- Extensive coverage options
- Plenty of bundling and discount opportunities
- Good reviews of local agents
- Higher-than-average rates
- Below-average customer service ratings
- Potential issues with online quote tool
Bottom LineNationwide is great for people who want specialty auto coverage in addition to full-coverage options, but rates may be higher, and customer service can depend on local offices.
Nationwide Auto Insurance: At a Glance
|Everywhere except Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, and Massachusetts
|Policyholders (mutual insurance company)
|National Average Premium
|$193 per month
|1 (877) 669-6877
|1 (800) 421-3535
|Allstate, GEICO, Progressive, State Farm
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company is one of the largest insurers in the U.S. The company is well known for robust coverage options and its On Your Side Review, where your agent assesses policy terms and discount options to ensure you have adequate coverage at the best price. But, customer service satisfaction scores are generally lower than average (and on the decline).
Is Nationwide a Good Choice for Car Insurance?
Nationwide is a reputable and reliable choice for car insurance. The company has been in operation for nearly 100 years, offers a wide range of coverage options, and has a strong financial standing. But there are notable issues with customer service, and premium costs are higher than average, based on our research.
Ultimately, whether Nationwide is a good choice for you depends on your unique needs, preferences, and circumstances. The company may offer you a great rate (plenty of customer reviews talk about saving money), so consider getting a quote, especially if you want unique coverage options.
Just be sure to compare that policy quote with options from other insurers.
Where Nationwide stands out
Nationwide offers a ton of policy options (plus a plethora of additional insurance and financial products), which makes the company ideal for people with complex insurance needs. Nationwide is also most competitive for full-coverage policy rates.
Where Nationwide falls short
Nationwide isn’t typically the cheapest option, though the company offers relatively competitive rates for full-coverage policies. Customer and claims service also appears to lag behind Nationwide’s competitors.
Nationwide customer reviews
Customer experience varies with Nationwide — especially when it comes to car insurance (policyholders appear to be somewhat happier with homeowners policies). Reviews on Trustpilot are poor, with the company earning 1.9 out of 5 stars. But it fairs better on WalletHub and ConsumerAffairs, earning around 3.5 stars on each platform.
Looking specifically at positive reviews, I found quite a few happy longtime customers, even after claims or other mishaps. Take this one below, where the customer says Nationwide has been “on their side” for four years.
But I did notice that many long-term customers talked about their relationship with their local agent, as in these two reviews from multi-decade policyholders.
Still, there are some cracks in the seams. I found quite a few complaints where the company appears quite rigid in its rule enforcement, even when it seems easy to find a workaround. This policyholder below returns to the company after a brief stint elsewhere but is quoted a policy with a valuable loyalty discount they’re not actually eligible for.
Nationwide could’ve honored the original quote or the customer’s 10-year relationship with the company, but instead, it allegedly raised premiums by $200 per year.
There were also a few reviews citing large increases at renewal and difficulty recuperating unused premiums after a cancellation.
Nationwide National Average Rates: Cheaper Than Average
Below are the average rates Nationwide offers for liability-only and full coverage policies.
Compared to the overall national average of $129 per month, Nationwide performs about average for liability coverage pricing. But the company offers much cheaper rates for full-coverage policies (the national average is $302 per month).
Bear in mind that averages are a blunt instrument. They can’t guarantee where your rate will fall. That’s because Nationwide — like all insurance companies — uses complex algorithms to calculate your rate. Many factors — including your age, location, vehicle, driving history, and more — can influence your rate.
Nationwide Rates Compared to Top Competitors
Below, we compare average rates from Nationwide with those from competitors of a similar size and reputation.
As you can see, Nationwide’s average monthly rates are significantly higher for liability-only policies (ts full-coverage rates are also somewhat higher than competitors. GEICO and State Farm offer significantly lower average rates, but neither company offers as many coverage options as Nationwide.
