Nationwide Car Insurance Guide [Data + Expert Review]
Nationwide Car Insurance Guide [Data + Expert Review]
UPDATED: Apr 7, 2020
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Nationwide Car Insurance Guide [Data + Expert Review]
|Current Executive||Steve Rasmussen, CEO|
|Number of Employees||32,110|
|Total Assets (2017)||32,110|
|HQ Address||One Nationwide Plaza, Columbus, OH|
|Premiums Written (Auto, 2017)||$7,341,476|
|Best For||Bunding Coverage|
The car insurance industry often awards significant success to companies that emulate the tortoise instead of the hare. Such is the case with Nationwide Mutual Car Insurance. The car insurance provider found its beginnings in Columbus, Ohio over 85 years ago. Where it once served as a small-time provider, it now stands among the top 10 car insurance providers in the United States.
Of the ten most popular providers in the United States, Nationwide sits prettily at number eight. Its many branches collaborate to ensure that consumers receive the kind of treatment that’ll make them want to return to the company upon every renewal.
That said, how can you be certain that Nationwide is the best provider for you?
Comparing car insurance isn’t easy. Ideally, you need to gather all of the necessary information about each of your preferred providers together in one spot. Once you have that information in hand, you can compare each provider to determine which will offer you the most comprehensive coverage at the best rate.
The good news is that you don’t have to do all that work on your own. Instead, we’ve done it for you.
In this guide to Nationwide car insurance, we’ll dive into the company’s history, current market share, consumer track record, policies, and discounts so you can learn a little more about your potential provider.
If you want to start comparing rates ASAP, you can use our free online tool to compare rates for FREE.
The best place to start, when assessing a car insurance provider’s success, is with its ratings. The organizations in this section have all assessed Nationwide for its ability to fulfill its financial commitments and provide consumers with an enjoyable purchasing experience.
Take a look at the lay-out in the table below. We’ll break these ratings down so you can better understand just what it takes to be the eighth best car insurance provider in the United States.
|Better Business Bureau||A+|
A.M. Best awards Nationwide an A+, otherwise known as a Superior rating. This means that the experts at A.M. Best believe that Nationwide is set to retain its financial standing over the next few years. For drivers, this means that Nationwide shouldn’t have any difficulty paying off client claims.
Better Business Bureau
Better Business Bureau rankings vary by state and by a wide variety of different factors. That said, we can still suss out a national average ranking. Better Business Bureau awards Nationwide an A+ ranking. This means that the company should be able to answer any complaints of your quickly and to their best conclusion.
Moody’s Rating awards Nationwide an A1 rating. While this isn’t the highest score on their register, it still stands out. Moody’s Ratings, after all, track debt across 130 countries and 11,000 corporations. That kind of intense scrutiny suggests that a higher ranking like A1 deserves consumer attention.
That A1 rating suggests that Nationwide’s consumers are at a low credit risk when partnering with the company. Likewise, drivers should be on the receiving end of some pretty stellar financial service.
The good scores continue to roll in. Standard and Poor’s (S&P) gives Nationwide an A+, the highest score they can award. This rating indicates that the folks at S&P believe that Nationwide is a credit-safe company that can protect investor and consumer finances with ease.
NAIC Complaint Index
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners assesses companies’ complaint indexes and those companies’ subsequent ability to address the needs of their consumers.
The national complaint average for car insurance providers registers at 1.16.
Nationwide ranks with a 0.44 complaint index, indicating that the company’s registered complaints come in far less frequently than they do for other insurance providers.
Not everything is hunky-dory, though. J.D. Power is only willing to award Nationwide an “okay” ranking when it comes to the company’s customer service. Nationwide only generates two out of five stars on the organization’s shopping study and a three out of five stars on its claims satisfaction study.
This is an abrupt break from the glowing ratings that came before it. Even so, these are not bad rankings. Rather, J.D. Power believes Nationwide to be an average car insurance provider – one that will neither benefit nor harm any drivers who partner with it.
Consumer Reports assesses the overall ability of a car insurance provider – or other company – to perform at full capacity. It awards Nationwide an 88 on a 100-point scale. This ranking pushes Nationwide past Liberty Mutual and Allstate, suggesting that there’s more competition in the car insurance top ten than you might expect.
Consumer Affairs, finally, highlights consumer reviews of a company. Of the 85 indexed reviews of Nationwide the organization has at the ready, 58 are one-star reviews.
This isn’t a great statistic for the company to bear. Given their size, however, a ratio like this could be significantly worse.
