Nationwide car insurance review 2021
Excellent all around support, coverage, rates and more
finder.com's rating: 3.5 / 5
Bottom line: Unlike some of its competitors, Nationwide balances great discounts and service, though it doesn’t accept drivers with too many claims or accidents.
New car protection
|States served||All states except AK HI LA and MA|
|New car protection||Yes|
|Pay schedule||12 months, 6 months, Monthly|
|Claims methods||Online, Phone|
- A.M. Best A+ Superior rating
- On Your Side Auto Repair Network
- Plenti rewards program
- Potentially high rates
- Inconsistent support
|Anti-theft device discount||Yes|
|Defensive driving discount||Yes|
|Good student discount||Yes|
|Loyalty discount||Yes, up to 15%|
|Safety device discount||Yes|
|Special employment discount||No|
|Usage-based discount||Yes, 5-40%|
Roslyn McKenna is an insurance expert who's driven to help people get a great deal on insurance to protect their families and finances. Roslyn earned a BA in writing and communications from Maryville College and has written professionally for more than a decade, showing up on Bankrate, MSN and Reader's Digest.
Nationwide is one of the largest insurance companies in the country. The company stands at the forefront of technology with tools 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 cost more than the competition, you may want Nationwide for its high-quality service and accessibility. Agents are available by email, through an app, over the phone, in person or by online chat.
This article was reviewed by Andrew Flueckiger, a member of the Finder Editorial Review Board and certified insurance counselor and licensed insurance agent in five states.
How to get a free quote with Nationwide car insurance
Nationwide’s website offers a straightforward application for auto insurance coverage. You apply for coverage through an agent by calling 877-669-6877, or online by following these steps:
- From Nationwide’s website, click Insurance and protection, then Auto, then enter your ZIP code and tap Get and quote.
- Enter your basic contact and car info, including make and model. Tap continue.
- Add driver and prior insurance info. Hit continue.
- Answer questions to see what discounts you qualify for, then click continue.
- Review details, select desired policy options, then continue to begin purchase.
- Choose your policy start date, enter contact information, then continue.
- Add your payment details to buy your policy. If you run into roadblocks, you can call an agent directly.
What discounts does Nationwide offer?
Nationwide offers a number of auto insurance discounts on its already competitively priced rates.
- Accident-free discount. Get better rates if you have at least five years of safe driving.
- Advance quote discount. Save up to 5% if you get a quote at least eight days before your start date.
- Airbag discount. Get up to 30% off medical payments coverage if your car is equipped with airbags.
- Affinity discount. Save up to 10% if you’re a member of a partner organization like the Farm Bureau.
- Anti-theft discount. Earn a discount if your vehicle is equipped with anti-theft technology.
- Automatic payments discount. Get a discount when you sign up for automatic bill pay.
- Defensive driving discount. Save up to 10% for completing an approved driver safety course. In some states, you must be over age 55 to qualify.
- Family Plan discount. Save when you add family or household members to your Nationwide plan.
- Good student discount. Students who hold a B average or above can get discounted rates.
- Loyalty discount. Save up to 5% if you stay insured with Nationwide for three years and up to 15% if you stay with Nationwide for five years.
- Multi-policy discount. Save up to 20% when you bundle your home, auto or other insurance policies.
- New vehicle discount. Save up to 16% when you insure a car made within the last five years. The age requirements may vary by state.
- Paperless discount. Get a recurring discount when you switch to paperless billing and notifications.
- Pay-per-mile discount. Nationwide’s SmartMiles is a pay-per-mile insurance policy, which charges you a low base rate and then a few cents for every mile you drive. This option can help low-mileage drivers save big.
- Telematics discount. Earn up to 40% off by joining Nationwide’s SmartRide program.
How does Nationwide SmartRide work?
SmartRide is Nationwide’s version of telematics or usage-based car insurance, which tracks your driving skills and lets you earn discounts for safe driving. With SmartRide, you simply enroll, download the app and let Nationwide track your driving for four to six months.
You’ll see an instant 10% discount for signing up. After that, you can earn up to 40% off your car insurance premium — and it applies for as long as you stay insured with Nationwide. The SmartRide app tracks your mileage, braking, acceleration, idle time and trips between midnight and 5 a.m.
What car insurance coverage does Nationwide offer?
Nationwide offers a standard set of coverage options to protect you while on the road.
- Collision. Pays for damage to your car if you hit another car or object.
- Comprehensive. Pays for non-collision car damage like vandalism, theft, fire, hail or flooding.
- Liability. Covers expenses if you damage a vehicle or injure someone in an accident.
- Medical payments. Helps with accident-related medical costs, regardless of who’s at fault.
- Personal injury protection. Pays for medical expenses, work loss, funeral costs and home services or child care if you get accident injuries.
- Property damage liability. Protects you if your car damages someone else’s car or other property.
- Roadside assistance. Reimburses you for towing and other roadside services if your car breaks down while traveling.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist. Provides injury and property damage coverage if another driver hits your car but doesn’t have enough insurance to pay for it.
What extra perks does Nationwide offer?
Nationwide offers several special programs and features to benefit its customers:
- Accident forgiveness. This program helps you avoid rate increases for your first at-fault accident after going claim-free for a set timeframe.
- Auto watch. You can track car repairs online.
- Bonus drive. Get up to $500 for buying or leasing a new car insured by Nationwide.
- Member connections. Nationwide hosts town hall style events where members can speak up about their experience and give feedback.
- On your side auto repair network. Nationwide has a network of auto repair shops that provide great service and guaranteed repairs.
- Plenti rewards. Sign up to earn discounts and cashback at major stores across the country.
- Vanishing deductible. This optional program lowers your deductible by $100 for every year that you don’t have an accident, up to $500.
Nationwide car insurance reviews and complaints
Nationwide holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) as of April 2021. Despite its high rating, over 230 customers have filed BBB complaints. Customers are unhappy with denied claims, billing issues and unexpected rate changes.
That said, Nationwide has followed up on customer complaints in a timely manner, showing many of them marked as resolved.
However, most customers only go online to speak up about major issues with a product or service. It’s common to see multiple complaints but few positive reviews.
Alternatives to Nationwide
See how Nationwide stacks up to other companies’ coverage, benefits and discounts. Check the Compare box to see up to four companies side by side.
Nationwide car insurance rates
Example monthly rates can give you an idea of what you’ll pay when insuring with Nationwide.
|18 year old man||$146||$215|
|18 year old woman||$146||$274|
|25 year old man||$89||$240|
|25 year old woman||$89||$203|
|35 year old man||$77||$222|
|35 year old woman||$77||$160|
|45 year old man||$73||$222|
|45 year old woman||$73||$222|
|56 year old man||$72||$216|
|56 year old woman||$72||$182|
How do I find a Nationwide local agent near me?
Find personalized service through one of Nationwide’s 10,000+ local agents. To find one near you, you can use the agent locator tool:
Nationwide agent locator
- From the main website, enter your ZIP code in the Find an Agent box. Click Go.
- View agents near you via the map or list.
- Choose your preferred agency and call or visit in person, using the contact info given.
How does Nationwide bundling work?
Nationwide lets you bundle more types of policies to land a discount than many insurance companies. Nationwide’s bundling options include:
Frequently asked questions about Nationwide
Car insurance ratings
★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
Our insurance team analyzes car insurance providers to help you choose the best car insurance for you.
We rank insurers from one to five stars based on key factors including customer satisfaction, policy options, price, billing, claims, and support. We create these rankings to help you narrow down an insurance provider that best suits your budget and coverage needs.