Nationwide Auto Insurance Review 2022

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. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Our Take

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

Nationwide’s average number of discounts and low number of complaints make it a solid choice for many consumers.

with Insure.com

See what you could save on car insurance

Easily compare personalized rates to see how much switching car insurance could save you.

Nationwide Auto Insurance
Nationwide
NAIC complaints
Fewer than expected
Ease of use
Above average
Discounts
Average set of discounts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Fewer than the expected number of complaints to state regulators for auto insurance.
  • Wide variety of options for customers who want to buy multiple products from one company.

Cons

  • Customer satisfaction for auto insurance is lower than average, according to recent J.D. Power studies.

Full Review

Although it’s probably best known for car insurance, Nationwide offers many types of insurance and financial products. If you prefer to bundle insurance products with a financially strong company, Nationwide might be a good fit.

Nationwide is among NerdWallet’s Best Car Insurance Companies.

Nationwide auto insurance coverage

When you’re shopping for car insurance, it’s important to understand what car insurance coverage you want and what you’re required to buy. Most states require car insurance in order to drive a vehicle. Although minimum coverage requirements vary from state to state, they generally include liability insurance and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

If you want extra protection, you may be interested in full coverage insurance. Full coverage isn’t a specific policy type; it's a combination of coverage types, like liability, collision and comprehensive insurance.

Check out the most common types of car insurance coverage below to see how they work:

Coverage type

What it pays for

Required?

Bodily injury and property damage liability

Costs for injuries, deaths or property damage from an accident you caused.

Typically required.

Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage

Medical and property damage costs after an accident with a driver who has insufficient insurance or none at all.

Often required.

Collision coverage

Repair expenses from traffic-related accidents, regardless of who's at fault.

A car loan or lease may require it.

Comprehensive coverage

Repair costs from events outside of your control, including weather events, hitting an animal while driving, theft and vandalism.

A car loan or lease may require it.

Nationwide offers all that you would expect from an auto insurer, plus a few additional options and perks:

  • Gap insurance: This pays the difference between the cash value of your car when it was totaled or stolen and the amount of money left on your loan or lease. You may be required by your lender to have this type of insurance, and you must purchase comprehensive and collision coverage to get it.

  • Vanishing Deductible: This optional program allows you to chip away at your deductible by driving safely. For every year you don’t have an accident, your deductible goes down by $100, up to a $500 reduction.

  • On Your Side Review: Every year and after a major life event, you can take advantage of a free assessment by one of Nationwide’s agents to help you determine whether your insurance policies are right for you and go over any available discounts.

  • Accident forgiveness: This helps you avoid a rate increase after you or someone on your policy causes a crash. It’s not available in every state, and Nationwide will forgive one accident per policy only.

  • Total loss deductible waiver: If your car is totaled, this coverage lets you waive your comprehensive or collision deductible.

Auto insurance discounts

  • Multipolicy discount.

  • Anti-theft discount.

  • Accident-free discount.

  • Good student discount.

  • Safe driver discount.

  • Paperless discount.

  • Discount if you sign up for automatic payments.

  • Defensive driving discount for those age 55 and older who complete an approved safety course.

with Insure.com

See what you could save on car insurance

Easily compare personalized rates to see how much switching car insurance could save you.

Pricing based on tracked driving habits

SmartRide uses an app or device that plugs into your car’s diagnostic port to monitor your driving behavior. Nationwide uses the data to determine your discount, up to 40%, for safe driving. Drivers can get an initial discount just for signing up.

SmartMiles could save you money if you don’t drive often. This pay-per-mile program charges a base rate, plus a variable premium based on how many miles you drove in the previous month. In addition to savings based on low mileage, you could also get a 10% discount for safe driving. The SmartMiles program is not available in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New York and Oklahoma.

How much is Nationwide insurance?

A policy with full coverage insurance costs $1,332 on average per year from Nationwide. But that's if you have good credit and a clean driving history without any accidents or other traffic violations. Your rate will vary based on factors like age, location and more.

To give you a better idea of what to expect, check out the average rates below, based on driving record and credit history. All rates are for full coverage insurance. See our methodology for more details.

