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Nationwide Auto Insurance

by Nikola Djurkovic

Carsurance Verdict: Nationwide offers affordable coverages for safe drivers, many discounts, and an intuitive website and mobile app. However, it’s expensive, and its customer service is average. It’s not the worst choice, but you can do better.

Nationwide was founded in 1926 in Columbus, Ohio. It operates in 46 US states and, as many Nationwide insurance reviews note, is perhaps best known for its “Nationwide is on your side” commercials. The company initially sold insurance to farmers, but it grew to become one of the largest US insurance companies. Nationwide is a mutually owned company, meaning the policyholders have control over it, rather than third-party stockholders.

Recently, the company introduced retired NFL superstar Peyton Manning to its funny, and amusingly awkward, advertisements. The Nationwide insurance company presents itself as an enterprise that takes great care of its customers, employees, and the community. It is ranked 53rd on Fortune’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For,” meaning there’s a good deal of truth in the claim that the company treats its employees fairly. Here, we studied the ratings of industry experts and customers alike and completed our analysis to determine if Nationwide auto insurance is among the best options available.

Product Overview and Features

Nationwide sells auto insurance in all US states besides Hawaii, Alaska, Massachusetts, and Louisiana (meaning they are not nationwide after all). The prices that the company offers tend to be on the expensive side, while customer service generally gets average ratings in most Nationwide auto insurance reviews. The company has been a force to be reckoned with in the insurance industry for a while, meaning that it has great financial stability, which is also confirmed by the Fortune 500 list, where it held 66th place for the year 2018.

Nationwide’s OnYourSide feature stands out as a fantastic way to save a lot of money and make the insurance experience feel custom-tailored to your needs. However, the discounts that Nationwide offers are not as extensive compared to American Family’s, for example. It offers smooth online tools and a great mobile app that lets you view your Nationwide login info and policy data, request a quote, file a claim, or ask for roadside assistance.

Signature Feature

Nationwide’s OnYourSide review is an assessment of your insurance policy conducted by a specialist from the company. This serves to help you fully understand your coverage, to make sure that it protects everything you care about, and to verify that you’re getting the most out of the company’s discounts.

Nationwide especially recommends you have these reviews conducted when you expect a life-changing event, like buying a new house or getting married. Often during these events, clients need to modify their coverage, and in most cases, they help make you a safer insurance subject, meaning you can get a lower premium. It’s nice to see a company in the insurance industry that really takes the effort to make sure you’re always getting the best coverage possible.

Financial Strength

Nationwide Insurance reviews confirm that the company has excellent financial strength. It’s one of the biggest US insurers, and it has A. M. Best rating of rating A+ or Superior. This is the best possible rating. The S&P rating is also excellent, A+. Nationwide holds 66th place in the Fortune 500 list for 2018. All this data means that Nationwide certainly has good financial footing to pay claims in case an accident happens.

Types of Insurance Offered

Nationwide offers the options typically found in the industry, such as collision, comprehensive, property damage liability, bodily injury liability, medical payments, personal injury protection, and underinsured/uninsured motorist protection. Nationwide insurance reviews also note that, while the company is not the champion in this particular category (for great optional coverages, see Hanover insurance), there are some handy additional options available. These include the following:

Full Coverage

This alternative lets you combine the different parts of comprehensive, collision, and liability coverage to get the option that suits your needs the most.

Rental Car Expense

 This coverage reimburses the costs of a rental car or other form of transportation while you wait for your damaged vehicle to be repaired. Most insurance companies offer this coverage.

Towing and Labor Coverage

This is a charged add-on that covers the expenses of roadside repairs, towing, and locksmith services. Nationwide offers two options here with different limits: Nationwide Roadside Assistance Basic and Nationwide Roadside Assistance Plus. If you want this coverage to be automatically included with your insurance policy, check AAA insurance.

Gap Coverage

Many insurance companies in the US offer this coverage. In case your car is totaled in an accident, it pays the difference between the actual cash value and the amount left on your loan or lease.

New Car Replacement Coverage

If you own a car less than three years old, it will be replaced with a new equivalent model in case of total damage.

Identity Theft Coverage

This is a charged option that is not offered by many competitors. It covers the cost of lost wages and child/elder care in case your identity gets stolen.


While Nationwide auto insurance reviews will note that this is not a coverage option per se, it is still a convenient feature offered by Nationwide. AutoWatch lets you track online how your car is being repaired.

Amazon Alexa Assistant

This is another great feature if you own an Alexa-enabled device. You can use the virtual assistant to help you learn about insurance products, and if you have SmartRide, you can even get driving information.

Member Connections

Although this isn’t a coverage option, it shows an excellent initiative from Nationwide to help its policyholders. Nationwide holds meetings where members can give their feedback on the experience they had with the company and suggest how to improve the service.