Remember that these are only averages. The rates offered to you can be quite different — that’s why it’s so important to get multiple quotes before you decide.
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What Types of Coverage Does Nationwide Offer?
Nationwide offers a wide variety of auto insurance coverage options. They include:
- Bodily injury liability: Pays for injuries to others if you cause a collision.
- Property damage liability: Pays for damage to others’ property if you cause a collision.
- Personal injury protection (PIP): Pays for medical expenses and related costs for you and your passengers after an accident, regardless of fault.
- Uninsured motorist: Protects you if you’re involved in an accident caused by a driver without insurance.
- Underinsured motorist: Protects you if you’re involved in an accident caused by a driver with insufficient insurance.
- Medical payments (MedPay): Pays for medical costs for you and your passengers injured in an accident, regardless of fault.
- Collision: Pays for damages to your vehicle caused by an at-fault accident.
- Comprehensive: Pays for damages to your vehicle from a noncollision event.
- Towing and labor coverage: Pays for towing and labor assistance for your car after an accident.
- Rental car reimbursement: Covers transportation costs — including rental cars — after a covered accident.
- Gap coverage: Covers the difference between your outstanding loan balance and the actual cash value of your car in the event of a total loss or theft.
- Accident forgiveness: Prevents your premium from increasing after your first at-fault accident.
- Roadside assistance: Helps you with an emergency refuel, tire change, jump-start, or tow.
- Vanishing deductibles: Your deductible amount decreases by $100 every year you’re a safe driver, with savings up to $500 (collision and comprehensive coverage deductibles only).
- Total loss deductible waiver: You don’t pay the comprehensive or collision deductible in the event of a total loss.
Nationwide car insurance discounts
Discounts are an effective way to lower your car insurance premiums, and Nationwide offers quite a few.
- Multi-policy: A discount for buying more than one insurance product. Purchase another product (home, renters, life, etc.) with Nationwide to get up to 20% off all policies.
- SmartRide: Nationwide’s telematics program. Sign up for SmartRide, allow Nationwide to monitor your driving habits, demonstrate good driving habits, and receive a discount according to how well you drive.
- SmartMiles: Nationwide’s pay-per-mile program. Sign up for SmartMiles, allow Nationwide to monitor your driving, and pay based on the number of miles you drive.
- Accident-free: Discount for having no accidents on your record. Remain accident-free to keep it.
- Good student: Discount for maintaining good grades. Drivers between 16 and 24 years old who’re in school and maintain a B or better average can qualify.
- Defensive driving: Discount for completing an approved accident prevention course. Drivers 55 or older (with no at-fault accidents in the previous 35 months) who complete the course can receive a discount.
- Anti-theft: Discount for installed anti-theft devices. Have or install an approved anti-theft device in your vehicle to qualify.
- Safe driver: Discount for being accident- and ticket-free. Maintain a clean driving record (no at-fault accidents or major violations) for five years to qualify and keep a clean record to maintain the discount.
- Automatic Payments: Discount for sending payments automatically (typically via ACH). To get it, enable automatic payments on your account.
- Paperless: Discount for receiving electronic documents. Sign up for Paperless to get the discount.
Nationwide doesn’t advertise the value of its discounts, though it does offer a 10% discount for signing up for SmartRide (But remember, your rate could ultimately go up with this program if you show poor driving habits. More on this later).
The company does offer a unique discount opportunity, though — the On Your Side Review. This is a free insurance assessment to ensure you’re fully covered, understand your coverage, and have all the discounts you’re eligible for. You can technically do this at any insurance company or agency, but Nationwide makes the review a central part of its identity and overall customer service strategy.
Nationwide Car Insurance Rates by Age Group
Your age is one of the most important factors in determining your car insurance rate. Here’s the average pricing of Nationwide policies based on an applicant’s age.
|Teens (18 years old)
|Young Adults (25 years old)
|Adults (40 years old)
|Retirees (65 years old)
As you get older, insurance companies view you as less risky and typically offer you increasingly more affordable coverage. But there’s a catch: You need to keep a clean driving record in order to keep rates low. As you’ll see a little later, speeding tickets, at-fault accidents, and DUIs can have huge long-term effects on your auto insurance costs.
