Root vs. The General: Which Company is the Best Fit for You?

Want to know if Root or The General is the better choice for auto insurance? You're probably wondering which company offers the best rates or the most discounts. Check out our latest guide below to find out which of these two companies is the best for you.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • In general, Root offers significantly more affordable premiums than The General
  • Root has cheaper prices for policyholders who don't have any speeding tickets, DUIs, or at-fault accidents on their record
  • The General offers more discounts than Root Insurance

Root vs. The General: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

So, you're considering switching your auto insurance. You've probably seen commercials and billboards from companies offering sizable discounts, but exactly how much money can you save by switching?

You might have narrowed your search down to Root or The General for your next policy, but between the two, which carrier has less expensive premiums for insurance?

Root The General

Looking at nationwide averages, The General is quite a bit more expensive than Root, with prices averaging $241 per month compared to just $65 with Root.

However, that doesn't mean Root will necessarily be cheaper than The General for each driver. After all, auto insurance companies can offer drastically different rates to each driver depending on rating factors like your credit score, where you call home, your age, or even your driving record (among other things), so rates could differ drastically from person to person.

Wanting to know if Root or The General is really the right carrier for you? Keep on reading to see how average prices can change based on all of the factors we've mentioned above.

Root or The General: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Root The General

Root and The General only compete against each other in Arizona, where Root offers the cheaper average rates. For Arizona residents, Root offers insurance for $65 a month on average. The General's average premiums come out to be over 70% more expensive, at $235 monthly.

But there's more to calculating car insurance prices than just where you call home. Read on to learn more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Root The General
18-year-old drivers$136$446
25-year-old drivers$52$244

Teen drivers will almost always have the most expensive insurance premiums of any group on the road. It's because young, inexperienced drivers are statistically much more likely to cause collisions and other accidents that will result in an insurance claim.

But that doesn't mean that teen drivers have to just accept sky-high car insurance rates. For example, 18-year-old drivers pay an average of more than $300 less a month by choosing Root over The General.

Even so, both carriers will offer you dramatically lower premiums once you turn 25. The General offers the steepest decrease, with 25-year-olds paying less than half what 18-year-old drivers are charged. That being said, Root still has the cheapest prices at $52 per month.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Root The General
65+-year-old drivers$57$195

When it comes to auto insurance, patience and experience pay off, with drivers around retirement age paying some of the most affordable rates you can find.

When looking at Root and The General specifically, which company is best for retired drivers? Root gets the edge here, with average premiums coming in at about $57 a month compared to The General's $195.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Root The General

You may not be aware, but insurance prices tend to be more expensive for those who are single than they are for married couples. That's typically because married policyholders tend to own and insure more than one car, which can often earn you a discount.

When it comes to relationship status, Root is the clear winner for single drivers, with rates around $203 per month less expensive than The General, on average. The advantage for married drivers with Root is also obvious, where drivers save nearly $150 a month.

Root vs. The General: Average Rates by Gender

Root The General

Men are statistically more likely than women to get into an accident or get pulled over for speeding, which means they'll usually end up paying more for auto insurance than women.

On average, men see premiums about 3% per month higher with Root, and around 12% more with The General.

Looking at overall affordability, Root offers the lowest average rates for both men and women. On average, male drivers save about $191 a month and women save about $161 with Root compared to the average The General policyholder.

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Root or The General: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Root The General
State Minimum*$46$154
Full Coverage**$84$329

*State minimum value indicates liability-only policies at each state's minimum bodily injury and property damage (BI/PD) limits

**Full coverage indicates state minimum BI/PD limits with collision and comprehensive coverages added to policy.

For most people, car insurance can be pretty complicated. There are so many different terms and coverages that it can make it pretty confusing to find the right policy.

That being said, the most common policies that many drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability only (which covers the other party's property damage and injuries if you cause a collision) and full coverage (which generally refers to having comprehensive and collision coverages in addition to what you get with liability coverage).

If you're looking for state minimum liability insurance, Root normally offers significantly more affordable prices of $46 compared to The General's $154. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, Root again has the edge, with policies around $250 per month cheaper than The General, on average.

Is Root or The General Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

It's no big secret that drivers who are accident-free get better deals on their auto insurance. But even if you have a spotty record, you can still find plenty of ways to save some cash on your monthly bill.

It's no secret secret that at-fault collisions and tickets lead to higher rates, but which carrier -- Root or The General -- has the cheapest premiums for drivers with less-than-ideal driving records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Root The General
Clean Record$57$192
1 Speeding Ticket$67$240

Root policyholders can expect their prices to go up an average of $10 a month if they get a ticket, while The General typically raises premiums about $48 per month, on average.

However, Root is usually the less expensive option for drivers both with a speeding ticket and with a clean record -- their rates are around 70% more affordable for drivers with clean records and 72% cheaper for those with a ticket.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Root The General
Clean Record$57$192
1 At-Fault Accident$79$279

Root drivers who get in an accident can expect to see their rates rise by just under 30%, while those who have insurance through The General will see around a 30% increase.

Overall, drivers who use Root end up with the cheaper prices after an accident, with monthly prices averaging $79 compared to The General's $279.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Root The General
Clean Record$57$192
1 DUI$57$254

If you get a DUI charge, you can expect some pretty significant increases in your monthly insurance bill -- normally a lot more than a collision or ticket. The General drivers usually see a 24% raise in their car insurance rates after a DUI charge, while Root will generally climb prices by about 0%.

If you have a DUI on your record and are looking for more affordable premiums, Root tends to be the much more affordable option with average rates of $57 per month compared to $254 from The General.

