Established in 1925, Ohio-based Nationwide began with the goal of providing affordable car insurance to rural farmers. However, it took another 30 years before the Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company did, in fact, become Nationwide – both in scope and in name.
Along the way, the company expanded first to the east and then west, moving off the farm to also offer insurance in urban areas, along with a full assortment of financial products. Nationwide is also known to stock car racing fans as a long-time sponsor of Dale Earnhardt Jr., a relationship that began in 2008 and continues into his retirement as he still acts as a company spokesperson.
Based in Columbus, Ohio, where their 40-story headquarters is the largest structure in the central part of the state, Nationwide Insurance is now one of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the world, with more than $158 billion in statutory assets and a portfolio including car, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, pet, farm, life, and commercial insurance, as well as administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans, and specialty health services.
Nationwide Is the 6th Best Car Insurance Company
How We Created This Nationwide Car Insurance Review
To determine where Nationwide and nine primary competitors ranked in the eyes of their customers, we surveyed 2,799 people who filed a car insurance claim in the last five years to tell us about their experience, answering questions about how smoothly the process went, their satisfaction with the results, and how they felt they were treated by their car insurance company.
U.S. News also worked with Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average insurance rates in all 50 states from the 10 largest national car insurance companies. The rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 17, 25, 35, and 60. Vehicles used include the 2018 Honda Civic, 2018 Toyota RAV4, 2018 Ford-F-150, 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford-F-150, with annual mileage of 6,000 and 12,000. Three car insurance coverage levels were used, as were credit tiers of good, fair, and poor. Clean driving records and records with one accident, one speeding violation, and one DUI were also used in the calculations. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only. Individual rates will differ.
Nationwide Rating and Review
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Survey participants were asked to rate their satisfaction with Nationwide in five key areas, including ease of filing a claim, customer service, status updates during the claim process, how their claim was resolved, and overall value.
Nationwide’s midpack overall score was reflected in responses to individual survey questions, with only about half of respondents giving the company top marks in four of our categories, including satisfaction with filing a claim, customer service, status updates, and claim resolution. Of these, customer service earned the highest score, with about 55 percent of respondents giving Nationwide the highest score.
In the words of one survey participant, Nationwide “did a good job, and communicated with me frequently.”
Respondents were less satisfied with value, where Nationwide only earned a top score with 37.1 percent of participants. Value was even more of a sore point for others, with almost 10 percent of survey participants giving Nationwide the lowest score.
That compares with about 8 percent who gave Nationwide lowest marks for ease of filing a claim and customer service. Only about 5 percent gave Nationwide the lowest score for status updates and how their claim was resolved.
Despite less than stellar scores overall, 66 percent of respondents said they were either likely or very likely to recommend Nationwide to someone looking for car insurance. But almost 12 percent said they were very unlikely to do the same.
Nationwide Car Insurance Costs
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Liberty Mutual car insurance rates are not currently available.
With an average annual policy cost of $3,450 for all drivers, Nationwide landed about $500 below the average for all 10 insurers in our survey. But rates varied enormously by age and gender, with a $5,000 range between the lowest and highest rates and a dramatic drop as the youngest drivers reached their 20s. An unmarried 17-year-old male paid $7,175 with Nationwide on average, roughly $1,400 more than the $5,756 paid by a female of the same age. But their 25-year-old counterparts paid just $2,889 and $2,686, respectively, far less for both and only about a $200 difference between the two.
In contrast, a 60-year-old married male paid $2,215 on average, compared to $2,130 for a married female the same age. That works out to a difference of only $85 between the two, and $4,961 less in annual premiums for the 60-year-old male compared to a 17-year-old male.
|Single 17-year old female||$5,756.37|
|Single 17-year old male||$7,175.31|
|Single 25-year old female||$2,686.48|
|Single 25-year old male||$2,889.04|
|Married 35-year old female||$2,360.49|
|Married 35-year old male||$2,387.43|
|Married 60-year old female||$2,130.26|
|Married 60-year old male||$2,214.62|
How much survey participants drove annually had much less of an impact on rates than their age and gender. Nationwide customers who traveled 6,000 miles per year were charged $3,437 on average. Those who drove twice as much, or 12,000 miles annually, paid only about $25 more.
