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

Wondering if Nationwide or Penn National is the best car insurance company for you, your vehicle, and your wallet? We've broken down all the rates 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
Why You Can Trust trust shield

At, it's our mission to find simple ways to help our customers save money on the things they need. While we partner with some of the companies and brands we talk about in our articles, all of our content is written and reviewed by our independent editorial team and never influenced by our partnerships. Learn about how we make money, review our editorial standards, and reference our data methodology to learn more about why you can trust

Quick Facts

  • Looking at the national averages for insurance, Nationwide offers significantly more affordable prices than Penn National
  • Nationwide offers less expensive average premiums for drivers who have received a ticket within the last few years
  • Penn National offers more affordable prices for residents in Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Virginia

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

Are you considering a new insurance policy? With so many ads from all sorts of companies offering big discounts, you're probably wondering exactly how much you might be able to save.

You might be considering Nationwide or Penn National for your next policy, but between the two, which company will save you the most?

Nationwide Penn National

Looking at nationwide averages, Penn National is about $48 more per month than Nationwide.

Even so, Nationwide may not be the lowest or best option for every single driver out there. Auto insurance companies use all sorts of complex algorithms to calculate premiums, so depending on where you live or how good your credit score is (among multiple other factors), you could see wildly different rates from the ones above.

Wanting to know if Nationwide or Penn National is really the right carrier for you? Keep on reading to see how average premiums can change based on all of the factors we've mentioned above.

Nationwide or Penn National: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Nationwide Penn National

Nationwide and Penn National compete against each other in four states, with Nationwide offering cheaper rates to the average driver in all of them. If you live in Tennessee, Penn National is the more affordable of the two carriers when looking at the overall average prices. Nationwide is the cheaper option in Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia.

But there's more to insurance than just the state you live in. As we mentioned above, there's a lot of things that go into how car insurance companies determine your premiums. Continue reading to see how other factors will affect your rates.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Nationwide Penn National
18-year-old drivers$380$473
25-year-old drivers$148$193

Young drivers -- especially teens -- usually pay a lot for insurance compared to older drivers. That's typically because young, inexperienced drivers are statistically much more likely to get into an accident that results in an auto insurance claim, making them much riskier to insure.

However, that doesn't mean teen drivers can't still save money on their auto insurance. For example, 18-year-old drivers pay an average of nearly $95 less a month by choosing Nationwide over Penn National.

That being said, with both carriers, you'll see your prices reduce significantly once you turn 25. For example, average rates for Nationwide policyholders decrease almost $250 and Penn National's prices drop around $300 over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Nationwide Penn National
65+-year-old drivers$125$163

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

But who has the best premiums for retired drivers between Nationwide and Penn National? Nationwide gets the edge, with rates for drivers 65 and older $38 less expensive than the national average for Penn National.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Nationwide Penn National

You may not be aware, but auto insurance prices tend to be more expensive for those who are single than they are for married couples. That's generally because married drivers tend to own and insure multiple cars, which can often earn you a discount.

When it comes to relationship status, Nationwide is the clear winner for single policyholders, with premiums about $50 per month more affordable than Penn National, on average. The advantage is also clear for married policyholders - Nationwide offers the cheapest average prices.

Nationwide vs. Penn National: Average Rates by Gender

Nationwide Penn National

Men are statistically more likely than women to cause a collision and get into accidents. That means when it comes to car insurance men will usually end up paying a little more.

Usually, women see rates around 7% a month less with Nationwide, and about 2% less with Penn National.

Looking at the data for each company specifically, Nationwide offers the most affordable average premiums for both men and women, with average rates $44 less for men and $51 cheaper for women.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

Nationwide or Penn National: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Nationwide Penn National
State Minimum*$112$144
Full Coverage**$229$292

*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 auto insurance, but there are so many different coverages and limits that it can be hard to find the right policy.

