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Nationwide auto insurance review April 2018

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With coverage options available from coast to coast, find out if Nationwide lives up to its name

Nationwide is among the nation’s Top 10 auto insurance providers, offering a full range of policy options and a promise to be “on your side” with stellar service. From auto insurance discounts to customer reviews and everything in between, our Nationwide auto insurance review covers everything you need to know.

Name Nationwide Car Insurance
Description Nationwide is among the nation’s top ten car insurance providers, offering the full range of service and a promise to be “on your side” with stellar service.
Features

  • A+ Superior rating

  • On Your Side auto repair network

  • Plenti rewards program

Pros

  • A.M. Best A+ Superior rating
  • On Your Side Auto Repair Network
  • Plenti rewards program

Cons

  • Potentially high rates
  • Inconsistent support

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What is Nationwide?

Nationwide Insurance got its start in 1925 with the goal of providing affordable, high-quality auto insurance to farmers in Ohio. Since then, it has grown to become a major provider that offers mortgage and banking services in addition to its insurance policies. Though Nationwide is a Fortune 100 company with offices all across the country, it stays strong to its roots by being headquartered in Ohio.

Nationwide is a mutual insurance company, meaning it’s entirely owned by its policyholders rather than third-party stockholders. This structure removes any conflict between short-term financial demands of investors and long-term interests of policyholders, so the company can focus on serving its policyholders. Between this and its long and stable history, it’s no wonder why Nationwide is one of the best-rated insurers in the country.

Where is Nationwide auto insurance available?

With a service area that stretches from coast to coast, Nationwide offers complete coverage in 46 states and Washington, D.C. However, if you live in any of the following states, you may need to look for coverage elsewhere:

  • Alaska
  • Hawaii
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts

Who is Nationwide auto insurance best for?

Nationwide was initially designed for farmers and it continues to offer a suite of benefits to serve them. However, due to its commitment to high-quality service, a large range of policy options, and competitive pricing, Nationwide auto insurance is a safe bet for almost anyone.

What makes Nationwide auto insurance stand out?

You may recognize this provider from its popular slogan, “Nationwide is on your side”. With a commitment to high-quality service and customer satisfaction, here’s how Nationwide delivers on its promise:

  1. Digital convenience. Nationwide has a mobile app for Android and iOS that allows you to file claims, pay your bill, and check the status of your account. Many insurance providers don’t have mobile apps, and some don’t even let you file a claim without picking up the phone.
  2. Broad range of options. As one of the largest insurers in the US, Nationwide offers everything from bare-minimum coverage to plush policies that take care of everything you could ever want. Whether you need the bare minimum like SR22 insurance, or you want comprehensive coverage for your family of eight, Nationwide will have an option for you.
  3. It lives up to its name. Nationwide has field offices all across the country, and deals with customers through many private insurance agencies as well. While you may not ever need to meet with an agent in person, it’s reassuring to know you’re covered by such a large and established network.

What car insurance coverage does Nationwide offer?

  • Liability coverage. This can help cover expenses from damaging a vehicle to injuring a person in an accident.
  • Collision coverage. Pays for damage to your car when your car hits or is hit by another vehicle or other object.
  • Comprehensive car insurance. Known as full-coverage auto insurance, this can help pay for damage to your car due to vandalism, weather events and accidents involving animals.
  • Medical payments, no-fault or personal injury protection coverage. Often mandatory coverage that helps cover medical costs related to an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
  • Uninsured motorists’ coverage. Provides bodily injury and property damage liability coverage for you if an uninsured or underinsured motorist is at fault in an accident.
  • Personal injury protection. This can help pay for medical and rehabilitation expenses, work loss, funeral costs and even replacement services.
  • Property damage liability. Protects you if your car damages someone else’s property.
  • Roadside and accident assistance. Roadside assistance, towing and labor reimbursement and rental car coverage to help you manage the financial fallout of car repairs.

Discounts on Nationwide auto insurance

Nationwide offers a number of discounts on its already competitively priced coverage. From the multi-policy discount to the Nationwide Family Plan, auto insurance discounts are just the start. This provider has a handful of other ways to save, including motorcycle insurance discounts, boat insurance discounts, and more. But for now, here are a few of Nationwide’s auto insurance discounts:

