Nationwide life insurance review 2020
This insurer focuses on universal life insurance and connects you with a local agent.
finder.com's rating: 3 / 5
- Get a quote if… You’re interested in universal life insurance, or a no-exam policy.
- Pick something else if… You have a blip on your driving record.
40 to 95
$10,000 to $1,000,000
Medical Exam Required
|Monthly cost||Not listed|
|Policies||Term, Whole, Universal and Variable|
|Term lengths||10, 15, 20 and 30 years|
|Riders||Accelerated death benefit rider, Accidental death benefit rider, Child rider, Guaranteed insurability rider, Long-term-care rider, Return-of-premium rider, Spouse rider, Waiver-of-premium rider|
|Medical exam required||Yes|
|Available states||All states except Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana and Massachusetts.|
|Issue age||40 - 95 years old|
- Sophisticated online portal
- Comprehensive claims process
- Large network of agents
- Financially sound
- Potentially higher rates
- Some health issues require evaluations
- Above-average emphasis on driving record
- No app for managing your policy
Katia Iervasi is a staff writer who hails from Australia and now calls New York home. Her writing and analysis has been featured on sites like Forbes, Best Company and Financial Advisor around the world. Armed with a BA in Communication and a journalistic eye for detail, she navigates insurance and finance topics for Finder, so you can splash your cash smartly (and be a pro when the subject pops up at dinner parties).
Nationwide’s online portal and claims process is excellent, though its rates can be higher than those of its A+-rated counterparts. Its policies address clients’ needs both now and in the future, and it’s more forgiving than many of its competitors when it comes to weight, health and smoking habits.
To find the best fit you and your family’s needs, compare life insurance companies.
What life insurance coverage does Nationwide offer?
Nationwide offers a full roster of life insurance products:
- Term life insurance. Available in 10-, 15-, 20-, or 30-year terms, this policy offers temporary coverage and predictable premiums. You can buy between $100,000 and $5 million in coverage.
- Whole life insurance. This permanent policy builds cash value over time and allows you to take out loans against your policy once you’ve accumulated enough. It pays out a guaranteed death benefit when you die.
- Universal life insurance. The insurer has a string of universal life policies, including an indexed policy that’s tied to the performance of the S&P, and a survivorship policy that covers two people — typically spouses. These policies offer flexible premiums and death benefits, and the highest possible returns.
- Variable universal life insurance. Offered by prospectus only, this policy provides lifelong coverage and invests a portion of your premiums into the stock market. The investment is professionally managed and may boost your returns, minimizing (though not entirely eliminating) risk.
What riders can I add to my policy?
You may be able to customize your coverage with the following riders:
- Accelerated death benefit rider. Gives you a cash advance on the death benefit if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness.
- Accidental death benefit rider. Pays out an additional lump sum if you die due to an accident.
- Child rider. Extends your life insurance benefit to biological children, stepchildren and legally adopted children.
- Guaranteed insurability rider. Allows you to purchase additional insurance at specified dates without having to take a medical exam.
- Long-term-care rider. Allows you to access money from your policy to pay for medical expenses and long-term care.
- Return-of-premium rider. Reimburses your premiums if you outlive your term life policy.
- Spouse rider. Offered with some term and permanent policies, this provides protection for your spouse and can be converted to its own whole life policy.
- Waiver-of-premium rider. Pauses your premiums if you fall ill or become disabled and can’t work.
How much does Nationwide life insurance cost?
Like most insurers, Nationwide doesn’t disclose its rates online. But the insurer reserves its Preferred rates for people who meet this criteria:
- Tobacco use. The insurer is more progressive than others, considering you a nonsmoker only 12 months after quitting. It also allows up to 12 celebratory cigars a year to qualify for its lowest rates.
- Age. Young, healthy applicants are privy to cheaper policies.
- Driving record. A mere one ticket in the past two years can affect your rate class, which is more strict than most insurers.
- Occupation. Those with dangerous jobs, such as firefighters and heavy machinery operators, may be subject to higher rates.
- Health. Catering to the average American, Nationwide is fairly lenient when it comes to build charts, cholesterol and family history (with the exception of early cardiac death). But if you’ve had a serious health issue in the past 10 years, it may evaluate your case before deciding whether to provide a policy. And high blood pressure could result in higher rates.
Compare life insurance ratesCompare quotes for life insurance policies starting at $15/month.
Pros and cons of Nationwide life insurance
- Strong permanent policy lineup. If you want coverage that lasts your entire life, you have plenty of options.
- No medical exam options. In some cases, the insurer will waive the medical exam — but you may pay a higher premium.
- Sophisticated online portal. Manage your policy, pay bills, fill out forms, submit claims and get a quote online.
- Large network of agents. The insurer has thousands of agents across the US, so you’ll be matched with one who knows the ins and outs of your state.
- Financial strength. Nationwide has an A+ (Superior) rating with AM Best, which means it has the cash reserves to pay out claims.
- Above-average emphasis on driving record. A small blip on your record might affect your rate class.
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Nationwide life insurance reviews and complaints
Nationwide is accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and has earned an A+rating for its transparency and customer interaction. The BBB has recorded 241 complaints over the last three years — though most of them are related to the insurer’s other product lines.
Customers award the insurer 1 out of 5 stars, though there are positive reviews about the efficiency of Nationwide’s dedicated life insurance agents.
Frequently asked questions
Life insurance ratings
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★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
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