Nationwide auto insurance review: Range of safe-driver and other discounts for a lower premium and deductible

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Editors’ take: For drivers with records of safety, Nationwide offers several coverage options and discounts that can translate to savings. While its auto coverage and discount options are pretty standard among insurers, Nationwide covers a wide range of vehicles — offering the convenience of insuring all your vehicles in one place.


Nationwide auto insurance at a glance

Availability Available in Washington, D.C., and all U.S. states except AK, HI, LA, MA
J.D. Power customer satisfaction ratings Above average in the 2020 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. Below average in the 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study.
Number of complaints in 2019 Fewer than usual for an insurance company of its size in the market
Number of complaints in 2019 Online, by phone or with an agent
How to submit a claim Online, via the mobile app, or by calling the claims hotline or an agent

Pros

  • Range of vehicle coverage options, including auto, classic car, boat, snowmobile, ATV, motorcycle, RV, personal watercraft, scooter and golf cart
  • Multiple opportunities for deductible and rate discounts
  • Ability to manage your policy and claims online or via the Nationwide mobile app

Cons

  • Not available in Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana or Massachusetts
  • Mixed customer satisfaction scores

What you need to know about Nationwide auto insurance

Founded in 1925 and headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Nationwide offers a wide range of insurance and financial services products to customers throughout the United States. The company provides auto insurance to residents in all but four U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia. It also offers business, farm, life, pet, motorcycle, boat and homeowners insurance.

Mixed customer satisfaction scores

Nationwide’s customer satisfaction scores show that some customers are happy with the products and service they receive, while others believe there’s room for improvement.

In 2019, Nationwide received less than the usual number of customer complaints for an insurance company of its size, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. And it scored above the industry average in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.

But the company received below-average ratings in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, which measures customer satisfaction in five areas — billing process and policy information, claims, interaction, policy offerings and price.

Opportunity to save based on how you drive

Nationwide’s usage-based insurance programs give you an opportunity to save on your insurance premium based on how and how much you drive.

The company’s SmartRide program rewards customers for safe driving based on four factors — miles driven, hard braking and acceleration, idle time and nighttime driving. You could get a 10% discount when you sign up for the program and could earn up to 40% off your premium, depending on factors including your driving habits, where you live and your coverage.

If you don’t drive often or far distances, you may be able to save with Nationwide’s SmartMiles plan. With this program your premium is determined, in part, by how much you drive. You pay a base rate plus a cost per mile.

Ability to lower your deductible

Many insurers have programs that offer the opportunity to lower your deductible, and Nationwide is no exception. You can reduce your deductible by $100 for every year of safe driving up to a maximum of $500 with Nationwide’s Vanishing Deductible program. But if you choose to participate in this program, you’ll pay an additional fee.

The company also offers a total loss deductible waiver, which is an optional coverage that waives the deductible for comprehensive and collision coverage if your vehicle is totaled.

Auto coverage offered by Nationwide

Nationwide’s coverage options are limited to common types of auto insurance coverage.

  • Bodily injury liability
  • Property damage liability
  • Personal injury protection
  • Uninsured motorist coverage
  • Underinsured motorist coverage
  • Medical payments coverage
  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Towing and labor
  • Rental car reimbursement
  • Gap coverage
  • Roadside assistance
  • Accident forgiveness — your rate won’t increase the first time you have an at-fault accident or policy violation

Auto insurance discounts offered by Nationwide

Nationwide offers standard discounts you’ll find with many other auto insurers.

  • Multi-policy discount — Bundle your home and auto insurance to save.
  • Accident-free discount
  • Good student discount — Students ages 16 to 24 who maintain at least a B average are eligible.
  • Anti-theft discount
  • Autopay enrollment
  • Paperless document enrollment
  • Safe driver discount — You might qualify if you’ve had no at-fault accidents or major moving violations in the last five years.
  • Defensive driving — This coverage is available for eligible drivers who take a state-approved safety course.

Common question: Is Nationwide good auto insurance?

With fewer customer complaints than average and a stellar Better Business Bureau rating, Nationwide might be a great choice for an auto insurance policy if you have a good driving record and can take advantage of the company’s premium discounts and opportunities to reduce your deductible. It may also be a good choice if you want to insure a vehicle other than a car, such as an ATV, motorcycle, or even a scooter or golf cart.

Before you buy a policy from Nationwide, it’s a good idea to compare car insurance quotes from multiple carriers to ensure you’re getting the coverage you need at the best rate.

Not sure if Nationwide auto insurance is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • Farmers Insurance: Farmers could be good if you’re looking for less-common coverage, such as customized equipment or spare parts coverage.
  • The General: This insurance company may work for drivers with accidents or moving violations on their driving record, lapsed insurance coverage or poor credit.

About the author: Jennifer Brozic is a freelance financial services writer with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in communication management from Tow… Read more.