The two most common policies end up falling into two different types of coverage -- liability only (that covers bodily injury and property damage for other drivers and passengers if you cause an accident) and full coverage (which normally refers to having comprehensive and collision coverages in addition to liability).

If you're looking for state minimum limits for liability insurance, Nationwide typically offers less expensive prices of $112 compared to Penn National's $144. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, Nationwide again has the edge, with policies around $65 per month cheaper than Penn National, on average.

Is Nationwide or Penn National Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

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

It's no secret secret that tickets and at-fault collisions lead to higher prices, but which carrier -- Nationwide or Penn National -- has the cheapest rates for drivers with less-than-perfect records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Nationwide Penn National
Clean Record$125$139
1 Speeding Ticket$149$179

Nationwide policyholders can expect their prices to go up an average of $24 a month if they get a ticket, while Penn National usually raises rates about $40 per month, on average.

But Nationwide has less expensive premiums for drivers in both categories. Drivers with a clean record can save around $14 a month and drivers with a speeding ticket can save about $30 per month with Nationwide.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Nationwide Penn National
Clean Record$125$139
1 At-Fault Accident$178$206

After an accident, drivers who have their car insurance through Nationwide can expect to see around an $53 -- or about 30% -- increase in their auto insurance prices. Drivers who use Penn National for their car insurance will see a monthly bill around $67 (or 33%) more expensive after reporting a collision to their insurance company.

Overall, drivers who use Nationwide end up with the cheaper prices after an accident, with monthly rates averaging $178 compared to Penn National Insurance's $206.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Nationwide Penn National
Clean Record$125$139
1 DUI$230$346

On average, a DUI offense is going to cost you much more than a single accident or ticket when it comes to your auto insurance bill. On average, Penn National will climb your premiums about 60% after a DUI, while Nationwide's average rates rise by over 45%.

If you have a DUI on your record and are looking for more affordable prices, Nationwide tends to be the much cheaper option with average premiums of $230 a month compared to $346 from Penn National.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

How does Credit Score Impact Nationwide and Penn National Rates?

In many cases, your credit score can come into play when carriers calculate your monthly bill. Certain states and companies do not allow for credit score to be used as a rating factor, but it does affect a lot of drivers out there.

Insurance carriers argue that someone with bad credit is less likely to pay their bills on time, which makes them riskier to insure. Because of that, policyholders with bad credit will often be forced to pay more.

Looking specifically at Nationwide and Penn National, which one has the lowest rates for drivers at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Nationwide Penn National
Excellent Credit Score$133$161
Good Credit Score$153$182

If you have solid credit, you'll usually find a better deal with Nationwide. Policyholders with "excellent" credit can save more than 15% compared to Penn National, and those with "good" scores can also expect to see savings -- around $29 or 16% more affordable each month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Nationwide Penn National
Fair Credit Score$179$208
Poor Credit Score$215$320

Nationwide typically offers lower prices than Penn National when it comes to drivers with a below average credit score. Drivers with "fair" credit pay about $29 a month less with Nationwide compared to Penn National, and those with "poor" scores normally save an average of around $105 per month.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

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

Nationwide Penn National
6,000 Annual Miles$170$218
12,000 Annual Miles$171$218

How much you drive can have a sizable impact on your monthly car insurance cost. That's because the more miles you put on your vehicle, the more likely you are to get into an accident and cause an insurance claim.

As you can see in the table above, annual mileage doesn't have much of an impact on how much Penn National charges. However, there's a small difference in monthly premiums for Nationwide, with policyholders who drive the least paying about $1 less every month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles each year. Still, Nationwide is the less expensive option for drivers in both categories.

Nationwide vs. Penn National: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where your home is can play a substantial role in how much you pay for insurance. Generally, those who live in rural areas will pay less than drivers in urban areas because there are a lot fewer cars on the roads in those areas.

Nationwide Penn National
Urban Areas$199$275
Suburban Areas$159$212
Rural Areas$151$165

Nationwide tends to offer the cheapest premiums for drivers in all types of areas, no matter if they're urban, suburban, or rural.