As we have seen with other car insurance companies, the difference in cost between buying minimal and high coverage is not that great, making greater coverage worth considering. Nationwide customers paid $3,395 on average for basic or minimal coverage, while those opting for high coverage paid just over $100 more annually, or $3,505. Medium coverage came right in the middle, at $3,450. Given the high cost of medical care, auto body repairs, and legal fees, an extra $100 out of pocket upfront could be money well spent in the event of even a minor crash.
|Coverage Type||Average Rate|
Our survey found that, as with other insurance companies, poor credit can have big impact on rates with Nationwide, comparable to having multiple violations or even a DUI. We found that drivers with good credit paid an annual premium of $2,926 on average, while those with fair credit were charged $3,255. Those with poor credit really paid the price, facing an average yearly insurance cost of $4,083. As depressing as that may be for drivers struggling with debt, Nationwide’s rates are among the most affordable for those with poor credit.
|Credit History||Average Rate|
By comparison, drivers with a clean driving record paid $2,746 annually on average, while those with one speeding violation were charged $3,114. That’s less than drivers with a clean record but only a fair credit score. Drivers with one accident paid $3,397 on average with Nationwide – about $700 less on average than drivers with a clean record but bad credit. Those with one DUI paid the highest rates: $4,543 on average.
|Driving Record||Average Rate|
|With 1 speeding violation||$3,113.68|
|With 1 accident||$3,396.95|
|With 1 DUI||$4,543.20|
Who Should Get Nationwide Car Insurance?
Young drivers on a budget would be wise to consider Nationwide when shopping for car insurance. As expensive as their rates are, our survey found Nationwide to be among the most competitive for 17-year-olds, regardless of gender.
With an average annual premium of $5,756 for a 17-year-old female, Nationwide was less expensive than all but Geico and USAA, at $5,654 and $4,808, respectively. The same was true for a 17-year-old male, though the cost was higher. Males of the same age paid $7,175 annually on average with Nationwide, with only Geico, at $6,279, and USAA, at $5,386, costing less.
And as much as USAA is the bargain of the bunch, remember that not everyone can buy insurance from them. Only members of the US Military, honorably separated veterans, military spouses, and children and stepchildren of those groups are eligible to purchase insurance through USAA. On the bright side, Nationwide, Geico, and USAA were far more affordable than the most expensive insurer for young drivers: Allstate. The average annual premium for a 17-year-old female with Allstate was $9,282 and $10,643 for a male of the same age. For older drivers, Nationwide was still competitively priced, but the difference between their rates and others was not as great.
Drivers with less than stellar credit would also do well to consider Nationwide. The survey found that drivers with poor credit paid $4,083 annually on average with Nationwide, less than all other companies in the survey except for the $3,691 charged by USAA. And while the $1,157 upcharge paid by Nationwide customers with poor credit is not insignificant, it is among the lowest of all companies in the survey.
Nationwide Auto Insurance vs. Geico Auto Insurance
Overall scores between Nationwide and some of the other mid-ranked competitors were very close, so it’s worth diving deeper into survey results to see which companies best address your specific needs. Compared to fourth-ranked Geico, for example, sixth-ranked Nationwide had an almost identical overall score from survey participants, separated by less than 1/10th of 1 percent. However, looking at rates for different individuals reveals greater differences. Both companies charged more for a younger driver, but while the difference between the two was only around $100 for a 17-year-old female, the study found that Nationwide charged about $900 more for a 17-year-old male. Nationwide also charged more than Geico for drivers in the 25- and 35-year-old age brackets, but the difference between the two companies narrowed to less than $100 for a married 35-year-old regardless of gender.
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Geico was also a better deal than Nationwide for drivers with good credit, about $500 less, at $2,433 and $2,926, respectively. That gap narrowed to about $200 for those with poor credit. For drivers with a clean record, Nationwide cost about $600 more annually than Geico, at $2,746 and $2,146. But again, the difference was less for drivers with a less than stellar record, with Nationwide only about $200 more for drivers with one accident. For drivers with a DUI, Nationwide was about $300 less.
In terms of other factors, the two companies scored very closely, with Geico slightly edging out Nationwide for ease of filing a claim and value.
Nationwide Auto Insurance vs. State Farm Auto Insurance
Third-ranked State Farm outscored sixth-place Nationwide across the board, with survey participants awarding the biggest advantage to State Farm on questions about customer service and value. Yet the average overall cost difference between the two was less than $200 annually, perhaps indicating that participants place a premium on service that outweighs cost.
