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

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

  • Looking at the national averages for auto insurance, Nationwide offers significantly more affordable rates than The Hartford
  • Nationwide offers more discounts than The Hartford
  • The Hartford offers more affordable premiums for residents in California

Nationwide vs. The Hartford: 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 big discounts, you're probably wondering exactly how much you might be able to save.

You might be considering Nationwide or The Hartford for your next policy, but between the two, which company will save you the most?

Nationwide The Hartford

As you can see, Nationwide has average rates that are about 35% per month less expensive than those from The Hartford when looking at the national average rates for car insurance.

That being said, that doesn't mean Nationwide will necessarily be cheaper than The Hartford for every driver. Auto insurance companies use tons of complex algorithms to calculate rates, so depending on where you live or how clean your driving record is (among many other factors), you could see wildly different prices from the ones above.

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

Nationwide or The Hartford: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Nationwide The Hartford

Nationwide and The Hartford only compete against each other in California, where Nationwide offers the cheaper average prices. For California residents, Nationwide offers insurance for $219 a month on average. The Hartford's average rates come out to be over 20% more expensive, at $265 monthly.

But there's more to calculating car insurance prices than just the state you live in. Keep reading to find out more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Nationwide The Hartford
18-year-old drivers$380$435
25-year-old drivers$148$294

Young drivers -- especially teens -- generally pay a lot for auto insurance compared to older drivers. It's typically because young, inexperienced drivers are statistically much more likely to cause collisions and other accidents that will result in an insurance claim.

But that doesn't mean teen drivers can't still save money on their insurance. For example, 18-year-old drivers pay an average of $55 less a month by choosing Nationwide over The Hartford. It's worth noting that Nationwide offers auto insurance in 34 different states compared to The Hartford's one, which can skew the average rates a bit, but the difference here is still considerable.

Even so, both carriers will offer you dramatically lower premiums by the time drivers turn 25. For example, average rates for Nationwide policyholders decrease more than 60% and The Hartford's premiums lower over 30% over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Nationwide The Hartford
65+-year-old drivers$125$192

Once you approach retirement age, you'll usually enjoy the most affordable insurance prices you'll ever see. You've been on the road for years, and all that experience pays off when it comes to your monthly rates 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 The Hartford's $192.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Nationwide The Hartford

Did you know that auto insurance premiums are normally less expensive for married couples than they are for those who are single? This usually boils down to married policyholders having multiple cars on their policy -- something lots of insurance companies will reward with discounts.

When it comes to relationship status, Nationwide is the clear winner for single policyholders, with prices about $92 per month cheaper than The Hartford, on average. The advantage for married drivers with Nationwide is also obvious, where drivers save nearly 45% a month.

Nationwide vs. The Hartford: Average Rates by Gender

Nationwide The Hartford

Men tend to pay more for car insurance than women. This is because men are more likely to get tickets and get into accidents, which raises the chances of an insurance claim.

Normally, men see rates more than $10 per month higher with Nationwide; men and women end up paying the same monthly premiums with The Hartford.

Looking at the data for each carrier specifically, Nationwide comes out as the cheapest option for both genders, with average prices 34% less for men and 38% cheaper for women.

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

Nationwide The Hartford
State Minimum*$112$135
Full Coverage**$229$394

*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.

It's no secret that 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.

However, most policies end up falling into two different types of coverage -- liability only (that covers bodily injury and property damage for other drivers if you cause an accident) and full coverage (which usually refers to having comprehensive and collision coverages alongside liability).

If you're looking for state minimum limits for liability insurance, Nationwide typically offers more affordable rates of $112 compared to The Hartford's $135. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, Nationwide again has the edge, with policies around $150 a month cheaper than The Hartford, on average.

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

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

You'll probably end up paying more with accidents and tickets on your record, but which of these two carriers offers the lowest prices to drivers with spotty records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Nationwide The Hartford
Clean Record$125$126
1 Speeding Ticket$149$197

Nationwide policyholders can expect their rates to go up an average of $24 per month if they get a ticket, while The Hartford normally raises premiums about $71 a month, on average.

That being said, Nationwide tends to offer the best prices for drivers both with a speeding ticket and with a clean record. Drivers with a clean record can save around $1 per month and drivers with a ticket can save about $48 a month with Nationwide.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Nationwide The Hartford
Clean Record$125$126
1 At-Fault Accident$178$262

After an accident, drivers who have their auto insurance through Nationwide can expect to see around an $53 -- or about 30% -- increase in their car insurance rates. Drivers who use The Hartford for their auto insurance will see a monthly bill around $136 (or 52%) more expensive after reporting a collision to their insurance company.

Overall, the more affordable premiums come from Nationwide, with monthly prices averaging $178 compared to The Hartford's $262.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Nationwide The Hartford
Clean Record$125$126
1 DUI$230$474

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. The Hartford drivers usually see a 73% raise in their car insurance rates after a DUI charge, while Nationwide will generally climb premiums by about 46%.

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

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How does Credit Score Impact Nationwide and The Hartford Rates?

