Progressive Snapshot and Root share a common philosophy: They price car insurance premiums based on driving behaviors, rather than demographic generalizations. Each program tracks driving behavior through an in-car telematics device, measuring average speed, harsh braking, quick turns, time of day driving, and generating bonuses based on these metrics. Which of these two usage-based insurance programs is better? Let's review the details.
- Which Usage-Based Program Is Right For You?
- How does Progressive Snapshot work?
- What is root car insurance?
- Snapshot vs. Root: which is better?
- Other usage-based insurance options
What is progressive snapshot?
Snapshot by Progressive is an optional usage-based insurance program that customers may choose to participate in. Snapshot uses an in-car device, a mobile app, to monitor driving habits and generate insurance premiums based on these behaviors. Snapshot evaluates the following driving habits:
- Sudden changes in speed (sudden braking and rapid acceleration)
- the amount you drive
- Depending on your state, how often you use your mobile phone while driving
While your discount depends on how you drive, Progressive advertises an automatic $25 discount on registration. On average, Progressive estimates that most customers will enjoy a $130 discount through participation in Snapshot. If Snapshot shows you are a risky driver, your premium may increase as a result.
How does Root Car Insurance work?
Root operates entirely as a usage-based insurance company. Root uses only the way you drive to determine your premium. To get started with Root, a driver downloads the mobile app and takes a several-week “test drive” to generate a benchmark assessment of their driving. Under Root's criteria, a rating can either pass or fail a driver, and failing candidates cannot participate in the program. For drivers who qualify, Root will generate a premium and provide the option to move forward with a full policy.
Like Snapshot, savings depend on your driving habits. Root advertises savings of up to 52%.
Snapshot vs. Root: which one is better for you?
While Snapshot and Root use telematics to power their programs, only Root is a completely usage-based program. Snapshot is an optional program offered by Progressive insurance. While you can opt-in, usage-based data isn't the only pricing factor involved. Let's compare Snapshot and Root.
When is Instant better?
- If you are not sure about telematics
The snapshot may be a good idea if you are unsure about telematics or wary of how your driving behavior will be judged. Because you can opt out of Snapshot and return to Progressive's standard pricing model, you have the option to opt out of the program. Because Root is completely based on this model, it does not have the opportunity to differ. Your only alternative would be to get a new policy with a different company and cancel your policy with Root.
- If you are not going to qualify for Root
In their own words, Root is not an insurance provider for everyone. If you don't qualify for Root, naturally, this won't be a good fit for you.
When is Root best?
- If non-driving factors increase your premiums
To participate in Snapshot, you must have a policy in place with Progressive. If non-driving factors negatively impact your insurance premium, such as age or credit score, Snapshot and Progressive may not be cost-effective solutions for you. If you're a good driver but young or have poor credit, Root may offer you some savings.
Additional insurance options based on usage
At the end of the day, it's up to you to choose the company that's right for you. Each brings positives and negatives to the table. Your best option is to compare the factors that matter most to you. It's also important to understand that these aren't the only usage-based insurance programs out there. Although still relatively new to the game, telematics is gaining popularity in the insurance world.