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Nationwide Car Insurance Review 2020

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Pros Explained

  • Easy-to-use online quote generator: The online tool for generating a quote is both simple and intuitive. It can offer you both a quote and a list of discounts you may be eligible for, without requiring a Social Security number.
  • Robust mobile app: Nationwide’s mobile app allows you to handle all of your insurance tasks directly from your app, from paying bills and filing a claim to adjusting your policy and accessing roadside assistance. All of these features can be accessed right from your phone.
  • Comprehensive online learning center: Customers and non-customers looking to educate themselves about insurance can find the answers they need in the Nationwide online learning center.

Cons Explained

  • Six-month policy terms: With terms lasting six months at a time, rather than a year at a time, Nationwide has twice the opportunities to raise your rates when you renew.
  • Average or below-average in customer satisfaction: J.D. Power has found that Nationwide’s customer service is never better than average, with some geographic sectors scoring below average.

COVID-19 Assistance

Like other auto insurers, Nationwide has offered some financial relief to customers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The auto insurance arm of Nationwide offered an across-the-board $50 refund per policy to all auto insurance customers with active policies as of March 31, 2020. In addition, Nationwide has expanded the availability of its usage-based insurance products, which can save customers who are driving less because of the pandemic. Nationwide has also contributed $5 million to local and national charities for the pandemic response effort.


Nationwide Car Insurance Coverage

You have access to the following types of coverage with Nationwide Auto Insurance:

Liability Coverage

Every state in the nation, with the exception of New Hampshire, requires liability coverage for car owners. This kind of coverage protects against the financial loss of bodily injury or property damage.

Bodily injury liability can pay for the bills associated with the injury or death of a person who is hurt during an accident in which you are at fault. This coverage can pay for things like medical expenses and lost wages. Property damage liability can pay for the bills associated with damaged property that occurs because of an accident where you are at fault. Nationwide’s liability coverage can also pay for your legal defense if you are sued as a result of an accident where you are at fault.

Collision Coverage

If your vehicle is damaged by striking another object or vehicle, or by rolling over, collision coverage can pay to repair or replace the car, no matter who is at fault. You will be responsible for a deductible when making a collision coverage claim. Collision coverage is not required by law, but some leases and financed vehicles are required to carry this coverage as a condition of the lease or financing agreement.

Comprehensive Coverage

This kind of coverage can pay for damage to your vehicle from something other than a collision or rollover, although you are still responsible for your deductible. Nationwide comprehensive coverage may kick in for damage or loss because of the following reasons:

  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Animal-related accidents
  • Falling objects, like tree branches or debris
  • Fires, explosions, or civil commotions
  • Hail damage/other weather events

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

If you are in an accident with a driver who is either uninsured or underinsured (meaning their liability coverage is not enough to fully pay for your damages), this kind of coverage will help make you whole. Uninsured and/or underinsured motorist coverage is required in 19 states, as well as the District of Columbia, but drivers in other states may also want to consider this kind of coverage. Nationwide points out that uninsured motorists coverage can also protect you in case a car thief were to cause an accident with you, since the stolen car’s insurance would not cover such a situation.

Medical Payments Coverage

This kind of coverage pays for the medical costs of being in a covered accident, both for you and any passengers in your car. Medical payments coverage also extends to any covered accidents you may be in as a passenger or driver in another vehicle, or as a pedestrian.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

This is similar to medical payments coverage in that they both cover medical expenses of the policyholder and/or passengers in the event of an accident, no matter who is at fault. The difference is that PIP coverage will also cover things like lost wages, rehabilitation services, funeral costs, and services such as childcare, which medical coverage does not pay for.

Seventeen states require all motorists to carry PIP.

Additional Vehicle Coverages

Nationwide customers have the option to add these additional vehicle-specific coverages to their policies:

  • Towing and labor: If your car is undrivable on the roadside, this covers the cost of towing the vehicle, or the cost of labor to repair it by the side of the road, not including the cost of parts. To access this coverage, you will need to also have comprehensive coverage.
  • Rental reimbursement coverage: This coverage can help pay for a rental car if your car can’t be driven because of a covered collision or comprehensive insurance claim. Nationwide’s rental coverage may cover the cost of public transportation or taxis, rather than a rental car.
  • Gap insurance: Should your car become totaled, your collision or comprehensive coverage will provide you with the actual cash value (ACV) of the vehicle. Since cars depreciate so rapidly, the ACV will be less than what you paid for the car, and it may not be enough to pay off your remaining loan. Gap insurance will cover the difference between ACV and the amount you still owe on your car loan.

