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Nationwide Life Insurance Review: Wide Range of Policies and Long-Term Care Benefits

Review Updated
Dana George
By: Dana George

Our Insurance Expert

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

This life insurer is a good fit for: Consumers who want to customize life insurance coverages with riders.


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Full Nationwide Life Insurance review


  • Nationwide offers a wide range of riders, including long-term care coverage, through its CareMatters® rider.
  • Allows bundling of all types of coverage, including life insurance, which many life insurance companies don't allow.
  • Offers a variety of life insurance policies, including term, whole life, universal life, and variable universal life.
  • Above average customer satisfaction ratings, according to the J.D. Power 2022 Individual Life Insurance Study.
  • Nationwide is one of the largest insurers and is rated A+ by AM Best.
  • Offers various types of insurance to people over the age of 70, a highly unusual move among life insurance companies.


  • Medical exam required for each life insurance type.
  • Those looking for a higher coverage amount may be disappointed that Nationwide limits term policies to $1 million.

Nationwide Life Insurance at a glance

  • Average cost $500,000 20-year term life policy (non-smoking, 35-year-old female): $29.33/month, or $339.96/year
  • Average cost $500,000 20-year term life policy (non-smoking, 35-year-old male): $32.50/month, or $390/year
  • Policies available: Term, whole life, universal life, variable universal life
  • Term life policy limit: $1 million
  • Whole life policy limit: N/A
  • Available riders: Long-term care, chronic illness, critical illness, terminal illness, children's term, premium waiver
  • Age eligibility: 70 and up
  • Discounts: Bundling with other Nationwide insurance products

Top perks

Wide range of riders

Nationwide offers a number of riders to help you customize your life insurance coverage. These include a Chronic Illness Rider, which allows you to request a portion of your death benefit early if diagnosed with a permanent chronic illness, a Premium Waiver Rider, which if you become disabled, this rider credits a monthly premium to your policy after a six-month elimination period, and a Critical Illness or Terminal Illness Rider, which allows you to request a portion of your death benefit early if diagnosed with a critical or terminal illness, such as a heart attack or cancer.

Nationwide is also among the few life insurance companies that allow customers to add a long-term care rider to its life insurance policies. Through its CareMatters® rider, you can even use a life insurance policy to help pay for long-term care coverage. This can help ease concerns about needing extra help in the future, even in your own home.


While bundling is not unusual with other types of insurance -- like auto and homeowners -- it is uncommon for a life insurance company to be included in bundles. By bundling life with other types of insurance available through Nationwide, customers can save big.

Excellent customer service

Of the 22 life insurance companies included in the 2022 J.D. Power U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study, Nationwide ranks sixth for customer satisfaction. The industry average among life insurance companies is 774 out of a possible 1,000 points. Nationwide's score is 791.

Financially stable company

Nationwide is the seventh largest life insurance company in the U.S., with over $6 billion in direct premiums. In addition, AM Best has affirmed Nationwide's Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior), which reflects Nationwide's ability to meet its financial obligations.

What could be improved

Mandatory health exams

While Nationwide allows certain qualified healthy applicants to bypass it, most applicants do end up needing a medical exam. While that's fine for a young(ish), healthy individual, it makes it a bit harder for a less-than-robust applicant to land the size policy they require.

Relatively low policy maximum for term insurance

Because life insurance is so inexpensive to purchase as a young adult, it's easy to imagine that some higher-earning individuals would want to lock in a term policy for more than $1 million. Nationwide's online application has a limit of $1 million, however, if the applicant applies through Nationwide directly, they may apply for up to $5 million in term life insurance.


Nationwide makes it easy to obtain an online quote with few questions asked. Here's a sample of average cost for both smokers and non-smokers.

Premium Standardized persona
$29.33/month 35-year-old female in excellent health who is not a smoker purchasing $500,000 in coverage for a 20-year term
$32.50/month 35-year-old male in excellent health who is not a smoker purchasing $500,000 in coverage for a 20-year term
$77.92/month 35-year-old female in excellent health who smokes purchasing $500,000 in coverage for a 20-year-term
$98.75/month 35-year-old male in excellent health who smokes purchasing $500,000 in coverage for a 20-year-term
Data source: Nationwide.

