Nationwide Car Insurance Review for 2020

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Established in 1925, Ohio-based Nationwide began with the goal of providing affordable car insurance to rural farmers. However, it took another 30 years before the Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company did, in fact, become Nationwide – both in scope and in name.

Along the way, the company expanded first to the east and then to the west, moving off the farm to also offer insurance in urban areas, along with a full assortment of financial products. Nationwide is also known to stock car racing fans as a long-time sponsor of Dale Earnhardt Jr., a relationship that began in 2008 and continues into his retirement as he still acts as a company spokesperson.

Based in Columbus, Ohio, where their 40-story headquarters is the largest structure in the central part of the state, Nationwide Insurance is now one of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the world, with more than $158 billion in statutory assets and a portfolio including car, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, pet, farm, life, and commercial insurance, as well as administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans, and specialty health services.

  1.     USAA
  2.     Geico
  3.     Allstate
  4.     State Farm
  5.     Farmers
  6.     Progressive
  7.     American Family
  8.     Nationwide
  9.     Travelers

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Survey participants were asked to rate their satisfaction with Nationwide in five key areas, including the ease of filing a claim, customer service, status updates during the claim process, how their claim was resolved, and overall value.

Nationwide’s score is among the lowest in our study, and that is reflected in consumer’s responses to individual survey questions: Only around half of respondents gave the company top marks in four of our categories, including satisfaction with filing a claim, customer service, status updates, and claim resolution. Of these, Nationwide earned the highest score for customer service, with about 56% of respondents giving this insurer a top mark.

In the words of one survey participant, Nationwide “did a good job, and communicated with me frequently.”

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Respondents were less satisfied with value, where Nationwide only earned a top score with 43% of participants. Value was even more of a sore point for others, with almost 15% of survey participants giving Nationwide the lowest score.

That compares with about 8% who gave Nationwide lowest marks for customer service and how their claim was resolved, and about 10% who gave Nationwide the lowest score for ease of filing a claim and status updates. Despite less than stellar scores overall, 60% of  respondents said they were either likely or very likely to recommend Nationwide to someone looking for car insurance. But almost 21% said they were unlikely or very unlikely to do the same.

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We surveyed 2,732 consumers who filed a car insurance claim in the last five years, asking questions about their car insurance company. Of the survey respondents, 62 filed a claim with Nationwide. These questions covered satisfaction with the ease of filing a claim, customer service, claim status communication, claim resolution, and overall value. We also asked whether they’d recommend the company and if they planned to renew their policy. We used their responses to build our Best Car Insurance Companies Rankings and this head-to-head comparison.

To get comparative insurance rates for this study, U.S. News also worked with Quadrant Information Services to analyze a report of insurance rates in all 50 states from the 10 largest national car insurance companies, though not every company operates in every state. Quadrant obtained publicly available rate data that car insurers file with state regulators. Our study rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60. Vehicles used include the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150, with annual mileage ranging from 6,000 and 12,000. Three car insurance coverage levels were used, as were credit tiers of good, fair, and poor. Clean driving records and records with one accident, one speeding violation, and one DUI were also used in the calculations of certain driver archetypes. 

To get the study rates shown here, we computed the mean rate for male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60 who drive 12,000 miles per year and have medium coverage, good credit, and a clean driving record. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only and should not be considered “average” rates available by individual insurers. Because car insurance rates are based on individual factors, your car insurance rates will differ from the rates shown here.

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With an average annual policy cost in our study of $1,864 for all driver profiles, Nationwide landed about $450 above the average for all the insurers in our analysis. That makes Nationwide one of the most expensive insurers in our study, and only slightly less than the $1,880 average for Allstate. 


National Average Rate

25-year-old female


25-year-old male


35-year-old female


35-year-old male


60-year-old female


60-year-old male


Nationwide’s study rates varied enormously by age and gender, with a range of almost $670 between our youngest and oldest male sample groups, and about $625 for females. The 25-year-old dmale and female driver profiles paid study rates of $2,314 and $2,157, respectively, making Nationwide the most expensive insurer for young drivers by a considerable margin. In contrast, the 60-year-old married male profile paid $1,649 on average, while the representative rate for a  female profile of the same age was $1,535.