Nationwide rates for teens and young drivers: Higher than average
Nationwide rates for 25-year-old drivers are quite a bit higher — $161 per month for liability and $297 for full coverage — than the national average of $109 and $266 per month, respectively. Average rates for 18-year-old drivers are also higher — $352 per month for liability and $630 for full coverage (compared to the national average of $297 and $676).
I should note that teen drivers tend to pay the highest rates no matter the insurer because they have high accident and claim rates. Teenage drivers’ fatal crash rate is about three times higher than that of drivers age 20 and older, according to the CDC. Rates typically drop dramatically as drivers enter their 20s, then more slowly around 25.
Nationwide rates for seniors: Higher than average
As drivers hit their 40s, auto insurance rates tend to level off and become relatively stable (or slightly cheaper). That trend is certainly true for Nationwide, but rates are somewhat elevated for 40-year-old drivers compared to competitors. Nationwide’s average liability rates for 40-year-old drivers are $138 per month, compared to the national average of $97. Its full-coverage rates come in at $255 per month, compared to a $232 national average.
As it often does, Nationwide closes the price gap for full-coverage premiums. Seniors pay $12 less than the national average, at $233 per month. Still, liability policies are more expensive than average, at $130 per month.
As a final note, I should remind you that it’s hard to compare value based on average prices alone. Nationwide offers fairly comprehensive car insurance policies, especially compared to most of its primary competitors.
That, along with many other factors, could mean that Nationwide policies offer better protection, despite the company’s higher premiums.
Nationwide Car Insurance Rates by Driving Record
Along with your age and location, your driving record is the other big factor affecting your rates.
|With a Speeding Ticket
|With an At-Fault Accident
|With a DUI
Nationwide appears to charge its highest rates to drivers with a DUI, which is consistent with industry norms. However, the company charges higher-than-average rates for every driving record profile listed above.
I mentioned it earlier, and here is the evidence: Nationwide isn’t typically your best option when price is the most important factor. But keep in mind that these are averages, and you may be able to get a much lower rate by taking advantage of discounts.
Nationwide rates after an accident: Higher than average
The average at-fault accident increases premiums by more the $800 per year, and rate increases tend to be even higher with Nationwide. Increases typically last for three to five years, depending on the rules in your state. California, for example, bars companies from penalizing premiums for longer than three years after an at-fault accident.
If you’re looking to save on car insurance after an at-fault accident, try increasing your deductibles, looking into telematics programs, or even downsizing to a more affordable vehicle. But the best way to ensure your rates go down is to maintain a clean driving record going forward.
And don’t forget to compare quotes from different insurers now and every time your policy renews.
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Nationwide rates after a speeding ticket: Higher than average
Our research on the effects of speeding tickets on car insurance premiums shows that even one speeding ticket can have a big effect — raising average rates by $37 per month for liability and $73 for full coverage. While Nationwide doesn’t have as large of a penalty as some of its competitors, the company charges higher-than-average rates in general. So drivers with a speeding ticket tend to pay more at Nationwide than many of its competitors.
But whether you’re insured with Nationwide or elsewhere, there are a few things you can do to lessen the effects of a speeding ticket. First, see if you can get a reduction in the points added to your license (most possible when it’s your first ticket or your first in a long time).
Nationwide rates after a DUI: Higher than average
A DUI signals risky behavior and increases the likelihood of future accidents. As a result, insurance companies will perceive someone convicted of a DUI as a higher risk to insure. Nationwide follows suit, quoting higher-than-average rates when compared to similar insurers.
