The bottom line:
Nationwide’s average number of discounts and low number of complaints make it a solid choice for many consumers.
Pros & Cons
- 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.
- Customer satisfaction for auto insurance is lower than average, according to recent J.D. Power studies.
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:
What it pays for
Bodily injury and property damage liability
Costs for injuries, deaths or property damage from an accident you caused.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage
Medical and property damage costs after an accident with a driver who has insufficient insurance or none at all.
Repair expenses from traffic-related accidents, regardless of who's at fault.
A car loan or lease may require it.
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.
Nationwide has introduced a new package called Work From Home Insurance, which combines auto coverage with identity theft and home or renters policies. This package is designed for drivers who use their cars less due to the recent shift toward more remote work.
» MORE: Compare car insurance rates
Auto insurance discounts
Good student discount.
Safe driver discount.
Discount if you sign up for automatic payments.
Defensive driving discount for those age 55 and older who complete an approved safety course.
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.
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
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
Identity theft insurance.
Boat and personal watercraft insurance.
Scooter and moped insurance.
Nationwide also partners with third parties to sell classic car insurance, wedding insurance and special liability insurance.
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 — 100 of the respondents were current Nationwide 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.
Frequently asked questions
You can get an auto insurance quote online or by contacting a Nationwide agent.
Nationwide sells auto insurance policies in all states except Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana and Massachusetts. Coverage in Massachusetts will be available in 2022.
You can file an auto claim online, via the mobile app or over the phone.