Nationwide Auto Insurance Guide [Everything You Need]

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Nationwide OverviewDetails
Year Founded1925
Current ExecutiveSteve Rasmussen, CEO
Number of Employees32,110
Total Assets (2017)32,110
HQ AddressOne Nationwide Plaza, Columbus, OH
Phone Number1-877-669-6877
Company Websitewww.nationwide.com
Premiums Written (Auto, 2017)$7,341,476
Loss Ratio66.16%
Best ForBunding Coverage

Over 85 years ago, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company took root in Columbus, Ohio. Nowadays it stands among the top ten car insurance providers to operate in the United States.

This slow-growth story resonates throughout the car insurance industry, and it’s allowed drivers everywhere to better understand how policies, driving laws, and industry standards develop over time.

What do Nationwide’s policies and standards look like, though? As the eighth largest operating car insurance provider in the United States, Nationwide has a number of branches that need to work in tandem to provide you with the car insurance you need.

How can you be certain that Nationwide will provide you with the coverage that’ll keep you safe on the road? How can you be certain that any

provider will be able to see to your needs?

Don’t let the stress get to you. We took a look at Nationwide’s policies, history, market share, and track record with consumers to get a better idea of just how the company works.

Now, we can share all of that information with you. Want to know more about Nationwide’s financial rankings, customer service, or available policies? We can tell you about all that and more.

If you want to start comparing car insurance rates in your area now, you can use our FREE online tool to look up the average policy costs in your area.

For now, let’s take a dive into all things Nationwide.

Nationwide’s Ratings

Let’s start with some statistics. Each of the to-be mentioned organizations examines the financial standing of car insurance companies across the nation, then awards them a rating based on their ability to serve drivers or maintain their financial stability.

Take a look at Nationwide’s ratings first. Then we’ll break those ratings down so you can get a better idea of just what being “eighth best car insurance provider” in the nation means.

Ratings AgencyRating
A.M. BestA+
Better Business BureauA+
Moody'sA1
S&PA+
Market Share$3,187.20

– AM Best Financial Ratings

AM Best is one of the most well-known financial ratings companies in operation today. They award Nationwide with an A+, a Superior rating for their financial standing.

This means that AM Best anticipates that Nationwide will remain financially stable in the years to come. The company shouldn’t have any trouble paying off the claims you file, and their loss ratios should look unremarkable.

– Better Business Bureau

That factors that go into a Better Business Bureau rating vary based on the state of operation and company in question. The BBB examines complaints in addition to a company’s customer service record to better understand how well the company in question can serve their consumers’ needs.

Better Business Bureau here awards Nationwide with an A+, suggesting that if you have any difficulty with the company, you should have your complaint seen to quickly and efficiently.

– Moody’s Rating

Moody’s Ratings track debt in 130 countries, over 11,000 corporations, through 21,000 public finance issuers, and 76,000 structured finance obligations. Their reach is wide. That makes the A1 they’ve awarded Nationwide stand out, as well.

While an A1 isn’t the highest score Moody’s Ratings can award, it still indicates that Nationwide’s consumers are at low credit risk and should receive notably strong financial service.

– S&P Rating

Standard and Poor’s (S&P) awards Nationwide the highest score the company can possibly receive with an A+. Roughly 30 percent of Fortune 500 companies are able to receive, let alone maintain, a score of this caliber. As a result, S&P indicates that they see Nationwide as a credit-safe company that’ll be able to safely protect consumer investments.

– NAIC Complaint Index

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners assesses companies’ complaint indexes and those companies’ subsequent ability to address the needs of their consumers.

The national complain average registers at 1.16. Nationwide ranks with a 0.44 complaint index, indicating that the company’s registered complaints come in far less frequently than they do for other insurance providers.

– J.D. Power

For an abrupt change of base, J.D. Power ranks Nationwide as only okay in the area of customer satisfaction. The company garnered two out of five stars on J.D. Power’s insurance shopping study, a score that was followed up with a three out of five on a claims satisfaction study.

Neither of these scores are particularly glowing, as a two out of five registers below average for J.D. Power and a three out of five as average.

– Consumer Reports

Comparatively, in an overall assessment of the company’s functionality, Consumer Reports awarded Nationwide an 88 on a 100-point scale. This score puts Nationwide on par with insurance providers like Liberty Mutual as well as Allstate, suggesting that, if nothing else, the company holds its ground when compared to its competitors.

– Consumer Affairs

Last but not least, Consumer Affairs, which focuses on consumer reviews, has 85 indexed reviews regarding Nationwide in its docket. A fair percentage of those reviews – 58 out of 85 – are one-star reviews. This isn’t a particularly glowing statistic for Nationwide, but given the company’s size, their ratio of one-star to other-star reviews could be significantly worse.

Nationwide’s History

Nationwide was not always known as Nationwide. In 1925, the Ohio Farm Bureau established the company that would become Nationwide as the Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. Debate exists as to whether the company officially arrived on the scene in 1925 or 1926 because it wasn’t until the following year that the company sold its first policy.

By 1943, Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company expanded its reach to twelve states, including the District of Columbia. By 1955, they had an additional 20 states on their roster.

Nowadays, Nationwide Insurance ranks at number 67 on the Fortune 500 list and its the eighth largest provider of car insurance to drivers in the United States. How’s that for significant growth?

– Nationwide’s Market Share

YearMarket Share
20153.29%
20163.20%
20172.98%

Let’s take a moment to examine Nationwide’s financial history. The company’s market share reflects the percentage of sales they made compared to all other auto insurance providers during the past six years.

Nationwide’s market share has been on the decline since 2012. The company saw a sharp drop in share between 2016 and 2017, witnessing a fall of 1.15 percent.

Even so, Nationwide continues to hold its rank of the eighth-largest car insurance provider in the United States. However, drivers looking to purchase policies with the company may want to be careful with their investment.

Nationwide is still able to see to its financial commitments, but a falling market share suggests that there are fewer drivers willing to work with the company and thereby less money to go around (which isn’t saying much – “less money” to a business the size of Nationwide is almost unimaginable to us).

– Business Model

Up until recently, Nationwide’s agents had the option of working independently or as agency captives. That’s not as weird as it sounds! Independent agents are simply allowed to sell products from a number of insurance providers, whereas captive agents are limited to one property.

In 2018, Nationwide announced that they would not be investing in captive agents in the future and would be fully independent by 2020.

Nationwide currently has over 10,000 independents selling their products for them, and the company anticipates future expansion as they move away from the captive business model.

– Advertising

While Nationwide doesn’t have a recognizable mascot like Geico, it does have an ear-worm of a jingle. The slogan, “Nationwide is on your side,” entered into the company’s marketing campaigns in 1965 and has remained ever-present since.

Nationwide brings variation to this jingle by having different famous football players, musicians, and other celebrities sing the jingle in their commercials:

Like a number of other car insurance providers, Nationwide likes to play into the humor of its commercials. However, their advertisements are most frequently wholesome expansions on just what their slogan means. The company likes to emphasize how it can help drivers all around the United States save money and stay protected while on the road.

– Investment in the Community

Like its peers, Nationwide actively invests its time and money into the communities it serves. It does so primarily through the Nationwide Foundation and their Community Connect program.

This foundation was originally established in 1959. Nowadays, it provides sponsorships to nonprofit events and grants to nonprofits in need.

As of 2000, Nationwide reported that the Nationwide Foundation had provided $467 million in funding to nonprofits throughout the United States.

Nationwide also actively collaborates with the following organizations:

  • The United Way
  • The American Red Cross
  • Feeding America

– Nationwide’s Position for the Future

Even though Nationwide’s market share has been on the decline over the past few years, the company seems determined to charge ahead into the future. As was noted, the company is intent on offering independence to all of its affiliated agents. Nationwide is also looking to boost its presence online by allowing drivers greater access to online policy sales.

– Availability by State

While Nationwide operates in the vast majority of states across the U.S., you won’t be able to purchase its policies in the following:

  • Alaska
  • Hawaii
  • Louisiana
  • Maine

Coverage Offered

You’ll be able to find all sorts of basic coverage through Nationwide. The company makes sure that you can meet your state’s minimum liability requirements so you can drive legally on the road (that is, in the states where Nationwide’s policies are available).

Let’s break down the company’s available insurance, though, so you can get a better idea of the policies you have available to you. The basic insurance policies include:

  • Bodily Injury Liability – if you’re found to be at-fault in an accident, then bodily injury liability insurance will make sure that you can pay for the other injured party’s medical bills.
  • Property Damage Liability – if you’re found to be the party responsible for property damage in an accident, then property damage insurance will help you pay to replace the other party’s damaged property.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – This coverage ensures that, regardless of who is the driver at fault, your personal injuries and lost wages are covered.
  • Medical Payments (MedPay) – This coverage covers any medical or funeral expenses of passengers in your vehicle.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury and Property Damage – This coverage ensures that if the other driver in an accident is the at-fault driver and also under- or uninsured, you’ll be able to cover your expenses without digging into your savings.

More comprehensive coverage through Nationwide includes:

  • Collision – if you run into another object, be it a car, mailbox, or something else, this coverage will help you attend to replacement or repair costs.
  • Comprehensive – if your car happens to be damaged by a force of nature (storms, floods, fires, vandalism, or theft), then comprehensive coverage through Nationwide ensures that you’ll be able to afford your repairs or vehicular replacements.
  • Roadside Assistance – if you have to call assistance to get a tire changed, your car jump-started, or lockout services on the side of the road, this coverage will ensure that you don’t have to endure the expense.
  • Rental Car Reimbursement – if you need to rent a vehicle while yours is being repaired, Nationwide will help you cover the cost of that rental.
  • GAP Coverage – GAP insurance is an optional form of car insurance coverage that can help you cover the “gap” between the amount you owe on your car and the amount the car is actually worth, or its actual cash value (ACV).
  • Total Loss Deductible Waiver – if your car is totaled in an accident, this coverage ensures that you won’t have to pay a collision or comprehensive deductible.
  • Accident Forgiveness – this coverage ensures that your rates won’t rise after your first accident.

Nationwide Discounts and Programs

Nationwide makes a number of optional programs available to its drivers. You can sign up for any of the following a receive a discount or benefit that may lessen your premium costs in the long run:

  • Vanishing Deductible – this optional program reduces your deductible by $100 for every year you remain accident-free.
  • Smart Ride – by plugging in a device to your car, Nationwide can monitor your driving habits for four to six months and reward you a discount based on how safely you drive. The company also offers a discount to those drivers who sign up for the program.
  • BonusDrive – if you purchase a specific type of car from Nationwide’s approved list, you’ll receive $500 cashback – so long as you’re registered with the BonusDrive program.
  • Auto Shopping Service – Nationwide will also help you find a new or used vehicle with some assistance from TrueCar.
  • On Your Side Repair Network – you’ll be able to receive any of the car repairs you need from the shops included in Nationwide’s preferred repair shop network.

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But let’s take a look at those price-droppers everyone cares about: discounts.

The table below lists all of the discounts that Nationwide makes available to its drivers:

Discount TitlePercentage OffDetails/Requirements
Anti-theft DeviceVariesVehicles equipped with qualifying anti-theft device
Easy Pay PlanNot stated, one-time discountSet up automatic withdrawal of premium payments
Paperless BillingNot statedSign up for online policy management
Safe Driver10 percentDiscounted rate after five years with a clean record
55+ Defensive Driving Course5 percentDrivers over age 55 and complete a defensive driving course
Multi-Car20 percentInsure more than one vehicle with Nationwide
Good StudentNot statedStudents between the ages of 16 and 24 who are enrolled in high school or college can receive a discount if they maintain a B average or better
Auto and Home20 percent in totalHave both auto and home insurance through Nationwide
Auto and LifeNot statedHave both auto and life insurance through Nationwide
Auto and BoatNot statedHave both auto and boat insurance through Nationwide
Affinity GroupVariesMembers of affiliated alumni organizations, special interest groups, or professionals may receive a discount through Nationwide
SmartRide10 percent of signing, 40 percent after the end of the programIf you install a Smart Ride plug-in device for four to six months, you’ll receive a discount based on your recorded driving habits
Vehicle Safety DeviceVariesYou’ll receive different discounts based on the safety equipment installed in your car, including anti-lock brakes, airbags, and electronic stability control

Availability of Coverage

If you’re shopping for car insurance, you’re probably on a budget. To find the best insurance policy for your budget, you’re going to need to compare rates based not only on car insurance providers but on different driving factors, demographics, and even the state you live in.

Let’s see how Nationwide’s rates compare to other providers based on some of these differentiating elements.

– Comparison of Annual Average Rates by State

As mentioned, Nationwide doesn’t offer coverage in a few states across the U.S. The company’s rates also vary based on the state you’re living in.

StateAverage Annual Premium
AlaskaNA in State
Alabama$2,662.66
Arkansas$3,861.79
Arizona$3,496.08
California$4,653.19
Colorado$3,739.47
Connecticut$3,672.34
District of Columbia$4,848.98
Delaware$4,330.21
Florida$4,339.60
Georgia$6,484.90
Hawaii$2,551.83
Iowa$2,735.44
Idaho$3,032.19
Illinois$2,711.81
IndianaNA in State
Kansas$2,475.59
Kentucky$5,503.23
LouisianaNA in State
MaineNA in State
Maryland$2,915.69
MassachusettsNA in State
Michigan$6,327.38
Minnesota$2,926.49
Missouri$2,265.35
Mississippi$2,756.53
Montana$3,478.26
North Carolina$2,848.03
North Dakota$2,560.35
Nebraska$2,603.94
New Hampshire$2,491.10
New JerseyNA in State
New Mexico$3,514.38
Nevada$3,477.14
New York$4,012.93
Ohio$3,300.89
OklahomaNA in State
Oregon$3,176.83
Pennsylvania$2,800.37
Rhode Island$4,409.63
South Carolina$3,625.49
South Dakota$2,737.66
Tennessee$3,424.96
Texas$3,867.55
Utah$2,986.57
Virginia$2,073.00
Vermont$2,128.21
Washington$2,129.84
West VirginiaNA in State
Wisconsin$5,224.99
Wyoming$3,187.20

In general, Nationwide’s premiums cost less than the national average. If you live in Michigan, consider yourself lucky – there’s no other state in the U.S. that sees rates that low through Nationwide.

– Comparison of Annual Average Rates by Company

But how does Nationwide match up when compared to the other providers available to U.S. drivers?

CompanyAverage Annual Premium
Allstate$4,887.95
American Family3,443.09
Farmers4,194.27
Geico3,215.01
Liberty Mutual6,073.46
Nationwide3,450.00
Progressive4,035.52
State Farm3,260.00
Travelers4,434.91
USAA2,537.30

Following their affordable trend, Nationwide keeps its rates lower than the vast majority of the other big ten providers.

– Average Annual Premium by Demographic

An old car insurance myth claims that men are charged more for their car insurance coverage than women are. Let’s see if that holds true with Nationwide.

DemographicAverage Annual Premiums
Married 35-year old female$742.03
Married 35-year old male$764.56
Married 60-year old female$586.72
Married 60-year old male$643.68
Single 17-year old female$571.59
Single 17-year old male$896.92

As you can see, age has a greater impact on the rates offered to you by Nationwide than gender does. That said, there is some notable differentiation in rate availability, especially between the genders of teenage drivers.

– Average Annual Premium by Driving Record

Your driving record, however, does have a significant impact on the rates that Nationwide is able to offer you.

Driving RecordAverage Nationwide Rate
Clean Record$2,746.18
One Speeding Ticket$3,113.68
One Accident$3,396.95
One DUI$4,543.20

As you can see, a speeding ticket alone raises your rate by nearly $400. A DUI hikes that cost up by nearly $2,000.

– Average Annual Premium by Coverage Level

Your preferred level of coverage will also impact the amount of money you have to spend on your annual premium.

Coverage LevelAverage Nationwide Rate
Low$3,394.83
Medium$3,449.80
High$3,505.37

That said, Nationwide doesn’t increase their rates too much based on your preferred level of coverage. The difference between low coverage costs and high coverage costs is barely $110.

– Average Annual Premium by Credit History

Your credit history reflects your ability to pay different organizations the money you owe them. It’s here where Nationwide gets serious about their premium rates. While there’s not a significant difference in available premiums, you’ll still notice a variation in offered rates based on your credit history.

Credit HistoryAverage Nationwide Rate
Poor$4,083.29
Fair$3,254.83
Good$2,925.94

– Average Annual Premium by Commute

Some car insurance providers will vary your rates based on the amount you drive over the course of a year. Nationwide does charge you a touch more if you drive 12,000 miles or more annually, but the difference is cost is hardly significant compared to the variation seen in other companies.

Commute TypeNationwide Average Rate
10-mile, 6,000 miles annually$3,437.33
25-mile, 12,000 miles annually$3,462.67

If you happen to have a longer commute, you’ll only see your rates jump by $25.

– Average Annual Premium by Make and Model

You’d expect sports cars to cost more to insure than your average Honda Civic. While Nationwide doesn’t vary their rates by make and model too much, you may be charged more for your coverage if your car is of the current model year or the year prior.

Make and ModelAverage Annual Rate
2015 Honda Civic Sedan: LX with 2.0L 4cyl and CVT $2$733.21
2015 Toyota RAV4: XLE $2$749.63
2018 Ford F-150: Lariat SuperCab with 2WD 6.5 foot bed and 2.7L V6 $2$603.31
2018 Honda Civic Sedan: LX with 2.0L 4cyl and CVT $2$535.54
2018 Toyota RAV4: XLE $2$548.18

How to File a Claim

Nationwide’s Claims Services provide you with several different mediums through which you can issue a claim, including:

  • By phone, calling 1-800-42103535
  • By contacting your local agent
  • Using the Nationwide cellular app
  • By Online Claim Form through Nationwide’s site

Do note that if your claim only addresses glass, you can call 1-800-890-1375 for faster and more specialized service. There is also a specialized online report form for glass-only claims.

How to Get a Quote Online

It’s easier than you might think to get an online quote through Nationwide.

– Step 1: Location, Location, Location

Start by entering your zip code into the prompt box on the homepage. Don’t forget to select “auto insurance”!

– Step 2: Getting Personal

From here, Nationwide will request some of your personal information, including your full name, address, preferred phone number, and email address.

– Step 3: Identify Your Car

After you’ve entered your personal information, Nationwide will ask you to identify the car you want to receive a quote for. If you’ve registered the car with a local DMV, you’ll be able to find it without a problem. Otherwise, you’ll have to enter your information manually.

– Step 4: Choose Your Drivers

Let Nationwide know which of your family members you want to insure with your coverage. This includes children, spouses, companions, and extended family.

– Step 5: Choose Your Coverage

Then, choose your ideal coverage. Make sure you meet your state’s minimum liability coverage before moving forward.

– Step 6: Detail The Daily Grind

How long does it take you to get to and from work on a daily basis? To find the best coverage and premium for you, Nationwide’ll need to know what your average commute looks like.

– Step 7: Share Your History

Finally, if you have a history of accidents, filed claims, or traffic violations, you need to be honest about it. Your premium through Nationwide will vary based on your driving history, but it’s better to be upfront than to try and keep it hidden.

– Step 8: View Your Quote

Once you’ve provided Nationwide with this information, the company will be able to provide you with an example of what your premium would look like if you bought a policy through their company.

Pros and Cons

So, where does Nationwide stand in terms of insurance? The coverage the company has to offer is fairly straightforward, and its rates are some of the lowest that you’ll find in the United States. While the company’s market share may be on the decrease, Nationwide still seems able to provide you with affordable car insurance coverage in the majority of U.S. states.

Website Structure

Nationwide’s website uses top-level menus to allow you quick access to all of their various available insure coverage. You’ll be able to use these menus to find more information about the company’s various products, claims procedures, and contact information.

Generally speaking, the website makes its information easy to find. It even provides you with guides to help you understand what kind of coverage a teen driver may need, coverage that best suits high-risk drivers, and so on.

App Structure

Nationwide actually makes two different apps available to its consumers: Nationwide Mobile, for car insurance, and Nationwide Bank, for Nationwide’s banking services. Neither costs a penny to download, but for the sake of this guide, we’ll address the car insurance app.

Nationwide’s mobile app – Nationwide Mobile – attempts to utilize the same practicality as its website, and it succeeds – to a point. The app prizes that practicality over creativity and is straightforward to use if not visually engaging.

Unfortunately, that attention to utility can make user experience with the app less than enjoyable. All the same, you’ll be able to use the Nationwide car insurance app to issue a claim, view your insurance ID cards, get accident help, and reach out to a local agent.

FAQs

Do you have a few more questions regarding Nationwide’s functionality? We’ll touch on some of them below, but you can always check out the provider’s own FAQ for more information.

– How do I get an auto quote?

Nationwide makes it easy for you to get a claim on their desktop website. You’ll see a quote box right in the center of the platform’s homepage.

Enter your zip code and contact information after pressing “start your quote.” You’ll need to provide Nationwide with the following information:

  • Home address
  • Email address
  • Phone number

From this point, choose the vehicle registered in your name that you’re looking to insure, or enter that information manually. Nationwide’s platform will ask you questions that could lead you to receiving specialized discounts. Once you’ve answered all of those, you’ll receive your quote based on your preferred level of coverage.

– What is GAP insurance?

GAP insurance is an optional form of car insurance coverage that can help you cover the “gap” between the amount you owe on your car and the amount the car is actually worth, or its actual cash value (ACV).

Should you get in an accident, you’ll be able to use GAP insurance to cover the difference between the amount of money your car is worth now that it’s been damaged and the amount of money you may still owe on an auto loan.

– What is an SR-22?

An SR-22 is a certificate of insurance or a form of financial responsibility. This vehicle liability insurance document is only required of drivers who insurance companies like Nationwide consider to be “high-risk.”

You’ll be considered a high-risk driver if you have an abnormal number of points registered to your driver’s license or if any of the following apply to you:

  • You’ve been convicted of a traffic-related offense, like a DUI
  • You’ve been in an uninsured car accident and had your license revoked
  • You’ve had your license revoked for any other reason

– What happens if I’m involved in an accident in another state?

Because Nationwide operates in nearly every state, you should be able to maintain your coverage no matter where you are. However, the nature of individual accidents and state laws may change whether or not you’re determined to be at-fault for an accident or not.

Even so, Nationwide’s liability rates will – in the case of an accident – be modified to match the state minimum liability requirements of the state you got in an accident in. This change will not be a permanent one but will rather only apply to you for as long as a case regarding the accident is ongoing.

– Does my deductible still apply even if I’m not at fault?

You may have to pay your deductible even if you’re not at fault depending on what kind of coverage you have. If there’s a chance that Nationwide could recover the amount you paid on your deductible from the person determined to be at-fault in your accident, then the company will do so.

However, if the company does not succeed, you can either choose to try and recover the deductible yourself or pay your deductible as required.

So, is Nationwide the right car insurance provider for you? It may not have the strongest market share, but its coverage options are plentiful, and the company does its best to ensure that its features remain accessible to drivers at all times of the day.

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