Nationwide has a long history in the insurance industry. But does it offer value for money? This Nationwide car insurance review has all the answers.

In this Nationwide car insurance review, we will examine its auto coverage options, the discounts it offers, availability, its level of customer service, as well as how to file a claim with Nationwide. We will also examine how it compares with other car insurance companies on the market.

Nationwide offers a wide range of car insurance coverage options such as bodily injury liability coverage, property damage liability coverage, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, medical payments coverage, and personal injury protection coverage. It also offers several optional coverages like gap insurance coverage, rental car reimbursement, as well as roadside assistance, among others.

We are dedicated to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews of car insurance providers. Our editorial content is designed to help you make an informed decision for your needs. If you are on the market for car insurance, here is everything that you need to know about Nationwide car insurance.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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About Nationwide Car Insurance

Nationwide was originally established to provide car insurance mainly to rural farmers. But with time, it has grown to become one of the most recognizable names in the insurance industry countrywide.

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Nationwide provides a full stack of car insurance products to its millions of customers across the country.

It normally sells its insurance products through a network of local independent agents. At the same time, it provides several digital tools to its customers, thus making it easy for them to request insurance rates, manage their coverages, and report claims at their convenience.

What Car Insurance Coverages Does Nationwide Offer?

Nationwide offers numerous types of coverages. Their coverages are divided into 3 main categories. These are personal auto coverages, vehicle coverages and specialty coverages.

Personal Auto Coverages

Nationwide’s personal auto coverages are designed to protect you, your passengers as well as other people on the road whenever you are involved in a car accident. Some of the personal auto coverages that Nationwide offers include:

Bodily Injury Liability

If you cause a car accident that causes injuries or death, then your Nationwide’s liability insurance will compensate the other party.

Nationwide’s bodily injury liability will pay for the other party’s medical care, including things like hospital stays, rehabilitation, nursing as well as long-term care.

You should note that Nationwide’s bodily injury liability insurance will not cover your medical expenses if you were also injured during the accident.

Property Damage Liability

As the name suggests, property damage liability coverage will pay for damage that you cause to another person’s property during a car accident.

While Nationwide’s property damage liability coverage typically covers vehicles, it can also extend to other things like mailboxes, signposts, lampposts, buildings and fences.

So, if you accidentally damage your neighbor’s fence or hit an electric pole, this coverage will pay for repairing or replacing them, up to your coverage limit.

Property damage liability coverage will also pay for your legal defense, in case you are sued following the accident.

And just like bodily injury liability coverage, property damage liability coverage, property damage liability coverage will not pay to repair or replace your car.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

If you are involved in an accident with a driver who is either underinsured or uninsured, then this Nationwide car insurance coverage will take care of the resulting expenses.

Nationwide’s uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage will protect you and your passengers, by paying for things like medical expenses, loss of income as well as other covered damages.

Nationwide’s uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage will also protect you if you are involved in an accident with a car thief since the stolen vehicle’s insurance will not cover you in such situations.

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is required in 22 states. So, if you live in a state where it’s required, then you will have to add it to your Nationwide car insurance policy.

Personal Injury Protection Coverage

Medical expenses, lost wages as well as other expenses can add up fast after an accident, thus straining your finances. And this is where Nationwide’s personal injury protection coverage comes in.

Also known as PIP, personal injury protection will cover you, your family, and your passengers when you are involved in an accident, regardless of who is at fault.

Apart from medical expenses, personal injury protection will also pay for service replacement such as lawn care services, childcare and lost wages, if you are unable to perform any work due to injuries sustained in a covered accident.

Currently, 13 states require PIP coverage. So, if you are a driver in one of these states, you will be required to add PIP to your Nationwide car insurance policy.

Medical Payments Coverage

Nationwide’s medical payments coverage will pay for the medical and treatment costs for you and your passengers if you are involved in a covered car accident.

It will cover things like medical checkups after the accident, doctor visits, emergency medical services, ambulance trips, as well as special diagnostics and treatments such as X-rays.

