Auto-owners vs. Nationwide: Which Company is the Best Fit for You?

You've probably seen ads offering big savings on auto insurance, but are Auto-owners or Nationwide right for you? Which carrier offers the cheapest premiums, or the most discounts? Read on to see how Auto-owners and Nationwide compare, and to find out which company is the best one for you, your vehicle, and your budget.
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Quick Facts

  • Based on national averages for insurance, Nationwide offers slightly less expensive prices than Auto-owners
  • Auto-owners may help you save more money -- they offer more discounts than Nationwide
  • Nationwide offers cheaper average rates for policyholders who are looking to purchase insurance with a spouse

Auto-owners or Nationwide: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

So, you're thinking about switching to a new insurance policy. After all, you've seen ads from all sorts of companies offering large savings. But exactly how much can you save by switching?

You might have narrowed your search down to Auto-owners or Nationwide for your next policy, but between the two, which carrier will save you the most?

Auto-owners Nationwide

As you can see, Auto-owners is around $9 more a month than Nationwide when looking at the national average rates for auto insurance.

But Nationwide may not be the lowest or best option for every driver out there. Insurance carriers use all sorts of complex algorithms to determine premiums, so depending on how clean your driving record is or where you live (among numerous other factors), you could see wildly different rates from the ones above.

Luckily, we've broken down average prices from both Auto-owners and Nationwide by a variety of different rate factors, so read on to find out which carrier is the best for you.

Auto-owners vs. Nationwide: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Auto-owners Nationwide

Auto-owners and Nationwide compete against each other in 19 states, with Nationwide offering more affordable premiums to the average driver in all but six of them. If you live in Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, or Virginia, Auto-owners is the less expensive of the two companies when looking at the overall average prices, but Nationwide is the cheaper option in most of the others.

That being said, there's a lot more that goes into your car insurance payment than just where you call home. Read on to find out more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Auto-owners Nationwide
18-year-old drivers$393$380
25-year-old drivers$164$148

You might already know that teen drivers usually pay a lot more for auto insurance than any group out there on the road. That's typically because teen drivers are statistically much more likely to get into an accident that results in an insurance claim, making them much riskier to insure.

That being said, that doesn't mean teen drivers can't still save money on their car insurance. For example, 18-year-old drivers pay an average of almost 3% less per month by choosing Nationwide over Auto-owners.

However, with both carriers, you'll see your rates reduce significantly by the time you turn 25. Nationwide offers the steepest decrease, with 25-year-olds paying less than a third of what 18-year-old drivers are charged. Auto-owners's average premiums decrease nearly 60% during that same period.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Auto-owners Nationwide
65+-year-old drivers$133$125

Drivers around retirement age normally enjoy some of the most affordable insurance rates you'll ever find. After all, they've likely been driving for quite some time, which generally reduces their chances of collisions and other infractions that can raise prices.

When looking at Auto-owners and Nationwide specifically, which company is best for retired drivers? Nationwide gets the slight edge, with premiums for drivers 65 and older about 6% more affordable than the national average for Auto-owners.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Auto-owners Nationwide

Those who are single tend to get offered slightly more expensive auto insurance rates than married couples. That's typically because married policyholders tend to own and insure multiple vehicles, which can often earn you a discount.

If you're in the market for insurance, Nationwide tends to have the lowest average prices regardless of marital status, with prices around 6% cheaper for married drivers and about 5% more affordable for single policyholders.

Auto-owners or Nationwide: Average Rates by Gender

Auto-owners Nationwide

Did you know women tend to pay less for car insurance than men? This is because men are statistically more likely than women to get into accidents and file an insurance claim, which leads to increased risk for insurers and, therefore, higher premiums.

Normally, women see prices around 6% a month less with Auto-owners, and about 7% less with Nationwide.

Looking at the data for each carrier specifically, Nationwide offers the most affordable average rates for both men and women, with average prices $9 less for men and $10 cheaper for women.

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Auto-owners vs. Nationwide: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Auto-owners Nationwide
State Minimum*$99$112
Full Coverage**$260$229

*State minimum value indicates liability-only policies at each state's minimum bodily injury and property damage (BI/PD) limits

**Full coverage indicates state minimum BI/PD limits with collision and comprehensive coverages added to policy.

It's no secret that auto insurance can be pretty complicated. There are a bunch of different coverages that account for a range of different things. Some protect you and your car, while others only provide coverage for other people's property and health if you cause a collision.