While overall rates were close between the two companies, and within $200 to $300 of each other regardless of age, which was more affordable depended on the age of the driver. Interestingly, the study found the advantage was with Nationwide for younger drivers, while older drivers saved more with State Farm. A 17-year-old female, for example, paid $5,756 on average with Nationwide, while State Farm charged $5,954. Yet before the age of 25, a single female paid $351 less with State Farm. A 25-year-old single male saw similar savings with State Farm, and Nationwide cost more with all older age groups regardless of gender.
Nationwide also proved slightly more expensive than State Farm on average regardless of whether drivers opted for low, medium, or high coverage limits, and no matter how much drivers traveled per year. We found bigger differences in cost between the two companies with regard to a driver’s credit history.
At $2,926 on average for a driver with good credit, Nationwide was almost $800 more annually on average than State Farm. For drivers with poor credit, Nationwide was about $900 less, at $4,083 vs. $4,951 with State Farm. The two companies were within about $100 of each other regardless of whether a driver had a clean record or one violation. With a DUI on their record, drivers paid $906 more with Nationwide than with State Farm, or $4,543 compared to $3,637.
Nationwide Auto Insurance vs. Allstate Auto Insurance
Nationwide edged out eighth-ranked Allstate by a small margin in every question asked of our respondents but one – ease of filing a claim. Beyond that, respondents gave Nationwide the nod for customer service, status updates, claim resolution, and value.
In terms of cost, Nationwide had the advantage overall by a whopping $1,400 for all drivers on average. While the survey found Allstate to be the most expensive car insurance provider overall of the 10 sampled, at $4,888, the average premium for Nationwide customers was $3,450.
The cost advantage for Nationwide continued across every demographic included in our survey, typically saving drivers $1,000 or more than Allstate annually, regardless of age, gender, miles traveled, coverage type, credit history, or driving record. For some, the savings were as great as $3,500 per year.
The greatest savings were for young drivers, with 17-year-old male and female drivers paying $3,467 and $3,526 less annually with Nationwide than Allstate on average. Drivers with poor credit also saved $2,407 by going with Nationwide instead of Allstate, paying $4,083 on average compared to $6,491.
Types of Coverage From Nationwide Car Insurance
Nationwide offers a full coverage car insurance, including liability, collision, personal injury, medical reimbursement, and comprehensive coverage. Rental car reimbursement is also available, along with gap insurance to cover any difference between your car’s value and what you owe on it in the event of a total loss.
Coverage for classic cars is also available, with reduced rates in exchange for limited use and other conditions like keeping the vehicle garaged. Available roadside coverage includes access to emergency fuel, towing, a tire change, and more, 24/7. Vanishing deductible coverage can reduce a $500 deductible to $300 after three years without a claim.
The Nationwide SmartRide program offers discounts for safe driving if a driver is willing to use a monitoring device to track their behavior behind the wheel. Nationwide also offers new buyers a $500 credit toward a new car through their BonusDrive program.
Nationwide Car Insurance Complaints
Most of the complaints about Nationwide came from customers unhappy with the value of their insurance. Almost 20 percent of respondents were either very unsatisfied or unsatisfied with value, feeling they paid too much for what they got.
“Too expensive, and they gave me coverage I did not need,” said one respondent. Another was more succinct. “High priced, bad service.”
The next most common complaint was with customer service, where almost 13 percent gave Nationwide subpar scores.
“Not like before when they did things for you,” said one. “Terrible customer service,” wrote another.
Nationwide Car Insurance Discounts
Like many insurers, Nationwide offers car insurance discounts for drivers with a clean record and those who bundle car insurance with another policy such as their home. Certain anti-theft devices can also reduce your premium, as well as completing an approved defensive driving course. Students who maintain at least a B average are eligible for a discount, as are drivers who belong to certain organizations and those who set up auto-pay from their bank account. Allowing a monitoring device in your car to track driving behavior and performance through the SmartRide performance can also reduce car insurance rates with Nationwide.
Other Types of Policies From Nationwide
In addition to coverage for everyday automobiles and classic vehicles, Nationwide offers insurance policies for a variety of vehicles, including motor homes, travel trailers and campers, motorcycles, scooters, boats, personal watercraft, ATVs, and snowmobiles.
Nationwide Financial Fitness
With $46 billion in sales and $158 billion in statutory assets, Nationwide ranks as one of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the world.
More information about Nationwide Auto Insurance can be found at www.nationwide.com/personal/insurance/auto.
They can also be reached by phone at 877-669-6877.