Customer Service

NAIC Ratio and BBB Rating

The Nationwide insurance company rating by the Better Business Bureau is an excellent A+. Furthermore, the company holds an average rating of 3.74 out of 5 stars, which are excellent results. It also has an excellent NAIC ratio, which is 0.41. This ratio indicates how many complaints the company receives; the lower the number is, the better the results are. For example, another big insurer, Geico, has a rating of 0.74.

J.D. Power’s Rating

J.D. Power, an authority that ranks auto insurance companies in the aspects of claims processing and insurance shopping satisfaction, gives Nationwide customer service an average score of 3 stars out of 5 in claims handling for 2019. However, the company comes dead-last in the insurance shopping study with a dismal score of 2 stars.  

There are many negative reviews on sites like Yelp and USInsuranceAgents. However, this is normal for the industry—even highly rated companies like Erie receive negative feedback on these sites, simply due to a fact that customers are more likely to leave a review if the experience was negative.

Rating of Nationwide auto insurance in customer service

Customer Reviews and Legal Troubles

The company also has a bad practice of using low-quality aftermarket parts instead of manufacturer’s replacement parts when repairing vehicles. Those who were hit by vehicles covered by Nationwide particularly disliked this practice. Customers also disliked how Nationwide claims were handled and complained about the inconsistent and unresponsive customer service agents.

Additionally, the many lawsuits Nationwide has faced pose some concerns. Nationwide had to pay $18 million in fines in 2014 a because Pennsylvanian judge ruled that the company intentionally hid information on faulty repairs. To quote the judge “Fortunately, no one was killed or injured; but Nationwide knew there could be a subsequent accident when it permitted the vehicle to be returned with hidden structural repair failures. This, by definition, is a reckless indifference to its insured. Nationwide was willing to risk the Bergs’ lives to save itself money on a collision claim.”


Our analysis of Nationwide insurance reviews and a quick look at the company’s website confirm that there are many discounts offered to customers. Nationwide’s discount offer is not as extensive as what some competitors present, and not all discounts are available in all states. However, there are many savings opportunities nonetheless:

Family Plan Discount

This option allows all members of the same family to share a discount. In other words, the more drivers and vehicles are added, the lower premium will be for all participants. This is an excellent way to decrease the premium for teen drivers.

Total Loss Deductible Waiver

In case your vehicle is totaled, the physical damage deductible (comprehensive or collision) will be waived.

SmartRide Discount

If you sign up for this program, Nationwide auto will install a tracking device in your car, which monitors how safely you drive and if you often drive at night. If the results qualify, you can get up to a 40% discount. And the good news is that just by signing up, you get an initial discount.

Vanishing Deductible

This discount reduces your deductible for each year of safe driving by $100. The maximum reduction is $500.

Accident Forgiveness

This is an optional add-on, which stops your rate from increasing after your first at-fault accident.

Bundle Discount

This option allows you to save up to 20% if you also have life, home, or other insurance with Nationwide insurance.

Good Student Discount

If you’re a student, and you have good grades (B or higher), you can get a discount.

Accident-Free Discount

A record of safe driving for at least five years can you get a discount.

Paperless Documents

If you handle all of your insurance documents online, you can get a discount. The planet will thank you for it, too.

Advance Quote Discount

If you get a Nationwide quote at least eight days before the starting date of your policy, you can get a discount of up to 5%.

Safety Features

If your vehicle has anti-theft devices installed, you can get a discount. Additionally, if your car is fitted with factory airbags, you can get 30% off your medical payments coverage.

Affinity Organizations Discount

You can get a discount if you’re a member of a partner organization.

Farm Bureau Discount

This discount reflects Nationwide’s roots. You can save up to 10% if you are a part of the Farm Bureau.

Plenti Program

This is a loyalty card that can get you points and discounts with some major brands if you opt for Nationwide car insurance. Some of the brands are AT&T, ExxonMobil, Macy’s, Rite Aid, Direct Energy, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and Hulu.

Defensive Driving Discount

If you take a defensive driving course, you can save up to 10%.

New Vehicle Discount

This discount is only available in some states. If the vehicle is less than five years old, you can get a discount of up to 16%.

Loyalty Discount

If you’ve had your insurance with Nationwide for at least three years, you can get up to 5% off, and if you’ve been with the company for at least five years, the discount is 10%.

About Insurance Rates

A Nationwide auto insurance rate comparison shows that the prices fall on the expensive side. Also, the company sometimes requires more coverage than the national minimum, such as bodily injury coverage, where $50,000/$100,000 is the minimum the company offers, while most states allow for half of that sum. In the test performed by TheSimpleDollar, which also included Progressive, Geico, State Farm, and Allstate, Nationwide was the most expensive option. For limits of $25,000/$50,000/$10,000, Progressive was the cheapest option at $230, while Nationwide insurance offered $423, which is a significant difference. In our tests, Nationwide comes out only slightly above the average in price. For example, for a 40-year-old driver, Nationwide’s monthly premium was $255, while the average value for more than 15 companies we tested was $235, meaning that Nationwide is only $20 more monthly than the average. Nationwide Car Insurance Prices Compared to Top Competitors Still, those looking for the cheapest option may think that they should stay away from this company. However, until you get a Nationwide insurance quote, you can never be sure which discounts apply or exactly how much the premium will be. And if you know some excellent insurance agents who’ve been bringing good business to the company for a while, you can rely on them to do some magic with the premium price.