Before it was known as Nationwide, this insurance provider operated as the Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. Established in 1925 (or 1926, depending on who you talk to), the company solid policies solely within the state of Ohio.
It wasn’t until 1943 that Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company was able to expand. When it did, it shared its services with twelve other states, including the District of Columbia.
Over the next twelve years, the company was able to add another 20 states to their client list.
That initial growth served the company well. Nationwide Insurance now ranks at number 67 on the Fortune 500 list. It is also the eighth largest car insurance provider operating in the United States today.
Nationwide’s Market Share
The financial history of a business speaks to its ability to continue to grow in the future. Market share, specifically, lets consumers know what a company’s sales percentages are and how those percentages stack up within a company’s industry.
Nationwide’s market share, unfortunately, has been on the decline since 2012. This doesn’t mean that the business is failing, but rather that it is no longer growing as it used to. As you can see in the table below, there was a particularly sharp drop in market share between 2016 and 2017, where the percentage dropped by 1.15.
That said, Nationwide is still sitting pretty as the eighth largest car insurance provider operating in the United States. It is able to fulfill its financial commitments to consumers while also offering some of the lowest car insurance premium rates in the industry. It’s that balance that limits Nationwide’s growth – but that makes it all the more convenient for a driver on a budget.
The agents at Nationwide are in for a change. Until recently, Nationwide’s agents had to choose between working independently or as agency captives.
Sound weird? Don’t worry, it isn’t as strange as you think.
Independent agents are able to sell consumers products for a number of different insurance providers. Captive agents, comparatively, can only sell products from a single provider.
As of 2018, Nationwide announced that they were phasing out their captive agent program and that their agents would all be fully independent by 2020.
With 10,000 independent agents currently peddling their policies, Nationwide may see significant growth as a result of this change.
Unlike many of its peers, Nationwide doesn’t rely on a traditional animal mascot to catch your attention. Instead, it leans on celebrity appearances and a jingle that you’re never able to get out of your head.
Nationwide didn’t start using its now-iconic slogan until 1965. Nowadays, you’ll find Brad Paisley and Peyton Manning jamming out to the slogan-made-jingle on television and radio.
The provider uses its lighthearted commercial tone and likable characters to appeal to the everyman. Its advertisements effectively say, “we’re a provider for everyone, but we know how to poke fun at ourselves, too.”
Investment in the Community
Nationwide gives back to its surrounding communities courtesy of its Nationwide Foundation and Community Connect Program.
The Nationwide Foundation took root in 1959, and it was created to provide non-profit sponsorships and grants to businesses or organizations in need. Some of Nationwide’s long-term partners include:
- The United Way
- The American Red Cross
- Feeding America
Since 2000, the Nationwide Foundation has raised $467 million for nonprofits across the United States.
Nationwide’s Position for the Future
Nationwide’s market share has been declining over the past few years, though only by a little bit. The company is still determined to stoke its growth, especially with its interest in offering independence to its attached agents. Combine this interest with the company’s intent to foster a more powerful online presence, and it seems the company is prepared to bounce back from a few lacking years.
Availability by State
Nationwide offers drivers in 46 of the 50 states access to its insurance policies. You won’t be able to work with Nationwide if you live in any of the following places:
Nationwide offers coverage designed to keep drivers safe in case of an accident. That’s why the company’s basic insurance policies are all designed with states’ minimum liability requirements in mind. These basic policies include:
- Bodily Injury Liability – if you’re determined to be at-fault after an accident, bodily injury liability insurance helps you pay for another party’s medical bills.
- Property Damage Liability – if you’ve caused property damage in an accident, this coverage helps you pay for that property’s repairs or replacement.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – regardless of who is at-fault in an accident, PIP coverage covers your personal injuries as lost wages.
- Medical Payments (MedPay) – MedPay handles the medical or funeral expenses of passengers in your vehicle.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury and Property Damage – if you’re hit by a driver who is uninsured or who lacks adequate coverage, this policy helps you pay for the damage you received.
Nationwide also offers more comprehensive policies, including:
- Collision – if you run into another object, this coverage will help you attend to replacement or repair costs.
- Comprehensive – if your car happens to be damaged by a force of nature (storms, floods, fires, vandalism, or theft), then comprehensive coverage helps you afford your repairs or vehicular replacements.
- Roadside Assistance – if you have to call roadside assistance, this coverage will ensure that you don’t have to endure the expense.
- Rental Car Reimbursement – if you need to rent a vehicle while yours is being repaired, Nationwide will help you cover the cost of that rental.
- GAP Coverage – GAP insurance is an optional form of car insurance coverage that can help you cover the “gap” between the amount you owe on your car and the amount the car is actually worth, or its actual cash value (ACV).
