We have a follow up on that Ohio-based car insurance company our Consumer Investigator Danielle Serino told you about a few weeks ago. Root claimed to save good drivers up to 50% off their current rates.
The beauty of this company is it says it bases premiums primarily on people's driving ability, rather than their credit score, occupation or education...which is definitely a lot fairer. Some of you told me you were skeptical you'd really get a good deal. So Danielle checked it out.
"Oh that was easy"
I just downloaded the app on my phone, entered some information, and Root's Artificial Intelligence rode shotgun as it tracked my driving for about 3 weeks.
"When we see you start driving, we capture the information from your phone," said Root Chief of Technology Dan Manges.
It monitored how often I drove and at what times. But most important, how well I drove.
"If someone hits the brakes you fly forward. That's something the phone can feel," says Dan.
The company's philosophy is that good drivers shouldn't have to pay for bad ones.
"They're the ones out there causing all the accidents, " says Dan.
Now I don't get into accidents, but I'm admittedly an aggressive driver driver, so I was really curious to see my quote.
"So far it seems like you're a good driver," Dan said.
My photographer didn't agree. But Root's analytics did.
Because my rate came in at $51 dollars less than my current policy. The downside....there was less coverage with a higher deductible.
But how would a male driver in a different age bracket fare? I found Rich Powell on my Facebook page.
"I received my renewal rate from my old car insurance company and I said what is this?"
"You got an increase?" Danielle asked. "Yes," he said.
"How much?" Danielle questioned.
"A couple of hundred dollars," he said.
Since Rich is a retired Postal Inspector he doesn't drive that much anymore.
And according to Root, he was a better driver than I.
"In a few different categories; particularly with braking and turning," Root said.
But Rich's quote was actually $32 dollars higher than he's paying.
One reason they say, was because both he and his wife are on his current policy, and she didn't download the app.
"When we don't have driving data on somebody, we have to assume they are an average driver. But if his wife is an extremely excellent driver that would affect their rates," said Dan.
The biggest reason for the rate though, is Rich flew to Boston for an emergency, and rented a car there.
And if you've ever driven in that city....
"It's survival of the fittest and you go with the flow. And the flow is very quick," Rich said.
And Root's technology picked up on other problems:
"He's driving in places where he is not familiar with the roads and not as familiar with the traffic patterns." said Dan.
Since Root is one and done, Rich can't register again for a new rate. And even though he might get a better deal if his wife tried out the app...
"Unless that would make a significant difference in the quote, I'm probably not interested," he said.
Now I was bundling my car insurance with homeowner's which earned me a higher discount than if I just had car insurance alone. So this was a significant savings for me. But you need to weigh that against the amount of coverage you get.
My advice..try and see what they come back with. The app is free. It's available for iPhone's 5s or higher.