The two most common policies that drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability coverage (that covers bodily injury and property damage for other drivers if you cause an accident) and full coverage (which normally refers to having collision and comprehensive coverages in addition to what you get with a liability policy).

When it comes to state minimum limits for liability insurance, Auto-owners has the edge, while Nationwide offers the cheapest average rates for full coverage policies with similar coverage limits. Policyholders looking for basic state minimum coverage can save around $15 with Auto-Owners Insurance, while full coverage comes out to be around $30 cheaper with Nationwide.

Is Auto-owners or Nationwide Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

It's no secret -- drivers with good records end up getting the best deals on their car insurance. But that's not to say you can't save money if you don't have the best driving record, either.

At-fault collisions and speeding tickets will most likely raise your premiums, but is Auto-owners or Nationwide less expensive for drivers with less-than-ideal driving records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Auto-owners Nationwide
Clean Record$121$125
1 Speeding Ticket$165$149

Drivers who use Auto-owners for their insurance can usually expect their monthly bill to go up about 27% after getting a speeding ticket. Nationwide policyholders can expect a less drastic increase of around 16%.

If you have gotten a ticket, Nationwide tends to offer the best prices at about 10% more affordable, while Auto-owners has the edge for drivers with a clean record.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Auto-owners Nationwide
Clean Record$121$125
1 At-Fault Accident$168$178

Auto-owners policyholders who get in a collision can expect to see their premiums rise by over $45, while those who have insurance through Nationwide will see around a $55 increase.

At the end of the day, drivers who use Auto-owners end up with the cheaper prices after an accident, with average rates coming in at $168 compared to Nationwide's $178.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Auto-owners Nationwide
Clean Record$121$125
1 DUI$264$230

On average, a DUI offense is going to cost you much more than a single collision or speeding ticket when it comes to your auto insurance bill. For example, Auto-owners increases average premiums by nearly $150 per month -- that's nearly a 55% increase.

But if you end up with a DUI charge and are looking for more affordable rates, Nationwide tends to be cheaper for the average driver, with monthly premiums coming in at about $230 to Auto-owners's $264.

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How does Credit Score Impact Auto-owners and Nationwide Rates?

Often times, your credit score can come into play when companies calculate your monthly bill. This isn't true for everyone (for example, Michigan and Hawaii are two states that ban the practice entirely), but it does affect lots of drivers out there.

Car insurance carriers argue that someone with good credit is more likely to pay their bills on time, which makes them less risky to insure. Because of that, policyholders with good credit will often be rewarded with less expensive prices.

So, which company offers the lowest premiums for drivers with good, average, or poor credit?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Auto-owners Nationwide
Excellent Credit Score$95$133
Good Credit Score$129$153

If you have solid credit, Auto-owners will generally reward you the most. For policyholders with "excellent" credit scores, Auto-owners comes in just under 28.57 cheaper. Drivers with "good" credit scores usually save around 16% with Auto-owners compared to average rates from Nationwide.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Auto-owners Nationwide
Fair Credit Score$176$179
Poor Credit Score$317$215

If you have a below average credit score, it can be somewhat of a toss-up as far as which company offers you the best prices. Drivers with "fair" credit pay about 2% less with Auto-owners than Nationwide, but those whose credit is considered "poor" have it flipped -- saving around 32% a month with Nationwide.

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Is Auto-owners or Nationwide Better for Drivers who Work from Home or Have Short Commutes?

Auto-owners Nationwide
6,000 Annual Miles$179$170
12,000 Annual Miles$180$171

The amount of time you spend behind the wheel of your car plays a big role in how much insurance companies will charge for coverage. Generally, the more milage you put on your car each year, the more you can expect to pay for coverage.

For both remote workers and those taking short commutes, Nationwide tends to be the more affordable option. Auto-owners's average rates for drivers with 6,000 annual miles come in about 5% more expensive than Nationwide. Those who drive 12,000 miles every year can expect to pay around 5% more with Auto-owners over Nationwide.

Auto-owners or Nationwide: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

We've already mentioned how your home state can play a role in how much you pay for auto insurance, but the type of area you live in can have a sizable impact as well. Typically, if you live in an urban area with more cars on the road, you'll pay a little more for insurance, while the opposite is true for people in rural areas.

Auto-owners Nationwide
Urban Areas$205$199
Suburban Areas$169$159
Rural Areas$164$151

When comparing these two carriers side-by-side, Nationwide normally comes out as the most affordable option for drivers in all areas, regardless of if they're urban, suburban, or rural.

