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June 9, 2015

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Auto Insurance

Nationwide Insurance Review

With excellent coverage options, exceptional policy management tools, and great claims support, it's easy to see why Nationwide auto insurance ranks among the best auto insurance companies in the market. Though its mobile app is a bit behind the curve and it misses on several common discounts, there's a whole lot to like about what Nationwide offers.

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The Good

Great coverage for mechanical problems

Nationwide car insurance really excels when it comes to coverage for breakdowns and other mechanical problems, offering a range of optional benefits that combine to make sure you're never left out in the cold. With mechanical breakdown insurance, you'll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing sudden engine repairs and parts replacements will be covered under your policy, without any repair facility restrictions. Add roadside assistance and towing coverage to make sure that you're taken care of in the event of a breakdown or lockout, no matter where it happens. Finally, Nationwide auto insurance has rental car reimbursement coverage, which keeps you on the road while your car is being repaired. This coverage even reimburses you if you choose to take a taxi or public transportation to work instead of a rental car.

Easy to file a claim

It's also nice to know that Nationwide offers convenient claims filing options that help you report accidents and other covered damage fast so you can get back to life as usual. You can initiate a claim by calling your Nationwide agent, calling the national claims center, or accessing the claims center online. You can even start a claim with your smartphone using the Nationwide Mobile app. Whichever method you use, you'll have help every step of the way. Most simple claims can be completed entirely online, though you may have to work with your agent or a claims center representative to work through complex claims.

Live chat support

Most people probably have a basic understanding of how auto insurance works, but when it comes to navigating an auto insurance policy, it's easy to feel a little overwhelmed. In addition to getting your questions answered by phone and email, Liberty Mutual also offers a live chat option. Similar to most other top auto insurance companies, the live chat option is only available during the quote process, but it is still a great resource that can help you have more confidence in your auto insurance purchase.

Access to GAP insurance

If you have a large car loan, GAP insurance is an important coverage option to have access to. Though not all major auto insurers provide GAP policies, Nationwide auto insurance does. With Nationwide GAP insurance, you can trust that your loan will be paid in full in the event that your car is damaged beyond repair or if it's stolen and unrecovered, even if your loan balance exceeds the car's fair market value. This option offers great peace of mind, especially in the early years of car ownership when the market value of your car falls far faster than your loan balance.

Easy-to-navigate website

Finding the right insurance provider and building a policy suited to your needs can be a grueling process. Nationwide car insurance helps ease the pain by providing well-organized information and intuitive tools to help you make an informed decision. The Nationwide auto insurance website is organized into three main information sections that do a great job explaining the details of Nationwide's coverage options, driver and vehicle discounts, and claims handling procedures. You can also learn about the On Your Side Review, a consultation service that provides free personalized advice from a Nationwide agent. Finally, you can also access Nationwide's quotation tool, which helps you build a policy that meets your coverage needs and fits your budget.

Vanishing Deductible

Nationwide's Vanishing Deductible program is a pretty cool option to take advantage of. Essentially, the program credits you $100 per year just for driving safely. These credits will accumulate in your account to a maximum balance of $500. If you do get into an accident, your credit balance is automatically applied toward your policy deductible. So, for example, if you have a $500 deductible and your Vanishing Deductible program credit stands at $400, you will only have to pay $100 out of pocket for your accident repairs. It's pretty tough to complain about that kind of deal. If you do need to use your credit, your Vanishing Deductible will start back at $100 rather than zero.

The Bad

Missing some common discounts

On balance, Nationwide offers a pretty good selection of driver discounts. However, they miss on several popular discounts offered by many of the top insurers in the market, including those for members of the military and low-mileage drivers. You won't get a discount for paying your full policy premium in advance either, which is pretty unfortunate if you regularly stay ahead on your bills. Nationwide auto insurance also fails to provide a loyalty discount to long-term customers. Though it's not really that common in the marketplace, the lack of a loyalty discount helps to rank Nationwide auto insurance below the best insurers in the discount category.

Average mobile app

Another relatively minor knock on Nationwide has to do with its decidedly average mobile app, which gets mixed reviews from both iPhone and Android users. The Nationwide Mobile app allows you to pay your bill and access your insurance cards, and you can even start an accident claim. However, if modifying your policy on the go is important to you, you're going to be disappointed. The app doesn't offer you the ability to add or remove drivers or cars, change your coverage options, or adjust your deductibles, features that can be found in some of the industry's best auto insurance apps. You also won't find a comprehensive accident guide to help you if you get in a wreck, which is a really valuable resource to have on hand in such a moment. Though for many people the quality of a mobile app is not a deal breaker, it would be nice if Nationwide could offer an app that meets the same high usability standards as its website.

The Details

Financial Strength

  • A.M. Best FSR Rating: A+
  • A.M. Best ICR Rating: aa-
  • Moody's Rating: A1
  • Standard & Poor's Rating: A+

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