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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 Rating and Review

Rating: 3.92 / 5

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.

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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 Is the 6th Best Car Insurance Company

See the Best Car Insurance Companies

  1. USAA
  2. Travelers
  3. State Farm
  4. Geico
  5. Farmers
  6. Nationwide
  7. Progressive
  8. Allstate
  9. American Family

How We Created This Nationwide Car Insurance Review

At U.S. News, we’re all about helping people make life’s important decisions. Our college rankings, launched in 1983, set the standard in educational rankings. Our ranking in other fields, like healthcare, government, and the automotive sphere, help people and thought leaders make choices that make lives better. Now we’re continuing to empower you with the information you need to make the right choices for your life with our Best Car Insurance Rankings

We surveyed 2,799 consumers who filed a car insurance claim in the last five years, asking questions about their car insurance company. Of the survey respondents, 75 filed a claim with Nationwide. These questions covered satisfaction with the ease of filing a claim, customer service, claim status communication, claim resolution, and overall value. We also asked whether they’d recommend the company and if they planned to renew their policy. We used their responses to build our Best Car Insurance Companies ranking.

Our Study Rates

To get comparative insurance rates for this study, U.S. News also worked with Quadrant Information Services to analyze a report of insurance rates in all 50 states from the 10 largest national car insurance companies, though not every company operates in every state. Quadrant obtained publicly available rate data that car insurers file with state regulators. Our study rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60. Vehicles used include the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150, with annual mileage ranging from 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 of certain driver archetypes. To get the state-wide study rates shown here, we computed the mean rate for male and female drivers ages 25, 35 and 60 who drive 12,000 miles per year, have medium coverage, good credit and a clean driving record. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only and should not be considered “average” rates available by individual insurers. Because car insurance rates are based on individual factors, your car insurance rates will differ from the rates shown here.

Nationwide Car Insurance Costs

See the Cheapest Car Insurance Companies

With an average annual policy cost in our study of $1,530 for all driver profiles, Nationwide landed about $200 above the average for all the insurers in our analysis. In fact, only Farmers and Allstate had higher study rates than Nationwide.

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Nationwide Car Insurance Rates by Age

To determine the average study rates based on gender and age, we created driver profiles for males and females in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles also have a clean driving record, insurance coverage for 12,000 miles per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Nationwide's study rates varied enormously by age and gender, with a $600 range between the lowest and highest representative rates. The 25-year-old driver male and female profiles paid study rates of $1,878 and $1,715, respectively. In contrast, the 60-year-old married male profile paid $1,352 on average, compared to $1,286 for a married female profile of the same age.

Group

Average Rate

Single 25-year-old male

$1,877.87

Single 25-year-old female

$1,715.26

Married 35-year-old male

$1,483.70

Married 35-year-old female

$1,463.04

Married 60-year-old male

$1,351.75

Married 60-year-old female

$1,285.84

Nationwide Car Insurance Rates by Annual Mileage

We created two driver profiles to compare how annual mileage can change car insurance representative rates with Nationwide: one with low mileage (6,000 miles per year) and one with high mileage (12,000 miles per year). The profiles covered males and females in the 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old age groups with a medium level of insurance coverage, a good credit score, and a clean driving record. The vehicles used in our study are the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Nationwide customer profiles that traveled 6,000 miles per year were charged a study rate of $1,519 on average. The profiles that drove twice as much, or 12,000 miles annually, paid only about $10 more. Most of the companies in our study charged only charged a bit more for high mileage, but Nationwide still stands out for the minimal difference in annual study premiums between low and high mileage.

Annual Mileage

Average Rate

6,000 miles annually

$1,519.02

12,000 miles annually

$1,529.58

Nationwide Car Insurance Rates by Coverage Type

Nationwide, like most major insurers, offers car insurance coverage in three general tiers: low, medium, and high (even if they don’t necessarily advertise it as such). We created identical profiles in our study to represent drivers, then found out how study rates changed with the three levels of coverage. The profiles were assigned a clean driving record, a good credit score, and 12,000 miles of annual driving. We used both males and females with the ages of 25, 35, and 60. The 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150 are the vehicles used in our analysis. 