A DUI’s effect on insurance rates can be significant and long-lasting, but there are still ways to save. Shop around for quotes from several insurers, maintain a clean driving record, complete an approved defensive driving course, opt for a vehicle with advanced safety features, and consider higher deductibles or reduced coverage options if you want to save after a DUI.
Nationwide Car Insurance Rates by Credit Score
In most states (California, Massachusetts, and Hawaii excluded), insurance companies can use your credit score as a factor to determine your premiums. Research has shown that drivers with poor credit scores have at-fault claims at a higher rate than those with good or excellent credit and are more likely to default on their bills. Insurers have followed suit and typically charge higher rates to people with lower credit scores.
What’s interesting here is that Nationwide doesn’t appear to heavily penalize drivers with average or poor credit scores. The company charges cheaper-than-average premiums for full-coverage policies: $280 per month compared to the national average of $302 for average credit, and $353 per month compared to the national average of $444 for drivers with poor credit.
How to Purchase a Car Insurance Policy from Nationwide
By most accounts, buying a policy at Nationwide is easy. The insurer outlines nine straightforward steps to buy your policy entirely online, which can be condensed into the following:
- Gather your information.
- Generate your online car insurance quote.
- Uncover eligible discounts.
- Review your coverage options and customize your policy.
- Enter your payment information and purchase your policy.
- Download your insurance documents (such as your declaration pages) and put your proof of insurance in your car.
Nationwide also encourages you to compare your policy with other options (and also reminds you to consider all aspects of the policy — not just price — when doing so).
The company also makes its customer service phone number prominent throughout the process, and — at least when I called — quickly gets you to an agent to complete the quote.
Getting a quote from Nationwide
Long story short: I couldn’t complete the quoting process through Nationwide’s system, despite several attempts across three days. Let me take you through the parts of the process I was able to access.
First, I went to Nationwide’s auto insurance home screen, where I entered my ZIP code.
Next, I entered my personal information and selected my insurance product. I only wanted a quote for car insurance, so that’s what I selected.
Then, I entered my contact information and selected “Agree and Continue.”
Instead of progressing, a pop-up appeared in the lower half of my screen, instructing me to call customer service or create an online quote by bundling my policy (adding home, renters, or similar).
I wanted to see the online quote through, so I backed up, selected a renters policy in addition to the auto policy, and continued. A new popup opened, letting me know that my vehicle data would be shared for the purpose of generating my quote. The system automatically checked the “Yes, I accept” box.
I accepted and closed the window, which brought me to the vehicle information page. I was asked to provide my vehicle details or vehicle identification number (VIN). I didn’t have my VIN on hand, so I entered all the information manually.
After hitting continue, I came to another roadblock: Nationwide couldn’t provide a quote because they couldn’t “access” my current insurance company (Progressive). It also had an error processing the renters insurance quote request.
So, I started over and went through the flow again, this time checking the box to include a renters policy from the start and entering my VIN. When I got to the final stage, I was able to get my quote for renters insurance, but there was another error with my auto quote.
Despite several attempts, I was unable to get an online quote for car insurance.
I called customer service and got in touch with an agent in less than two minutes. I also contacted a representative over the chat. When I asked why the system kept giving me an error, it was hard to get a straight answer. But I did learn something important: Nationwide doesn’t generally produce online quotes for “single-line” policies (i.e., just one type of insurance product).
I didn’t get a clear explanation why, but this goes against what’s publicly advertised on the website. And, given the fact that the process starts with my ZIP code, I would have appreciated being given that information immediately.
Nationwide Customer Service: Fair
Getting in touch with a Nationwide customer service representative was easy. I waited less than two minutes to speak with an agent, both when I called and used the chat. But getting answers to my questions — mainly why I couldn’t get a quote — was another story.
The first representative I chatted with told me I needed to send in supporting documents. When I asked why, I was told this was standard practice. Seeing as I, too, work in the insurance industry and have generated hundreds of online quotes, I can tell you this isn’t “common” practice for an online quote. Underwriters may ask for supporting documentation, but that’s typically after you’re given your quote.
