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

If you're in the market for a new insurance policy, you might be wondering how Southern and Nationwide compare when it comes to the lowest rates and biggest discounts. To find out which of these companies is the best fit for you and your wallet, check out our newest guide below.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • In general, Nationwide offers significantly less expensive prices than Southern
  • Nationwide offers more affordable average premiums for policyholders whose driving record contains an at-fault collision
  • Southern has cheaper prices in AL, GA, and TN

Nationwide or Southern: 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 hefty savings, you're probably wondering exactly how much you might be able to save.

You might have narrowed it down to Nationwide or Southern as potential options, but which one will save you the most?

Nationwide Southern

Looking at nationwide averages, Nationwide has average rates that are around 45% a month less expensive than those from Southern.

Even so, Nationwide may not be the cheapest or best option for each driver out there. Auto insurance carriers use a variety of complex algorithms to determine premiums, so depending on where you live or how old you are (among a lot of other factors), you could see wildly different rates from the ones above.

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

Nationwide vs. Southern: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Nationwide Southern

Nationwide and Southern only compete against each other in three states, with Nationwide offering cheaper rates to the average driver in all of them. Tennessee has the most noticable difference, where Nationwide premiums are $121 more affordable than car insurance rates at Southern.

But there's more to calculating insurance premiums than just where you call home. Keep reading to find out more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Nationwide Southern
18-year-old drivers$380$707
25-year-old drivers$148$269

Teen drivers will almost always have the most expensive auto insurance prices of any other group of drivers out there on the road. The reason is that teen drivers are statistically much more likely to get into accidents since they have less experience on the roads.

But still, even with seemingly sky-high premiums, teen drivers can still find ways to save money. For example, 18-year-old drivers pay an average of almost 45% less per month by choosing Nationwide over Southern. It's worth noting that Nationwide offers car insurance in 34 different states compared to Southern's three, which can skew the average prices a bit, but the difference here is still considerable.

That being said, with both companies, you'll see your rates reduce significantly once you turn 25. For example, average premiums for Nationwide policyholders decrease about $250 and Southern's rates drop nearly $450 over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Nationwide Southern
65+-year-old drivers$125$254

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

When looking at Nationwide and Southern specifically, which company is best for retired drivers? Nationwide gets the edge here, with average rates coming in at around $125 monthly compared to Southern's $254.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Nationwide Southern

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

For single drivers, the difference in average rates between these two carriers is significant, with Nationwide prices coming in at about half of Southern's. The advantage is also clear for married couples - Nationwide offers the lowest average premiums.

Nationwide or Southern: Average Rates by Gender

Nationwide Southern

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

On average, women see rates around 7% a month less with Nationwide, but with Southern, the difference is closer to 11% per month.

When it comes to the cheapest prices for each gender, Nationwide comes out on top for both men and women, with average premiums $164 less for men and $140 cheaper for women.

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

Nationwide Southern
State Minimum*$112$192
Full Coverage**$229$452

*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 isn't the easiest topic to understand. Everyone needs car insurance, but there are so many different limits and coverages that it can be hard to find the right policy for you.

But the most common 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 a collision) and full coverage (which usually refers to having collision and comprehensive coverages alongside liability).

Looking specifically at state minimum liability limits, 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 Southern's $452.

Is Nationwide or Southern Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

It's no secret -- drivers with good records end up getting the best deals on their 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 at-fault collisions on your record, but which of these two companies offers the most affordable prices to drivers with less-than-ideal driving records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Nationwide Southern
Clean Record$125$216
1 Speeding Ticket$149$233

Policyholders who use Nationwide for their car insurance can generally expect their monthly bill to go up around 16% after getting a speeding ticket. Southern policyholders can expect a less drastic increase of about 7%.

However, Nationwide is normally the cheaper option for drivers both with a ticket and with a clean record, offering premiums that are $91 and $84 more affordable, respectively, compared to Southern Insurance Company of Virginia.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Nationwide Southern
Clean Record$125$216
1 At-Fault Accident$178$293

After an accident, drivers who have their auto insurance through Nationwide can expect to see around an $53 -- or about 30% -- rise in their car insurance prices. Drivers who use Southern for their auto insurance will see a monthly bill around $77 (or 26%) more expensive after reporting an accident to their insurance carrier.

At the end of the day, Nationwide offers the cheapest premiums for drivers with an at-fault accident on their records, with average rates coming in at $178 compared to Southern Insurance Company of Virginia's $293.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Nationwide Southern
Clean Record$125$216
1 DUI$230$548

On average, a DUI offense is going to cost you much more than a single collision or speeding ticket when it comes to your auto insurance bill. Southern drivers usually see a 61% raise in their insurance prices after a DUI charge, while Nationwide will typically climb rates by about 46%.