Nationwide customer profiles paid a study rate of $1,494 on average for basic or minimal coverage, while those opting for high coverage paid just about $80 more annually, or $1,574. Medium coverage came right in the middle, at $1,530. Given the high cost of medical care, auto body repairs, and legal fees, an extra $7 out of pocket each month upfront could be money well spent in the event of even a minor crash.

Coverage Type

Average Rate

Low

$1,494.22

Medium

$1,529.58

High

$1,573.98

Nationwide Car Insurance Rates by Credit History

Our study verified that credit score also affects car insurance representative rates using male and female driver profiles with ages of 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. We created a profile for each level of credit score (good, fair, and poor) and assigned the profiles a clean driving record, a good credit score, a medium level of insurance coverage, and 12,000 miles of annual mileage. The 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150 are the vehicles used in our analysis. 

We found that driver profiles with good credit paid an annual study premium of $1,513 on average with Nationwide, while those with fair credit were charged $1,675. Those with poor credit really paid the price, facing an average yearly insurance cost of $2,090 in our analysis. As depressing as that may be for drivers struggling with debt, Nationwide’s representative rates are among the most affordable for those with poor credit – or about $230 less than the national average.

Credit History

Average Rate

Good

$1,512.87

Fair

$1,674.96

Poor

$2,090.27

Nationwide Car Insurance Rates by Driving Record

As you might expect, a person's driving record has a large impact on insurance rates, according to our study. To find out just how much of an effect, we made driving profiles with a clean record, with one speeding violation, with one accident, and with one instance of driving under the influence (DUI). These driving record representative profiles were based on 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old males and females with 12,000 miles driven per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. Vehicles used in the analysis are the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150. 

Driver profiles with a clean driving record paid a representative rate of $1,530 annually on average with Nationwide, while those with one speeding violation were charged $1,838. Driver profiles with one accident paid $2,152 on average with Nationwide, while the profiles with one DUI paid the highest study rates: $3,151 on average. 

Driving Record

Average Rate

Clean record

$1,529.58

With 1 speeding violation

$1,838.34

With 1 accident

$2,151.85

With 1 DUI

$3,151.30

Who Should Get Nationwide Car Insurance?

Across all of our profiles, the only one that might get competitive study rates from Nationwide is the one with a poor credit score. For this profile, Nationwide's representative premium is below the average across all nine companies in our study. Still, there are three companies that offer lower study rates for this profile. 

There are some profiles that should definitely stay away from Nationwide. These include the 25-year-old driver profiles, as well as the profile with a DUI. With these representative customer profiles, Nationwide has some of the highest rates in our analysis.

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. 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.

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However, looking at rates for different individuals reveals greater differences. For nearly every profile we studied, Geico offered better representative rates than Nationwide. Geico was a better deal for the driver profiles with good credit, about $450 less. That gap narrowed to about $160 for those with poor credit, but Geico was still the cheaper option. For driver profiles with a clean record, Nationwide cost about $450 more annually than Geico. Geico's study rate for our 25-year-old driver profiles were as much as about $760 lower than Nationwide's representative premium for the same profile. 

Read more in our Nationwide vs. Geico Head to Head »

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. 

Across the board, State Farm's study rates were farm cheaper than those from Nationwide. From our young adult profiles to those with an accident or a DUI on their record, State Farm was cheaper by hundreds of dollars. Nationwide was the more affordable option for the profile with poor credit, however. For this profile, State Farm has one of the highest rates of any company in our study, at $2,815. That's far more than Nationwide's representative premium of $2,090 for the same profile.

Read more in our Nationwide vs. State Farm Head to Head »

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 about $250 for all our driver profiles on average. While the study found Allstate to be the most expensive car insurance provider overall of the nine sampled, at $1,778, the average representative premium for Nationwide customer profiles was $1,530.

The cost advantage for Nationwide continued across every demographic profile included in our survey, regardless of age, gender, miles traveled, coverage type, credit history, or driving record. For some (like the profile with a poor credit rating), the savings were as great as nearly $1,000 per year.

Read more in our Nationwide vs. Allstate Head to Head »

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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.

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“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.

Contact Nationwide

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.

Get Cheap Car Insurance Quotes in Your Area

Get great auto insurance coverage at an even better price.