But what do current customers think of the service with Nationwide? The verdict is mixed.
Ratings are fairly low across online review sites like Trustpilot and WalletHub. And J.D. Power scores Nationwide below average in its 2023 U.S. Auto Insurance Study.
But plenty of customers talk about good experiences with customer service — even the claims process (which we will get to next) — as in this review.
Many of the positive reviews talk about the amazing customer service reviewers get at their local office. Take this one, where the reviewer says their local office provided the best customer service of any business ever.
But there were many reviews citing less-than-optimal communication, especially when it comes to billing. The review below states the company doesn’t inform customers that their policy is canceled (after a piece of mail is returned) — which is especially consequential given the laws of the state. Things go downhill from there.
I found a few reviews that talked about being unable to work with customer service to solve what appears to be a very solvable problem. The customer below wanted to pay their father’s bill because his hearing aids are damaged. Despite not requesting any of his personal information, customer service allegedly refused to process the payment.
Overall, the happiest customers talked about their relationship with their local insurance agent. So, if you’re considering Nationwide, be sure to look at reviews for your local office.
Filing a Claim with Nationwide
You can file and track your Nationwide claims process entirely online. To report your claim, you’ll need to provide your:
- Basic information
- Photos and descriptions of the damage
- Corresponding documentation (e.g., police report)
- Services needed to complete your claim
Once your claim is processed, you’ll be assigned an agent. You can track your claim within your online account or the claims portal (you’ll need your policy number). Or call the claims phone number — 1 (800) 421-3535 — to check your claim’s status, ask questions, or find your assigned agent.
When I called the claims line, it took just two minutes to connect with a claims agent. And the claims representative I spoke to was knowledgeable and friendly. However, I didn’t have an actual claims experience, so let’s look at some customer reviews to learn more.
Nationwide’s customer reviews show mixed feedback about the claims experience. I found a few longtime customer reviews that talked about their claims experience — including the one below. This customer made several claims, never had an issue, and remains with the company as of this writing.
Several reviewers praise the claims process as easy and fast. And — as seen in the next review — several talk about being ushered through the process with the help of the customer service team.
However, there were several reviews highlighting some faults with service, especially with the speed of claims adjustment when the policyholder’s vehicle was disabled. Several customers also mention how they get trapped in the “purgatory” of the process. Some reviewers talk about their claim being handed off to the next stage, but then nothing happens, making it difficult to get the issue resolved.
A good example of this can be found in the next review. Here, the customer just needs to get their rental car, but the company they’re sent to doesn’t have any more cars (presumably within the right category of car, like an economy size). The customer complains about being unable to resolve the issue because the claims agent can’t process the rental car request again. The customer is left footing the bill.
What Other Types of Insurance Does Nationwide Offer?
Nationwide offers nearly two dozen insurance products, both directly and in partnership with affiliated companies. In addition to auto and commercial auto insurance, you can buy the following policies:
- Classic car
- RV, motor home, travel trailer, and camper
- Personal watercraft
- Golf cart
- Personal umbrella
- Specialty liability
- Identity theft
In addition to personal lines of insurance, Nationwide offers a wide array of business insurance products, employee benefits, and specialty insurance. These include:
- Businessowners policy (BOP)
- Business auto and property
- Workers’ compensation
- Employee retirement plans
- Key person benefits
- Surety bonds
When looking at policies underwritten by an affiliate, be sure to ask whether Nationwide or the affiliate handles customer service and claims.
Other Nationwide products, services, and perks
Nationwide offers several investment services, including retirement planning, annuities, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds. Plus, you can access banking services (checking, savings, CDs, and more) with its partner, Axos.
