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Time to shop for new car insurance? You’re not alone. We’re here to help you demystify the process of finding the best rates and successfully buying a new car insurance policy that meets your needs. Car insurance rates depend on many variables, and each company sets their own rate table. We surveyed customers of the nine largest auto insurance companies and gathered nationwide data on average annual car insurance rates to help you find the best options for you. In this article, we’ll discuss Nationwide and Geico.

Nationwide vs. Geico: Pros & Cons

Nationwide

    • Good customer service

    • Good satisfaction with ease of filing a claim

    • Low perceived overall value

    • Higher overall representative rates than Geico

Geico

    • Among the lowest rates in our study

    • Good overall customer satisfaction

    • Easy to file a claim

    • Communications during claims process could be improved

Nationwide vs. Geico Customer Satisfaction

The Best Car Insurance Companies in 2020

Our Car Insurance Ranking

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

Read more about the Best Car Insurance Companies »

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Nationwide Auto Insurance Company

Rating: 3.90/5

Ohio-based Nationwide is one of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the world, with more than $158 billion in statutory assets. In our survey of real customers of the largest auto insurance companies, Nationwide lands in the middle. Nationwide offers above-average customer service, and survey respondents indicated satisfaction with the claims process and claim resolution. However, survey respondents said they perceive Nationwide as offering a low overall value, which dragged the company down in our rankings.

Read our full Nationwide review to learn more »

Geico Auto Insurance Company

Rating: 4.17/5

Geico was founded in Texas in 1936. In 1964, the company wrote its millionth insurance policy, and in 2000, the famous Geico gecko made his advertising debut. As of 2016, Geico is the second-largest insurance company in the United States, just behind State Farm. Most Geico customers indicated that they plan to renew their Geico policy and would recommend the company to others, helping Geico nab fourth place in our ranking of the largest auto insurance companies. Geico’s rates also tend to be lower than most competitors.

Read our full Geico review to learn more »

How We Did This Comparison

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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 rankings 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 2,732 consumers who filed a car insurance claim in the last five years, asking questions about their car insurance company. Of the survey respondents, 62 filed a claim with Nationwide and 285 filed a claim with Geico. 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 Rankings and this head-to-head comparison.

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 study rates shown here, we computed the mean rate for male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60 who drive 12,000 miles per year and 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 and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest?

When it comes to cost, most consumers are better off with Geico than Nationwide. Geico has a national average rate in our analysis of $1,168. Nationwide’s national average representative auto insurance rate comes in at $1,864, which makes it one of the most expensive insurers in our study, and is about 59% higher than the Geico representative rate cited above. USAA is the only car insurance company in our survey with a lower national average study rate than Geico, but keep in mind that USAA only offers insurance to members of the military, veterans, and their families. That means Geico is the most affordable insurance offered to average consumers. Let’s see how Nationwide and Geico stack up in other ways.

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Nationwide and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Men?

 

25-year-old male

35-year-old male

60-year-old male

Geico

$1,269

$1,134

$1,067

Nationwide

$2,314

$1,774

$1,649

Age and gender are big factors in determining car insurance rates, and our data shed some light on exactly how much people of different ages can expect to pay for car insurance. We also broke down the age groups into men and women because rates tend to be different. Most major insurance companies charge lower rates to older and more experienced drivers, though there are some exceptions to that rule. 

In terms of price, our study data shows that all three age groups will do better with Geico than with Nationwide. Our driver profile for 25-year-old men shows an average representative rate of $1,269 with Geico and $2,314 with Nationwide. The average study rate for this group across all car insurance companies in the study is $1,669. Compared to the average study rate, Geico’s study rate for this profile saves about 24% and Nationwide’s study rate pays about 39% more. For 35-year-old profiles, Geico’s nationwide average representative rate drops slightly to $1,134, while Nationwide’s nationwide average representative rate drops considerably to $1,774. The nationwide average rate for this profile is $1,368. Geico’s study rate for this demographic is 17% lower than the nationwide average, and Nationwide’s is about 30% higher than the nationwide average. At age 60, the representative rates for our driver profile are $1,067 with Geico and $1,649 with Nationwide, and the national average based on study data drops to $1,267. Geico’s study rate for this profile saves 16% from the average, and Nationwide’s study rate pays 30% more.

