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

You've probably seen ads offering big savings on insurance, but are Nationwide or State Auto right for you? Which company offers the most affordable rates, or the most discounts? Read on to see how Nationwide and State Auto compare, and to find out which carrier is the best one for you, your vehicle, and your budget.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • Based on national averages for car insurance, Nationwide offers significantly more affordable premiums than State Auto
  • Nationwide offers less expensive average prices for policyholders who drive fewer than 12,000 miles yearly
  • Nationwide offers more affordable rates for residents of urban areas

Nationwide vs. State Auto: 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 big discounts, but exactly how much money can you save by switching?

You've maybe even narrowed it down to Nationwide or State Auto, but between the two, which carrier will save you the most?

Nationwide State Auto

Looking at nationwide averages, State Auto has average rates that are about 35% per month more expensive than those from Nationwide.

That being said, Nationwide may not be the cheapest or best option for each driver out there. Insurance companies vary their premiums depending on things like where you live, how old you are, how good your credit score is, how clean your driving record is, and all sorts of other factors. So, at the end of the day, prices from each company will differ quite a bit from person to person.

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

Nationwide or State Auto: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Nationwide State Auto

Nationwide and State Auto compete against each other in eight states, with Nationwide offering cheaper prices to the average driver in all of them. Texas has the most noticable difference, where Nationwide rates are over 70% less expensive than car insurance prices at State Auto.

There are plenty of other factors that go into your auto insurance bill than just where you call home. Read on to learn more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Nationwide State Auto
18-year-old drivers$380$733
25-year-old drivers$148$197

Young drivers -- especially teens -- typically pay a lot for insurance compared to older drivers. It's usually because young, inexperienced 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 rates, teen drivers can still find ways to save money. Just look at the table above -- where 18-year-old drivers who have Nationwide for their auto insurance pay more than $350 less than those who use State Auto.

But both carriers will reduce premiums by the time you turn 25. For example, average prices for Nationwide policyholders decrease over 60% and State Auto's premiums lower nearly 75% over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Nationwide State Auto
65+-year-old drivers$125$167

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

When looking at Nationwide and State Auto specifically, which company is best for retired drivers? Nationwide gets the edge, with premiums for drivers 65 and older more than 25% cheaper than the national average for State Auto.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Nationwide State Auto

Married couples tend to get slightly more affordable insurance rates than those who are single. This usually boils down to married policyholders having more than one car on their policy -- something quite a few auto insurance companies will reward with discounts.

When it comes to relationship status, Nationwide is the clear winner for single policyholders, with premiums around $126 a month cheaper than State Auto, on average. The advantage for married drivers with Nationwide is also obvious, where drivers save almost 25% per month.

Nationwide vs. State Auto: Average Rates by Gender

Nationwide State Auto

Women tend to pay less for car insurance than men. This is because men are statistically more likely than women to get tickets and get into accidents, which leads to increased risk for insurers and, therefore, higher rates.

Men usually pay over $10 a month more than women with Nationwide, and nearly $25 with State Auto.

Looking at overall affordability, Nationwide comes out as the cheapest option for both genders. On average, male drivers save about $95 per month and women save about $83 with Nationwide compared to the average State Auto policyholder.

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

Nationwide State Auto
State Minimum*$112$149
Full Coverage**$229$369

*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 coverages and limits that it can be hard to find the right policy.

The two most common policies that many drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability only (which provides property damage and bodily injury coverage for other drivers and passengers if you cause an accident) and full coverage (which includes comprehensive and collision coverages that protect your own vehicle, in addition to liability).

If you're looking for state minimum liability insurance, Nationwide typically offers more affordable prices of $112 compared to State Auto's $149. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, Nationwide again has the edge, with policies around $150 a month less expensive than State Auto, on average.

Is Nationwide or State Auto Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

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

Tickets and at-fault collisions will most likely raise your prices, but is Nationwide or State Auto more affordable for drivers with less-than-ideal driving records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Nationwide State Auto
Clean Record$125$170
1 Speeding Ticket$149$218

Nationwide policyholders can expect their rates to go up an average of $24 per month if they get a ticket, while State Auto normally raises premiums about $48 a month, on average.

However, Nationwide has cheaper prices for drivers in both categories -- their rates are around 26% less expensive for drivers with clean records and 32% cheaper for those with a ticket.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Nationwide State Auto
Clean Record$125$170
1 At-Fault Accident$178$269

Nationwide drivers who get in a collision can expect to see their rates rise by just under 30%, while those who have insurance through State Auto will see around a 35% increase.

Overall, drivers who use Nationwide end up with the cheaper prices after an accident, with monthly prices averaging $178 compared to State Auto Insurance's $269.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Nationwide State Auto
Clean Record$125$170
1 DUI$230$380

On average, a DUI offense is going to cost you much more than a single accident or speeding ticket when it comes to your auto insurance bill. State Auto drivers usually see a 55% raise in their insurance rates after a DUI charge, while Nationwide will generally climb premiums by about 46%.

