anytime, Will You?
Yeah, I know. It’s only been a week and I’m already head-over-heels for Root. Relationships like this that come on strong usually fizzle out just as quickly, so maybe I’m getting too far ahead of myself. Time will tell. If you’d like to see where this goes, follow along as I update the blog, or you time-traveling gurus can skip ahead to the end if you like.
I also want to share the stories of others. So, if you’ve tried the Root car insurance app, Allstate “Liar” Drivewise, or something similar, click “Share Your Story” and tell me about it, so I can share it with the world.
I’ve been doing the Root test drive and comparing it to Allstate Drivewise for about a week now, so I’m finally at a point where I think I know where it’s headed. It ain’t lookin’ good for Allstate, but it is, however, looking fabulous for ME.
Root Says I’m a Perfect 10
As of this morning, the Root car insurance app says I’ve got 2-3 weeks to go and thinks I’m scoring 10/10. That’s probably because it’s still glitchy and didn’t know I hit the brakes too hard on the freeway yesterday- either that or it’s not as picky as Allstate Drivewise. No word from customer service on the glitches which prevent tracking sometimes yet, but I’m tentatively excited about this.
Loyalty and Safety Mean Nothing
I have been with Allstate my whole life. Other than a single incident when I first got my license, have been accident-free. That’s nearly two decades of safe driving. I haven’t even had a ticket in about the same amount of time. Yet, I estimate that I’ve paid out about $36,000 in car insurance premiums in that timeframe. My word. Granted, none of us knows what the future holds, and that’s why we buy insurance, but that’s a serious chunk of change I’ve given Allstate. Instead of giving me a competitive rate, they’re keeping premiums high, which means the payment I make this month to them just might be my last. I feel kind of sad about ending such a long relationship with a company, but it’s clearly one-sided. *sigh*
Side Note: Allstate Nailed Me for Speeding (Sort Of)
I made one last trip out on Day 6, but it was another on the I-10 and US 60. Allstate’s Drivewise program cautions you not to go over 80mph, which gives a lot of wiggle room. The Root app says nothing about speed. I’m feeling comfortable enough having Big Brother ride beside me now that I’m driving regularly, so I moved with the flow of traffic, but watched my speed. I averaged about 70, but did creep up to 75 when I had someone tailgating me and couldn’t move over. Allstate claims to have clocked me at over 80mph twice. I’m calling BS on that one, Allstate. No way. I was aware and watching and my speedometer tends to be 1-2 mph over signs that check you, so I can guarantee I did not come close to doing 80. Whatevs. Root still says I’m a perfect 10.
Call Shotgun on My Root Test Drive
Wanna see where this thing goes for sure? I do. I still have no idea if Root will give me a quote or what it will be. If I get one and it’s on par with what others are reporting, I will be saying goodbye to Allstate. I could know within a couple of weeks, so hop in the passenger seat and come along with me. You can also click “Share Your Story,” to tell us about your experiences with Root and Allstate Drivewise, and if it’s non-salesy and coherent, I’ll share it on the blog too.
*sobs* I penned a beautiful blog post and my computer crashed. Boo. I’m starting to think I’m the glitch and not Root or Allstate Drivewise. Anywho… welcome to the fifth day of my Root car insurance test drive. For those of you who are just joining us, I’m an average chick who lives in the Phoenix area. I’m an info junky, a bit of a tech geek, and want to save money on car insurance, so trying out the Root app was a no-brainer. I decided to share my experience as it’s happening. In the process of doing that, I discovered that my current car insurance company, Allstate, uses similar tech with its Drivewise program, so I’m running them both and doing a comparison. Here’s where I’m at so far.
Root is Glitchy
The Root glitches have continued. I check my apps with OCD-like tenacity before and after each drive, so I can kind of sort of isolate when it hasn’t captured a trip because it pops up an error message. It behaves like I’ve changed my settings when I haven’t and then stops logging. I sent a message to Root customer service more than 48 hours ago and have not heard back.
Allstate is Glitchy
Whereas Root will not come back to life until I go into my settings, Allstate Drivewise has a mind of its own and logs intermittently. I never see errors since I enabled background app refresh for all apps, but sometimes it captures a whole trip, sometimes I get part of a trip, and sometimes I get none. Meh.