Nationwide Car Insurance Compared with Its Top Competitors

Nationwide vs. Allstate

Allstate came as only a slightly cheaper option, according to the Nationwide car insurance reviews we researched, meaning both options fall on the expensive side. When it comes to customer service, both companies score 3 out of 5 stars in the J.D. Power ranking in claims satisfaction study, while Allstate beats Nationwide in the insurance shopping study, scoring 3 stars out of 5, compared to Nationwide’s poor rating of  2 stars out of 5. Allstate also offers more options for safe drivers, as well as guaranteed claims satisfaction, meaning you will get a refund if you aren’t pleased with the way your claim was processed. As we’ve seen in many Allstate and Nationwide reviews, both companies provide a high number of discounts overall, and when choosing between these two, perhaps the best course of action is to see where you’re eligible to get the most out of those discounts.

Nationwide vs. State Farm

State Farm comes as a cheaper option than Nationwide, being in the middle of the pack when it comes to prices. When customer service is concerned, both companies have the same score of 3 out of 5 stars in J.D. Power’s rating in claims satisfaction. Nationwide auto insurance does offer more discounts than State Farm, while also providing more coverage options and additional perks. This means that, when deciding between these two companies, it comes down to choosing between cheaper standard auto coverage and a more expensive option with a lot of added benefits.

Nationwide vs. Travelers Insurance

Both companies also share the “Superior” financial rating awarded by A. M. Best, meaning they certainly have the financial strength to pay claims. In the customer service department, both Travelers and Nationwide auto insurance reviews by J.D. Power have the same score of 3 out of 5 stars in the claims satisfaction study. However, in the insurance shopping study, Travelers, with its 3-star rating, does marginally better than Nationwide.  Travelers is rated as sixth in Nerdwallet’s auto insurance review, while Nationwide is just one place below, at seventh. Both companies offer a similar number of discounts, but they cater to different audiences. For example, Travellers has a discount for owners of electric and hybrid cars, which Nationwide does not offer. Perhaps the best course of action is to see where you can get the discounts that best suit your needs.

Best Alternatives

Geico is another option that’s available nationwide (pun intended) and offers lower prices while having a similar customer service rating overall. Erie, Auto-Owners, and Amica Mutual are three companies that score high in some of the best auto insurance reviews. And finally, Progressive insurance is a good option for high-risk drivers while still offering competitive rates overall.  

Other Expert’s Thoughts

NerdWallet ranks the company relatively highly, giving it 4 out of 5 stars for overall performance and putting it at 7th place out of the 23 US auto insurance companies that were included in the study. TheSimpleDollar gives the company a mixed review, noting that Nationwide’s OnYourSide review is a great feature, but complaining about average customer service and higher rates. Nationwide car insurance reviews give it an average rating, noting high prices and inconsistent customer service. Perhaps the most striking piece of information comes from InsuranceJournal, which reports a lawsuit accusing the company of intentionally hiding information on faulty repairs. The court ruled in the customers’ favor, and Nationwide was required to pay $18 million.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Nationwide good insurance for cars?

While not being a bad choice by any means, Nationwide doesn’t seem to be near the top in the highly competitive auto insurance market. Nationwide insurance customer service reviews are average, while the prices that the company offers are among the highest. However, it can still be a very good option for someone who likes their extra features, like AutoWatch or OnYourSide. Plus, if you’re insuring your household, the family discount can bring the premium down significantly.

2. How do I file a claim with Nationwide?

A claim can be filed online, either on the website, by the mobile app, or by calling the Nationwide customer service number at 1-800-421-3535. The same number can be used in case you need roadside assistance.

3. What is Nationwide insurance?

Nationwide belongs to a group of US insurance and financial services corporations from Columbus, Ohio. The company is one of the largest insurance providers in the US; it offers auto, home, life, renters, condo, event, dental, and many other kinds of insurance.

4. Is Nationwide one word or two?

The official company name on their website is only one word: Nationwide.

5. Is Nationwide hyphenated?

No, the official spelling is one word.

6. What is Nationwide’s A. M. Best rating?

The Nationwide Insurance A. M. Best is A+, or “Superior.” This is a strong rating, indicating excellent financial operations. Nationwide insurance reviews will remind you that this indicates the company is almost certainly capable of paying claims.

Nationwide Car Insurance Logo


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