Full coverage

Minimum coverage

Good driver, good credit

$1,332

$545

Good driver, poor credit

$1,772

$724

After an accident, good credit

$2,105

$874

After a DUI, good credit

$2,848

$1,181

After a speeding ticket, good credit

$1,753

$715

Auto insurance buying guide

Before you compare car insurance companies, you’ll need to collect some basic information. This includes the driving history of everyone who will be on the policy, as well as facts about your car, such as safety features and annual mileage driven. You’ll also want to determine which types of coverage you need. For example, do you want only the bare minimum insurance that your state requires, or do you need more extensive coverage, such as gap insurance or rideshare coverage? Check that each company you’re considering has the options you want.

When comparing rates among insurers, make sure each is offering the same coverage limits and deductibles. You may not want to make your decision based on price alone. Look at how many consumer complaints each company has, as a high number of complaints could be a red flag about the quality of service you'll receive.

Depending on which company you choose, you may be able to buy insurance online, over the phone or through an agent. For more guidance, see how to get car insurance.

Complaints and customer satisfaction

Nationwide had fewer than the expected number of complaints about auto insurance to state regulators relative to its size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Nationwide received an overall satisfaction score of 80.5 out of 100 by a pool of its customers, in a NerdWallet survey conducted online in July 2021. To put that in perspective, the average score among seven insurers was 79, and the highest was 83.

Nationwide ranks below average for auto insurance shopping and customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power studies.

2021 J.D. Power study

Nationwide ranking

Auto insurance shopping

No. 8 out of 8 companies.

Auto insurance claims satisfaction

No. 11 out of 18 companies.

More about Nationwide auto insurance

Website: Nationwide’s website has a portal where you can pay bills, file and track claims, manage policies and view documents. The site also has tools for planning your retirement.

Mobile apps: You can manage your policy, start a claim, call for roadside assistance and get auto insurance ID cards on the Nationwide mobile app, available for iOS and Android. The company has a separate app for its SmartRide program, which tracks your driving behavior and offers discounts for safe habits.

Life, homeowners and renters insurance from Nationwide

Nationwide offers homeowners insurance with typical coverage options, plus a few extra perks. Learn more in NerdWallet’s Nationwide home insurance review.

Nationwide offers term, whole, universal and variable life insurance policies. To learn more, see our Nationwide life insurance review.

Nationwide also offers renters insurance. You can save money by bundling your renters policy with other Nationwide products. Learn more in NerdWallet’s Nationwide renters insurance review.

Other insurance from Nationwide

  • Condo insurance.

  • Identity theft insurance.

  • Boat and personal watercraft insurance.

  • RV insurance.

  • Dental insurance.

  • Business insurance.

  • ATV insurance.

  • Travel insurance.

  • Snowmobile insurance.

  • Scooter and moped insurance.

Nationwide also partners with third parties to sell classic car insurance, wedding insurance and special liability insurance.

Methodology

2021 auto insurance survey methodology

This opt-in survey of 7,586 adults ages 18 and older was conducted online by NerdWallet, July 8-26, 2021. Respondents were asked to rate one auto insurance brand they obtained or renewed a policy with within the past 12 months, and the policy had to be in their name at the time of the survey. These brands were rated on overall satisfaction, overall value, online experience and trustworthiness on a scale of 1-100. Only brands with 100 or more qualifying respondents are reported — 300 of the respondents were current Geico policyholders.

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020. 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.

Auto insurance ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s auto insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, consumer complaints and discounts. Our “ease of use” category looks at factors such as website transparency and how easy it is to file a claim. Using our editorial discretion, we also consider customer satisfaction surveys. 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. Read our editorial guidelines.

Average rates methodology

NerdWallet averaged rates based on public filings obtained by pricing analytics company Quadrant Information Services. We examined rates for men and women for all ZIP codes in any of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. Although it’s one of the largest insurers in the country, Liberty Mutual is not included in our rates analysis due to a lack of publicly available information.

In our analysis, “good drivers” had no moving violations on record; a “good driving” discount was included for this profile. Our “good” and “poor” credit rates are based on credit score approximations and do not account for proprietary scoring criteria used by insurance providers.

These are average rates, and your rate will vary based on your personal details, state and insurance provider.

Sample drivers had the following coverage limits:

$100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.

$300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash.

$50,000 property damage liability coverage per crash.

$100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person.

$300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash.

Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible.

Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible.

We used a 2019 Toyota Camry L in all cases and assumed 12,000 annual miles driven.

These are rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

Frequently asked questions