Beyond these products and services, Nationwide offers a loyalty program at no additional cost for both home and auto policyholders (restricted in some states). Perks from the loyalty program include:
- Car key replacement of up to $400
- Fender-bender forgiveness
- Special deductible provisions for auto and home claims from the same event
Finally, we’ve already mentioned the On Your Side Review, but it’s one of Nationwide’s signature programs, and several customers rave about it helping them save money.
Nationwide SmartRide is a usage-based insurance program that uses telematics to track your driving habits. With a device installed in your vehicle or Nationwide’s mobile app, SmartRide monitors acceleration, braking, speed, mileage, and time of day. You receive personalized feedback and potential premium discounts based on your driving performance. But keep in mind that, unlike similar programs, SmartRide can also raise your rates if you don’t practice safe driving or often drive at night.
Customer reviews on the Apple App Store (4.6 out of 5 stars) and Google Play (4.2 out of 5 stars) are mostly positive. Negative feedback was mostly centered around the app misreporting driving behavior or questions about how it was scored. And plenty of positive feedback said the opposite — that the app tracked things correctly.
Importantly, the advertised savings is only on a portion of the premium — the comprehensive and collision portion — instead of the whole thing. While the company does state this on the website in the fine print, plenty of reviewers were surprised.
SmartMiles is Nationwide’s pay-per-mile insurance product, and it’s a great fit for people who drive fewer than 7,000 miles annually. To take advantage of the program, all you need to do is sign up, install a device, and go. The device tracks your mileage (and driving behavior) automatically.
Your price is based on the miles you drive (with a road-trip allowance that caps daily totals at 250 miles), plus a monthly base premium. The cost per mile remains the same during the term of your policy. But you can earn an additional discount if you demonstrate safe driving along with your low mileage.
Bottom Line: Is Nationwide Car Insurance Right for You?
Nationwide offers a wide range of coverage options, perks, and insurance products. If you’re looking for accident forgiveness, gap coverage, and a pet insurance policy, Nationwide can help.
But there are reported issues with customer and claims service, and Nationwide usually isn’t the cheapest option. Still, the best way to know if Nationwide is right for you is to judge how it fits your unique needs and preferences.
Nationwide Auto Insurance FAQs
Below are the answers to the most common questions asked about Nationwide’s car insurance services.
Does Nationwide really have the cheapest car insurance?
Nationwide’s car insurance rates can vary drastically depending on factors like your location, driving history, and coverage options. It’s best to compare quotes from multiple insurers to find the cheapest option for you.
Can you purchase a policy from Nationwide 100% online?
Yes. You can purchase a policy from Nationwide entirely online, and you can receive all of your insurance documents over email or within your Nationwide account.
Does Nationwide offer auto and home insurance bundling?
Yes. You can bundle Nationwide auto insurance with a homeowners policy. You can also bundle with renters, life, boat, and motorcycle insurance.
Is Nationwide good at paying claims?
Typically, yes. Nationwide has a good reputation for paying claims and a good financial rating. But individual experiences vary, and some customer reviews show occasions where Nationwide’s claim service dropped the ball.
Is Nationwide hard to deal with?
Not usually. Nationwide has an excellent website and mobile app that makes managing your policy easy. And customer service was easy to contact during the buying process. But several online reviews talk about difficulties resolving issues and canceling their policies.
Data scientists at Compare.com analyzed more than 50 million real-time auto insurance rates from more than 75 partner insurance providers in order to compile the quotes and statistics seen in this article. Compare.com’s auto insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers’ vehicles, driving records, insurance histories, and demographic information. All of the quotes listed in this article have been gathered from a combination of real Compare.com quotes and external insurance rate data gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. Compare.com uses these observations to provide drivers with insight into how auto insurance companies determine their premiums.
ConsumerAffairs, “Nationwide Insurance — Auto,” Accessed June 13, 2023
TrustPilot, “Nationwide,” Accessed June 13, 2023
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Teen Driver and Passenger Safety,” Accessed June 13, 2023
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Impaired Driving: Get the Facts,” Accessed June 13, 2023