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Nationwide Life Insurance Review 2020

Nov. 13, 2020
Insurance, Life Insurance
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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AT A GLANCE

  • Rated 4 stars out of 5 by NerdWallet.
  • Drew fewer life insurance complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size.
  • Ranked high for customer satisfaction in a J.D. Power life insurance survey.
Shopping for life insurance during the pandemic? Be aware that insurers may have changed their products and policy applications. For the latest information on how to cope with financial stress during this emergency, see NerdWallet’s financial guide to COVID-19.

Nationwide started out as a small mutual company in Ohio with just auto insurance on the books. The Fortune-100 company now sells a full range of financial products across the country. However, life insurance isn’t currently sold in Montana. Coverage options include term, whole, universal and variable life insurance, as well as business insurance, wedding coverage and more.

Nationwide life insurance

4.0 NerdWallet rating

Nationwide life insurance earned 4 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings from A.M. Best.

Based on these ratings, Nationwide is among NerdWallet’s best life insurance companies for 2020.

Nationwide life insurance policies

Nationwide’s term life insurance is a level term product, which means premiums stay the same throughout the length of the policy. You can buy coverage in 10-, 15-, 20- or 30-year terms, many of which can be converted to permanent life insurance at the end of the term. Available riders include an accelerated death benefit, which allows you to withdraw a portion of the death benefit early if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness. Nationwide also offers term coverage for children, as well as a waiver of premium rider, which helps cover your premium payments if you become disabled.

Nationwide’s whole life insurance has a minimum coverage amount of $10,000 and two available payment options: Premiums are level for the first 20 years of the policy or until you turn 100. Additional whole life insurance riders include term life coverage for your spouse and children.

Nationwide’s universal life insurance and variable life products include survivorship insurance, which covers two parties, typically spouses. The company also offers indexed universal life insurance. In some cases, you can add an overloan protection rider, which prevents your coverage from lapsing if you borrow against the policy’s cash value and the loan exceeds the account total.

» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes

Nationwide customer complaints and satisfaction

For life insurance, Nationwide has drawn fewer complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Nationwide ranked third out of 23 companies in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study for overall customer satisfaction.

More about Nationwide life insurance

The company’s website includes detailed information about each policy, offering downloadable PDFs on most products. Quotes for term life insurance can be started online, but the company promotes speaking to a representative to complete the process. You can search for a Nationwide agent near you using the website.

Nationwide allows policyholders to pay premiums automatically through recurring payments. A fee may be assessed if you pay in installments. Premiums can also be paid over the phone or by mail.

The company’s mobile app allows policyholders to view coverage details, including cash value accounts. Some policyholders can also view billing details and make payments.

Other insurance products from Nationwide include:

  • Auto insurance.
  • Homeowners insurance.
  • Renters insurance.
  • Pet insurance.
  • Wedding insurance.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Identity theft insurance.
  • Business insurance.

Nationwide life insurance pros and cons

ProsCons
Ranked third in J.D. Power's 2020 customer satisfaction study for life insurance.Full access to billing and payment information on the mobile app isn't guaranteed for all policyholders.
Drew fewer complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size.

Methodology: Life insurance ratings

NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on weighted averages of complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance, and financial strength ratings from A.M. Best, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims. To calculate each insurer’s rating, we adjusted the NAIC and A.M. Best scores to a curved 5-point scale.

These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews.

Methodology: Insurer complaints

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2016-2018. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

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