To find the average rates in our study based on gender and age, we created driver profiles for males 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 and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Women?

 

25-year-old female

35-year-old female

60-year-old female

Geico

$1,365

$1,119

$1,053

Nationwide

$2,157

$1,754

$1,535

Next, we're going to look at rates for female drivers in three different age groups: 25, 35, and 60. According to study data, Geico’s national average representative rate for our driver profile for 25-year-old women is $1,365, considerably less than Nationwide’s $2,157 average representative rate for this group. Study data shows the nationwide average rate for this driver profile is $1,593. That means Geico’s study rate for this profile represents a savings of about 14%, and Nationwide’s study rate is about 35% higher than average. With both companies, representative rates go down for our female driver profiles when they turn 35 and again when they reach the age of 60. Geico shows a national average representative rate of $1,119 for the 35-year-old profiles, while Nationwide’s representative rate for this demographic is $1,754, and the nationwide average is $1,370. For this profile, Geico’s study rate is 18% below the nationwide average and Nationwide’s study rate is 28% higher. For the 60-year-old female driver profile, Geico’s representative rate is $1,053 and Nationwide’s representative rate is $1,535. The nationwide average for this group drops to $1,229. Geico’s study rate for this profile saves about 14% from the nationwide average and Nationwide’s is about 25% higher.

We created driver profiles for females in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles have a clean driving record, 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 and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for High Mileage?

 

12,000 miles annually

Geico

$1,168

Nationwide

$1,864

The more you’re on the road, the more you might pay for car insurance, which makes sense – parked cars don’t have a lot of accidents. To help you figure out how much your annual mileage affects your premiums, we looked at average nationwide rates for high-mileage drivers, which was defined as people who drive 12,000 miles annually. According to our study data, our high-mileage driver profile is better off with Geico’s nationwide average representative rate of $1,168, which is the second-lowest in the study for this group, behind USAA. Nationwide’s representative rate for this group, at $1,864, is one of the highest in the study.

To find the average rates in our study based on annual mileage, we created driver profiles for customers who drove 12,000 miles per year. The profiles have a clean driving record, 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 and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Low Mileage?

 

6,000 miles annually

Geico

$1,107

Nationwide

$1,849

Drive less than the average American? Next, let’s take a look at representative rates for driver profiles for customers who drive 6,000 miles a year.

These representative rates aren’t much lower than the rates for drivers who rack up twice as many miles. With Geico, you’re looking at about $1,107, which is the lowest of all the major insurance companies except USAA. Nationwide’s average representative rate comes in at $1,849. In either case, however, the savings from a shorter commute are slim. According to Geico’s study rates, the driver profile with lower mileage saves only around 5%, and according to Nationwide’s study rates, the driver profile with lower mileage saves less than 1%.

To find the average rates in our study based on annual mileage, we created driver profiles for customers who drove 6,000 miles per year. The profiles also have a clean driving record, 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 and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Good Credit?

 

Good credit 

Geico

$1,175

Nationwide

$1,847

Your credit score and credit history probably play a role in the amount you pay for your car insurance. Credit history is one of the ways insurance companies learn more about you and determine how much of a risk you’ll be – in other words, if you’re likely to cost them more money than other customers. Insurance companies believe people with good credit tend to be more responsible, and therefore better drivers. 

According to our study data, Geico is a good choice for our driver profile with good credit. This driver profile shows an average representative rate of $1,175 with Geico. Nationwide’s national average representative rate for this group is $1,847. Again, the nationwide average rate for this profile falls somewhere in the middle, at $1,401. That means Geico’s study rate for this profile is about 16% below average, and Nationwide’s study rate for this profile is about 32% above average.

Our study reviewed the effects of credit score on car insurance rates using male and female driver profiles aged 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 medium level of insurance coverage, and 12,000 miles of annual driving. The 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150 are the vehicles used in our analysis.

Nationwide and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Bad Credit?

 

Poor credit

Geico

$1,855

Nationwide

$2,549

According to our study data and driver profiles for drivers with poor credit, customers with a low credit score or spotty credit history should expect to pay higher prices for car insurance than customers with good credit because auto insurance companies perceive these drivers to be a higher risk. 