Allstate Says I’m Guilty of Extreme Braking (And I’m Glad Root is Glitchy)
Both apps track your braking habits. Root doesn’t tell you when you’ve screwed up, but it does have a sliding scale that indicates how you’re doing overall. Allstate Drivewise has an in-your-face map of each trip and adds a ginormous marker on the map when you mess up. My early morning trips were uneventful, but I had to run my kids out to their dad’s and he lives on the west side of Phoenix while I live in one of the suburbs east of it. It’s about an hour drive, depending on traffic, though I try to avoid rush hour when I can.
For those familiar with the area, I was on the US 60 westbound where the two left lanes split off; one for the I-10 westbound carpool lane and another for the I-10 east. At the same time, the far right becomes an exit-only lane for Priest Drive, so you’ve got six lanes and four possible directions. People always mess up and wind up in the wrong lane, which makes this a particularly dangerous section because they’ll slam on their brakes or cut across several lanes at once. Also, the speed limit is 65mph, but most are going 75+.
The moral of the story is, I got up to this split and the eastbound I-10 offramp was backed up about a half mile onto the 60, plus there was an accident in the left lane, as well as another accident a quarter mile up on the right. All this was at the tail-end of rush hour, or just after 7pm. Anyway, I had no way of knowing there were two accidents ahead, though I could see the backup start in the eastbound 10 exit. I reduced my speed some and had a safe distance between the car ahead of me and myself, but they slammed on their brakes, so I had to too. This was, apparently, a no-no in Allstate Drivewise’s book. Mind you, my phone sat on the passenger seat and didn’t move an inch, but it was enough that Allstate marked me down for an instance of “Extreme Braking.” There’s really no predicting this and it’s the nature of freeway driving, so it somewhat irks me that I’d get gigged for it, but whatever. I learned at my destination that Root had quit working, so it likely missed the issue, which… you know… I’m actually cool with.
From Allstate Drivewise:
“Hard braking events are defined as slowing down 8-10mph in one second. Extreme braking events are defined as slowing down >10mph in one second.”
Root Doesn’t Care if I Use the Phone while Driving
Dropping off my kiddos didn’t go great. The youngest was in tears and wanted to go back home with me, but also wanted to stay there for activities. In any case, it was a long, emotional farewell. As I got back on the freeway, my son called me via Facetime audio. I’ve been really mindful about using my phone in the car, but in this case, not answering was not an option, so I fell upon my sword, sabotaged my score, and picked up. We chatted for about ten minutes while I drove on the freeway. When he felt calm and good, we hung up. The cool news: It did not impact my score.
Come Along on My Root Test Drive with Me
I’ll be updating this blog as I continue my Root test drive and see if I can reduce my car insurance payments, so check back for updates.
I’m also going to be sharing the stories of others, so if you tried Root, Allstate Drivewise, or something similar, and you think the readers here could benefit from hearing how your experience went, click “Share Your Story” in the main menu.
Welcome to day four of my Root test drive. I’m trying out the Root car insurance app because I’m hopeful it will save me some money. I’m also running the Allstate Drivewise app alongside it. Initially, I had hoped it might be a viable option to save money with my current car insurance company, but it looks like it won’t. However, I don’t know that for sure yet and I think it’ll be cool to see how the results compare and how each ranks me.
Glitches Galore on Root
Root has decided, for whatever reason, that my settings are intermittently wrong, even when I don’t touch them and even when the app has not had an issue with them for a few hours. It looks as though it didn’t track my morning run to school, so I fired off a message to customer service this morning. No word back yet.
Keep Following My Root Test Drive and/or Share Your Story
I’m going to keep documenting this as I go, mostly because I’m a nerd and the tech intrigues me. If it intrigues you too, keep checking back for updates. I presently plan to do them daily, but if the apps stop being exciting, I’ll stop writing and wait for new developments.
In the meantime, I’m also glad to share the experiences of others. If you’ve tried Root, Allstate Drivewise, or a similar service, and you want to tell us about it, click “Share Your Story” in the main menu.