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

So, you're in the market for a new auto insurance policy. You may have even narrowed down your search to Nationwide and Pemco. But which of these two companies is the best one for you? Read on to find which company has the best prices and biggest discounts.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • In general, Pemco offers significantly less expensive premiums than Nationwide
  • Nationwide offers more discounts than PEMCO Insurance
  • Pemco offers more affordable rates for residents in Washington

Nationwide vs. Pemco: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

So, you're thinking about switching your auto insurance. You've probably seen commercials and billboards from companies offering hefty discounts, but exactly how much money can you save by switching?

You might be considering Nationwide or Pemco as your top options, but which one will save you the most?

Nationwide Pemco

As you can see, Pemco has average rates that are about 35% per month more affordable than those from Nationwide when looking at the national average rates for car insurance.

But that doesn't necessarily mean Pemco will be the cheaper option for every single driver. Insurance companies vary their prices depending on things like how good your credit score is, where you live, how clean your driving record is, how old you are, and a variety of other factors, so rates will differ quite a bit from person to person.

Luckily, we've broken down average premiums from both Nationwide and Pemco by many different rate factors, so read on to find out which carrier is the best for you.

Nationwide or Pemco: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Nationwide Pemco

Nationwide and Pemco only compete against each other in Washington, where Pemco offers the cheaper average rates. For Washington residents, Pemco offers car insurance for $107 monthly on average. Nationwide's average premiums come out to be more expensive, at $116 per month.

But there's more to calculating auto insurance prices 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?

Nationwide Pemco
18-year-old drivers$380$215
25-year-old drivers$148$95

You might already know that teen drivers normally pay a lot more for car insurance than any group out there on the road. That's because young, inexperienced drivers are statistically much more likely to get into accidents since they have less experience on the roads.

Even so, that doesn't mean that teen drivers have to just accept sky-high auto insurance rates. As you can see above, teens who use Pemco save more than $150 a month compared to those who use Nationwide. It's worth noting that Nationwide offers insurance in 34 different states compared to Pemco's one, which can skew the average premiums a bit, but the difference here is still considerable.

However, both carriers will offer you dramatically lower prices by the time drivers turn 25. Pemco offers the steepest drop, with 25-year-olds paying less than half what 18-year-old drivers are charged. Nationwide's average rates reduce over 60% during that same period.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Nationwide Pemco
65+-year-old drivers$125$91

Once you approach retirement age, you'll generally enjoy the most affordable car insurance premiums out there. You've been on the road for years, and all that experience pays off when it comes to your monthly prices for auto insurance.

So, which company offers the best rates to retired drivers? Pemco gets the edge, with premiums for drivers 65 and older $34 less expensive than the national average for Nationwide.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Nationwide Pemco

Did you know that insurance prices are usually cheaper for married drivers than they are for single drivers? That's because policies for married couples typically cover more than one car, which lots of companies will offer you a discount for.

When it comes to relationship status, Pemco is the clear winner for single policyholders, with premiums around $78 per month more affordable than Nationwide, on average. For married policyholders, the advantage is clear again - Pemco has the edge when it comes to average prices.

Nationwide vs. Pemco: Average Rates by Gender

Nationwide Pemco

Men usually pay more for car insurance than women. This is because women are less likely to get speeding tickets and get into accidents, which lowers the chances of an insurance claim.

Normally, women see rates about 7% a month less with Nationwide, while with Pemco, the difference is closer to 4% per month.

When it comes to the cheapest prices for each gender, Pemco offers the lowest average rates for both men and women. On average, male drivers save about $67 a month and women save around $59 with Pemco compared to the average Nationwide policyholder.

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Nationwide or Pemco: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Nationwide Pemco
State Minimum*$112$62
Full Coverage**$229$152

*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, auto insurance isn't the easiest topic to understand. There are so many different coverages and terms that it can make it pretty confusing to find the right policy.

