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

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

  • Looking at the national averages for auto insurance, Root offers significantly less expensive premiums than Nationwide
  • Nationwide may help you save more money -- they offer more discounts than Root Insurance
  • Root offers more affordable rates for policyholders who live in the suburbs

Nationwide or Root: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

So, you're considering switching to a new insurance policy. You've probably seen commercials and billboards from companies offering huge savings, but exactly how much money can you save by switching?

You've maybe even narrowed your search down to Nationwide or Root as your top options, but between the two, which company will save you the most?

Nationwide Root

As you can see, Root is quite a bit cheaper than Nationwide, with prices averaging $65 a month compared to $170 with Nationwide when looking at the national average rates for car insurance.

But that doesn't mean Root will necessarily be more affordable than Nationwide for every driver. After all, auto insurance carriers can offer drastically different rates to every driver depending on rating factors like your driving record, where you call home, your credit score, or even your age (among other things), so rates will differ quite a bit from person to person.

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

Nationwide vs. Root: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Nationwide Root

Nationwide and Root only compete against each other in Arizona, where Root offers the cheaper average rates. Root drivers tend to pay about $105 per month less on average compared to drivers who use Nationwide for their insurance.

There are plenty of other factors that go into your auto insurance cost than just your home state. Keep reading to learn more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Nationwide Root
18-year-old drivers$380$136
25-year-old drivers$148$52

You might already know that teen drivers typically pay a lot more for insurance than any group on the road. That's usually 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 65% less a month by choosing Root over Nationwide. It's worth noting that Nationwide offers insurance in 34 different states compared to Root's one, which can skew the average prices a bit, but the difference here is still considerable.

Even so, both companies will offer you dramatically lower premiums by the time drivers turn 25. For example, average rates for Nationwide policyholders decrease over 60% and Root's prices reduce more than 60% over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Nationwide Root
65+-year-old drivers$125$57

Once you approach retirement age, you'll normally enjoy the cheapest auto 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 car insurance.

But who has the best premiums for retired drivers between Nationwide and Root? Root gets the edge here, with average rates coming in at around $57 monthly compared to Nationwide's $125.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Nationwide Root

Did you know that insurance prices are generally more expensive for those who are single than they are for married couples? That's because policies for married policyholders typically cover several vehicles, which a lot of carriers will give you a discount for.

For single policyholders, the difference in average premiums between these two companies is significant, with Root rates coming in at about a third of Nationwide's. The advantage is also clear for married drivers - Root offers the lowest average premiums.

Nationwide or Root: Average Rates by Gender

Nationwide Root

Men are statistically more likely than women to get into collisions and file an insurance claim, which means they'll generally end up paying more for car insurance than women.

Typically, men see rates around $10 per month higher with Nationwide, and about $2 more with Root.

When it comes to the most affordable prices for each gender, Root comes out as the lowest option for both genders, with average premiums $110 less for men and $100 cheaper for women.

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Nationwide vs. Root: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Nationwide Root
State Minimum*$112$46
Full Coverage**$229$84

*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 a complicated subject for most people. There are many different coverages that account for several 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.

However, the most common policies that drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability coverage (which covers the other party's property damage and injuries if you cause an accident) and full coverage (which includes collision and comprehensive coverages that protect your own car, in addition to liability).

Looking specifically at state minimum liability limits, Root has the significant edge, with average monthly rates coming in at $46. If you want a full coverage policy with the same state minimum limits, Root again has the edge, with policies averaging around $84 a month to Nationwide's $229.

Is Nationwide or Root 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.

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

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Nationwide Root
Clean Record$125$57
1 Speeding Ticket$149$67

Policyholders who use Nationwide for their insurance can usually expect their monthly bill to go up about 16% after getting a speeding ticket. Root policyholders can expect a less drastic increase of around 15%.

That being said, Root tends to offer the best prices for both drivers who have a recent ticket and those with clean records, offering rates that are $68 and $82 cheaper, respectively, compared to Nationwide.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Nationwide Root
Clean Record$125$57
1 At-Fault Accident$178$79

After an accident, drivers who have their auto insurance through Nationwide can expect to see about an $53 -- or around 30% -- rise in their car insurance prices. Drivers who use Root for their insurance will see a monthly bill about $22 (or 28%) more expensive after reporting a collision to their auto insurance carrier.

At the end of the day, Root offers the cheapest premiums for drivers with an at-fault collision on their records, with average rates coming in at $79 compared to Nationwide's $178.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Nationwide Root
Clean Record$125$57
1 DUI$230$57

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. On average, Nationwide will increase your premiums around 46% after a DUI, while Root's average prices climb by 0%.

Root has the overall most affordable premiums for drivers with a DUI on their records at $57 per month, but it's worth noting that Nationwide's average rates come from 34 states compared to just one for Root, so the data may be skewed slightly.