- Total Loss Deductible Waiver – if your car is totaled in an accident, this coverage ensures that you won’t have to pay a collision or comprehensive deductible.
- Accident Forgiveness – this coverage ensures that your rates won’t rise after your first accident.
You will note, however, that some types of coverage – including full coverage insurance – don’t appear on this list.
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Nationwide Discounts and Programs
There are a number of Nationwide Programs designed to save drivers money in the long run. These include:
- Vanishing Deductible – for every year you remain accident-free, Nationwide will drop your deductible by $100.
- Smart Ride – Smart Ride lets you plug a behavioral monitor into your car. This device will track your driving habits for between four and six months. Once your time is up, you’ll be awarded a discount based on how well you’ve driven. You’ll also receive a discount for signing up for the program in the first place. Really, there’s no way to lose.
- BonusDrive – so long as you drive a car that appears on Nationwide’s “approved vehicles” list, you’ll receive $500 upon signing up for the BonusDrive program.
- Auto Shopping Service – whether you’re looking for a new car or a used one, Nationwide will help you find the best ride for your lifestyle with help from TrueCar.
- On Your Side Repair Network – Nationwide also lists its preferred partner auto shops and will offer you a discount for visiting their garages.
But Nationwide prides itself on its ability to save drivers money on their car insurance. As such, there are also a number of discounts available to the drivers who purchase a policy.
|Discount Title||Percentage Off||Details/Requirements|
|55+ Defensive Driving Course||5 percent||Drivers over age 55 and complete a defensive driving course|
|Affinity Group||Varies||Members of affiliated alumni organizations, special interest groups, or professionals may receive a discount through Nationwide|
|Anti-theft Device||Varies||Vehicles equipped with qualifying anti-theft device|
|Auto and Boat||Not stated||Have both auto and boat insurance through Nationwide|
|Auto and Home||20 percent in total||Have both auto and home insurance through Nationwide|
|Auto and Life||Not stated||Have both auto and life insurance through Nationwide|
|Easy Pay Plan||Not stated, one-time discount||Set up automatic withdrawal of premium payments|
|Good Student||Not stated||Students between the ages of 16 and 24 who are enrolled in high school or college can receive a discount if they maintain a B average or better|
|Multi-Car||20 percent||Insure more than one vehicle with Nationwide|
|Paperless Billing||Not stated||Sign up for online policy management|
|Safe Driver||10 percent||Discounted rate after five years with a clean record|
|SmartRide||10 percent of signing, 40 percent after the end of the program||If you install a Smart Ride plug-in device for four to six months, you’ll receive a discount based on your recorded driving habits|
|Vehicle Safety Device||Varies||You’ll receive different discounts based on the safety equipment installed in your car, including anti-lock brakes, airbags, and electronic stability control|
Availability of Coverage
We know that not all drivers have the same car insurance budget. That’s why it’s important to explore the different factors that may influence the rates of different car insurance providers – including Nationwide – are able to offer you. These factors include:
- Partner Company
- Driver Demographic
- Driving Record
- Coverage Level
- Credit History
- Make and Model of Insured Vehicle
In the tables below, you’ll be able to see how Nationwide’s rates vary based on that list of factors.
Comparison of Annual Average Rates by State
Nationwide doesn’t make its policies available in four of the 50 states. In the remaining 46 states, rates will vary due to the individualized nature of roadway legislation. This means that the state you live in will have a direct impact on the amount of money you have to pay to insure your car on a yearly basis.
|State||Average Annual Premium|
|Alaska||NA in State|
|District of Columbia||$4,848.98|
|Indiana||NA in State|
|Louisiana||NA in State|
|Maine||NA in State|
|Massachusetts||NA in State|
|New Jersey||NA in State|
|Oklahoma||NA in State|
|West Virginia||NA in State|
That said, Nationwide’s rates come in below the national average. Michigan, in particular, boasts the lowest Nationwide rates not only across the country but also when compared to other providers.
Average Annual Rates by Company
And speaking of other providers, how does Nationwide stack up when its rates are compared to the rates that the other big ten car insurance providers offer?
|Company||Average Annual Premium|
In general, Nationwide wants to keep your money in your pockets. That’s why its rates are reasonably lower than those offered by its peer companies.
