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Nationwide Auto Insurance Review: Lots of Rewards for Safe Drivers

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This auto insurer is a good fit for: Drivers interested in reaping the rewards of their good driving habits and drivers who put a high value on claims satisfaction.



Full Nationwide Auto Insurance review

Pros

  • Flexible customization options
  • Great rewards for safe drivers
  • Lots of discounts
  • High claims satisfaction

Cons

  • Doesn't serve all states
  • Below-average customer satisfaction ratings
  • Finicky quote tool

Nationwide auto insurance at a glance

Monthly premium costs:

  • 35-year-old female with clean driving record: $88.97
  • 35-year-old male with clean driving record: $88.51

Coverage options:

  • Bodily injury liability
  • Property damage liability
  • Personal injury protection (PIP)
  • Uninsured motorist
  • Underinsured motorist
  • Medical payments
  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Towing and labor
  • Rental car
  • Gap insurance
  • Accident forgiveness
  • Roadside assistance
  • Vanishing deductible
  • Total loss deductible waiver
  • Identity theft insurance

Top perks

Easy to customize policies

In addition to the basic coverage options, Nationwide car insurance offers a variety of add-ons to help drivers customize their policies. These include gap coverage, which is great for drivers who still have a lease or loan on their vehicles, and accident forgiveness, which stops rates from going up after a driver's first accident.

Great rewards for safe drivers

Safe driver discounts are pretty standard with most auto insurers. But Nationwide is one of the best car insurance companies because it goes further, offering a SmartRide discount to drivers willing to demonstrate good driving habits. Then there's the Vanishing Deductible option, which reduces a policyholder's deductible for every year of safe driving. Drivers who go the extra mile and complete a state-approved defensive driving course may also qualify for an extra discount.

Many ways to save

Nationwide offers a variety of common auto insurance discounts, including paperless, multi-policy, and autopay discounts. There are also some less common options. The insurance provider has a SmartMiles program, which rewards drivers who put fewer miles on their vehicles. And its anti-theft device discount helps policyholders save on their auto insurance if they install certain safety devices in their vehicles. Nationwide also offers a free annual On Your Side Review to help ensure drivers are getting all the discounts they qualify for.

High claims satisfaction

Nationwide scored above the national average in J.D. Power's latest Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. This suggests that most customers are pretty happy with this insurance company when it comes to the timeliness of claim's resolutions and the fairness of payouts.

What could be improved

Service area

Nationwide covers all but four states -- Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, and Maryland. Anyone who happens to live in one of these places will have to find coverage from a different insurance provider.

Customer satisfaction ratings

Though its claims satisfaction ratings were strong, Nationwide's overall customer satisfaction ratings lag behind many of its competitors. According to J.D. Power's 2020 Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, Nationwide fell below the national average in every region the car insurance company appeared in.

Quote tool

Nationwide's online quote tool isn't the most user-friendly to navigate. There isn't a way to go back and change information. So if an error is made, the quote has to be started all over again. This can be a pain.

Alternatives to consider

When looking for an auto insurer with great customer service: GEICO is worth a closer look. The company fared well in J.D. Power's customer satisfaction survey, even taking top honors in a few regions. It also scored just one point below the national average for claims satisfaction. But it's missing some options Nationwide offers, like gap coverage.

When looking for other rare coverage options: Progressive is an industry leader in terms of offering rare protections, like ridesharing, custom parts, and pet injury coverage. Like Nationwide, it also offers a disappearing deductible for safe drivers. But unlike Nationwide, Progressive doesn't limit the amount drivers can shave off their deductibles.

Monthly premium costs

Nationwide's auto insurance rates fell near the middle of the pack compared to other insurers we reviewed. But everyone's rates are different, so drivers should get a quote to see how much a Nationwide auto insurance policy will cost. People with clean records and low annual mileage on their vehicles will score the most affordable auto insurance rates.

35y, female, clean record 35y, male, clean record
$88.97 $88.51
Source: The Ascent's analysis of standardized personas

Discounts available

Nationwide is a good source for cheap auto insurance, thanks to a competitive selection of discounts. This includes some rare options like affinity discounts for members of certain organizations. Here's a look at all the ways drivers can save with this insurance company:

  • Multi-policy discount
  • Defensive driving discount
  • Safe driver discount
  • Accident-free discount
  • Easy pay discount
  • Paperless discount
  • Good student discount
  • Affinity discount
  • Anti-theft device discount
  • SmartRide discount
  • SmartMiles discount

Coverage options

Policy types

  • Auto
  • Classic car
  • Motorcycle
  • Snowmobile
  • ATV
  • RV
  • Boat
  • Personal watercraft
  • Scooter
  • Golf cart

Nationwide offers a good mix of vehicle insurance policies, including some options not seen with every insurer, like boat and personal watercraft coverage. But it is missing rideshare coverage, which many of its competitors now offer.

Coverage types

  • Bodily injury liability
  • Property damage liability
  • Personal injury protection (PIP)
  • Uninsured motorist
  • Underinsured motorist
  • Medical payments
  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Towing and labor
  • Rental car
  • Gap insurance
  • Accident forgiveness
  • Roadside assistance
  • Vanishing Deductible
  • Total loss deductible waiver
  • Identity theft insurance

Nationwide's policy options cover all the basics and then some. Its standout features include a vanishing deductible and total loss deductible waiver, both of which can save drivers money in the event of a claim. Nationwide's competitors lack many of these options.

Customer service and ratings

Nationwide didn't have the most impressive ratings in J.D. Power's latest Auto Insurance Satisfaction Survey, scoring below average in every region it's featured in. But it fared well in the J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, besting the national average and many other top insurance providers.

The company also has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and is a BBB-accredited business.

This auto insurer is best for:

  • Drivers who want an insurer with high claims satisfaction ratings
  • Drivers interested in rare coverage options and discounts
  • Drivers who want an insurer that rewards good driving

But drivers looking for an insurer that provides top-notch customer service may want to take a look at GEICO. And Progressive might be a good choice for drivers who can't find certain optional coverages with Nationwide.

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