Alternatives to consider

If you want a life insurer that offers term life policies with no medical exam: Haven Life has you covered and comes with some of the lowest rates in the industry.

If you want a life insurer that offers survivorship universal life policies: State Farm's survivorship life policies leave money to your beneficiaries after both you and your partner pass away.

Policy options

Nationwide offers four different types of life insurance policies.

Term life

As the name suggests, term life insurance covers you for a specific length of time, typically 10, 20, or 30 years. It is, by far, the most economical way to purchase life insurance. If something happens to you while the policy is still active, your beneficiaries will receive the full face value of the policy.

Whole life

Whole life is a type of permanent life insurance. That means the policy stays active as long as you continue to pay the premiums. Part of most permanent life insurance policies go toward building a cash value. These are funds you can one day borrow against or withdraw from your policy. However, if you choose to repay anything you borrowed, you'll have to repay it with interest. And if you simply withdraw money without repaying it, those funds are deducted from the face value of the policy.

Universal life

Universal life is another type of permanent life insurance. The difference is that universal life insurance earns a fixed rate of interest on the cash that accrues. The interest rate changes over time, but will never dip below a guaranteed minimum rate. The guaranteed minimum rate varies by insurer.

Variable universal life

Variable universal life is yet another type of permanent life insurance. The hallmark of variable universal life is that you get to choose the investments your life insurance policy is tied to. The value of cash in your policy rises and falls, depending on how well those investments perform.


Long-term care

Nationwide's long-term care (LTC) rider pays out in a multitude of ways. For example, while it covers nursing home expenses, it also offsets the cost of in-home care as you get older. As you're shopping for life insurance, be sure to ask a Nationwide agent about long-term rider regulations in your state.

Chronic illness

In the event a policyholder is diagnosed with a permanent chronic illness, this rider allows them to request a portion of their death benefit early. Let's say the chronic condition means you must quit your job. A chronic illness rider can provide you with money you need to get by.

Critical illness

This rider is much like a chronic illness rider. The difference is that it must be a critical illness, like a heart attack or cancer, that lays you up. You may recover and get back to life as usual, but in the meantime, you can use a portion of your life insurance death benefit to pay bills.

Terminal illness

A terminal illness rider allows policyholders to request a portion of their death benefit early if they're diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Children's term

This rider pays a life insurance benefit if any of your children pass away. While it's a terrible thought, it helps ensure that you'll have enough money for a funeral.

Premium waiver

If you ever become disabled, after a six-month elimination period, this premium waiver rider can cover your policy so you don't have to worry about going without insurance.

Application process

It's quick and easy to apply online for Nationwide Life Insurance. If you're not quite sure which type of policy is best for you or where to start, you're free to call 1-855-617-6508 to speak with a specialist who can walk you through the process. As part of the process, you'll be set up with a medical professional who will conduct a medical exam consisting primarily of checking your height and weight, and asking a series of health-related questions.

Who is eligible for Nationwide Life insurance?

It's impossible to say who is eligible and who is not eligible for any life insurance policy. Eligibility depends on many factors, including health history and the type of policy you're considering. If you're interested in Nationwide, your best move is to discuss your situation with a trained insurance specialist who can lay out your options.

Customer service and ratings

As mentioned, a J.D. Power survey shows that Nationwide ranks sixth out of 22 life insurers in the U.S. for customer satisfaction.

This life insurer is a good choice for:

Nationwide is best suited for people who:

  • Want a wide range of riders to customize coverage
  • Want to bundle coverages to save money
  • Value customer service
  • Are comfortable with a medical exam

But you may want to consider Haven Life if you're looking for a no-medical-exam term life policy with affordable premiums or State Farm if you're in the market for a survivorship life policy.

Our Insurance Expert