  • Multi-Policy Discounts. Save up to 20% when you bundle your home, auto, life and other insurance policies with Nationwide
  • SmartRide® discount. Earn a discount by joining Nationwide’s usage-based program that gives you feedback to make safer driving decisions.
  • Nationwide Family Plan. Save when you add other members of your family or household to your Nationwide plan.
  • Accident-free discount. Get better rates if you have at least 5 years of safe driving
  • Paperless documents. Get a recurring discount when you switch to paperless documents
  • Good student discount. Students who hold a B average or above can get discounted rates.
  • Anti-theft discount. Earn a discount if your vehicle is equipped with anti-theft technology.
  • Easy Pay discount. Get a discount when you sign up for paperless billing and pay your bill by electronic funds transfer.
  • Affinity car insurance discounts. Get discounted rates if you are a member of a partner business or organization.
  • Farm Bureau discount. Save up to 10% when you join the Farm Bureau
  • Defensive driving discount. Save up to 10% for completing an approved driver safety course. Some states require you to be over 55 to be eligible for this discount.
  • New vehicle. Save up to 16 percent when you insure a vehicle made within the past five years (eligible age of vehicle may vary by state).
  • Passive occupant restraint discount. Get up to 30% off medical payments coverage if your vehicle is equipped with airbags.
  • Long-term policyholder discount. Save up to 5% if you’ve been insured with Nationwide for at least three years and up to 10% if you’ve been with Nationwide for at least five years.
  • Advance quote discount. Save up to 5% if you get a quote at least eight days before your policy start date.

Does Nationwide offer any special programs?

Nationwide offers a variety of special programs and features to extend coverage and accomodate its customers:

  • SmartRide. A device that plugs into your car’s diagnostic port to track your driving behavior. Nationwide uses the data to determine your discount, meaning you can save up to 40% for safe driving. Additionally, drivers can get an initial discount just for signing up.
  • Vanishing deductible. This optional program allows you to reduce your deductible over time by driving safely. Your deductible decreases by $100 for every year you don’t have an accident, to a maximum of $500 off.
  • On Your Side Review. Every year or after a major life event like getting married or having a child, you can speak with your Nationwide agent to go over any potential discounts and assess if your current policy is still right for you.
  • Accident forgiveness. While it only applies to your first accident, this program helps you avoid rate increases after an at-fault accident.
  • Farm Bureau. Get discounts and accommodations from Nationwide when you’re part of an associated farm bureau.
  • Family plan. The Nationwide Family Plan allows you to extend your discounts and benefits to members of your family that you add to your policy.
  • Learning center. Nationwide’s great website offers a suite of tools, tips, and knowledge to help educate customers about driving and auto insurance.
  • Amazon Alexa. Customers can connect their Nationwide account with the Amazon Alexa to learn more about auto insurance products or even ask about their driving information if enrolled in the SmartRide program.
  • On your side auto repair network. Nationwide has a network of auto repair shops that provide great service and guaranteed repairs.
  • Member Connections. Nationwide hosts town hall-style public events where members can speak up about their insurance experience, give feedback, and more.
  • Plenti rewards program. Sign up for this partnership to earn discounts and cash back at major retailers across the country.
  • Auto Watch. A program that lets you track your car’s repairs online.
  • EZ Ag app. This app helps farmers monitor their unique accounts with Nationwide.

Pros and cons of Nationwide auto insurance

Pros

  • A.M. Best A+ Superior rating. With more than $2 billion in assets, Nationwide affirms its superior ability to meet its ongoing insurance obligations.
  • On Your Side Auto Repair Network. Nationwide guarantees the workmanship on appraised and completed repairs for as long as you own or lease your vehicle.
  • Great website. Nationwide’s responsive website is both convenient and attractive, making it easy for customers to learn, compare policies, file claims, and more.
  • Member resources. This provider offers a number of member resources to educate and empower its customers to improve their driving, get better rates, and more.

Cons

  • Potentially high rates. Prices tend to skew on the high side for some drivers, especially those with a few black marks on their record.
  • Inconsistent support. As a very large company, Nationwide offers many streams of communication — but customers complain that they aren’t always consistent.
  • Credit check. Many providers won’t check your credit score when you apply for coverage. Nationwide, however, does.

Nationwide auto insurance customer reviews

Nationwide is officially accredited on the BBB website since 1955. It holds an A+ rating and a composite score of 3.74 out of 5 possible stars. However, despite its great ratings, there are a number of complaints. Customers are unhappy with denied claims, billing issues, unexpected rate changes, and more.

With that being said, Nationwide does a great job at following up on customer complaints, as many of them are marked as resolved. Either way, it’s always important to keep in mind that customer reviews are often more negative in nature, even for companies with great customer service. This is because most customers won’t bother to go online to leave positive reviews, instead reserving their time to speak up about major issues with a product or service. This is why you’ll often see multiple complaints but few positive reviews.

