Central Mutual vs. Nationwide: Which Company is the Best Fit for You?

Wondering if Central Mutual or Nationwide is the best car insurance carrier for you, your vehicle, and your wallet? We've broken down all the prices and discounts for both companies to help you make a more informed decision. Read on to learn more.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • Based on national averages for insurance, Nationwide offers significantly more affordable rates than Central Mutual
  • Nationwide tends to be a much less expensive option for residents of suburban areas
  • Nationwide offers more affordable premiums for policyholders who are looking to purchase insurance with a spouse

Central Mutual or Nationwide: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

Are you in the market for 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 it down to Central Mutual or Nationwide for your next policy, but which carrier will offer you more affordable rates?

Central Mutual Nationwide

Looking at the national average rates for both carriers, Nationwide is quite a bit cheaper than Central Mutual, with prices averaging $170 a month compared to $340 with Central Mutual.

Even so, that doesn't mean Nationwide will necessarily be less expensive than Central Mutual for each driver. After all, auto insurance companies can offer drastically different rates to every driver depending on rating factors like your credit score, your age, where you call home, or even your driving record (among other things), so premiums will change quite a bit from person to person.

Wanting to know if Central Mutual or Nationwide is really the right company for you? Keep on reading to see how average prices can change based on all of the factors we've mentioned above.

Central Mutual vs. Nationwide: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Central Mutual Nationwide

Central Mutual and Nationwide only compete against each other in two states, with Nationwide offering cheaper rates to the average driver in all of them. Georgia has the most noticable difference, where Nationwide premiums are $116 less expensive than insurance rates at Central Mutual.

There are plenty of other factors that go into your car insurance payment than just the state you live in. Read on to find out more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Central Mutual Nationwide
18-year-old drivers$580$380
25-year-old drivers$325$148

Young drivers -- especially teens -- normally pay a lot for auto insurance compared to older drivers. That's generally because teen drivers are statistically much more likely to cause collisions and other accidents that will result in an insurance claim.

However, 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 35% less per month by choosing Nationwide over Central Mutual.

But both carriers will offer you dramatically lower prices once you turn 25. For example, average premiums for Central Mutual policyholders decrease almost 45% and Nationwide's prices drop over 60% over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Central Mutual Nationwide
65+-year-old drivers$275$125

Drivers around retirement age typically enjoy some of the lowest insurance rates out there. After all, they've likely been driving for quite some time, which usually reduces their chances of collisions and other infractions that can raise premiums.

But who has the best rates for retired drivers between Central Mutual and Nationwide? Nationwide gets the edge here, with average premiums coming in at around $125 a month compared to Central Mutual's $275.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Central Mutual Nationwide

Did you know that auto insurance prices are typically more affordable for married drivers than they are for single drivers? That's because policies for married policyholders normally cover multiple vehicles, which several companies will give you a discount for.

For those who are single, the difference in average premiums between these two carriers is significant, with Nationwide prices coming in at about half of Central Mutual's. For married couples, the advantage is clear again - Nationwide has the edge when it comes to average rates.

Central Mutual or Nationwide: Average Rates by Gender

Central Mutual Nationwide

Because women are less likely to get into accidents and get speeding tickets, they have a lower chance of filing a claim with insurance. So, insurance companies will tend to offer women more affordable prices.

With Central Mutual, women generally pay around 4% a month less than men, but with Nationwide, the difference is closer to 7% per month.

Looking at the data for each carrier specifically, Nationwide comes out as the most affordable option for both genders, with average premiums 49% less for men and 51% cheaper for women.

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Central Mutual vs. Nationwide: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Central Mutual Nationwide
State Minimum*$174$112
Full Coverage**$506$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.

For most people, insurance can be pretty complicated. Everyone needs car insurance, but there are so many different limits and terms that it can be hard to find the right policy for you.

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 and their passengers if you cause a collision) and full coverage (which includes two additional coverages -- collision and comprehensive -- in addition to what you get with liability).

Looking specifically at state minimum limits for liability insurance, Nationwide has the significant edge, with average monthly rates coming in at $112. If you want a full coverage policy with the same state minimum limits, Nationwide again has the edge, with policies averaging about $229 a month to Central Mutual's $506.

Is Central Mutual or Nationwide Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

You've probably seen plenty of commercials from auto insurance carriers offering great prices for good drivers, but that doesn't mean people with less-than-perfect driving records can't save money, too.

Speeding tickets and accidents will most likely raise your rates, but is Central Mutual or Nationwide cheaper for drivers with less-than-perfect records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Central Mutual Nationwide
Clean Record$242$125
1 Speeding Ticket$326$149

Policyholders who use Central Mutual for their car insurance can usually expect their monthly bill to go up around 26% after getting a speeding ticket. Nationwide policyholders can expect a less drastic increase of about 16%.

That being said, Nationwide tends to offer the best prices for drivers both with clean records and with a ticket. With Nationwide, drivers with a clean record can save around $117 per month and drivers with a speeding ticket can save about $177 a month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Central Mutual Nationwide
Clean Record$242$125
1 At-Fault Accident$311$178

After an accident, drivers who have their auto insurance through Central Mutual can expect to see around an $69 -- or about 22% -- rise in their insurance premiums. Drivers who use Nationwide for their auto insurance will see a monthly bill around $53 (or 30%) more expensive after reporting an accident to their insurance company.