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How does Credit Score Impact Root and The General Rates?

Did you know that many auto insurance companies take into account your credit score when calculating prices? This isn't always the case (for example, Hawaii and California are two states that ban the practice entirely), but it might come into play for a lot of policyholders.

Insurance carriers argue that someone with good credit is more likely to pay their bills on time, which makes them less risky to insure. Because of that, drivers with good credit will often be rewarded with less expensive premiums.

So, which company offers the best rates for policyholders with poor, average, or good credit?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Root The General
Excellent Credit Score$54$176
Good Credit Score$60$217

If you have great credit, you'll usually find a better deal with Root. Drivers with "excellent" credit can save just under 70% compared to The General, and those with "good" scores can also expect to see savings -- around $157 or 72% more affordable every month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Root The General
Fair Credit Score$66$246
Poor Credit Score$79$325

Root typically offers lower premiums than The General when it comes to drivers with bad credit. Drivers with "fair" credit pay about $180 a month less with Root compared to The General, and those with "poor" scores normally save an average of around $246 monthly.

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Is Root or The General Better for Drivers who Work from Home or Have Short Commutes?

Root The General
6,000 Annual Miles$65$241
12,000 Annual Miles$65$241

The amount of time you spend behind the wheel of your car plays a big role in your monthly prices. That's because the more miles you put on your vehicle each year, the more likely you are to get into an accident and cause an insurance claim.

In this case, neither Root or The General report increasing premiums for drivers with higher annual mileage figures. Still, Root comes out as the lowest for drivers at both intervals, whether they put 6,000 or 12,000 miles on their car annually, with average prices of $65 per month for both.

Root vs. The General: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where you live can have a considerable impact on your monthly car insurance cost. Usually, policyholders who live in heavily-populated urban areas will pay quite a bit more than rural drivers because of the number of vehicles that are on the roads in those areas.

Root The General
Urban Areas$77$310
Suburban Areas$60$225
Rural Areas$58$189

Root boasts the lowest average prices for drivers in every type of area, no matter if it's urban, suburban, or rural.

Policyholders in rural ZIP codes see the most affordable rates from both companies, but Root comes out on top with average premiums about $58 per month. Root also has less expensive average prices for drivers in urban and suburban ZIP codes -- a 75% and 73% a month respective difference when compared to The General policyholders in similar areas.

Root vs. The General Discounts

You want to save as much money as possible, right? The best way to do that is by taking advantage of as many auto insurance discounts as you can.

But with what seems like a million different discounts out there, it can be hard to nail down the company that has the most discounts for your unique driver profile and to find all the discounts you qualify for.

In the table below, we've compared all of the different discounts offered by Root and The General so that you can find the company that has the most discounts and, therefore, the biggest savings.

Root The General
Auto-Steer Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Group Discount 
Homeowner Discount
Liability Only Discount 
Paid In Full Discount
Paperless Discount 
Star Level Discount 

Overall, The General comes out ahead with six discounts to Root's five.

There are a couple discounts both carriers offer, but The General also offers defensive driver discounts, group discounts, liability only discounts, and more that Root does not.

On the flip side, Root has a couple unique discounts of its own -- auto-steer discounts, discounts for being a good driver, and paperless discounts.

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Final Thoughts: Is Root or The General Best for You?

So, we've broken down the average premiums for many of the factors car insurance companies look at, and walked through the different discounts each carrier offers, too. That's all well and good, but at the end of the day, which insurance company is the right one for you and your specific profile and needs?

Root might be best for you if....

  • You're single and purchasing insurance by yourself.
  • You live in an suburban area.
  • You're married and plan to have both of your names on the vehicle's car insurance policy.

The General might be best for you if...

  • You're looking for discounts -- The General has the most.

We hope this guide helps you get a good idea of the differences between Root and The General. We also hope we've given you the information you need to make the best decision when it comes to your auto insurance.

At the end of the day, the best way to make sure you're getting the best deal on your insurance policy is to compare quotes from a handful of carriers, not just Root and The General. Luckily, does all the hard work for you. Just enter your ZIP code below and get free quotes from dozens of the top auto insurance companies in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Root vs. The General FAQs

Is Root or The General cheaper?

Looking just at the national average rates, Root is the cheaper of the two carriers, offering average rates of $65 per month compared to $241 for The General. Even so, Root won't necessarily be the cheapest carrier for each policyholder, since there are lots of different variables (things like gender, age, driving record, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, Root or The General?

Sadly, the answer truly is "it depends.". Neither company is "better" for everyone -- it all depends on what your unique car insurance profile looks like.

Why do Root and The General offer me different rates?

Insurance companies take a look at quite a few different factors when determining the premiums they charge drivers. Things such as your driving record, age, gender, where your home is, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be taken into consideration. Both Root and The General calculate prices using different formulas, so each one will most likely offer different rates. The only real way to see which carrier is the most affordable for you is by comparing personalized quotes from several different carriers.

How do I know if Root or The General is right for me?

The only way to find the car insurance company that's right for you is by getting quotes from several companies and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, sites like do all the hard work for you. Just enter your area information and you'll get free quotes from dozens of the best insurance carriers in your area. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the cheapest premium. And who knows, the best carrier for you might not be Root or The General at all!


All of the data referenced in this article has been gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. We analyzed more than 2.5 million rows of carrier-reported data to calculate the average rates referenced above. All rates are based on an insurance profile of a single-vehicle policy for a driver that owns a 2016 Honda Accord. For more information on how we calculate rates, please reference our data methodology.

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