Average Annual Rates by Demographic
Your age and gender may also have an impact on your car insurance rate. Some drivers argue that it’s men who have to pay more than women for insurance, while others argue the opposite. As you’ll see in the table below, neither of these insurance myths really prove to be true.
|Demographic||Average Annual Premiums|
|Married 35-year old female||$742.03|
|Married 35-year old male||$764.56|
|Married 60-year old female||$586.72|
|Married 60-year old male||$643.68|
|Single 17-year old female||$571.59|
|Single 17-year old male||$896.92|
Instead, age has a much more significant impact on the amount of money you’ll be paying for your insurance. Teenagers, in particular, should expect to pay much more for their coverage than older or married drivers.
Average Annual Rates by Driving Record
Your driving record reflects your ability to safely manage a car while on the road. Car insurance providers like Nationwide will look your history over thoroughly to ensure that you’re not a financial risk.
|Driving Record||Average Nationwide Rate|
|One Speeding Ticket||$3,113.68|
As the table indicates, a speeding ticket will raise your Nationwide rates by nearly $400. DUIs will run you a bill of nearly $2,000 – all the more reason for you to take it easy when you get behind the wheel.
Average Annual Rates by Coverage Level
The amount of coverage you want to invest in will also impact the rates a company like Nationwide is able to offer you.
|Coverage Level||Average Nationwide Rate|
As you can see, the less coverage you invest in, the lower your rates will be. However, Nationwide’s rates don’t see that much flux. The difference between their highest and lowest rates is less than $110, making them one of the more affordable providers operating in the United States today.
Average Annual Rates by Credit History
Your credit history reflects your ability to pay back the money you owe to different organizations. Car insurance providers want to make sure they receive your bi-yearly dues, so they’re going to check your history to see whether or not you can responsibly pay your bills.
|Credit History||Average Nationwide Rate|
Average Annual Rates by Commute
If you happen to drive more than 12,000 miles a year, you may find yourself paying a little more for your Nationwide car insurance coverage than you would otherwise.
|Commute Type||Nationwide Average Rate|
|10-mile, 6,000 miles annually||$3,437.33|
|25-mile, 12,000 miles annually||$3,462.67|
That said, the jump isn’t a significant one. You’ll only be expected to pay an extra $25 for your longer-commute car insurance if you partner with Nationwide.
Average Annual Rates by Make and Model
Last but not least, you should expect the make and model of your vehicle to impact the rates Nationwide can make available to you. The newer your vehicle is, and the nicer its make, the more you should expect to pay.
|Make and Model||Average Annual Rate|
|2015 Honda Civic Sedan: LX with 2.0L 4cyl and CVT $2||$733.21|
|2015 Toyota RAV4: XLE $2||$749.63|
|2018 Ford F-150: Lariat SuperCab with 2WD 6.5 foot bed and 2.7L V6 $2||$603.31|
|2018 Honda Civic Sedan: LX with 2.0L 4cyl and CVT $2||$535.54|
|2018 Toyota RAV4: XLE $2||$548.18|
How to File a Claim
If you get into an accident and need to file a claim, you can do so through a number of different means. Nationwide allows you to file a claim by:
- Phone, calling 1-800-42103535
- Contacting your local agent
- Using the Nationwide cellular app
- Online Claim Form through Nationwide’s site
Do note that if your claim only addresses glass, you can call 1-800-890-1375 for faster and more specialized service. There is also a specialized online report form for glass-only claims.
How to Get a Quote Online
Getting a quote through Nationwide’s online platform is pretty straightforward. Let’s break down the steps to make the process as easy as possible.
Step 1: Enter Your Location
Before you share any information about your vehicle, you’ll need to let Nationwide know where you are. Make sure to select “auto insurance” in the drop-down menu above the zip code box!
Step 2: Share Your Personal Information
After that, you’ll need to share your name, address, preferred phone number, and email address. This information will not only help Nationwide build your quote, but it will also create an account for you on the platform.
Step 3: Identify Your Vehicle
With your personal information out of the way, you’ll be encouraged to identify the vehicle you want to insure. If you’ve registered your vehicle with your state of residency, you’ll likely be able to choose it out of a Nationwide-provided lineup. If you haven’t, you’ll need to enter your vehicle’s information manually.
Step 4: Name Your Drivers
After this, select the people you want to insure as drivers. This can include your children, a partner, friends, or members of your extended family.
Step 5: Select Your Coverage
From here, select the amount of coverage you want protecting your vehicle. Your coverage of choice needs to meet your state’s minimum liability coverage, but you’ll also be able to choose what kind of add-ons you’re interested in.
Step 6: Time Your Commute
The length of your commute is going to impact the rate that Nationwide is able to offer you. Provide the platform with a rough estimate of your daily commute to ensure that your coverage is as comprehensive as possible.
