Root Insurance, an InsurTech startup known for selling auto insurance, is expanding into the renters market.
The Ohio-based InsurTech is launching a renters insurance product it bills as “affordable” and “streamlined” that starts as low as $6 per month. Renters coverage is available initially to its existing auto customers in Missouri, Utah and Ohio. An expansion to other states and plans to offer the coverage to individuals who are not Root auto customers are on tap over the coming months.
Root is pitching its new renters coverage as something that can be personalized, covering customers’ personal property and liability from accidents as well as things such as temporary living expenses and thefts of items outside the home. Root customers can bundle their renters and auto insurance plans to improve their rates further. The company added that all plans will include replacement cost coverage, where Root reimburses impacted items for their original purchase value, whether stolen from a home, car or hotel when traveling.
“We’ve already seen strong results in our first markets and have heard great feedback from customers about their coverage and the claims process,” Root CEO and co-founder Alex Timm said in prepared remarks. “The opportunity for additional growth is significant, and we are eager to expand this product to more markets throughout the U.S. and deliver the bundled experience we know customers desire.”
Root, which launched in 2015, disclosed a $350 million venture capital financing in September the company said it will use to accelerate an ongoing expansion and develop new products. By jumping into the renters insurance space, Root will compete with other carriers as well as InsurTech rivals such as Lemonade, which debuted in 2016 offering renters and homeowners insurance. Root has raised $523 million in venture capital to date, along with an additional $100 million in debt financing.
Root has touted itself as a U.S. auto insurance industry disrupter that uses smartphone technology to understand individual driving behavior and relies on telematics and other tech advances to reward good drivers with cheaper insurance rates. The company pledges to use the same technology for renters, specifically its “proprietary data-driven platform and ability to react to consumer behavior to offer personal and property liability coverage based on real customer needs.”
Root claims that the renters insurance application process is simple, takes less than 60 seconds and relies on a streamlined claims process through its website or app. While many carriers use factors such as size of home or what kind of lock you have on your home, Root said it is using other elements such as name, date of birth and address to verify the applicant and overall property score.
Root’s auto insurance coverage is currently available to drivers in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia. The company said it will be expanding to more states soon.