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Nationwide car insurance review 2021

Excellent all around support and coverage, plus hefty discounts for safe drivers.

finder.com's rating: 4 / 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.

optional

Roadside assistance

Yes

New car protection

Accident forgiveness

Details

States served All states except AK HI LA and MA
Roadside assistance Optional
Accident forgiveness Yes
New car protection Yes
Pay schedule 12 months, 6 months, Monthly
Claims methods Online, Phone
Rideshare coverage No
SR-22 support Yes

Pros

  • High customer satisfaction ratings
  • Guaranteed workmanship on completed repairs through Nationwide's auto repair shop network.
  • Competitive member perks and discounts

Cons

  • Potentially high rates
  • Inconsistent support
Anti-theft device discount Yes
Bundling discount Yes
Defensive driving discount Yes
Good student discount Yes
Loyalty discount Yes, up to 15%
Homeowner discount No
Military discount No
Safety device discount Yes
Special employment discount No
Usage-based discount Yes, 5-40%
Avatar

Review by


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.

Expert review

Nationwide is one of the largest insurance companies in the country. The company offers plenty of perks, from a Plenti rewards program that offers cashback at major retailers to a vanishing deductible for every year that you’re accident free.

The company also stands at the forefront of technology with tools like Auto Watch, which lets you keep track of your car repairs. Plus, its mobile app makes it easy to make payments, file a claim or view and share ID cards. Customers seem pleased with its user-friendliness and how easy it makes paying monthly premiums, although the occasional negative review sites minor tech issues.

Though its prices may cost more than the competition, you may want Nationwide for its high-quality service, perks and accessibility. Agents are available by email, through an app, over the phone, in person or by online chat. However, if you’re looking for the cheapest rate, consider comparing car insurance quotes with other insurers.

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.

Nationwide car insurance rates

We pulled 2021 full-coverage car insurance rates using Nationwide’s online quote tool for good drivers living in California with a clean driving record.

AgePremiums
18N/A
21$289.72
30$214.66
40$197.92
50$181.39

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:

  1. From Nationwide’s website, click Insurance and protection, then Auto, then enter your ZIP code and tap Get and quote.
  2. Enter your basic contact and car info, including make and model. Tap continue.
  3. Add driver and prior insurance info. Hit continue.
  4. Answer questions to see what discounts you qualify for, then click continue.
  5. Review details, select desired policy options, then continue to begin purchase.
  6. Choose your policy start date, enter contact information, then continue.
  7. Add your payment details to buy your policy. If you run into roadblocks, you can call an agent directly.

What discounts does Nationwide offer?

You’ll score the highest savings if you buy several kinds of insurance with Nationwide, insure a car made within the last five years or join Nationwide’s Smartride program to show off your safe driving.

  • 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.

    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.
    • High-rated mobile app. You can make payments, save your ID card offline, file claims and connect with roadside assistance. Customers give high ratings for the app for how its user-friendliness and accessibility.
    • 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.

    Our review of Nationwide SmartRide

    Nationwide SmartRide is a telematics car insurance program that tracks your driving through an app or device. If you drive safely, you can earn up to 40% off your premium, a higher discount than most other programs offer.

    You start out with a 10% discount at signup, then get your personalized discount after driving for four to six months. The discount applies for as long as you keep your Nationwide policy.

    Overall, most customers find the app satisfactory, giving it 3.3 out of 5 stars on Google Play and 3.6 out of 5 on the Apple Store. However, you’ll see higher app ratings when you’re looking at other companies’ telematics apps.

    Since you’re giving Nationwide permission to collect your driving data, you’ll want to review its privacy policy to make sure that you agree with how it uses your data. Nationwide may use your data to service its products, develop its website and apps, conduct surveys or for research or marketing purposes.

    How SmartRide rates your driving

    SmartRide factors in four key areas when figuring your discount:

    • Accelerating and braking — Limiting speeding up or slowing by more than 7.7+ mph per second
    • Mileage — How many miles you drive per trip
    • Idling — How long you stop during a drive, which suggests traffic
    • Nighttime driving — Avoiding trips between midnight and 5 am

    Nationwide car insurance reviews and complaints

    Nationwide holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) as of 2021, showing that it has followed up on customer complaints in a timely manner. Despite its high rating, over 230 customers have filed BBB complaints.

    Customers are unhappy with denied claims, billing issues and unexpected rate changes. At the same time, Nationwide typically falls below each region’s average on the J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study.

    However, Nationwide does hold a 0.88 score on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners complaint index for private passenger vehicles. Since the industry standard is 1.00, Nationwide’s score shows that it sees fewer complaints than normal.

    That said, 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.

    Our star ratings for Nationwide, explained

    Our car insurance experts rated Nationwide above average because of its solid coverage options, high BBB score and strong finances that back up customers’ claims. We also rated Nationwide highly for its few customer complaints, though its other customer ratings did pull its Finder rating down.

    AM Best financial ratingA+
    BBB accreditedYes
    BBB ratingA+
    Trustpilot score2.9/5 out of 2 customer reviews
    Customer reviews verified as of28 June 2021

    Alternatives to Nationwide

    See how Nationwide stacks up to other companies’ coverage, benefits and discounts. Then tap Get quotes to see a policy customized to you.

    Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Accident forgiveness Safe driver discount Available states
    Allstate
    Optional
    13%
    All 50 states
    Your dedicated agent can help you find the best savings with multiple discounts and rewards programs. Speak to an Allstate agent: 877-526-1527
    Progressive
    Optional
    30%
    All 50 states & DC
    Discover coverage that’s broader than competitors, valuable discounts up to 30% off and perks like shrinking deductibles that reward no claims.
    Pretected
    Pretected
    Optional
    Yes
    All 50 states
    Get your most compatible insurance options via a "smart matching" method aimed at finding you value.
    The AARP Auto Insurance Program from the Hartford
    Optional
    Yes
    All 50 states
    Enjoy low rates for mature drivers, plus perks like new car replacement and lifetime repair guarantees. Only for drivers over age 50.
    Clearcover
    Optional
    Yes
    AZ, CA, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NE, OH, OK, PA, TX, UT, VA, WI & WV
    Get instant online support and score a low rate thanks to online data that sets premiums automatically.
    Root
    52%
    Available in 31 states
    Track your driving to receive a low rate that reflects your driving skills, and enjoy a fully app-based policy experience.
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    Compare up to 4 providers

    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.

    How does Nationwide bundling work?

    With Nationwide, you can bundle your car insurance with your home, renters, life or boat policies. Or choose to bundle your motorcycle and renters insurance.

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        2 Comments

          Default Gravatar
          John
          April 15, 2019

          Is Nationwide Insurance easy to contact when you need to speak with them?

            Avatarfinder Customer Care
            Joshua
            April 15, 2019

            Hi John,

            Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you. 😃

            Yes, they should be easy to contact. To ensure that you get someone to talk to when you call their number, be sure to read during business hours. You can check their website as well to know other ways to get in touch with them.

            I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

            Have a wonderful day!

            Cheers,
            Joshua

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