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

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

Looking specifically at The Hartford and Nationwide, which carrier has the lowest prices for drivers at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Nationwide The Hartford
Excellent Credit Score$133No Data Available
Good Credit Score$153No Data Available

You'll often be rewarded if you have fantastic credit. Jumping from a "good" credit score to an "excellent" one will generally save Nationwide customers around 15%. On the other hand, because The Hartford doesn't have data available for credit scores, they most likely don't use credit to calculate your premiums.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Nationwide The Hartford
Fair Credit Score$179No Data Available
Poor Credit Score$215No Data Available

Having bad credit usually means you'll also see higher prices with Nationwide. As you can see, Nationwide customers with poor credit scores pay about $35 per month more than those with fair scores (and even more compared to drivers with good or excellent scores). On the other hand, The Hartford doesn't have data available for credit scores, which means drivers with bad credit might find better rates with The Hartford over Nationwide.

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

Nationwide The Hartford
6,000 Annual Miles$170$237
12,000 Annual Miles$171$292

How much you drive can have a substantial impact on how much insurance carriers will charge for coverage. That's because the fewer miles you put on your vehicle each year, the less likely you are to get into a collision and cause an insurance claim.

Nationwide tends to be the cheaper option for both drivers who put 6,000 miles on their vehicles each year, as well as those who average twice that figure. Nationwide's average premiums for drivers with 6,000 annual miles come in around 28% more affordable than The Hartford. Those who drive 12,000 miles yearly can expect to pay about 41% less with Nationwide over The Hartford.

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

Where you call home can have a pretty big impact on your monthly car insurance cost. Typically, policyholders who live in less densely populated rural areas will pay quite a bit less than urban drivers because there are a lot fewer cars on the road in those areas, which reduces the chances of an accident.

Nationwide The Hartford
Urban Areas$199$273
Suburban Areas$159$265
Rural Areas$151$255

When comparing these two companies side-by-side, Nationwide usually comes out as the cheapest option for drivers in all types of areas, no matter if they're urban, suburban, or rural.

Policyholders in rural ZIP codes see the lowest premiums from both carriers, but Nationwide comes out on top with average rates around $151 per month. Nationwide also has less expensive average prices for drivers in urban and suburban ZIP codes -- a $74 and $106 a month respective difference when compared to The Hartford policyholders in similar areas.

Nationwide vs. The Hartford Discounts

Regardless of why you might be in the market for a new insurance policy, you're always going to want to save as much money as possible, and the best way to do that is by utilizing as many auto insurance discounts as you can.

But where do you even start? With so many discounts out there, it may seem challenging to find all the of the ones you qualify for.

Below, we've compared all of the different discounts offered by Nationwide and The Hartford so that you can easily see which company offers the most discounts and, therefore, the biggest savings.

Nationwide The Hartford
ABS Discount 
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 
Lay-Up Credit Discount 
Life Policy Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount
New Vehicle Discount 
Paperless Discount 
Passive Restraint Discount

Nationwide knocks The Hartford out of the park when it comes to the sheer number of discounts available, offering 22 different discounts to The Hartford's 13.

There are a couple discounts both companies offer, but Nationwide also offers advance quote discounts, agency transfer discounts, driver training discounts, and more that The Hartford does not.

On the flip side, The Hartford has a couple unique discounts of its own -- ABS discounts, lay-up credit discounts, renewal discounts, and more.

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

So, you've seen how different factors can affect your insurance premiums. We've broken down the different discounts each company offers, too. But, when it comes down to it, which carrier is the best one for you and your specific driver profile?

Nationwide might be best for you if....

  • You're thinking about moving to another state -- The Hartford is only available in California.
  • You have above-average credit.
  • You live in a rural neighborhood.

The Hartford might be best for you if...

  • You're looking for the best rates in CA.

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

At the end of the day, the sure-fire way to make sure you're getting the best deal on your car insurance policy is to compare quotes from multiple carriers, not just Nationwide and The Hartford. 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 auto insurance companies in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Nationwide vs. The Hartford FAQs

Is Nationwide or The Hartford cheaper?

Looking just at the national average prices, Nationwide is the more affordable of the two carriers, offering average rates of $170 per month compared to $265 for The Hartford. However, Nationwide won't necessarily be the most affordable company for every driver, since there are several different variables that are considered when it comes to your car insurance bill.

Who is better, Nationwide or The Hartford?

Unfortunately, the answer truly is "it depends.". One carrier is not "better" for everyone -- it all boils down to your unique insurance profile.

Why do Nationwide and The Hartford offer me different rates?

Auto insurance companies take a look at a lot of different factors when calculating the rates they charge drivers. Variables such as gender, where you park your vehicle, age, your driving record, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be taken into consideration. Both Nationwide and The Hartford calculate prices using different factors, so each one will most likely offer different rates. The only real way to see which company is the lowest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a bunch of different carriers.

How do I know if Nationwide or The Hartford 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 ZIP code 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 most affordable rate. And who knows, the best company for you might not be Nationwide or The Hartford 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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