To determine the average study rates based on gender and age, we created driver profiles for males and females in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles also have a clean driving record, insurance coverage for 12,000 miles per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Annual Mileage

National Average Rate

6,000 miles


12,000 miles


Nationwide customer profiles that traveled 6,000 miles per year were charged a study rate of $1,849 on average. The profiles that drove twice as much, or 12,000 miles annually, paid only about $15 more. That’s less of an increase than most other insurers in our study, but remember that our study found Nationwide to have some of the highest representative rates overall to begin with. Their study rates for our sample profiles traveling 6,000 miles per year were the highest in our study, and second only to Allstate for sample drivers traveling 12,000 miles per year. Compare that to State Farm, where we found an average difference of $120 between low and high mileage driver profiles. Their study rates were still more than $600 less than Nationwide for either group. 

We created two driver profiles to compare how annual mileage can change car insurance rates: one with low mileage (6,000 miles per year) and one with high mileage (12,000 miles per year). The profiles covered males and females in the 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old age groups with a medium level of insurance coverage, a good credit score, and a clean driving record. The vehicles used in our study were the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Coverage Type

National Average Rate







Nationwide customer profiles paid a study rate of $1,861 on average for basic or minimal coverage, while those opting for high coverage paid just $31 more annually, or $1,892. Medium coverage was $1,864 on average. Given the high cost of medical care, auto body repairs, and legal fees, an extra $2.60 or so out of pocket each month upfront to get high coverage could be money well spent in the event of even a minor crash.

We created identical profiles in our study to represent drivers, then found out how rates changed with the three levels of coverage. The profiles were assigned a clean driving record, a good credit score, and 12,000 miles of annual driving. We used both males and females aged 25, 35, and 60. The 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150 were the vehicles used in our analysis.

Credit Score

National Average Rate







We found that driver profiles with good credit paid an annual study premium of $1,847 on average with Nationwide, while those with fair credit were charged $2,139. Those with poor credit really paid the price, facing an average yearly insurance cost of $2,549 in our analysis. As depressing as that may be for drivers struggling with debt, several insurers in our study proved to be more expensive for drivers with poor credit and many others charged a greater upcharge compared with good credit. 

Based on profiles of male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60, our study verified that credit scores affect car insurance rates. We created a profile for each level of credit score (good, fair, and poor) and assigned the profiles a clean driving record, a good credit score, a medium level of insurance coverage, and 12,000 miles of annual driving. The 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150 were the vehicles used in our analysis.

Driving Record

National Average Rate

Clean record


With 1 speeding violation


With 1 accident


With 1 DUI


Driver profiles with a clean driving record paid a representative rate of $1,864 annually on average with Nationwide, while those with one speeding violation were charged $2,263. Driver profiles with one accident paid $2,766 on average with Nationwide, while the profiles with one DUI paid the highest study rates: $4,011 on average. That’s more than double the rate our study found for a DUI with several other companies, including American Family, Progressive, and State Farm, and USAA. 

To find out just how much of an effect a person’s driving record has on insurance rates, we made driving profiles with a clean record, with one speeding violation, with one accident, and with one instance of driving under the influence (DUI). These driving record representative profiles were based on 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old males and females with 12,000 miles of mileage per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. Vehicles used in the analysis were the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Across all of our profiles, the only one that might get competitive study rates from Nationwide is the one with a poor credit score. For this profile, Nationwide’s representative premium is closer to the  average across all nine companies in our study. Still, there are six companies that offer lower study rates for this profile. 

There are some profiles that should definitely stay away from Nationwide. These include the 25-year-old driver profiles, as well as the profile with a DUI. With these representative customer profiles, Nationwide has some of the highest rates in our analysis.

Overall scores between Nationwide and some of the other mid-ranked competitors were very close, so it’s worth diving deeper into survey results to see which companies best address your specific needs. Compared to second-ranked Geico, eighth-ranked Nationwide had lower scores in every category. Geico held the greatest advantage on the questions asking respondents about status updates during the claims process and if they thought their insurer is a good value.

However, looking at rates for different individuals reveals greater differences. For every profile we studied, Geico offered better representative rates than Nationwide. For some profiles, the difference amounted to more than $1,000 annually. Geico was a better deal for the driver profiles with good credit, about $6750 less. The gap widened slightly, to $695 for those with poor credit. For driver profiles with a clean record, Nationwide cost about $695 more annually than Geico. Geico’s study rate for our 25-year-old driver profiles were as much as $1,045 lower than Nationwide’s representative premium for the same profile. 