Besides medical expenses, medical payments coverage will also pay for lost wages, in case the injuries you suffered during the accident have rendered you incapable of working.

Medical payments coverage will also cover your medical expenses, treatment and other related costs, if you are hit by a car as a pedestrian or you are injured when riding as a passenger in another person’s vehicle.

Nationwide’s medical payments coverage is mainly optional. However, if you live in Maine, New Hampshire, or Pennsylvania, then it’s a must to get this coverage. Also, if you live in one of the no-fault states, then it will be a good idea to add it to your Nationwide car insurance policy since it works almost similar to PIP.

The main difference between medical payments coverage and PIP is that PIP will require you to pay a deductible first while medical payments coverage doesn’t.

Vehicle Coverages

Apart from personal coverages, Nationwide also offers several vehicle coverages, designed to cover repair or replacement costs whenever you are involved in a covered accident or incident. Some of the available vehicle coverages include:

Collision Coverage

If your car is damaged during a collision, this Nationwide car insurance coverage will pay for the repair or replacement costs, regardless of who is at fault.

Nationwide’s collision coverage will pay for damage caused to your car by hitting another car, another car hitting your car, your car rolling over or when you hit a stationary object like a tree or a wall.

However, you should note that this coverage will not cover the other party’s car. Also, it doesn’t cover mechanical failure. For instance, if your car’s transmission blows out, Nationwide’s collision coverage will not pay for the repair costs.

Collision coverage is not required in any state. Therefore, you can purchase it as part of your Nationwide car insurance policy or opt to forego it, depending on the resale value of your car.

Comprehensive Coverage

If your vehicle is damaged by something else other than a rollover or collision, Nationwide’s comprehensive coverage will pay for the repair or replacement costs.

This Nationwide car insurance coverage covers damage or loss caused by theft, vandalism, animal-related accidents, fires and explosions, riots and civil commotions, falling objects like debris or tree branches and damage caused by weather-related events like hail.

Therefore, if your car is damaged during a riot, your Nationwide comprehensive coverage will pay for the damages. Comprehensive insurance is optional. However, if your car is new, leased or more expensive, then you should consider adding this coverage to your Nationwide car insurance policy.

Gap Coverage

Cars lose value quite fast. And if your insured car is totaled after an accident or it’s stolen and not recovered, then your comprehensive collision coverage will only compensate you with the actual cash value of your car and not what you paid for it.

So, if you had purchased a car through a loan, the amount of money that you receive from the collision or comprehensive coverage may be lesser than the car loan.

And this means there is a gap between what you’ve received from your insurer and the amount of money you owe on the car loan, leaving you with a huge bill to pay. Nationwide’s gap coverage can help you in such situations.

This optional Nationwide car insurance coverage doesn’t cover engine failure, lost wages, funeral costs or medical expenses. It only covers vehicle losses, if the car is totaled or stolen and not recovered.

Rental Car Expense

If your car is damaged during a car crash, the repairs may take a couple of days, depending on the extent of the damage. And while your car is being repaired, you will need to arrange for alternate transportation, which can be an expensive affair.

Nationwide’s rental car expense will reimburse the money that you spend on transportation, as your car is being repaired for a comprehensive or collision insurance claim.

Rental car expenses will reimburse your transportation costs, whether you opt to use public transportation means, a taxi or a rental car. However, it comes with daily and maximum amount limits.

Towing and Labor Coverage

If you are stuck on the road due to a dead battery or a flat tire, this optional Nationwide car insurance coverage will cover the costs of towing the car to the nearest repair facility.

It will also cover labor costs to replace the flat tire or jump-start the car. However, this coverage will not cover the cost of repair parts.

Nationwide towing and labor coverage is only available to policyholders who have comprehensive car insurance.

Specialty Coverages

Besides the standard and additional coverages, Nationwide also offers several specialty coverages, which you can add to your Nationwide car insurance policy. They include:

Accident Forgiveness

If you cause a car accident, your auto insurance rates will likely go up. Fortunately, Nationwide’s accident forgiveness program can help to prevent your rates from going up after your first at-fault accident.

