Nationwide Auto Insurance Review 2023

By Kayda Norman 

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Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

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

Nationwide Auto Insurance
NAIC complaints
Fewer than expected
Ease of use
Above average
Discounts
Great 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.
  • Generous extras for loyal customers such as minor accident forgiveness, pet injury coverage and car key replacement.

Cons

  • Customer satisfaction for auto insurance is lower than average, according to recent J.D. Power studies.
  • Doesn't sell auto insurance policies in all states.

Full Review

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

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 rated No. 3 on NerdWallet’s 2023 list of Best Car Insurance Companies.

Why you can trust NerdWallet: Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure fairness and accuracy in our coverage so you can choose the insurance policy that works best for you. These carrier ratings are specific to auto insurance — a company's rating for other products may be different on our site. See our criteria for evaluating auto insurance companies.

In our auto insurance reviews, our editorial team considers the customer and the insurer. These are some of the factors we take into account:

Financial strength. We use AM Best ratings to confirm an insurer’s long-term financial stability and ability to pay claims. NerdWallet does not recommend companies with a rating lower than a B.

Complaints. These ratings are based on complaints to state regulators relative to a company’s size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The best auto insurance companies have fewer than the expected number of complaints.

Ease of use. This category looks at how easily consumers can interact with an insurer through its mobile app and website. This includes how much coverage information is offered online, whether a user can start and track a claim online and get a quote and mobile app scores based on the Apple and Google Play store ratings.

Discounts. We look at the kinds of discounts a company offers and the total number of discounts available.

Nationwide auto insurance coverage

When you're shopping for car insurance coverage, it's important to understand what coverage you want and what you’re required to buy. For instance, most states require a minimum amount of car insurance to drive a vehicle. Alternatively, if you want extra protection, you may be interested in full coverage insurance. Read about the most common types of car insurance coverage to see how they work.

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 buy 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 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.

The company also offers extras through its loyalty rewards program, including:

  • Car key replacement. This pays up to $400 if you lose your key. Only available if you have comprehensive insurance.

  • Pet injury protection. This pays up to $1,000 in vet expenses if your pet is injured or dies in a covered crash. You must have collision insurance to qualify for this benefit.

  • Minor accident forgiveness. Your rates won’t increase if you have a small accident or fender bender even if you were at fault if the repairs are under Nationwide’s accident threshold. There is no limit on the number of accidents you have for this perk.

  • Guaranteed repairs for life. Your car repairs are guaranteed for life if you get them fixed at a shop in Nationwide’s auto repair network.

  • Waive auto and home deductible. Your deductible will be waived or you’ll get reimbursed for your lowest deductible if a covered loss affects your house and car..

Auto insurance discounts

You may be able to save on your Nationwide auto policy by: 

  • Buying more than one insurance policy from Nationwide.

  • Insuring more than one vehicle.

  • Owning a vehicle with safety or anti-theft equipment.

  • Owning a new car.

  • Owning a home.

  • Having no accidents.

  • Maintaining at least a B average as a student if you’re between 16 and 24 years old.

  • Being a student away at school and keeping your car parked at home.

  • Having no accidents or traffic violations for at least five years.

  • Signing up for automatic payments or paperless documents or paying your policy in full.

  • Completing an approved safety course if you’re 55 and older.

🤓Nerdy Tip

First time shopping for auto insurance? Unsure of where to start? Check out our guide on how to shop for car insurance.

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, Hawaii, Louisiana, North Carolina, New York and Oklahoma.

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 76 out of 100 by a pool of its customers in a NerdWallet survey conducted online in June 2022. To put that in perspective, the average score among seven insurers was 77, and the highest was 82.

2022 J.D. Power study

Nationwide ranking

Auto insurance shopping

No. 5 out of 8 companies.

Auto insurance claims satisfaction

No. 13 out of 21 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 information 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, renters and pet 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 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.

In addition to home and life insurance, Nationwide sells term, whole, universal and variable life insurance policies. To learn more, see our Nationwide life insurance review.

Pet owners may want to consider Nationwide’s pet insurance coverage. Learn more in our Nationwide pet insurance review.

Other insurance from Nationwide

  • Condo insurance.

  • Identity theft insurance.

  • Boat and personal watercraft insurance.

  • Recreational vehicle, or RV, insurance.

  • Dental insurance.

  • Business insurance.

  • All-terrain vehicle, or ATV, insurance.

  • Travel insurance.

  • Snowmobile insurance.

  • Scooter and moped insurance.

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

Methodology

2022 auto insurance survey methodology

The survey of 7,755 adults 18 and older was conducted online by Russell Research on behalf of NerdWallet in June 2022. 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, trustworthiness and customer support on a scale of 1-100. 

Of those respondents: 300 were Progressive customers, 300 were State Farm customers, 299 were Allstate customers, 299 were Geico customers, 121 were USAA customers, 116 were Liberty Mutual customers, 105 were American Family customers, 105 were Farmers customers, 105 were Travelers customers and 101 were Nationwide customers.

The results have been weighted to be nationally representative. Additional subgroup sample sizes may be available upon request. Any differences noted between subgroups have been tested at 95% confidence level.

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2019-2021. To assess how insurers compare with 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. NerdWallet conducts its data analysis and reaches conclusions independently and without the endorsement of the NAIC. 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 and full ratings methodology for auto insurance.

Frequently asked questions