At the end of the day, drivers who use Nationwide end up with the cheaper prices after an accident, with average prices coming in at $178 compared to Central Mutual Insurance's $311.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Central Mutual Nationwide
Clean Record$242$125
1 DUI$482$230

On average, a DUI offense is going to cost you much more than a single collision or ticket when it comes to your car insurance bill. For example, Central Mutual increases average premiums by nearly $250 per month -- that's nearly a 50% increase.

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How does Credit Score Impact Central Mutual and Nationwide Rates?

Did you know many insurance companies take your credit score into account when determining rates? This isn't true for everyone (for example, Massachusetts and Hawaii are two states that ban the practice entirely), but it will come into play for quite a few drivers.

Auto 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 premiums.

Looking at Central Mutual and Nationwide specifically, which company has the cheapest prices for drivers at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Central Mutual Nationwide
Excellent Credit Score$257$133
Good Credit Score$288$153

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Central Mutual Nationwide
Fair Credit Score$329$179
Poor Credit Score$486$215

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Is Central Mutual or Nationwide Better for Drivers who Work from Home or Have Short Commutes?

Central Mutual Nationwide
6,000 Annual Miles$335$170
12,000 Annual Miles$345$171

The amount of time you spend behind the wheel of your car plays a big role in your monthly rates. That's because the fewer miles you put on your car, the less likely you are to be in a collision and file an insurance claim.

Nationwide tends to be the cheaper option for both remote workers and those taking short commutes. Nationwide's average premiums for drivers with 6,000 annual miles come in about 49% more affordable than Central Mutual. Those who drive 12,000 miles yearly can expect to pay around 50% less with Nationwide over Central Mutual.

Central Mutual or Nationwide: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where your home is can play a substantial role in how much you pay for car insurance. Generally, policyholders who live in less densely populated rural areas will pay quite a bit less than urban drivers due to the small number of vehicles that are on the roads where they live.

Central Mutual Nationwide
Urban Areas$529$199
Suburban Areas$263$159
Rural Areas$228$151

Nationwide tends to offer the lowest prices for drivers in all areas, regardless of if they're urban, suburban, or rural.

For policyholders in urban ZIP codes, Nationwide's average rates are about 62% less than Central Mutual Insurance. People who live in suburban areas pay around 40% less with Nationwide compared to Central Mutual. Those in rural areas can expect to save about 34% with Nationwide compared to Central Mutual.

Central Mutual vs. Nationwide Discounts

No matter why you might be in the market for a new insurance policy, you're always going to want to save as much money as you can. That's where car insurance discounts comes into play.

But with what seems like a million different discounts out there, it can be difficult to find all the ones you can take advantage of or to nail down the carrier that has the most discounts for your unique driver profile.

Luckily, we did the hard work for you and broke down all of the different discounts offered by both Central Mutual and Nationwide so that you can see which carrier offers the most discounts and see which ones you might be able to take advantage of.

Central Mutual Nationwide
ABS Discount 
Advance Quote Discount 
Agency Transfer Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Book Transfer Policy Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount
Driver Training Discount
DRL Discount 
EFT Discount 
Employee Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount
Group Discount
Homeowner Discount 
Intra-Agency Transfer Discount 
Life Policy Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount
New Vehicle Discount 
Paid In Full Discount 

Nationwide blows Central Mutual away when it comes to the sheer amount of discounts available, offering 22 different discounts to Central Mutual's 15.

A couple of those are overlapping for things like distant student discounts, discounts for getting driver training, and multi-policy discounts. Nationwide also offers discounts for advance quote, agency transfer, EFT, and more.

On the other hand, Central Mutual has a few proprietary discounts of their own for things like ABS discounts, book transfer policy discounts, DRL discounts, and more.

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Final Thoughts: Is Central Mutual or Nationwide Best for You?

So, you've seen how different variables can affect your auto insurance prices. We've broken down the different discounts each company offers, too. But, when it comes down to it, which insurance carrier is the right fit for you?

Nationwide might be best for you if....

  • You haven't received any speeding tickets or been in an accident in the last few years.
  • You're looking for the best rates on liability only coverage.
  • You live in a rural area.

Central Mutual might be best for you if...

  • You have a more unique driver profile than those we mentioned above.

Hopefully, this guide helps you get a better idea of the difference between Central Mutual and Nationwide. We also hope we've given you the information you need to make the best decision about your 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 companies, not just Central Mutual and Nationwide. Luckily, Compare.com does all the hard work for you. Simply enter your ZIP codes below and get multiple quotes from some of the best car insurance carriers in your area, all for free.

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Central Mutual vs. Nationwide FAQs

Is Central Mutual or Nationwide cheaper?

Nationwide is the less expensive of the two companies when looking at national average premiums, with policies averaging $170 a month with Nationwide and $340 for Central Mutual. However, that doesn't mean Nationwide will be the most affordable company for each driver, since there are a range of different factors that are considered when it comes to your auto insurance cost.

Who is better, Central Mutual or Nationwide?

Sadly, the real answer is "it depends.". Neither carrier is necessarily "better" for every policyholder -- it all depends on what your unique insurance profile looks like.

Why do Central Mutual and Nationwide offer me different rates?

Car insurance carriers use many different variables when calculating the rates they charge. Things like your driving record, age, gender, where you park your car, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be used. Both Central Mutual and Nationwide calculate prices using different formulas, so it's likely they'll offer different premiums. The best way to determine which company is the cheapest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from many different companies.

How do I know if Central Mutual or Nationwide is right for me?

The only way to find the auto insurance carrier that's right for you is by getting quotes from several carriers and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, Compare.com 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 insurance companies for free. That way, you can guarantee you're getting the best price. And maybe you'll find that the best company for you isn't Central Mutual 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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