Other drivers on your Nationwide car insurance policy can also benefit from this program.

However, you can only use it once per policy. Nationwide’s accident forgiveness program is available as an add-on policy in select states.  

Vanishing Deductible

After you’ve been involved in a car accident, you will have to pay a deductible before your collision or comprehensive coverage kicks to pay for the repair or replacement.

So, if you don’t have the $500 or $1000 deductible required by your collision or comprehensive insurance, then the car will not be repaired.

Nationwide’s vanishing deductible is designed to help deal with such challenges. With the vanishing deductible, your deductible will be reduced by $100 every year you remain accident-free, up to $500.

For instance, you may have a $1000 deductible. After 5 years of safe driving, you will have earned a $500 credit through the vanishing deductible program. If you are involved in an accident after 5 years, you will only pay a deductible of $500 before your Nationwide car insurance kicks in to cover the damages.

Roadside Assistance

Roadside assistance is a 24-hour emergency roadside service program, which offers services like towing, jump-start, flat tire change, winching and gas delivery.

Unlike towing and labor coverage, it’s not a must to purchase comprehensive coverage to access this service. Instead, you can add it to any coverage that you want it to apply.

Once you sign up for this program, you will also have access to lockout services up to $100 if your keys are locked inside the car, the ignition key is lost, or when the key breaks off in the door, trunk or ignition.

Nationwide’s roadside assistance is available in two packages. These packages are Nationwide Roadside Assistance Basic and Nationwide Roadside Assistance Plus.

The basic package comes with a car towing up to 15 miles, gas delivery when your tank is empty, ditch extraction services, jump-starting a dead battery, replacing a flat tire if you have a spare and lockout services of up to $100.

If you opt for the plus package, you will have access to all the services offered under the basic plan. However, the car towing service is extended to 100 miles.

Also, the plus package comes with trip interruption coverage of up to $500, which will reimburse your alternate transportation, meals and lodging when you are stuck 100 miles or more from home.

Personal Umbrella Policy

Nationwide’s personal umbrella policy provides an additional layer of liability protection for your car, house, wages, and investments if you are involved in a serious car accident.

In short, it extends the limits of your property damage liability coverage and bodily injury liability coverage.

For example, you may be involved in a serious car crash, and you are sued for $500,000. If the resulting judgment is against you, then your property damage liability and bodily injury liability coverages will only pay up to their limits.

Assuming that your liability coverage policy limit is $100,000, you will have to settle the $400,000 balance out of pocket.

But if you have a $1 million Nationwide personal umbrella insurance, then it will kick in and cover the deficit. But without the umbrella policy, you may be forced to sell some of your personal assets to pay the remaining balance.

What is the Cost of Nationwide Car Insurance?

The average cost of car insurance nationwide is approximately $100 per month, $600 for a 6-month policy and $1,200 for annual coverage.

With Nationwide, you will spend approximately $150 per month or approximately $900 for a 6-month policy.

Nationwide’s car insurance appears slightly more expensive compared to its competitors.

What Determines the Cost?

While the average cost of Nationwide car insurance policy is around $150 per month or $900 for a 6-month policy, the actual cost will vary from driver to driver.

Similar to other insurance companies, Nationwide uses various factors to assess a driver’s risk profile. Some of the factors that will determine your Nationwide car insurance rates include:

The Car You Drive

Nationwide has different car insurance rates for different types of vehicles. For instance, if your car is costly, new or it’s a high-performance vehicle, then it will cost more to repair or replace it under a covered loss.

Consequently, your premiums will be higher compared to someone driving a used vehicle or one that is not expensive to repair.

Installed Safety Features

If your vehicle has various security features, then you may qualify for discounts, under Nationwide’s anti-theft car discount.

Some of the features that qualify for the anti-theft discount include VIN etching, recovery devices, active disabling, passive disabling and car alarms, just to name a few.

Driving Habits

If you have a history of accidents, speeding tickets and other moving violations on your driving record, then you should expect to pay higher premiums.