Policyholders in rural ZIP codes see the lowest rates from both companies, but Nationwide comes out on top with average premiums around $151 monthly. Nationwide also has cheaper average rates for drivers in urban and suburban ZIP codes -- a 28% and 25% per month respective difference when compared to Penn National policyholders in similar areas.

Nationwide vs. Penn National Discounts

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

But where do you even start? With what seems like a million different discounts out there, it may be challenging to find all the ones you're eligible for.

Below, we've broken down all of the different discounts offered by both Nationwide and Penn National so that you can easily see which company offers the most discounts and, therefore, the biggest savings.

Nationwide Penn National
ABS Discount 
Added PIP Option Discount 
Advance Quote Discount
Agency Transfer Discount 
Anti-Theft 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 
Mature Driver Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount
New Vehicle Discount 

Nationwide blows Penn National away when it comes to the sheer amount of discounts available, offering six more discounts than Penn National.

Both carriers offer many of the same discounts -- like advance quote discounts, discounts for being a defensive driver, discounts for getting driver training, and multi-policy discounts -- but Nationwide also offers agency transfer discounts, EFT discounts, employee discounts, and more that Penn National does not.

On the flip side, Penn National has a couple unique discounts of its own -- ABS discounts, added pip option discounts, DRL discounts, and more.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

Final Thoughts: Is Nationwide or Penn National Best for You?

You've seen the role certain variables have on your auto insurance and the different discounts companies offer. That's all well and good, but when it comes down to it, is Nationwide or Penn National the best carrier for you and your specific profile and needs?

Nationwide might be best for you if....

  • You have a clean record.
  • You have above-average credit.
  • You and your spouse are buying insurance together.

Penn National might be best for you if...

  • You're looking for the best rates in MD, NC, NJ, TN, and VA.

We hope this guide helps you get a good idea of the differences between Nationwide and Penn National. 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 multiple carriers, not just Nationwide and Penn National. Luckily, sites like make it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your ZIP code below and get multiple free quotes from some of the best car insurance companies in your area, all in just a few minutes.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

Nationwide vs. Penn National FAQs

Is Nationwide or Penn National cheaper?

Looking just at the national average prices, Nationwide is the more affordable of the two carriers, offering average rates of $170 a month compared to $218 for Penn National. Even so, Nationwide won't necessarily be the cheapest company for everyone, since there are a bunch of different factors that come into play when it comes to your insurance bill.

Who is better, Nationwide or Penn National?

Sadly, the real answer is "it depends.". One carrier is not necessarily "better" for everyone -- it all comes down to what your unique auto insurance profile looks like.

Why do Nationwide and Penn National offer me different rates?

Car insurance companies take a look at many different variables when calculating the premiums they charge drivers. Factors such as your driving record, age, where you park your vehicle, gender, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be used. Both Nationwide and Penn National calculate prices using different variables, so each one will most likely offer different rates. The only real way to see which company is the most affordable for you is by comparing personalized quotes from multiple different carriers.

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

The only way to find the insurance carrier that's right for you is by getting quotes from a handful of companies and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, sites like do all the hard work for you. Just enter your ZIP code and you'll get free quotes from dozens of the best auto insurance carriers in your area. That way, you can guarantee you're getting the best premium. And who knows, the best company for you might not be Nationwide or Penn National 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.

About's #1 goal is to save you money. We publish resources that are based on hard-hitting data and years of industry experience to help you make more informed decisions with your wallet.

  • All of's content is written and reviewed for accuracy by a team of experienced writers and editors who are experts on the topics they cover.
  • None of's content is ever influenced by the companies and brands we partner with.
  •'s editorial team operates independently of any of the company's partnership or business development interests. We publish unbiased information strictly for the benefit of our readers.
  • All of the content you see on is based on comprehensive analysis and all data is gathered and vetted from trustworthy sources.

Learn more about us, our team, and what makes us tick.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes