Your Smartphone: The Key to Cheaper Car Insurance

Technology on November 1, 2016

We all know the slogan. “15 minutes could save you 15 percent or more on car insurance.” Companies such as Geico know that purchasing insurance of any kind, but specifically car insurance, can be stressful and time consuming.

While buying insurance online, and features such as Progressive’s Name Your Price tool, have done great things to streamline this process for consumers, the auto insurance world is about to become that much easier.

Meet Root—an innovative tool that just hit the market on October 25th. While the company itself only launched 18 months ago, and the app itself is only available in Ohio currently, CEO and co-founder Alex Timm says that will be changing shortly. In fact, he believes that by the end of 2017, Root will be available nationally.

While the software is sophisticated, the process itself has been simplified down to a science. Here’s how it works— drivers download the Root app to their smartphone and drive with it for 2-3 weeks. Customers then receive a push notification from Root when their quote is ready.

How is that quote determined? By the level of driving done by the driver. According to Root, when you work with other insurance companies, “you’re paying for car insurance based on how risky you look on paper.” Root’s philosophy, on the other hand, is that drivers “deserve a fair rate based on how you drive, not who you are.”

It’s no secret that Root has honed on in something most drivers can get excited about. But they’re pulling successful aspects from other insurance apps to make Root a one-stop shop.

Take Allstate, for example. Their mobile app allows you to start a claim directly from your phone. You can take photos and upload them to the app, allowing you to manage your claim on the go. Root has incorporated the same technology into their app, along with the ability to pay your bill, and even work with them to cancel your previous car insurance policy.

While Root is guaranteed to simplify your everyday life, Timm and his team of 20 employees is promising something much greater— cheaper rates. Timm told Carrier Management that Root’s business model is “enabling us to get the best drivers much, much better rates than currently on the market, which we feel is the rate they deserve.”

What does this mean for current insurance companies? Only time will tell. But for now, Root appears to be something all drivers can root for.