Also, high mileage drivers, night-time drivers and people who use their cars for business will face higher Nationwide car insurance premiums.

Coverage History

Nationwide also checks your coverage history, to determine whether you have a lapse in your coverage.

If you have a lapse in your coverage history, Nationwide will consider you a high-risk policyholder. As a result, your premiums will be much higher, compared to someone with continuous coverage.

Location

Where your vehicle is garaged will also determine your Nationwide car insurance rates. For instance, if you live in a city or urban area, you are likely to pay more for car insurance, due to the high number of accidents and car theft incidents.

Also, if you live in an area that experiences inclement weather frequently, then your Nationwide car insurance rates will be higher than someone living in an area that experiences friendly weather conditions throughout the year.

Does Nationwide Offer Auto Insurance Discounts?

Nationwide offers a comprehensive range of discounts, which can help to reduce the cost of Nationwide car insurance premiums. Below are some of Nationwide’s discounts that you can qualify for:

Multi-Policy Discount

Just like other auto insurance companies, Nationwide will give you a discount, if you combine your car insurance with other policies.

For instance, if you insure both your car and your home through Nationwide, then you will earn a discount on your car policy.

According to Nationwide, combining your auto and home insurance policies can earn you a discount of up to 20% or an average of $646 per year on your car insurance.

Also, insuring more than one car through Nationwide will earn you a discount on your Nationwide car insurance policy.

Defensive Driving Discount

If you are aged 55 and above, then you can qualify for Nationwide’s defensive driving discount.

To qualify for this discount, you will need to successfully complete a state-approved defensive driving course.

Also, you should not have caused an accident in the past 35 months. The discount amount is approximately 5%.

Good Student Discount

Adding a teen driver to your car insurance policy can increase your rates, since they are considered risking drivers.

However, Nationwide’s good student discount can help to lower the cost of insuring a teen driver, thus making your rates more affordable. For drivers to qualify for this discount, they must:

  • Be aged between 16 and 24
  • Be full-time college or high school students
  • Maintain a minimum B average

You will need to produce proof of academic achievement using either a current grade card or a form signed by a school administrator.

In case the student is homeschooled, then they can provide proof of academic achievement using a standardized test like SAT, PSAT or ACT. Homeschooled students should be within the top 20% of the test’s national performance.

Safe Driver Discount

Nationwide also rewards customers who exhibit safe driving habits. If you have been accident-free for the last 5 years, then could qualify for this discount.

Apart from being accident-free, you also need to maintain a clean driving record to be considered for this discount. So, you need to avoid tickets for reckless driving, speeding and other violations.

Anti-Theft Discount

If your car is equipped with anti-theft devices, then you could be eligible for this discount.

Nationwide’s anti-theft discount is available for both factory-installed devices and those installed after you purchase the car.

The discount will depend on the type of anti-theft devices installed as well as where you park your car. You also need to produce proof of installation, if the devices were installed after purchasing the car.

Paperless Discount

Going paperless can also earn you discounts on your Nationwide car insurance policy. When you go paperless, you will be receiving all your documents and communication online.

Smart Ride Discount

SmartRide is a usage-based program, which examines your driving behavior and then gives you discounts, depending on how well you score in various categories. SmartRide evaluates driving habits like:

  • Number of miles driven
  • Instances of hard braking
  •  Nighttime driving
  • Fast acceleration

If you decide to join this program, you will have the option of installing a mobile app or request Nationwide to send you a telematics device for tracking purposes.

You will receive a 10% discount on your Nationwide car insurance policy immediately after signing up. From there, you can earn a car insurance discount of up to 40%, if you exhibit safe driving habits.

Discounts are updated weekly. Your final discount will be calculated at the end of the program, and then applied to your next policy renewal.

The program lasts for approximately 4 to 6 months. You can continue using the mobile app after the driving period has ended for your own monitoring purposes. However, you will not be eligible for discounts after the driving period has ended.

SmartMiles

SmartMiles is not a discount per se. It’s more of customized insurance coverage for low-mileage drivers.

