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

Want to know if Nationwide or The General is the better choice for insurance? You're probably wondering which company 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

  • In general, Nationwide offers significantly less expensive rates than The General
  • Nationwide tends to be a much more affordable option for couples purchasing car insurance together
  • The General offers more affordable premiums for residents in Arizona, Missouri, and Utah

Nationwide vs. The General: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

So, you're considering switching your auto insurance. With so many ads from all sorts of companies offering considerable discounts, you're probably wondering exactly how much you might be able to save.

You might be considering Nationwide or The General, but which company has cheaper rates for insurance?

Nationwide The General

Looking at the national average rates for both companies, Nationwide has average rates that are about 30% per month less expensive than those from The General.

Even so, that doesn't mean Nationwide will necessarily be more affordable than The General for every single driver. Car insurance carriers vary their prices depending on things like where you live, how clean your driving record is, how old you are, how good your credit score is, and tons of other factors, so premiums will vary quite a bit from person to person.

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

Nationwide or The General: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Nationwide The General

Nationwide and The General only compete against each other in three states, with Nationwide offering cheaper premiums to the average driver in all of them. Missouri has the most noticable difference, where Nationwide rates are over 50% more affordable than auto insurance prices at The General.

But there's more to calculating car insurance premiums than just the state you live in. Read on to find out more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Nationwide The General
18-year-old drivers$380$446
25-year-old drivers$148$244

Young drivers -- especially teens -- generally 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 that doesn't mean that teen drivers have to just accept sky-high auto insurance rates. As you can see above, teens who use Nationwide save more than $65 a month compared to those who use The General. It's worth noting that Nationwide offers insurance in 34 different states compared to The General's three, which can skew the average premiums a bit, but the difference here is still considerable.

However, both companies will reduce prices once you turn 25. The General offers the steepest reduction, with 25-year-olds paying less than half what 18-year-old drivers are charged. That being said, Nationwide still has the most affordable rates at $148 monthly.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Nationwide The General
65+-year-old drivers$125$195

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

But who has the best premiums for retired drivers between Nationwide and The General? Nationwide gets the edge, with rates for drivers 65 and older over 35% less expensive than the national average for The General.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Nationwide The General

You may not be aware, but insurance prices tend to be cheaper for married policyholders than they are for those who are single. That's because policies for married couples typically cover several cars, which several carriers will offer you a discount for.

When it comes to relationship status, Nationwide is the clear winner for single policyholders, with premiums around $78 per month less expensive than The General, on average. The advantage for married drivers with Nationwide is also obvious, where drivers save more than $60 a month.

Nationwide vs. The General: Average Rates by Gender

Nationwide The General

Men are statistically more likely than women to get tickets and get into accidents, which means they'll normally end up paying more for car insurance than women.

Typically, women see prices about $10 per month cheaper with Nationwide, and over $30 with The General.

When it comes to the cheapest rates for each gender, Nationwide comes out on top for both men and women, with average premiums 32% less for men and 27% cheaper for women.

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Nationwide or The General: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Nationwide The General
State Minimum*$112$154
Full Coverage**$229$329

*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.

For most people, 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 end up falling into two different types of coverage -- liability only (which provides property damage and bodily injury coverage for other drivers if you cause an accident) and full coverage (which includes two additional coverages -- comprehensive and collision -- in addition to liability coverage).

If you're looking for state minimum limits for liability insurance, Nationwide typically offers significantly more affordable prices of $112 compared to The General's $154. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, Nationwide again has the edge, with policies around $100 a month cheaper than The General, on average.

Is Nationwide or The General Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

It's no big secret that drivers who are accident-free get better deals on their insurance. But even if you have a spotty record, you can still find plenty of ways to save some cash on your monthly bill.

At-fault accidents and tickets will most likely raise your rates, but is Nationwide or The General less expensive for drivers with spotty records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Nationwide The General
Clean Record$125$192
1 Speeding Ticket$149$240

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

That being said, Nationwide has more affordable prices for drivers in both categories, offering premiums that are $67 and $91 less expensive, respectively, compared to The General.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Nationwide The General
Clean Record$125$192
1 At-Fault Accident$178$279

After an accident, drivers who have their auto insurance through Nationwide can expect to see around an $53 -- or about 30% -- increase in their insurance prices. Drivers who use The General for their auto insurance will see a monthly bill around $87 (or 31%) more expensive after reporting a collision to their car insurance company.

Overall, Nationwide offers the lowest premiums for drivers with an at-fault accident on their records, with monthly rates averaging $178 compared to The General's $279.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Nationwide The General
Clean Record$125$192
1 DUI$230$254

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. For example, Nationwide increases average prices by over $100 per month -- that's over a 45% increase.

Nationwide has the overall most affordable premiums 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 three for The General, so the data may be skewed slightly.

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How does Credit Score Impact Nationwide and The General Rates?