Nationwide has the overall most affordable premiums for drivers with a DUI on their records at $230 per month, but it's worth noting that Nationwide's average rates come from 34 states compared to just three for Southern, so the data may be skewed slightly.

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How does Credit Score Impact Nationwide and Southern Rates?

You may not have known, but 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 an insurance factor, but it might come into play for a lot of drivers.

The reasoning car insurance carriers use is that policyholders 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 company offers the best premiums for drivers with poor, average, or good credit?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Nationwide Southern
Excellent Credit Score$133$219
Good Credit Score$153$261

If you have solid credit, Nationwide will normally reward you the most. For policyholders with "excellent" credit scores, Nationwide comes in nearly 39.27 less expensive. Drivers with "good" credit scores typically save around 41% with Nationwide compared to average prices from Southern.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Nationwide Southern
Fair Credit Score$179$329
Poor Credit Score$215$480

Nationwide typically offers lower premiums than Southern when it comes to drivers with a below average credit score. Drivers with "fair" credit pay about 46% per month less with Nationwide compared to Southern, and those with "poor" scores generally save an average of around 55% a month.

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

Nationwide Southern
6,000 Annual Miles$170$307
12,000 Annual Miles$171$337

Did you know that the amount of time you spend in your car have a big impact on how much auto insurance companies will charge for coverage? Normally, the more milage you drive, the more you can expect to pay for car insurance.

For both remote workers and those taking short commutes, Nationwide tends to be the more affordable option. Nationwide's average prices for drivers with 6,000 annual miles come in about 45% less expensive than Southern. Those who drive 12,000 miles annually can expect to pay around 49% less with Nationwide over Southern.

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

Where your home is can play a considerable role in how much you pay for insurance. Usually, drivers who live in less densely populated rural areas will pay quite a bit less than urban policyholders since there are a lot fewer cars on the roads where they live.

Nationwide Southern
Urban Areas$199$390
Suburban Areas$159$279
Rural Areas$151$298

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

For drivers in urban ZIP codes, Nationwide's average rates are about $191 less than Southern Insurance Company of Virginia. People who live in suburban areas pay around $120 less with Nationwide compared to Southern. Those in rural areas can expect to save about $147 with Nationwide compared to Southern.

Nationwide vs. Southern Discounts

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

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 qualify for.

Luckily, we did the hard work for you and broke down all of the different discounts offered by both Nationwide and Southern 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 Southern
ABS Discount 
Advance Quote Discount
Agency Transfer Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount 
Driver Training Discount
EFT Discount 
Employee Discount 
Experienced Operator Discount 
Family Discount 
Good Driving Discount
Good Student Discount
Group Discount
Homeowner Discount
Hybrid Vehicle Discount 
Intra-Agency Transfer Discount 
Life Policy Discount 
Marital Status Discount 
Multi-Car Discount 

Looking at the total number of discounts, Nationwide has a slight advantage when it comes to total number of discounts. Southern offers a grand total of 20 discounts, while Nationwide has 22.

A couple of those are overlapping for things like anti-theft discounts, discounts for getting driver training, discounts for being a good driver, and discounts for being a homeowner. Nationwide also offers discounts for agency transfer, distant student, EFT, and more.

On the other hand, Southern has a few proprietary discounts of their own for things like ABS discounts, experienced operator discounts, family discounts, and more.

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Final Thoughts: Is Nationwide or Southern Best for You?

So, you've seen how different variables can affect your car insurance prices. We've shown you all the discounts each carrier offers, too. But, at the end of the day, which insurance company is the best fit for you?

Nationwide might be best for you if....

  • You have an at-fault accident on your record.
  • You want the most robust protection via a "full coverage" policy.
  • You drive fewer than 6,000 miles yearly.

Southern might be best for you if...

  • You like the personalized touch of a small, local carrier.

Hopefully, this guide helps you get a better idea of the difference between Nationwide and Southern. 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 Southern. Luckily, does all the hard work for you. Just enter your ZIP code below and get multiple quotes from some of the best insurance companies in your area, all for free.

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Nationwide vs. Southern FAQs

Is Nationwide or Southern cheaper?

Nationwide is the cheaper of the two carriers when looking at national average premiums, with policies averaging $170 a month with Nationwide and $322 for Southern. But that doesn't mean Nationwide will be the most affordable company for every policyholder, since there are many different factors (things like age, gender, driving record, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, Nationwide or Southern?

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

Why do Nationwide and Southern offer me different rates?

Car insurance companies use lots of different variables when determining the rates they charge. Factors such as where you live, where you call home, age, gender, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all come into play. Both Nationwide and Southern calculate prices using different variables, so it's likely they'll offer different rates. The best way to determine which company is the lowest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a variety of different carriers.

How do I know if Nationwide or Southern 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 make it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your information once and you'll get quotes from dozens of your local top auto insurance carriers for free. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the best rate. And maybe you'll find that the best company for you isn't Nationwide or Southern 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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