I wasn't sure whether Root would really pay out for referrals or not when I first heard about the program. The premise is pretty simple. If you refer and that person takes a test drive and gets approved for Root insurance, you both get $25. I started this blog in April and stuck the links on here in a few different places. I didn't really expect to make any money that way. Mostly, I wanted to track what happened with my test drive because the model Root uses is so new. I haven't given out my referral link to anyone I know. It's just purely here on the site.
Yes, Root Really Does Pay Referral Bonuses
I got a message on December 5th that said someone who used my sign-up link had completed their test drive and were offered a quote. The message didn't tell me any details about who it was or anything, so, whomever you are- THANK YOU!
I wish I had the presence of mind to take screenshots of the app like I normally do, but this time, I went full steam ahead. My message saying I was getting a bonus came in at 11:00 am. My message saying I had claimed it in the app came at 11:02 am. My message from PayPal saying I had a $25 payment from "GiftRocket" arrived at 11:03. That was it.
Sign Up Here and We Both Get $25
I don't work for Root. I just decided to document my experiences with them. If you decide to give it a go and do a test drive with Root, please use one of the links on this page, so we'll both qualify for the $25 bonus.
And, if you've got a Root story to share, click on "Share Your Story" at the top to let me know.
On a comment to a previous blog, Michael asked the question: "Does Root continue to track my driving after the initial test drive?" (Hi, Michael!) I thought that was a really great question, so I decided to post the answer here, where more people would likely find it.
Root Uses Location and Motion & Fitness
Root uses two main data collectors in iOS to track you and give a driving score; Location and Motion & Fitness. The company won't talk a whole lot about how they use the data because they don't want people to be able to game the system, but suffice it to say, between these two things, the app can tell how fast you're going, where you are, how fast you stop or start, what direction you're moving in, and possibly other gems.
Yes, Root Keeps Tracking You, But It Doesn't Impact Your Approval or Rates
If you don't take steps to stop it, Root will keep tracking you after your test drive. However, the app explains "We want to help you keep up your good driving habits. Your score won't affect your rates or coverage. but it can help you be better behind the wheel." In other words, it shouldn't matter how you drive after in terms of your coverage. If you have a bad day or have some kind of emergency, you won't lose your coverage over it, according to the app. Personally, I wouldn't tempt fate by pushing it, but you should be in the clear.
View Root's Policy on Tracking After a Test Drive
1) Complete the Test Drive and get approved. (not pictured)
2) Open the Root App and click on "View Driving Score." (left)
3) Click on the question mark on the top right of the next page. Your screen will look different than mine if Root is still tracking you. (middle)
4) View "Your score won't affect..." message (right)
How to Stop Root From Tracking You After Your Test Drive (iOS)
I don't like having apps track me, so I disabled Root's ability to do so the instant I finished my Test Drive. I have an iPhone, so it's super easy to do.
1) Go into "Settings" and scroll down until you see the Root app. (left)
2) Change "Location" to "Never" and toggle "Motion and Fitness" into the off position. (middle)
If you feel better doing so, you can also check inside the Root app to make sure you're getting the "Where'd you go?" page when you go to view your scorecard. (right)
Got an Android Device?
I don't. :/ If you do and you have helpful hints to share with other Android users, please leave them in the comments or shoot me a message via the contact page if you have screenshots to share. Thanks!
Ready to Try Root?
I'm just an average person who decided to document my experience with Root. I don't work for the company. However, if you've found anything helpful here and you plan to do a Root Test Drive, please use one of the links here on the site and we'll both get a bonus when you're approved. :)
I also welcome stories from you guys, so if you've tried it and have something to share, click "Share Your Story" at the top of the page.
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.