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How does Credit Score Impact Nationwide and Root Rates?

Did you know many insurance companies take into account your credit score when determining prices? This isn't true for everyone (for example, Hawaii and Michigan are two states that ban the practice entirely), but it does affect many drivers out there.

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 more affordable rates.

Looking at Nationwide and Root specifically, which carrier has the best prices for drivers at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Nationwide Root
Excellent Credit Score$133$54
Good Credit Score$153$60

If you have great credit, Root will normally reward you the most. For policyholders with "excellent" credit scores, Root comes in nearly 59.4 cheaper. Drivers with "good" credit scores generally save about 61% with Root compared to average premiums from Nationwide.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Nationwide Root
Fair Credit Score$179$66
Poor Credit Score$215$79

Root typically offers lower rates than Nationwide when it comes to drivers with bad credit. Drivers with "fair" credit pay around 63% per month less with Root compared to Nationwide, and those with "poor" scores normally save an average of about 63% a month.

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

Nationwide Root
6,000 Annual Miles$170$65
12,000 Annual Miles$171$65

Did you know that the amount of time you spend in your car have a considerable impact on your monthly prices? Usually, the more milage you drive, the more you can expect to pay for car insurance.

As you can see in the table above, annual mileage doesn't have much of an impact on how much Root charges. However, there's a small difference in monthly rates for Nationwide, with drivers who put 6,000 miles on their vehicle annually paying around $1 less each month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles yearly. Still, for drivers in both categories, Root is the less expensive company.

Nationwide or Root: 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 pretty big impact as well. Typically, if you live in a rural area with fewer cars on the road, you'll pay a little less for auto insurance, while the opposite is true for people in urban areas.

Nationwide Root
Urban Areas$199$77
Suburban Areas$159$60
Rural Areas$151$58

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

In urban areas, Root's average prices are about $77 a month compared to Nationwide's $199. People in suburban areas pay a monthly price of around $60 with Root compared to $159 with Nationwide. If you live in a rural area, you can expect to pay about $58 per month with Root and $151 with Nationwide.

Nationwide vs. Root Discounts

No matter 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 you can. That's where auto insurance discounts comes into play.

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

Luckily, we did the hard work for you and looked at all of the different discounts Nationwide and Root offer their customers so that you can see which one can save you the most money each month.

Nationwide Root
Advance Quote Discount 
Agency Transfer Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount 
Auto-Steer 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 
Multi-Policy Discount 
New Vehicle Discount 
Paid In Full Discount 
Paperless Discount
Passive Restraint Discount 

Nationwide blows Root away when it comes to the sheer amount of discounts available, offering 17 more discounts than Root.

A couple of those are overlapping for things like discounts for being a good driver, discounts for being a homeowner, and paperless discounts. Nationwide also offers discounts for advance quote, agency transfer, anti-theft, and more.

On the other hand, Root has a few proprietary discounts of their own like auto-steer discounts and paid in full discounts.

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Final Thoughts: Is Nationwide or Root Best for You?

So, we've broken down the average premiums for many of the variables car insurance companies look at, and we've shown you all the discounts each carrier offers. But, when it comes down to it, is Nationwide or Root the best carrier for you and your specific needs?

Root might be best for you if....

  • You've received a ticket for speeding recently and don't want to see your rates rise.
  • You and your spouse are buying insurance together.

Nationwide might be best for you if...

  • You're thinking about moving to another state -- Root Insurance is only available in AZ.
  • You care about discounts (Nationwide offers the most).

Hopefully, this guide helps you get a better idea of the difference between Nationwide and Root and that you can now make a more informed decision when it comes to your auto 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 car insurance -- comparing quotes from a handful of carriers, not just Nationwide and Root. Luckily, makes it easy for you to do just that. Simply enter your ZIP codes below and get free quotes from dozens of top insurance companies in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Nationwide vs. Root FAQs

Is Nationwide or Root cheaper?

Root is the more affordable of the two carriers when looking at national average prices, with policies averaging $65 per month with Root and $170 for Nationwide. But that doesn't mean Root will be the most affordable company for every policyholder, since there are a variety of different factors (things like age, gender, driving record, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, Nationwide or Root?

Unfortunately, the answer truly is "it depends.". One carrier is not necessarily "better" for everyone -- it all depends on the makeup of your unique car insurance profile.

Why do Nationwide and Root offer me different rates?

Insurance companies use quite a few different variables when calculating the premiums they charge. Factors such as your driving record, age, where you park your car, gender, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be used. Both Nationwide and Root use different formulas, so it's likely they'll offer different prices. The best way to determine which company is the cheapest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from multiple different carriers.

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

The only way to find the auto insurance carrier that's right for you is by getting quotes from multiple companies and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, sites like do all the hard work for you. Just enter your information once 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 lowest premium. And maybe you'll find that the best company for you isn't Nationwide or Root 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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