How to apply for Nationwide auto insurance

Nationwide’s great website makes it easy and straightforward to apply for auto insurance coverage. Whether you decide to apply online, by phone, or with an agent, here’s how you can get started:

Online:

  1. Start by visiting the Nationwide website, clicking “Insurance and protection”, then “Auto”.
  2. Enter your zip code, then click “Get a quote”.
  3. Enter your name, address, and contact information, then continue.
  4. Enter vehicle information, including make, model, usage, etc., click continue.
  5. Add driver details including marital status, occupation, etc., click continue.
  6. If you have prior insurance, add all details here, then click continue.
  7. Answer each question to see if you’re eligible for any discounts, then click continue.
  8. Review details, select desired policy options, then continue to begin purchase.
  9. Choose your policy start date, enter contact information, then continue.
  10. Enter your driver’s license number, employment details, then continue.
  11. Enter your vehicle’s VIN and odometer reading, then continue.
  12. Continue to enter any other information when prompted, add your payment details, then purchase your policy. If you run into any roadblocks, you can call an agent directly.

By phone:

If you’d prefer to apply for coverage by phone, you can reach a Nationwide agent at 1-844-217-8133.

With an agent:

For those who would rather apply for coverage with an agent, here’s what to do:

  1. Start by visiting the Nationwide website, then navigate to the auto insurance page
  2. Instead of entering your zip code, click “Find an agent”
  3. Enter your location or use the location tool to let the website locate you.
  4. Choose from the list of agents, then visit them in person or call them to set up an appointment.

How to file an auto insurance claim with Nationwide

Just like applying for coverage, filing a claim with Nationwide is straightforward and can easily be done online. Here’s how:

  1. Visit the Nationwide website, then click “Claims”
  2. Click “Get started” or “File an auto claim online”
  3. Select the option that applies to your situation, then click continue.
  4. Select details about your incident, then continue.
  5. Enter date, time, and policy number then continue.
  6. Enter details about the policyholder (Name, address, contact information) then continue.
  7. Enter more incident details including location, what happened, etc., then continue.
  8. Enter driver information for all parties, then continue.
  9. Enter vehicle information for all parties, then continue.
  10. Finish and submit your claim, and a Nationwide agent should be in touch.

How to contact Nationwide

There are a number of ways to contact Nationwide. While you can find more details on the contact section of its website, here are a few of your options:

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Live chat
  • Social media
  • In person via agent

Does Nationwide offer any other types of insurance?

In addition to car insurance, Nationwide offers a lineup of other coverage options that include:

  • Home
  • Life

  • Renters

  • Condo

  • Event

  • Motorcycle

  • Income property

  • Dental

Nationwide Auto Insurance competitors

Rates last updated April 26th, 2018
Details Features
Liberty Mutual Car Insurance
Liberty Mutual Car Insurance
Car insurance through Liberty Mutual will give coverage options for almost any situation.
  • Multi-car discount
  • Bundle discount for combining auto and home policies
  • New vehicle discount
Get Quote More info
Esurance
Esurance
Esurance offers a modern online and mobile experience that helps you take your insurance on the go.
  • CoverageMyWay® helps you make smarter choices
  • Gain peace of mind with 24/7 claims service
  • Manage your policy on the go with Esurance Mobile
Get Quote More info
Allstate Auto Insurance
Allstate Auto Insurance
With a range of coverage options at affordable prices, Allstate auto insurance can be personalized to your needs as a driver.
  • Reward System for Safe Drivers
  • Bumper-to-Bumper Basics® Tool
  • Comprehensive Tools to Design a Customized Insurance Plan
Get Quote More info

Bottom line

Nationwide is one of the largest insurance companies in the country, and they’re good at what they do. It’s at the forefront of technology with programs like Auto Watch, which lets you keep track of your car repairs, and the EZ Ag app that helps farmers manage their unique accounts.

Though its prices may be a bit higher than the competition, this provider may be right for you for the high-quality service and accessibility. Reps are available by email, through an app, over the phone, in person and to chat online.

But before you dive in, you should always see what else is out there. Use our tool to compare your options to find out which provider is best for you.

Frequently asked questions about Nationwide

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    chrisMarch 2, 2018

    I am a resident of Mexico driving a South Dakota-registered Toyota Tacoma. I plan to return to the US for a couple of weeks and need short=term insurance as my Mexico insurance will not cover me in California and Nevada. How can I obtain this?

    • Default Gravatar
      AndyMarch 5, 2018

      Hi Chris, thank you for reaching out to finder!

      It’s great that you’re thinking ahead about car insurance during your visit to the US. But before you take out a temporary policy here, it might be good to check with your provider in Mexico to see if your coverage can be extended during the month you’ll be traveling. Most major insurance providers, both here in the US and in Mexico, have coverage extension options for a scenario like yours.

      Of course, getting a temporary policy during your trip is also an option. To learn more about temporary car insurance in the US, you can check out our guide on the subject. We also recommend discussing options with your current provider to see if there’s any simple solution your agent can help you with directly.

      Thanks again for reaching out to our team. We hope this was helpful and that you have everything you need!

      Safe travels,
      Andy

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