I started Insurance Blog by Chris™ because I have a passion for insurance. Here at the blog, our job is to educate and inform people about the best insurance for them. Since then, we have grown into national brands with a large team of researchers helping people understand all forms of insurance.

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insu...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 31, 2021

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When you think about Nationwide, its catchy jingle, “Nationwide is on your side” probably comes to mind first. Nationwide bills itself as the auto insurance company that “stands by you” through the hard times.

In business for almost 100 years, Nationwide offers a full suite of insurance products, including auto, home, life, pet, farm, travel, motorcycle, wedding insurance, and more. Nationwide Insurance also offers retirement plans and specialty health products for consumers and businesses.

nationwide auto insurance

But, is Nationwide a good company to insure your auto, home, and other needs for your family and lifestyle? As a company, Nationwide has received numerous awards for equality and inclusion. From FORTUNE’s 50 Best Workplaces for Diversity to LATINA Style’s continuous awards for Top 50 places for Latinas to work and Black Enterprise magazine’s Best Companies for Diversity Award since 2011, Nationwide’s workplace diversity is well known.

When searching for a car insurance company, it’s important to review coverage options, available discounts, customer satisfaction, financial strength, and pricing. Let’s dive into the Nationwide Auto Insurance review to see how they measure up.

Nationwide Auto Insurance Pros and Cons

Nationwide Car Insurance Pros

  • Higher-than-average ratings for purchase experience and claims satisfaction
  • Wide range of options for coverage and discounts
  • Impressive suite of insurance products for one-stop shop
  • Superior financial strength

Nationwide Auto Insurance Cons

  • Lower-than-average auto insurance satisfaction ratings
  • No rideshare coverage
  • Not the cheapest rates

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WHAT DOES NATIONWIDE AUTO INSURANCE HAVE TO OFFER?

It offers a streamlined claims process and has an accident forgiveness program that helps you avoid skyrocketing rates after your first car accident.

It all sounds great, but it’s important to figure out if those promises are reflected in Nationwide Auto insurance’s reviews.

Nationwide offers policyholders a wide variety of discounts, helping them lower the overall cost of their auto insurance.

The company also has a range of coverage options to choose from when you create a policy including:

Liability Coverage

Liability Coverage pays for bodily injury and property damage liability and is required by most states. It protects you from claims filed against you in the event of an at-fault accident.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) may be required by some states and pays your claim regardless of who was at fault. PIP covers medical, rehabilitation, and funeral expenses for you and anyone in your vehicle. It also covers you as a passenger in another vehicle.

If PIP isn’t required in your state, you can add Medical Payment insurance to your required liability coverage.

Collision and Comprehensive Coverage

Collision and Comprehensive Coverage takes care of any damage that may occur if you hit a vehicle or object or another vehicle or object hits you.

It’s not mandated by law, but if you’re financing your vehicle, your lender may require you to carry collision insurance, as well as comprehensive insurance, which pays to repair your vehicle in the event of an uncontrollable loss.

Theft, vandalism, accidents, and weather-related losses are all paid via comprehensive coverage.

Gap Coverage

With a financed vehicle and comprehensive and collision coverage with Nationwide Auto Insurance, gap insurance is also a good option to have. 

If your car is totaled in an accident and you own more than the book value on the loan or lease, gap insurance pays the difference to the lender so you’re not out of pocket for it.

Total Loss Deductible Waiver

If you choose this optional coverage and your car is totaled in an accident, Nationwide Insurance will waive your comprehensive or collision deductible so you get the full book value.

Vanishing Deductible

Participating in the Vanishing Deductible program allows you to save money towards your deductible. For every year you go without an accident, you get $100 in your deductible bank, up to $500. If you have to file a claim for comprehensive or collision, you can wipe out part or all of the deductible using your banked savings.

Nationwide Insurance On Your Side Review

This is a free perk for insuring your auto and any other type of insurance with Nationwide. Once a year you can schedule a free assessment with your Nationwide agent to review your policies – even if they aren’t with Nationwide. 

The agent will evaluate your entire insurance portfolio and your lifestyle and family needs to determine if you have adequate protection. This is a great opportunity to discuss discounts and make sure you aren’t paying for coverage you may not need.

If you have a major life event or changes at any other time throughout the year, don’t hesitate to reach out! Your Nationwide agent is there to help.

Nationwide Auto Insurance Discounts

As a major insurer across the United States, Nationwide offers some great discounts:

  • Anti-theft
  • Affinity discount based on participating organizations and affiliations
  • Defensive driver for insureds over 55
  • Accident free
  • Multi-car
  • Multi-policy (Nationwide saves drivers on average $646 by bundling home and auto insurance, its largest discount percentage)
  • Easy pay 
  • Good student
  • Paperless 

Nationwide Insurance offers its SmartRide program as another way to save on car insurance. This usage-based program tracks mileage, hard brakes, and fast accelerations to give safe drivers who don’t drive a ton of miles even more savings. Get a 10% discount just for signing up.

NATIONWIDE AUTO INSURANCE CLAIMS SATISFACTION REVIEW

Take a close look at the claims satisfaction portion of any Nationwide Auto insurance review you read. It’s important to know how well an insurance company handles the claims process so you don’t find yourself in a situation where you’re stuck without a vehicle and waiting for settlement money.

We believe that you can sum up claims satisfaction with three key performance indicators: timeliness, communication, and ease of service interaction—so pay really close attention to any Nationwide Auto insurance review that falls within those areas.

Nationwide got an above average score of 876 points on a 1,000 point scale on the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. 

While the numbers are higher than average, Nationwide has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, showing a high level of interaction and solutions for customer complaints and issues.