Optional Coverage

Nationwide also provides several optional add-on coverages. These include:

  • Roadside assistance: This entitles you to 24/7 roadside assistance, which includes up to $100 in lock-out services in case you lose your keys, break them off in a lock, or lock them in your car.
  • Vanishing deductible: If you choose this coverage option, you will see $100 taken off your comprehensive or collision deductible amount each year you go without an accident, up to $500 total off your deductible.
  • Accident forgiveness: This coverage option (which you must pay for) can potentially help you avoid a rate increase after your first at-fault accident. You may only use accident forgiveness once per policy.

Car insurance premium costs are based on a number of factors, including your age, gender, vehicle, annual mileage, where you live, accident history, and credit score. For instance, a woman in her 40s who has had no accidents will pay less for premiums for the exact same car and location compared to a man in his 20s who has had two previous accidents. This is partly because of the younger driver’s accident history, but also partially because both women and 40-somethings are statistically less likely to get into accidents than men or 20-somethings.

It’s important to note that Nationwide does not offer a non-binary gender option when generating a quote.

Nationwide offers insurance in six-month terms, which means your premium could go up twice over a single year.


Nationwide Car Insurance Discounts

Nationwide customers can take advantage of the company’s numerous discounts to help reduce the cost of premiums. 

Payment Discounts

  • Multiple Policy Discount: Nationwide offers homeowners insurance, and bundling your auto insurance policy with a home policy can save you an average of $710 per year.
  • Multi-Car Discount: Insure more than one car with Nationwide and you could save up to 20% on your premiums.
  • Easy Pay Signup: This one-time discount kicks in when you set up automatic deductions from your bank account to pay your premiums.
  • Affinity Member Discounts: Members of qualifying organizations may receive discounts simply for being a member. Nationwide partners with hundreds of organizations to offer these affinity member discounts.

Driving Habits and History

  • Safe Driver Discount: Customers with at least five years without an at-fault accident or moving violation may be eligible for a more affordable insurance rate.
  • Defensive Driving Discount: Customers who complete a state-approved safety course may be eligible for a discount. In some states, customers must be over the age of 55 to qualify.
  • Good Student Discount: Drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 who maintain a B average or better can qualify for a discount.
  • SmartRide Discount: This usage-based insurance program has you plug a small device into your car which monitors your driving and gives you personalized advice for how to drive more safely. Earn a 10% discount just for signing up, and earn up to a 40% discount through changes to your driving behavior.
  • SmartMiles Pay-per-Mile Program: With this program, your rate is based on two parts, a base rate and a per-mile variable rate. When you drive less, your monthly rate goes down.

Vehicle Equipment

  • Anti-Theft Discount: If you have an anti-theft device installed in your car, you may be eligible for a discount. The amount of the discount varies.

Nationwide Car Insurance Availability

Nationwide is available in the contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia. Drivers in Alaska and Hawaii are directed to a partner insurance company when searching for a quote on Nationwide’s website.


Nationwide Customer Service

The Nationwide mobile app provides customers with a digital insurance ID card, bill payment, claims filing, the ability to upload accident photos, and the ability to choose a repair shop, rental car, or other services. In addition, you can contact on-demand roadside assistance, or access your agent through the app. Nationwide’s mobile app is available on both iOS and Android, with a 4.4 out of five-star rating on iOS and a 4.3 out of five-star rating on Android.

Customers who would prefer to use the website will find that Nationwide’s online portal also makes it simple to handle all of their insurance paperwork, claims processes, bill paying, and other tasks. Alternatively, you can call 1-877-On Your Side (1-877-669-6877) 24 hours per day to reach a representative.

Satisfaction Ratings

Since it can be difficult to know what to expect from customer service before becoming a customer, several organizations generate studies about customer satisfaction. These can help you understand how Nationwide handles its customer service.

The J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study scores auto insurers based on customers’ satisfaction with the claims process. Nationwide received a score of 876 out of 1,000, which is higher than the industry average of 872.