Our study data shows that Geico is one of the cheapest auto insurance companies for driver profiles with bad credit. With a national average representative rate of $1,855, Geico comes in just behind USAA. Nationwide’s national average representative rate for our driver profile with bad credit is $2,549, which is one of the higher representative rates for this group of the insurance companies in the study. The average rate for this group is $2,353. Geico’s representative rate saves about 21% compared to the average, and Nationwide’s representative rate pays about 8% more than average. To illustrate how much credit score really affects car insurance premiums, the increase in Geico’s study rate from good credit to poor credit is about 58%, and for Nationwide, the increase is about 38%.

To compare the effects of credit score on car insurance rates, we used male and female driver profiles aged 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 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.

Nationwide and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Good Drivers?

 

Clean record

Geico

$1,168

Nationwide

$1,864

Driving records have a significant impact on car insurance rates, according to our study. 

According to our analysis, most driver profiles with a clean record will pay less with Geico than with Nationwide. Geico’s national average representative rate for this driver profile is $1,168, while Nationwide’s national average representative rate for the good driver profiles is $1,864. Geico's average representative rate is the second-lowest for this group, behind only USAA, while Nationwide’s representative rate is on the higher side. The average nationwide representative rate for this group is $1,416. Geico’s study rate is about 18% lower than the average, and Nationwide’s is about 32% higher.

We compared driver profiles including those with a clean record, those with one speeding violation, those with one accident, and those with one instance of driving under the influence (DUI). These driving record representative profiles included 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old males and females with 12,000 miles of driving 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.

Nationwide and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest After a Speeding Ticket?

 

With 1 speeding violation

Geico

$1,510

Nationwide

$2,263

One of the easiest ways to keep auto insurance rates down is to avoid speeding tickets and other moving violations. Infractions on your driving record will cost you money in fees and fines, and they’ll make your auto insurance rates go up for years to come. Next up, we’ll look at the cost of a speeding ticket as it affects car insurance. Our study data and driver profiles can help show how much this moving violation can potentially cost.

According to our study data, driver profiles whose records are marred by a speeding ticket should look at Geico first. Geico’s national average representative rate for this group is $1,510, which is lower than most major rivals. Nationwide’s national average representative rate is on the high side, coming in at $2,263. Study data shows the nationwide average for this driver profile across all the companies in the study is $1,724. Geico’s representative rate is 12% below average and Nationwide’s is 31% above average.

To analyze these rates, we particularly looked at driver profiles with one speeding violation. These driving record representative profiles included 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old males and females with 12,000 miles of driving 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.

Nationwide and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest After an Accident?

 

With 1 accident

Geico

$1,802

Nationwide

$2,766

According to our study data and driver profiles for consumers with a single accident on their driving record, consumer profiles who have one accident on their driving records are likely to do better with Geico than with Nationwide. Geico has the fourth-lowest average representative rate in the country, coming in at $1,802. Nationwide’s average representative rate is $2,766, the highest in the group. The average in the study for a single accident is $2,028. Geico’s representative rate is about 11% below this average, and Nationwide’s is about 36% higher.

We analyzed driver profiles with one accident to find these average rates. These driving record representative profiles included 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old males and females with 12,000 miles of driving 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.

Nationwide and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest After a DUI?

 

With 1 DUI

Geico

$2,958

Nationwide

$4,011

According to our study data and driver profiles, Geico’s average national representative rate for drivers with a single instance of driving under the influence, or DUI, is cheaper than Nationwide’s. The average study rate for Nationwide is $4,011, the highest in the study, while Geico comes in at $2,958, still among the highest. The average for this group is $2,464. Since the study rates for Geico and Nationwide both increase steadily from the clean record driver profile, to a single speeding ticket, to a single accident, and finally to a DUI, we can see how much rates tend to increase as violations rack up. With Geico’s study rates, the total increase from a clean record to a DUI is 153%. With Nationwide’s study rates, the total increase from a clean record to a DUI is 115%.

We compared driver profiles with one instance of driving under the influence (DUI) to arrive at these average rates in our study. These driving record representative profiles included 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old males and females with 12,000 miles of mileage 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.

The Best Car Insurance Companies in 2020

Our Car Insurance Ranking

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

The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in 2020

Average Annual Rates:

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