If you have a DUI on your record and are looking for more affordable rates, Nationwide tends to be the much more affordable option with average premiums of $230 a month compared to $380 from State Auto.

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How does Credit Score Impact Nationwide and State Auto Rates?

Did you know that many car insurance companies take your credit score into account when calculating prices? This isn't always the case (for example, Hawaii and Michigan are two states that ban the practice entirely), but it does affect a lot of policyholders out there.

Auto 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, drivers with bad credit will often be forced to pay more.

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

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Nationwide State Auto
Excellent Credit Score$133$194
Good Credit Score$153$228

If you have a great credit score, you'll usually find a better deal with Nationwide. Drivers with "excellent" credit can save over 30% compared to State Auto, and those with "good" scores can also expect to see savings -- around $75 or 33% less expensive every month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Nationwide State Auto
Fair Credit Score$179$262
Poor Credit Score$215$353

Nationwide typically offers lower rates than State Auto when it comes to drivers with a below average credit score. Drivers with "fair" credit pay about $83 per month less with Nationwide compared to State Auto, and those with "poor" scores normally save an average of around $138 monthly.

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

Nationwide State Auto
6,000 Annual Miles$170$259
12,000 Annual Miles$171$259

The amount of time you spend behind the wheel of your car plays a big role in your monthly insurance payment. Typically, the more miles 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 State Auto charges. However, there's a small difference in monthly prices for Nationwide, with policyholders who drive 6,000 miles annually paying about $1 less each month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles every year. Still, Nationwide is the cheaper option for drivers in both categories.

Nationwide vs. State Auto: 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 sizable impact as well. Generally, policyholders who live in heavily-populated urban areas will pay quite a bit more than rural drivers because of the number of cars that are on the roads in those areas.

Nationwide State Auto
Urban Areas$199$317
Suburban Areas$159$236
Rural Areas$151$225

Nationwide boasts the most affordable average prices 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 per month. Nationwide also has more affordable average prices for drivers in urban and suburban ZIP codes -- a 37% and 33% a month respective difference when compared to State Auto policyholders in similar areas.

Nationwide vs. State Auto 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 taking advantage of 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 challenging to find all the ones you qualify for.

In the section below, we've broken down all of the different discounts offered by both Nationwide and State Auto so that you can see which one offers the most discounts and see which ones you might be able to take advantage of.

Nationwide State Auto
ABS Discount 
Advance Quote Discount
Advantage Program Discount 
Agency Transfer Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Covid-19 Relief Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount
Driver Training Discount
EFT Discount 
Employee Discount
Gold Plus Discount 
Good Driving Discount
Good Student Discount
Group Discount 
Homeowner Discount 
Intra-Agency Transfer Discount 
Life Policy Discount 
Mature Driver Discount 
Multi-Car Discount 

Overall, Nationwide comes out ahead with 22 discounts to State Auto's 18.

There are a couple discounts both carriers offer, but Nationwide also offers agency transfer discounts, EFT discounts, group discounts, and more that State Auto does not.

On the flip side, State Auto has a couple unique discounts of its own -- ABS discounts, advantage program discounts, COVID-19 relief discount, and more.

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

So, we've broken down the average premiums for many of the factors car insurance companies look at, and we've shown you all the discounts each carrier offers. But, at the end of the day, is Nationwide or State Auto the best company for you and your specific driver profile?

Nationwide might be best for you if....

  • You have a DUI charge on your record.
  • You're looking for more protection with "full coverage" auto insurance.
  • You've started working from home and don't have much of a commute.

State Auto might be best for you if...

  • You have a more unique driver profile than those we mentioned above.

We hope this guide helps you get a better idea of the difference between Nationwide and State Auto. We also hope we've given you the information you need to make the best decision about your insurance.

At the end of the day, the best way to make sure you're getting the best deal on your auto insurance policy is to compare quotes from multiple carriers, not just Nationwide and State Auto. Luckily, sites like make it easy for you to do just that. Simply enter your ZIP code below and get free quotes from dozens of the top car insurance companies in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Nationwide vs. State Auto FAQs

Is Nationwide or State Auto cheaper?

Looking just at the national average prices, Nationwide is the less expensive of the two carriers, offering average rates of $170 per month compared to $259 for State Auto. Even so, Nationwide won't necessarily be the cheapest company for each driver, since there are many different variables that are considered when it comes to your insurance cost.

Who is better, Nationwide or State Auto?

Unfortunately, the answer truly is "it depends.". No one carrier is necessarily "better" for everyone -- it all depends on what your unique car insurance profile looks like.

Why do Nationwide and State Auto offer me different rates?

Auto insurance companies take a look at many different factors when determining the rates they charge drivers. Things such as age, your driving record, where you live, gender, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be used. Both Nationwide and State Auto 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 a bunch of different carriers.

How do I know if Nationwide or State Auto 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, makes it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your information once 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 best premium. And who knows, the best company for you might not be Nationwide or State Auto 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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