PROS / Nationwide rewards accident-free years with its vanishing deductible program.
CONS / This service lacks an online chat feature.
VERDICT / Nationwide is one of the best automobile insurance plans because of its low rates and customer service programs like the ability to watch your repairs online.
Nationwide earns our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award for best automobile insurance. Our tests revealed some of the lowest quote rates, better-than-average customer satisfaction and some unique programs to help you save money and track your car's repairs. While you should price at least three or more auto insurance providers for your specific situation and needs, Nationwide is worth putting on your list of top agencies to check out.
To determine how each auto insurance agency compared when it came to their policy's prices, we created a fictitious driver with a clean record. We gathered quotes in five different cars and five different zip codes. We then compared those numbers against the average car insurance price in the area.
Overall, Nationwide's prices were below those of its competitors. Keep in mind, however, that rates depend on several factors, including your driving record, where you park the car, and even if you are a parent or not. It's a good idea to select a few agencies that appeal to you and get quotes specific to your situation.
One unique advantage to Nationwide is its vanishing deductible program. For each year you're with Nationwide and accident-free, your deductible automatically decreases by $100, for a maximum discount of up to $500. Thus, if you start your policy with Nationwide with a $500 deductible and have no accidents for the next five years, the following year, you can have the same policy with no deductible at all.
In addition to vanishing deductible, Nationwide offers other rewards in the form of policy discounts. They offer these for bundling insurances, being a good student, being a member of the Farm Bureau, having an anti-theft device in your car and other reasons. The SmartRide program offers a discount for safe driving, but you need to install a device in your car that tracks your mileage, night driving time and driving habits. Like most programs of this nature, you can't get it in every state. This is common across all insurance plans we reviewed, so if you want to participate in this program, be sure to ask a local agent if it's available in your area.
One unique feature of Nationwide is its Plenti program. Members earn Plenti points for their insurance premiums as well as for shopping at participating locations. You can spend these points at other locations, such as Exxon or Macy's.
This company has local agents and 24/7 online customer support, plus some basic FAQs. In addition, it has a newsletter and sponsors community meetings. Overall, Nationwide has earned a customer satisfaction on a par with the best auto insurance agencies. One disadvantage is that it lacks online chat on its website or in claims process. While this isn't a major issue, some auto insurance companies have it, and it adds convenience, especially when you need a quick answer concerning a quote or other question.
If you are in an accident, you can file your claim using the mobile app, calling an online agent or by contacting your agent during his or her office hours. It lacks an online chat feature, however.
You can choose your own repair service or find a Nationwide-certified repair facility through its On Your Side claims program. With a certified repair facility, you get a guarantee for repairs while you own or lease the vehicle. Through the AutoWatch program, you can watch an online feed of your car being repaired. Your mechanic also sends you messages, or you can send comments or questions.
Nationwide has a useful mobile app. It lets you manage your account online and download insurance cards and information. If you are involved in an accident, you can use its claims worksheet to collect the information you need to file a claim and start the claims process.
Nationwide provides some of the best automobile insurance. Its prices generally run below those of its competitors, and it has good customer satisfaction. Of special note are its vanishing deductible program and its online AutoWatch program. It also has a rewards program to help you save money on regular purchases. When pricing policies for yourself, Nationwide makes a good addition to your search to find the right car insurance for you.