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

Want to know if Nationwide or Safe Auto is the better choice for insurance? You're probably wondering which carrier offers the best prices or the most discounts. Check out our latest guide below to find out which of these two companies is the best for you.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • Based on national averages for car insurance, Nationwide offers significantly cheaper rates than Safe Auto
  • Nationwide tends to be a much more affordable option for policyholders who are looking to purchase insurance with a spouse
  • Nationwide offers less expensive average premiums for single people who will be the only person on the auto insurance policy

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

So, you're considering switching to a new insurance policy. With so many ads from all sorts of companies offering sizable savings, you're probably wondering exactly how much you might be able to save.

You might be considering Nationwide or Safe Auto as potential options, but between the two, which carrier will offer you more affordable rates?

Nationwide Safe Auto

Looking at nationwide averages, Nationwide has average rates that are around 24% a month cheaper than those from Safe Auto.

However, that doesn't mean Nationwide will necessarily be less expensive than Safe Auto for every driver. After all, car insurance carriers can offer drastically different rates to every driver depending on rating factors like your age, your credit score, where you call home, or even your driving record (among other things). So, at the end of the day, premiums from each company will differ quite a bit from person to person.

So, if you want to find out which of Nationwide or Safe Auto is really the best for you, keep reading to see average prices for each carrier broken down by many different rate factors.

Nationwide vs. Safe Auto: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Nationwide Safe Auto

Nationwide and Safe Auto compete against each other in 10 states, with Nationwide offering more affordable rates to the average driver in all but one of them. If you live in Illinois, Safe Auto is the less expensive of the two companies when looking at the overall average premiums, but Nationwide is the cheaper option in most of the others.

That being said, there are plenty of other factors that go into your auto insurance cost than just where you live. Keep reading to find out more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Nationwide Safe Auto
18-year-old drivers$380$443
25-year-old drivers$148$211

Teen drivers will almost always have the most expensive insurance prices of any other group of drivers. That's usually because teen drivers are statistically much more likely to get into accidents since they have less experience on the roads.

That being said, that doesn't mean that teen drivers have to just accept sky-high car insurance rates. Just look at the table above -- where 18-year-old drivers who have Nationwide for their auto insurance pay almost 15% less than those who use Safe Auto.

Even so, both carriers will offer you dramatically lower premiums by the time drivers turn 25. For example, average prices for Nationwide policyholders decrease about $250 and Safe Auto's premiums reduce nearly $250 over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Nationwide Safe Auto
65+-year-old drivers$125$179

Once you approach retirement age, you'll normally enjoy the most affordable insurance rates you'll ever find. You've been on the road for years, and all that experience pays off when it comes to your monthly prices for car insurance.

So, which company offers the best premiums to retired drivers? Nationwide gets the edge here, with average prices coming in at around $125 per month compared to Safe Auto's $179.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Nationwide Safe Auto

Married drivers tend to get slightly cheaper auto insurance rates than single drivers. That's because policies for married couples typically cover multiple vehicles, which quite a few companies will give you a discount for.

For single policyholders, the difference in average prices between these two carriers is significant, with Nationwide premiums coming in at a quarter less than Safe Auto's. For married policyholders, the advantage is clear again - Nationwide has the edge when it comes to average rates.

Nationwide or Safe Auto: Average Rates by Gender

Nationwide Safe Auto

Men are statistically more likely than women to get into a collision or get pulled over for speeding. That means when it comes to insurance men will generally end up paying a little more.

On average, women see prices about $10 per month less expensive with Nationwide, but with Safe Auto, the difference is closer to $17 a month.

Looking at overall affordability, Nationwide comes out as the cheapest option for both genders. On average, women save about $50 per month and men save around $55 with Nationwide compared to the average Safe Auto policyholder.

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Nationwide vs. Safe Auto: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Nationwide Safe Auto
State Minimum*$112$126
Full Coverage**$229$320

*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.

Auto insurance can be a complicated subject for most people. There are so many different limits and terms that it can make it pretty confusing to find the right policy for you.

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

Looking specifically at state minimum liability insurance, Nationwide has the 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 Safe Auto's $320.

Is Nationwide or Safe Auto 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 collisions on your record, but which of these two companies offers the lowest premiums to drivers with spotty records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Nationwide Safe Auto
Clean Record$125$180
1 Speeding Ticket$149$220

Policyholders who use Nationwide for their insurance can typically expect their monthly bill to go up around 16% after getting a speeding ticket. Safe Auto policyholders can expect a bit more drastic of an increase of about 18%.

However, Nationwide is generally the more affordable option for drivers both with a ticket and with a clean record. With Nationwide, drivers with a clean record can save around $55 per month and drivers with a speeding ticket can save about $71 a month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Nationwide Safe Auto
Clean Record$125$180
1 At-Fault Accident$178$246

Nationwide drivers who get in a collision can expect to see their prices rise by just under 30%, while those who have insurance through Safe Auto will see around a 25% increase.

At the end of the day, the cheaper rates come from Nationwide, with average premiums coming in at $178 compared to Safe Auto's $246.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Nationwide Safe Auto
Clean Record$125$180
1 DUI$230$245

If you get a DUI charge, you can expect some pretty significant increases in your monthly auto insurance bill -- normally a lot more than an accident or ticket. On average, Nationwide will increase your rates about 46% after a DUI, while Safe Auto's average prices climb by more than 25%.