Read more in our Nationwide vs. Geico Head to Head »

Fourth-ranked State Farm outscored eighth-place Nationwide across the board, with survey participants awarding the biggest advantage to State Farm on our question about customer service. 

Almost across the board, State Farm’s study rates were far cheaper than those from Nationwide, by as much as $2,300. The difference was especially great for our young adult profiles and those with a less than stellar driving record. For our 25-year old male and female profiles, State Farm was cheaper by $845 and $827, respectively. For those with an accident on their record, State Farm was almost $1,300 less, while the study rate for a driver profile with a DUI on their record was about $2,300 less with State Farm. The one exception was for driver profiles with poor credit. For this group, Nationwide was about $200 less at $2,549 on average.

Read more in our Nationwide vs. State Farm Head to Head »

Nationwide trailed third-ranked Allstate in every question asked of our respondents. The gap was largest in response to our questions about satisfaction with status updates and value. 

In terms of cost, Nationwide had the advantage overall, but only about $15b for all our driver profiles on average. While the study found Allstate to be the most expensive car insurance provider overall of the nine sampled, at $1,880, the average representative premium for Nationwide customer profiles was $1,864.

Representative rates from the two companies were close for many of our demographic profiles, with Allstate actually having an advantage for some. Allstate was about $215 less annually for a  25-year-old male profile, and about $145 cheaper for a 25-year-old female profile. For a driver profile with poor credit, Allstate was about $500 more. The biggest cost advantage for Allstate was for driver profiles with one DUI. Here, Allstate was cheaper by about $800. 

Read more in our Nationwide vs. Allstate Head to Head »

Nationwide offers a full coverage car insurance, including liability, collision, personal injury, medical reimbursement, and comprehensive coverage. Rental car reimbursement is also available, along with gap insurance to cover any difference between your car’s value and what you owe on it in the event of a total loss.

Coverage for classic cars is also available, with reduced rates in exchange for limited use and other conditions like keeping the vehicle garaged. Available roadside coverage includes access to emergency fuel, towing, a tire change, and more, 24/7. Vanishing deductible coverage can reduce a $500 deductible to $300 after three years without a claim.

The Nationwide SmartRide program offers discounts for safe driving if a driver is willing to use a monitoring device to track their behavior behind the wheel. Nationwide also offers new buyers a $500 credit toward a new car through their BonusDrive program.

97/Getty Images

Most of the complaints about Nationwide came from customers unhappy with the value of their insurance. Almost 23% of respondents were either very unsatisfied or unsatisfied with value, feeling they paid too much for what they got.

“Too expensive, and they gave me coverage I did not need,” said one respondent. Another was more succinct. “High priced, bad service.”

The next most common complaint was with customer service, where more than 15% gave Nationwide subpar scores.

“Not like before when they did things for you,” said one. “Terrible customer service,” wrote another.

Like many insurers, Nationwide offers car insurance discounts for drivers with a clean record and those who bundle car insurance with another policy such as their home. Certain anti-theft devices can also reduce your premium, as well as completing an approved defensive driving course. Students who maintain at least a B average are eligible for a discount, as are drivers who belong to certain organizations and those who set up auto-pay from their bank account. Allowing a monitoring device in your car to track driving behavior and performance through the SmartRide performance can also reduce car insurance rates with Nationwide.

In addition to coverage for everyday automobiles and classic vehicles, Nationwide offers insurance policies for a variety of vehicles, including motor homes, travel trailers and campers, motorcycles, scooters, boats, personal watercraft, ATVs, and snowmobiles.

With $46 billion in sales and $158 billion in statutory assets, Nationwide ranks as one of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the world.

More information about Nationwide Auto Insurance can be found at

They can also be reached by phone at 877-669-6877.

Get great auto insurance coverage at an even better price.

  1.     USAA
  2.     Geico
  3.     Allstate
  4.     State Farm
  5.     Farmers
  6.     Progressive
  7.     American Family
  8.     Nationwide
  9.     Travelers

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U.S. News takes an unbiased approach to our recommendations. When you use our links to buy products, we may earn a commission but that in no way affects our editorial independence.


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