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

How do Nationwide and State National compare when it comes to insurance prices and discounts? If you want to find out which carrier has the best premiums for your unique profile, check out our latest guide below.
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Quick Facts

  • Based on national averages for auto insurance, State National offers slightly more affordable rates than Nationwide
  • Nationwide has less expensive premiums for policyholders who are looking to purchase insurance with a spouse
  • State National tends to be a much more affordable option for policyholders who drive fewer than 6,000 miles annually

Nationwide or State National: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

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

You might be considering Nationwide or State National as potential options, but between the two, which carrier has cheaper rates for car insurance?

Nationwide State National

As you can see, Nationwide is around $11 more a month than State National when looking at the national average rates for insurance.

That being said, that doesn't mean State National will necessarily be less expensive than Nationwide for every driver. Auto insurance carriers vary their prices depending on things like how good your credit score is, how clean your driving record is, how old you are, where you live, and a ton of other factors. So, at the end of the day, rates from every company will differ quite a bit from person to person.

Luckily, we've broken down average premiums from both Nationwide and State National by a bunch of different rate factors, so read on to find out which carrier is the best for you.

Nationwide vs. State National: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Nationwide State National

Nationwide and State National only compete against each other in California, where State National offers the cheaper average prices. State National drivers tend to pay about $60 per month less on average compared to drivers who use Nationwide for their car insurance.

But there's more to calculating insurance rates 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 State National
18-year-old drivers$380$318
25-year-old drivers$148$154

Teen drivers will almost always have the most expensive auto insurance premiums of any other group of drivers. Normally, that's because 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 prices, teen drivers can still find ways to save money. Just look at the table above -- where 18-year-old drivers who have State National for their car insurance pay over 15% less than those who use Nationwide. It's worth noting that Nationwide offers auto insurance in 34 different states compared to State National's one, which can skew the average rates a bit, but the difference here is still considerable.

However, both companies will decrease prices once you turn 25. For example, average premiums for Nationwide policyholders drop about $250 and State National's rates lower around $150 over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Nationwide State National
65+-year-old drivers$125$118

When it comes to car insurance, patience and experience pay off, with drivers around retirement age paying some of the most affordable premiums you'll ever find.

But who has the best prices for retired drivers between Nationwide and State National? State National gets the slight edge, with premiums for drivers 65 and older about 6% cheaper than the national average for Nationwide.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Nationwide State National

You may not be aware, but insurance rates tend to be less expensive for married policyholders than they are for single policyholders. That's because policies for married couples typically cover more than one vehicle, which several carriers will give you a discount for.

When it comes to relationship status, State National is the winner for those who are single, with prices almost 10% a month more affordable than Nationwide, on average.

Nationwide or State National: Average Rates by Gender

Nationwide State National

You may not know, but men usually pay more for car insurance than women do. This is because men are statistically more likely than women to get pulled over for speeding or get into a collision, which leads to increased risk for insurers and, therefore, higher rates.

Men generally pay around 7% more per month than women with Nationwide; women and men get the same monthly prices with State National.

Looking at overall affordability, State National comes out as the lowest option for both genders. On average, male drivers save about $17 a month and women save about $5 with State National compared to the average Nationwide policyholder.

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

Nationwide State National
State Minimum*$112$79
Full Coverage**$229$240

*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 coverages and terms that it can make it pretty confusing to find the right policy for you.

The two most common policies that drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability coverage (that covers bodily injury and property damage for other drivers if you cause an accident) and full coverage (which normally refers to having collision and comprehensive coverages in addition to liability).

When it comes to state minimum liability insurance, State National has the edge, while Nationwide offers the cheapest average premiums for full coverage policies with similar coverage limits. Policyholders looking for basic state minimum coverage can save around $35 with State National, while full coverage comes out to be around $10 less expensive with Nationwide.

Is Nationwide or State National 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 collisions and speeding tickets on your record, but which of these two companies offers the lowest prices to drivers with less-than-perfect records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Nationwide State National
Clean Record$125$102
1 Speeding Ticket$149$142

Drivers who use Nationwide for their car insurance can typically expect their monthly bill to go up about 16% after getting a speeding ticket. State National policyholders can expect a bit more drastic of an increase of around 28%.

Even so, State National has more affordable premiums for drivers in both categories, offering rates that are 18% and 5% cheaper, respectively, compared to Nationwide.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Nationwide State National
Clean Record$125$102
1 At-Fault Accident$178$142

Nationwide policyholders who get in a collision can expect to see their prices climb by just under 30%, while those who have insurance through State National will see about a 30% increase.

At the end of the day, State National offers the cheapest premiums for drivers with an at-fault collision on their records, with average rates coming in at $142 compared to Nationwide's $178.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Nationwide State National
Clean Record$125$102
1 DUI$230$252

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. State National drivers usually see a 60% increase in their insurance prices after a DUI charge, while Nationwide will generally raise premiums by around 46%.

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

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How does Credit Score Impact Nationwide and State National Rates?

You may not have known, but your credit score can come into play when carriers determine your monthly bill. Certain states and companies do not allow for credit score to be used as an auto insurance factor, but it will come into play for quite a few drivers.