The two most common policies end up falling into two different types of coverage -- liability only (that covers property damage and bodily injury for other drivers if you cause an accident) and full coverage (which includes comprehensive and collision coverages that protect your own vehicle, in addition to what you get with liability coverage).

If you're looking for state minimum liability limits, Pemco normally offers significantly cheaper premiums of $62 compared to Nationwide's $112. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, Pemco again has the edge, with policies about $75 per month more affordable than Nationwide, on average.

Is Nationwide or Pemco Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

It's no big secret that drivers who are accident-free get better deals on their insurance. But even if you have a spotty record, you can still find plenty of ways to save some cash on your monthly bill.

You'll probably end up paying more with accidents and tickets on your record, but which of these two carriers offers the most affordable prices to drivers with less-than-perfect records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Nationwide Pemco
Clean Record$125$85
1 Speeding Ticket$149$101

Nationwide policyholders can expect their rates to go up an average of $24 a month if they get a ticket, while Pemco typically raises premiums around $16 per month, on average.

That being said, Pemco has less expensive rates for drivers in both categories -- their rates are around 32% cheaper for drivers with clean records and 32% more affordable for those with a ticket.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Nationwide Pemco
Clean Record$125$85
1 At-Fault Accident$178$111

After an accident, drivers who have their car insurance through Nationwide can expect to see about an $53 -- or around 30% -- increase in their auto insurance prices. Drivers who use Pemco for their insurance will see a monthly bill about $26 (or 23%) more expensive after reporting a collision to their auto insurance carrier.

Overall, the less expensive premiums come from Pemco, with monthly prices averaging $111 compared to Nationwide's $178.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Nationwide Pemco
Clean Record$125$85
1 DUI$230$131

If you get a DUI charge on your record, it's probably going to cost you more than a simple speeding ticket or even an accident. For example, Nationwide increases average premiums by over $100 a month -- that's over a 45% increase.

Pemco has the overall cheapest rates for drivers with a DUI on their records at $131 a month, but it's worth noting that Nationwide's average rates come from 34 states compared to just one for Pemco, so the data may be skewed slightly.

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How does Credit Score Impact Nationwide and Pemco Rates?

Did you know that many insurance companies take your credit score into account when calculating prices? Certain states and carriers do not allow for credit score to be used as a rating factor, but it will come into play for quite a few drivers.

The reasoning car insurance companies use is that policyholders with bad credit will be less likely to pay their bills on time; so generally, they'll be asked to pay more, while those with good credit will be rewarded with cheaper rates.

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

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Nationwide Pemco
Excellent Credit Score$133$63
Good Credit Score$153$82

If you have solid credit, you'll usually find a better deal with Pemco. Policyholders with "excellent" credit can save just under 55% compared to Nationwide, and those with "good" scores can also expect to see savings -- around $71 or 46% more affordable each month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Nationwide Pemco
Fair Credit Score$179$106
Poor Credit Score$215$178

Pemco typically offers lower rates than Nationwide when it comes to drivers with a below average credit score. Drivers with "fair" credit pay about $73 per month less with Pemco compared to Nationwide, and those with "poor" scores usually save an average of around $37 per month.

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

Nationwide Pemco
6,000 Annual Miles$170$104
12,000 Annual Miles$171$110

Did you know that the amount of time you spend in your car have a substantial impact on your monthly premiums? Generally, those who drive less will end up with less expensive prices since there's less of a chance of getting into a collision and causing an insurance claim.

For both drivers who put 6,000 miles on their vehicles yearly, as well as those who average twice that figure, Pemco offers cheaper rates than Nationwide. Nationwide's average premiums for drivers with 6,000 annual miles come in more than $65 more expensive than Pemco. Those who drive 12,000 miles annually can expect to pay over $60 more with Nationwide over Pemco.

Nationwide vs. Pemco: 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 insurance, but the type of area you live in can have a considerable impact as well. Normally, those who live in urban areas will pay more than drivers in rural areas because there are a lot more cars on the roads in those areas.