Those in rural areas can expect to pay about $151 monthly with Nationwide and $164 with Auto-owners. People in suburban areas pay a monthly premium of around $159 with Nationwide compared to $169 with Auto-owners. For drivers in urban ZIP codes, Nationwide's average prices are about $199 per month compared to Auto-owners's $205.

Auto-owners vs. Nationwide Discounts

You want to save as much money as you can, right? The best way to do that is by taking advantage of as many car insurance discounts as possible.

The challenging part is finding all of the discounts you qualify for, since it can feel sometimes like every company has different discounts and each one is advertised differently.

Luckily, we did the hard work for you and broke down all of the different discounts offered by both Auto-owners and Nationwide so that you can see which one can save you the most money each month.

Auto-owners Nationwide
ABS Discount 
Advance Quote Discount
Agency Transfer Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Company Car Discount 
Covid-19 Relief Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount
Driver Training Discount
Education Discount 
EFT Discount 
Employee Discount 
Good Driving Discount
Good Student Discount
Group Discount
Homeowner Discount
Inside Storage Discount 
Intra-Agency Transfer Discount 
Life Policy Discount
Low Mileage Discount 

Looking at the total number of discounts, Auto-owners has a slight advantage when it comes to total number of discounts. Nationwide offers a grand total of 22 discounts, while Auto-owners has 24.

A couple of those are overlapping for things like anti-theft discounts, distant student discounts, discounts for getting driver training, and group discounts. Auto-owners also offers discounts for ABS, company car, COVID-19 relief, and more.

On the other hand, Nationwide has a few proprietary discounts of their own for things like agency transfer discounts, EFT discounts, employee discounts, and more.

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Final Thoughts: Is Auto-owners or Nationwide Best for You?

You've seen the effect certain variables have on your insurance and the different discounts companies offer. But, at the end of the day, which insurance carrier is the best company for you, your vehicle, and your wallet?

Nationwide might be best for you if....

  • Your driving record includes a DUI charge.
  • You're of retirement age and want to take advantage of lower premiums.
  • You have a short drive to work everyday.

Auto-owners might be best for you if...

  • Your driving record contains an at-fault accident.
  • You're looking for the company with the most discounts.
  • You're looking for the best prices on liability only coverage.

Hopefully, this guide helps you get a good idea of the differences between Auto-owners and Nationwide. We also hope we've given you the information you need to make the best decision about your car insurance.

But, at the end of the day, there's only one way to know for sure that you're getting the best possible deal on auto insurance -- comparing quotes from a handful of carriers, not just Auto-owners and Nationwide. Luckily, sites like do all the hard work for you. Just enter your ZIP code below and get free quotes from dozens of the top insurance companies in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Auto-owners vs. Nationwide FAQs

Is Auto-owners or Nationwide cheaper?

Nationwide is the less expensive of the two carriers when looking at national average rates, with policies averaging $170 a month with Nationwide and $179 for Auto-owners. Even so, that doesn't mean Nationwide will be the lowest carrier for each driver, since there are many different factors (things like gender, age, driving record, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, Auto-owners or Nationwide?

Unfortunately, the answer truly is "it depends.". Neither company is "better" for every policyholder -- it all depends on the makeup of your unique auto insurance profile. For example, Auto-owners is more affordable for drivers with excellent credit, while Nationwide offers less expensive premiums for drivers with a recent DUI.

Why do Auto-owners and Nationwide offer me different rates?

Car insurance companies use many different variables when determining the rates they charge. Factors such as gender, your driving record, where you call home, age, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be taken into consideration. Both Auto-owners and Nationwide use different formulas, so it's likely they'll offer different prices. The best way to determine which carrier is the most affordable for you is by comparing personalized quotes from lots of different carriers.

How do I know if Auto-owners or Nationwide is right for me?

The only way to find the auto insurance company that's right for you is by getting quotes from multiple companies and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, makes it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your ZIP code and you'll get quotes from dozens of your local top car insurance carriers for free. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the cheapest price. And maybe you'll find that the best carrier for you isn't Auto-owners or Nationwide at all, but another you hadn't even thought of!


All of the data referenced in this article has been gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. We analyzed more than 2.5 million rows of carrier-reported data to calculate the average rates referenced above. All rates are based on an insurance profile of a single-vehicle policy for a driver that owns a 2016 Honda Accord. For more information on how we calculate rates, please reference our data methodology.

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