Nationwide ranked about in the middle of J.D. Power’s 2017 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, beating out 21st Century and American Family and coming in just below Allstate. It landed “Better Than Most” scores in four of six individual categories, including First Notice of Loss, Estimation Process, Repair Process, and Rental Experience. It scored “About Average” in the Claims and Settlements categories, which have more weight, leaving it with an overall claims satisfaction score of “About Average.”

OVERALL NATIONWIDE INSURANCE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION REVIEW

Don’t overlook checking out the customer service, complaint handling times, and buying process just because a company has low premium rates and decent claims satisfaction scores. You might not have to deal with these things often, but they are still important.

Many review sites for consumer satisfaction lump together claims and overall service satisfaction. This section is noticeably longer to include both, so you can get a close look at how Nationwide Auto Insurance handles customer and claimant issues.

On J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Studies, Nationwide took 2nd place for purchase experience on the Insurance Shopping Study. 

Nationwide Auto Insurance also has positive reviews on Consumer Affairs, with 4 stars after 1,473 ratings in the last year for both customer service and claims satisfaction.

With 213 complaints in the last three years filed with BBB, Nationwide Insurance mostly deals with reviews on product or service problems or billing issues. Given its A+ rating with BBB, Nationwide has been able to resolve 72 in the last year, offering positive solutions for customers and claimants.

As Yelp reviews are location-dependent, ratings are mixed for Nationwide Insurance. Some locations have 5-star reviews while others have 3 or 4 star ratings.

Nationwide Auto Insurance has 4.1 stars out of 5 with Consumers Advocate but received 3 stars with six reviews on Trustpilot.

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company offers standard car insurance and has  a slightly higher-than-average complaint index of 1.28 compared to the national average of 1.00 with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. 

Nationwide General Insurance Company offers non-standard coverage for high-risk drivers and has a NAIC complaint index of 1.45. 

According to consumer claims ratings and reviews, Nationwide Auto Insurance has average or better customer and claims satisfaction. It shows Nationwide has a great reputation for handling disputes and caring for customers.

According to the J.D. Power 2018 Shopping Study, Nationwide customers had pretty standard shopping experiences. A good variety of policy options and the availability of local agents landed it “Better Than Most” in those categories, but it was Nationwide’s website that really stood out.

It was one of three companies that received an “Among the Best” score for its website, sharing the spotlight with GEICO and USAA, However, the 2018 U.S. Insurance Study for Florida and California shows that policyholders in these states weren’t thrilled with Nationwide overall.

In Florida, the company just made the bottom of the list with a “The Rest” rating. People in California rated Nationwide “About Average,” but the company still only ranked 15 out of 18, just below Progressive and above Farmers.

Still, Nationwide Auto Insurance ratings for the amount of filed complaints are very good. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners‘ complaint database gave Nationwide (NAICS #23787) a complaint ratio of 0.25, which is way below the national average of 1.00.

Overall the total number of complaints received by the NAIC has decreased, going from 107 filed complaints in 2015 to 85 complaints in 2017 and 40 complaints in 2018. Nationwide ranked 35 out of 50 on the 2017 California Consumer Complaint Study, right beneath Hartford Underwriters Insurance Company and direct above Farmers Specialty Insurance Company.

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NATIONWIDE AUTO INSURANCE PRICING REVIEW

When auto insurance companies determine the price of an auto insurance policy, they use numerous variables including your age, the type of car you drive, and where you live. Fortunately, the California Department of Insurance has a rate estimation tool that lets consumers compare average annual premiums for different scenarios across a wide range of companies. The following scenarios show you just how much insurance premiums differ with slight changes.

For example, consider the average annual premiums for a single male living in San Francisco, California who drives a Toyota Camry, has been licensed for between 9 and 15 years, has no violations on his record, and drives between 12,000 and 15,000 miles per year. This driver can expect to pay $1,176 for his annual premium for a basic liability policy from Nationwide. It’s a bit higher than Alliance United ($1,198) and slightly lower than Esurance ($1,146).

If you move this driver to Los Angeles (Alhambra region), his Nationwide premiums increase to $1,492, a lot higher than both Alliance United ($843) and Esurance ($1,262). On the other hand, if you use the same parameters to compare the rates for a female driver, Nationwide’s rates increase to $1,577, and Esurance increases to $1,262. However, Alliance United remained flat.

This is just one example of how insurance rates vary. Nationwide insures drivers across the U.S. and the slightest change can alter the policy cost. That’s why you should include all variables when obtaining a quote.

 

NATIONWIDE INSURANCE FINANCIAL STRENGTH REVIEW

One way to determine if an auto insurance company like Nationwide is right for you is to review its financial ratings. The better an insurance company’s financial strength, the more assets it has to pay out claims when filed – regardless of the amount. This is extremely important, especially for consumers living in states with weather events that can wipe out thousands of homes and cars in its path.

Nationwide’s financial ratings are high, showing its strength and ability to pay claims:

  • AM Best: A+
  • Moody’s: A1
  • Standard and Poor’s: A+

You should always assess an insurance company’s financial strength before purchasing an auto insurance policy to make sure they have enough assets to pay any claims you might file. Nationwide Auto Insurance ratings with A.M. Best include an “A+” financial strength rating and an “aa-“ long-term insurer credit rating. The outlooks have been raised from negative to stable for Nationwide and its affiliates. S&P’s ratings also give the company an “A+” with a stable future.

Use the tips and information provided in this Nationwide Auto insurance review to find an auto insurance company and policy that matches your requirements, and remember to bring all your information to the table during the quote process.