The reasoning car insurance carriers use is that policyholders with bad credit will be less likely to pay their bills on time; so usually, they'll be asked to pay more, while those with good credit will be rewarded with less expensive premiums.

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

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Nationwide State National
Excellent Credit Score$133No Data Available
Good Credit Score$153No Data Available

If you have fantastic credit, Nationwide will generally reward you. Jumping from a "good" credit score to an "excellent" one will normally save Nationwide customers about $20. State National, on the other hand, doesn't have data available for credit scores, which means they most likely don't use credit to calculate your prices.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Nationwide State National
Fair Credit Score$179No Data Available
Poor Credit Score$215No Data Available

If you have bad credit, it can cost you with Nationwide. As you can see, Nationwide customers with poor credit scores pay around $35 per month more than those with fair scores (and even more compared to drivers with good or excellent scores). Because State National doesn't have data available for credit scores, they may have better rates for drivers with bad credit over Nationwide.

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

Nationwide State National
6,000 Annual Miles$170$141
12,000 Annual Miles$171$178

How much you drive can have a pretty big impact on how much insurance companies will charge for coverage. That's because the fewer miles you put on your car, the less likely you are to be in an accident and file an insurance claim.

Looking specifically at State National and Nationwide, Nationwide is the more affordable option for people with short commutes, while Nationwide has better premiums for those who work from home. Nationwide's average prices for drivers with 6,000 annual miles come in more than 15% more expensive than State National. Those who drive 12,000 miles each year can expect to pay 4% more with State National over Nationwide.

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

Where you park your vehicle can have a sizable impact on your monthly auto insurance bill. Typically, those who live in rural areas will pay less than policyholders in urban areas since there are a lot fewer cars on the road where they live, which lowers the chances of an accident.

Nationwide State National
Urban Areas$199$173
Suburban Areas$159$163
Rural Areas$151$143

Looking at these carriers side-by-side, State National tends to offer the cheapest option for drivers in rural and urban areas, while Nationwide wins in suburban areas.

For drivers in urban ZIP codes, State National's average rates are about 13% less than Nationwide. People who live in suburban areas pay around 2% less with Nationwide compared to State National. Those in rural areas can expect to save about 5% with State National compared to Nationwide.

Nationwide vs. State National Discounts

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

But with what seems like a million different discounts out there, it can be challenging 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 compared all of the different discounts offered by Nationwide and State National so that you can see which company can save you the most money each month.

Nationwide State National
Advance Quote Discount 
Agency Transfer Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Auto-Pilot 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 
Mature Driver Discount 
Multi-Car Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount 
New Vehicle Discount 
Paperless Discount 

Nationwide knocks State National out of the park when it comes to the sheer number of discounts available, offering 12 more discounts than State National.

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

On the other hand, State National has a few proprietary discounts of their own for things like auto-pilot discounts, mature driver discounts, multi-car discounts, and more.

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

So, we've broken down the average premiums for many of the variables auto insurance companies look at, and walked through the different discounts each carrier offers, too. That's all well and good, but when it comes down to it, which insurance company is the right carrier for you and your specific profile and needs?

State National might be best for you if....

  • You have a clean driving record, free of accidents, tickets, or DUIs.
  • You have an at-fault collision on your record.
  • You're of retirement age and want to take advantage of lower prices.

Nationwide might be best for you if...

  • You're planning on moving to another state soon -- State National only offers policies in CA.
  • You want the most robust protection via a "full coverage" policy.
  • You have a short drive to work everyday.

Hopefully, this guide helps you get a good idea of the differences between Nationwide and State National and that you can now make a more informed 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 auto insurance policy is to compare quotes from several carriers, not just Nationwide and State National. Luckily, sites like do all the hard work for you. Just enter your ZIP code below and get multiple quotes from some of the best car insurance companies in your area, all for free.

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Nationwide vs. State National FAQs

Is Nationwide or State National cheaper?

State National is the cheaper of the two carriers when looking at national average rates, with policies averaging $159 a month with State National and $170 for Nationwide. But that doesn't mean State National will be the lowest carrier for everyone, since there are many different factors that are considered when it comes to your insurance payment.

Who is better, Nationwide or State National?

Unfortunately, the real answer is "it depends.". One company is not "better" for everyone -- it all boils down to your unique car insurance profile. For example, Nationwide is less expensive for drivers who have less-than-stellar credit scores, while State National offers more affordable prices for policyholders with an at-fault accident on their record.

Why do Nationwide and State National offer me different rates?

Insurance companies use lots of different variables when determining the premiums they charge. Factors like age, gender, your driving record, where your home is, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be taken into consideration. Both Nationwide and State National calculate rates differently, so it's likely they'll offer different premiums. The best way to determine which carrier is the most affordable for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a range of different carriers.

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

The only way to find the auto insurance company that's right for you is by getting quotes from multiple companies and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, makes it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your ZIP code and you'll get quotes from dozens of your local top insurance carriers for free. That way, you can guarantee you're getting the cheapest premium. And maybe you'll find that the best carrier for you isn't Nationwide or State National 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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