Did you know that many insurance companies take your credit score into account when calculating rates? This isn't always the case (Michigan, for example, has banned the use of credit score as a rating factor) but it will come into play for quite a few drivers.

Auto insurance carriers argue that those with poor credit scores are less likely to pay their bills on time each month, which increases the risk involved on their end, while the opposite is true for those with good credit.

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 The General
Excellent Credit Score$133$176
Good Credit Score$153$217

If you have great credit, you'll usually find a better deal with Nationwide. Drivers with "excellent" credit can save just under 25% compared to The General, and those with "good" scores can also expect to see savings -- about $64 or 29% cheaper every month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Nationwide The General
Fair Credit Score$179$246
Poor Credit Score$215$325

Nationwide typically offers lower prices than The General when it comes to drivers with less-than-perfect credit. Drivers with "fair" credit pay around $67 a month less with Nationwide compared to The General, and those with "poor" scores generally save an average of about $110 per month.

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

Nationwide The General
6,000 Annual Miles$170$241
12,000 Annual Miles$171$241

Did you know that the amount of time you spend in your car have a pretty big impact on your monthly rates? That's because the fewer miles you put on your vehicle, the less likely you are to get into a collision and cause an insurance claim.

As you can see in the table above, annual mileage doesn't have much of an impact on how much The General charges. However, there's a small difference in monthly prices for Nationwide, with policyholders who drive the least paying around $1 less each month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles yearly. Still, Nationwide is the more affordable option for drivers in both categories.

Nationwide vs. The General: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where your home is can play a big role in how much you pay for car insurance. Usually, those who live in urban areas will pay more than policyholders in rural areas because there are a lot more cars on the roads in those areas.

Nationwide The General
Urban Areas$199$310
Suburban Areas$159$225
Rural Areas$151$189

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

For drivers in urban ZIP codes, Nationwide offers prices about $199 monthly compared to The General's $310. People who live in suburban ZIP codes can expect to pay around $159 per month for Nationwide and $225 for The General. Lastly, those in rural areas tend to get the cheapest premiums from both companies, with average monthly prices coming in at $151 and $189 for Nationwide and The General respectively.

Nationwide vs. The General Discounts

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

But with what seems like a million different discounts out there, it can be hard to nail down the carrier that has the most discounts for your unique driver profile and to find all the discounts you're eligible for.

In the section below, we've compared all of the different discounts offered by Nationwide and The General so that you can see which one can save you the most money each month.

Nationwide The General
Advance Quote Discount 
Agency Transfer Discount 
Anti-Theft 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 
Liability Only Discount 
Life Policy Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount 
New Vehicle Discount 
Paid In Full Discount 
Paperless Discount 
Passive Restraint Discount 

Nationwide blows The General away when it comes to the sheer amount of discounts available, offering 22 different discounts to The General's six.

A couple of those are overlapping for things like discounts for being a defensive driver, group discounts, and discounts for being a homeowner. Nationwide also offers advance quote discounts, agency transfer discounts, anti-theft discounts, and more that The General does not.

On the flip side, The General has a couple unique discounts of its own -- liability only discounts, paid in full discounts, and star level discounts.

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Final Thoughts: Is Nationwide or The General Best for You?

So, we've broken down the average rates for many of the factors insurance carriers look at, and we've shown you all the discounts each company offers. That's all well and good, but at the end of the day, which insurance carrier is the right carrier for you and your specific needs?

Nationwide might be best for you if....

  • You're single and purchasing car insurance by yourself.
  • You're looking for more protection with "full coverage" insurance.
  • You've started working from home and don't have much of a commute.

The General might be best for you if...

  • You're looking for the best rates in AZ, MO, and UT.

We hope this guide helps you get a better idea of the difference between Nationwide and The General and that it aids in making a more informed decision about your car 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 auto insurance -- comparing quotes from a handful of companies, not just Nationwide and The General. 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 car insurance carriers in your area, all for free.

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Nationwide vs. The General FAQs

Is Nationwide or The General cheaper?

Looking just at the national average premiums, Nationwide is the less expensive of the two companies, offering average rates of $170 a month compared to $241 for The General. However, Nationwide won't necessarily be the lowest company for every driver, since there are many different variables (things like age, driving record, gender, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, Nationwide or The General?

Unfortunately, the real answer is "it depends.". Neither carrier is necessarily "better" for each driver -- it all boils down to your unique insurance profile.

Why do Nationwide and The General offer me different rates?

Auto insurance carriers take a look at lots of different factors when determining the prices they charge policyholders. Variables like gender, your driving record, age, where you call home, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be used. Both Nationwide and The General calculate rates using different factors, so each one will most likely offer different premiums. The only real way to see which company is the cheapest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a bunch of different companies.

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

The only way to find the insurance carrier that's right for you is by getting quotes from multiple carriers 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 ZIP code and you'll get free quotes from dozens of the best car insurance companies in your area. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the best price. And who knows, the best company for you might not be Nationwide or The General 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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