The coverage part works similar to a conventional Nationwide car policy. However, you will be paying a flexible monthly rate, depending on the number of miles you drive.

The monthly rate features two components; a variable rate and a base rate. The base rate and the cost per mile will not change throughout your policy term. On the other hand, the variable-rate component will change from month to month, since it’s based on your mileage.

To arrive at your monthly payment, Nationwide will combine your base premium and the cost mile, and then multiply that figure with the number of miles you’ve driven in the previous billing cycle.

If you have an extra car that you seldom drive, you work from home, or you live and work downtown, then this program can help you to save money on your Nationwide car insurance policy.

Nationwide will install a device in your car, which will track your mileage. Therefore, your car’s eligibility will depend on its compatibility with the device.

Ultimately, how much you save will depend on your mileage. However, Nationwide will give you a discount of up to 10% for safe driving after your first renewal.

The SmartRide program is currently available in 40 states only.

Nationwide Car Insurance Availability

Nationwide car insurance is currently available in 46 states, including the District of Columbia. It’s currently not available in Hawaii, Alaska, Massachusetts and Louisiana. Drivers in states where Nationwide is not available are directed to contact one of their partner insurance companies.

Nationwide Car Insurance Customer Service

Whether you are reporting a claim, checking your insurance policy or just making a general inquiry, you can contact Nationwide through several channels.

First, you can use the online portal via its website. The online portal makes it easy to handle all your Nationwide car insurance paperwork. You can also use it for bill paying and claims filing.

Second, you can contact Nationwide by calling its customer support team, which is available 24/7.

Third, you can also get in touch with Nationwide using the mobile app. After installing the mobile app, you can use it to pay your bills, report and file claims, upload accident photos, manage your insurance policy, or choose a car repair shop, among other services.

How to Make a Car Insurance Claim with Nationwide

Filing a car insurance claim with Nationwide is a straightforward and fast process. And you can do so by calling its customer support team, online through your online account or using the Nationwide mobile app.

When filing a claim, Nationwide will assign you a claims associate, who will inspect your vehicle and guide you through the process.

Your claims associate will also arrange for a rental car for you, if you have added rental reimbursement coverage to your Nationwide car insurance policy.

Once the appraisal is done, you can either opt for your vehicle to be repaired at one of the repair shops in the Nationwide On Your Side Auto Repair Network or work with your preferred auto repair shop.

If you opt to use a repair shop in its network, then Nationwide will send the payment directly to the shop. And if you opt to use your preferred repair shop, Nationwide will send you the reimbursement either via paper check or as a direct deposit.

How Does Nationwide Car Insurance Compare?

To properly evaluate insurance companies, we use a combination of ratings and reviews, sourced from 3rd party companies such as J.D. Power, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), and AM Best. With that said, here is how Nationwide compares to its competitors.

Customer Satisfaction Rating

According to the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, Nationwide earned a score of 876 out of 1000. The industry average for the same study was 872 out of 1000, which shows that its customer satisfaction rating is higher than most of the competition.

Customer Complaint Index

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) collects the overall number of complaints an insurer receives and then compares them against the national average of 1.0.

In 2020, Nationwide earned a customer complaint index of 0.77, which means that it receives approximately 25% fewer complaints than the national average.

Financial Strength

When choosing an insurer, you also need to consider its financial stability, since it determines whether they are capable of paying out claims on time.

According to AM Best, Nationwide earned a score of A+, indicating the company is in a strong financial position to meet its ongoing financial obligations.

Pros

  • Flexible coverage options
  • Gap coverage available
  • Strong financial rating
  • Fewer complaints than average

Cons

  • Not available in Louisiana, Massachusetts, Alaska and Hawaii
  • No Rideshare insurance
  • Fewer discounts than its competitors

Our Take

Nationwide surpasses most of its competitors when it comes to overall customer satisfaction. Also, they receive fewer complaints than most of the other car insurance companies in the country. However, their car insurance rates are higher than average. So, customers looking for cheap car insurance rates may have to explore other options.

About THE AUTHOR

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

Read More About Charles Redding