But if you end up with a DUI charge and are looking for more affordable premiums, Nationwide tends to be less expensive for the average driver, with monthly premiums coming in at around $230 to Safe Auto's $245.

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How does Credit Score Impact Nationwide and Safe Auto Rates?

Did you know many insurance carriers take into account your credit score when determining prices? This isn't true for everyone (for example, Hawaii and Massachusetts are two states that ban the practice entirely), but it might come into play for several policyholders.

The reasoning car insurance companies use is that drivers with good credit will be more likely to pay their bills on time; so they'll reward them with cheaper rates, while those with poor credit will usually be forced to pay more.

So, which carrier offers the best premiums for policyholders with poor, average, or good credit?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Nationwide Safe Auto
Excellent Credit Score$133$187
Good Credit Score$153$222

If you have great credit, Nationwide will normally reward you the most. For drivers with "excellent" credit scores, Nationwide comes in nearly 28.88 cheaper. Drivers with "good" credit scores typically save about 31% with Nationwide compared to average rates from Safe Auto.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Nationwide Safe Auto
Fair Credit Score$179$230
Poor Credit Score$215$252

Nationwide typically offers lower premiums than Safe Auto when it comes to drivers with less-than-perfect credit. Drivers with "fair" credit pay around 22% per month less with Nationwide compared to Safe Auto, and those with "poor" scores generally save an average of about 15% monthly.

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

Nationwide Safe Auto
6,000 Annual Miles$170$223
12,000 Annual Miles$171$223

How much you drive can have a considerable impact on your monthly insurance bill. That's because the more milage you drive, the more likely you are to be in a collision and file an insurance claim.

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

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

Where you live can have a substantial impact on your monthly auto insurance payment. Usually, policyholders who live in heavily-populated urban areas will pay quite a bit more than rural drivers since there are a lot more vehicles on the roads where they live.

Nationwide Safe Auto
Urban Areas$199$271
Suburban Areas$159$200
Rural Areas$151$197

Nationwide boasts the cheapest average rates for drivers in every type of area, no matter if it's urban, suburban, or rural.

Those in rural areas can expect to save about 23% with Nationwide compared to Safe Auto. People who live in suburban areas pay around 21% less with Nationwide compared to Safe Auto. For policyholders in urban ZIP codes, Nationwide's average premiums are about 27% less than Safe Auto.

Nationwide vs. Safe Auto 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, and the best way to do that is by utilizing as many insurance discounts as possible.

But where do you even start? With so many discounts out there, it may seem hard to find all the of the ones you can take advantage of.

Luckily, we did the hard work for you and looked at all of the different discounts Nationwide and Safe Auto offer their customers so that you can easily see which company offers the most discounts and, therefore, the largest savings.

Nationwide Safe Auto
Advance Quote Discount 
Agency Transfer Discount
Anti-Theft Discount
Claim Free 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 
Military Discount 
Multi-Car Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount 
New Vehicle Discount 
Non-Owner Discount 

Nationwide knocks Safe Auto out of the park when it comes to the sheer number of discounts available, offering 22 different discounts to Safe Auto's 14.

There are a couple discounts both carriers offer, but Nationwide also offers discounts for advance quote, distant student, EFT, and more.

On the other hand, Safe Auto has a few proprietary discounts of their own for things like claim free discounts, military discounts, multi-car discounts, and more.

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Final Thoughts: Is Nationwide or Safe Auto Best for You?

So, we've broken down the average prices for many of the variables car insurance companies look at, and walked through the different discounts each carrier offers, too. But, when it comes down to it, which insurance company is the best one for you, your vehicle, and your wallet?

Nationwide might be best for you if....

  • Your driving record includes a DUI charge.
  • You want to save money while purchasing auto insurance for a teenager.

Safe Auto 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 Nationwide and Safe Auto. We also hope we've given you the information you need to make the best decision when it comes to your insurance.

At the end of the day, the best way to make sure you're getting the best deal on your car insurance policy is to compare quotes from several carriers, not just Nationwide and Safe Auto. Luckily, sites like do all the hard work for you. Simply enter your ZIP codes 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. Safe Auto FAQs

Is Nationwide or Safe Auto 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 $223 for Safe Auto. Even so, that doesn't mean Nationwide will be the lowest carrier for each driver, since there are multiple different factors (things like age, driving record, gender, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, Nationwide or Safe Auto?

Sadly, the only answer we can give you is "it depends.". No one company is necessarily "better" for every policyholder -- it all depends on the makeup of your unique car insurance profile.

Why do Nationwide and Safe Auto offer me different rates?

Insurance companies use lots of different variables when calculating the premiums they charge. Things such as where you park your car, gender, where you call home, age, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be used. Both Nationwide and Safe Auto 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 a bunch of different carriers.

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

The only way to find the auto insurance company 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, makes it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your area information and you'll get quotes from dozens of your local top insurance carriers for free. That way, you can guarantee you're getting the best rate. And maybe you'll find that the best carrier for you isn't Nationwide or Safe Auto 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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