Unfortunately, customers’ overall satisfaction with Nationwide is below average in every geographic region, according to the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study.

The only place that Nationwide appears to shine is in the shopping experience, where the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study assigns the company a score of 862 points out of 1,000. 

Complaint Index

Complaints can also give prospective customers a better sense of the customer service they can expect from Nationwide. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) compiles consumer complaints about insurers and compares the information to the industry average. NAIC sets the industry average complaints at 1.0, meaning a company with a score of 2.0 has twice the number of complaints as the average insurer. Nationwide auto insurance has a score of 0.77, meaning it receives nearly 25% fewer complaints compared to the average auto insurance provider.

Financial Stability

An insurer’s financial stability should also be part of your decision-making process when choosing the right car insurance. That’s because you need to know your insurer will be able to meet its financial obligations to you if you ever need to make a claim against your policy. AM Best rates insurers on financial strength, giving a Financial Strength Rating represented by a letter.

Nationwide’s AM Best rating is A+, which is only a single step down from the highest rating of A++. The A+ rating for Nationwide indicates that in AM Best’s opinion, the company has a superior ability to meet its ongoing insurance obligations.


Other Insurance Provided by Nationwide

Nationwide has branched out into many other insurance offerings on top of its original auto insurance. That makes it a one-stop-shop for any insurance customers looking to handle all of their needs under one roof. Nationwide offers 26 different types of insurance policies, including:

  • Motorcycle, boat, recreational vehicle, and other vehicle insurance
  • Homeowners, renters, condo, and flood insurance
  • Term, universal, whole, and variable life insurance
  • Personal umbrella and specialty liability insurance
  • Dental and accident medical insurance
  • Pet insurance
  • Wedding insurance
  • Identity theft insurance
  • Travel insurance

How to Make a Car Insurance Claim With Nationwide

To file a claim with Nationwide, you can use the mobile app, the online claims process, or you can call 1-800-421-3535. You will be assigned a claims associate who can help schedule an inspection of your vehicle and explain what coverages apply to your claim. You can get an appraisal of damages at one of the shops in the Nationwide On Your Side Auto Repair Network, at one of Nationwide’s drive-in locations, or your claims associate can handle it.

Payment of claims may be sent directly to the repair shop or as a reimbursement to the customer, either as a direct deposit or a paper check sent in the mail.


Nationwide Insurance Cancellation Policy

If you decide to cancel your Nationwide policy, you can contact your agent to request cancellation. If you don’t have an agent, Nationwide requires you to call 877-669-6877 to cancel your policy.


Get a Nationwide Car Insurance Quote

Prospective customers can generate a fast quote with Nationwide either online or by calling 1-877-669-6877. Alternately, if you would prefer to work with an agent, you can locate one in your area to help you create a quote.

Come prepared with the following information to get the most accurate quote:

  • Social Security number (optional)
  • Driver’s license number
  • Distance to work
  • Any driving violations, accidents, or claims in the last five years (approximate dates and details)
  • Make, model, and year of your vehicle

Compare Other Car Insurance Reviews

Nationwide’s costs may or may not be competitive with other insurers. The company offers a number of discounts and coverage perks (like Accident Forgiveness, Gap coverage, and Vanishing Deductible) which may make it the most economical option for some customers, depending on what they need. However, it’s important to shop around for car insurance to make sure you find the right policy for you at the best value.

Each insurer has its own underwriting process, so premium costs vary. Add in the differing types of discounts offered by various insurers, and it’s not always clear until you generate a quote which insurance company will give you the best value.


Verdict

Nationwide offers drivers in the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia solid insurance coverage and easy-to-use online and digital tools to handle their car insurance needs. With its large number of other insurance offerings, Nationwide can be a good choice for any driver looking to bundle car insurance with other insurance.

However, Nationwide may not be the right fit for every driver. With only average (or below average) customer satisfaction ratings, customers looking for excellent customer service may find better options with a higher-ranked insurer.



Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to furnishing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of car insurance providers. We reviewed each insurance provider’s coverage options, available discounts, customer services, and satisfaction ratings to ensure that our content helps users make the right insurance decision for their needs.

Source: on 2020-11-19 10:56:15

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