Step 7: Discuss Your Diving History
Finally, make sure you share your driving history with your provider of choice. While it can be embarrassing to detail any accidents, filed claims, or traffic violations, honesty is the best – and most legal – policy.
Know this, too – even if you don’t tell a provider about an accident that you’ve been in, they’ll probably be able to find out about it. It’s simplest to be straightforward from the get-go and to, then, budget accordingly.
Step 8: View Your Quote
With all of this information at hand, Nationwide should be able to provide you with an estimated rate.
Pros and Cons
You know now how to get a quote with Nationwide and what kind of coverage that quote will afford you. How, though, does Nationwide stack up as a company?
Nationwide’s coverage options are easy to understand, and they’re extremely affordable. The company also provides you with a reasonable number of discounts to sort through to stay within your preferred budget.
That said, the company’s market share is on the decline. However, growth within the car insurance industry is often best when it’s slow and steady. If you choose to partner with Nationwide, you’ll still be able to access some of the most affordable car insurance available in the United States.
In the age of the Internet, a strong website is indicative of a strong business. Luckily, Nationwide looks fairly good. The website lets you access information about their coverage courtesy of many top-level menus on their homepage. By accessing these menus, you’ll be able to dive into product listings, driving guides, and claim procedures with ease.
App use is on the rise these days, which means car insurance providers need to bring their A game to all different types of phones. Nationwide doubles down on this need by sharing two apps with its drivers: Nationwide Mobile, for car insurance, and Nationwide Bank, for its banking services.
The Nationwide Mobile app operates almost identically to its website. While this means that you won’t be losing out on any information, should you be using the app, accessing that information isn’t the easiest. Likewise, the app isn’t especially aesthetically-oriented, instead focusing on utility. As a result, user experience on the app tends to be less than perfect.
The app doesn’t look all bad, though. Drivers who use Nationwide Mobile are able to access their insurance ID cards while on their phones while also enjoying some additional features. With Nationwide Mobile, you can:
- Issue a claim
- Edit your policy
- Receive accident help
- Contact a local agent
If you have a few questions remaining about Nationwide’s available insurance or corporate procedures, you can check out a few of the most frequently asked questions below. You can also visit Nationwide’s own FAQ for more information.
How do I get an auto quote?
Nationwide makes it easy for you to get a claim on their desktop website. You’ll see a quote box right in the center of the platform’s homepage.
Enter your zip code and contact information after pressing “start your quote.” You’ll need to provide Nationwide with the following information:
- Home address
- Email address
- Phone number
From this point, choose the vehicle registered in your name that you’re looking to insure, or enter that information manually. Nationwide’s platform will ask you questions that could lead you to receive specialized discounts. Once you’ve answered all of those, you’ll receive your quote based on your preferred level of coverage.
What is GAP insurance?
GAP insurance is an optional form of car insurance coverage that can help you cover the “gap” between the amount you owe on your car and the amount the car is actually worth, or its actual cash value (ACV).
Should you get in an accident, you’ll be able to use GAP insurance to cover the difference between the amount of money your car is worth now that it’s been damaged and the amount of money you may still owe on an auto loan.
What is an SR-22?
An SR-22 is a certificate of insurance or a form of financial responsibility. This vehicle liability insurance document is only required of drivers who insurance companies like Nationwide consider to be “high-risk.”
You’ll be considered a high-risk driver if you have an abnormal number of points registered to your driver’s license or if any of the following apply to you:
- You’ve been convicted of a traffic-related offense, like a DUI
- You’ve been in an uninsured car accident and had your license revoked
- You’ve had your license revoked for any other reason
What happens if I’m involved in an accident in another state?
Because Nationwide operates in nearly every state, you should be able to maintain your coverage no matter where you are. However, the nature of individual accidents and state laws may change whether or not you’re determined to be at-fault for an accident or not.
Even so, Nationwide’s liability rates will – in the case of an accident – be modified to match the state minimum liability requirements of the state you got in an accident in. This change will not be a permanent one but will rather only apply to you for as long as a case regarding the accident is ongoing.
Does my deductible still apply even if I’m not at fault?
You may have to pay your deductible even if you’re not at fault depending on what kind of coverage you have. If there’s a chance that Nationwide could recover the amount you paid on your deductible from the person determined to be at-fault in your accident, then the company will do so.
However, if the company does not succeed, you can either choose to try and recover the deductible yourself or pay your deductible as required.
So, is Nationwide the right provider for you? While the market share of the company may be on the decline, policy prices are rarely more affordable elsewhere.
If you want to start comparing rates right away, you can use our FREE online tool to multiple compare rates.