Nationwide Pemco
Urban Areas$199$115
Suburban Areas$159$119
Rural Areas$151$88

Pemco tends to offer the cheapest rates for drivers in all areas, regardless of if they're urban, suburban, or rural.

For policyholders in urban ZIP codes, Pemco offers premiums about $115 monthly compared to Nationwide's $199. People who live in suburban ZIP codes can expect to pay around $119 a month for Pemco and $159 for Nationwide. Lastly, those in rural areas tend to get the most affordable prices from both carriers, with average monthly rates coming in at $88 and $151 for Pemco and Nationwide respectively.

Nationwide vs. Pemco Discounts

Regardless of why you might be in the market for a new car insurance policy, you're always going to want to save as much money as possible, and the best way to do that is by utilizing as many auto insurance discounts as you can.

But where do you even start? With what seems like a million different discounts out there, it may be difficult to find all the ones you can take advantage of.

Below, we've taken a look at all of the different discounts Nationwide and Pemco offer their customers so that you can easily see which company offers the most discounts and see which ones you might be able to take advantage of.

Nationwide Pemco
Advance Quote Discount
Agency Transfer Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount
Driver Training Discount 
EFT Discount 
Employee Discount
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount
Group Discount
Homeowner Discount
Intra-Agency Transfer Discount 
Life Policy Discount 
Low Mileage Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount
New Vehicle Discount 
Paid In Full Discount 
Paperless Discount 
Passive Restraint Discount

Nationwide knocks Pemco out of the park when it comes to the sheer number of discounts available, offering 10 more discounts than Pemco.

A couple of those are overlapping for things like anti-theft discounts, distant student discounts, employee discounts, and discounts for being a homeowner. Nationwide also offers agency transfer discounts, driver training discounts, EFT discounts, and more that Pemco does not.

On the flip side, Pemco has a couple unique discounts of its own -- low mileage discounts and paid in full discounts.

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Final Thoughts: Is Nationwide or Pemco Best for You?

So, we've broken down the average premiums for many of the factors insurance companies look at, and we've shown you all the discounts each company offers. That's all well and good, but at the end of the day, which carrier is the right company for you and your specific needs?

Pemco might be best for you if....

  • You have a clean driving record, free of collisions, tickets, or DUIs.
  • You have less-than-stellar credit.
  • You're married and plan to have both of your names on the vehicle's car insurance policy.

Nationwide might be best for you if...

  • You value the experience that comes with a large national auto insurance company.
  • You want to save extra money with discounts.

We hope this guide helps you get a better idea of the difference between Nationwide and Pemco. 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 insurance -- comparing quotes from a handful of carriers, not just Nationwide and Pemco. Luckily, sites like do all the hard work for you. Just enter your ZIP code below and get multiple quotes from some of the best auto insurance companies in your area, all for free.

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Nationwide vs. Pemco FAQs

Is Nationwide or Pemco cheaper?

Looking just at the national average prices, Pemco is the more affordable of the two carriers, offering average rates of $107 per month compared to $170 for Nationwide. But Pemco won't necessarily be the lowest carrier for every policyholder, since there are several different variables that are considered when it comes to your insurance cost.

Who is better, Nationwide or Pemco?

Sadly, the real answer is "it depends.". One company is not necessarily "better" for everyone -- it all depends on the makeup of your unique auto insurance profile.

Why do Nationwide and Pemco offer me different rates?

Car insurance companies take a look at many different factors when determining the premiums they charge drivers. Variables such as age, gender, where your home is, your driving record, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be used. Both Nationwide and Pemco use different formulas, so each one will most likely offer different prices. The only real way to see which carrier is the most affordable for you is by comparing personalized quotes from lots of different carriers.

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

The only way to find the insurance company that's right for you is by getting quotes from several companies and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, does all the hard work for you. Just enter your area information and you'll get free quotes from dozens of the best car insurance carriers in your area. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the lowest price. And who knows, the best carrier for you might not be Nationwide or Pemco at all!


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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