Nationwide Business Insurance Review

Nationwide has been in the business of insuring businesses for more than 90 years. As such, it boasts a wide range of policy options, from business liability insurance to auto, crime, and workers’ comp. You’re also in good hands when it comes to your experience after signing up: Nationwide scored No. 1 for customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2018 Small Commercial Insurance Survey, and the company has agents on-hand in every state except Alaska and Hawaii.

Of course, Nationwide isn’t perfect; namely, it has lower scores for customer satisfaction when it comes to large commercial insurance. However, if you’re looking to insure a small business and Nationwide’s long list of industry-specific packages appeals to you, we still recommend including it in your quote lineup.

The Claim

Nationwide’s business homepage claims “commercial expertise, superior claims service, [and] breadth of solutions.”

Is it true?

Mostly.

Nationwide fulfills its promise of “commercial expertise” simply by virtue of its 90 years of history. The first policy, issued in 1926, offered business auto insurance for farmers. Since then, Nationwide has expanded to offer insurance products spanning home, auto, life, liability, and business, as well as several investment and banking products (so that’s a yes for “breadth of solutions,” too). In keeping with its roots, it puts a special emphasis on agribusiness, touting an impressive lineup of options for full farm protection and specialized farm agents across the country.

“Superior claims service” is tougher to substantiate. Nationwide tied for last place in J.D. Power’s most recent Large Commercial Insurance customer satisfaction study — and received a score of two out of five in the claims category. It’s not a ringing endorsement; that said, in the J.D. Power’s 2018 Small Business Commercial Insurance study, Nationwide ranked No. 1, and was the only company to earn a perfect score. This means that for smaller businesses, Nationwide’s claim of “superior claims service” may hold true. However, larger commercial clients may not receive the exceptional service promised.

Product Overview

Best for

Business owners in agribusiness, construction, commercial real estate, and specialty care industries

Not for

Clients looking for large-scale commercial insurance

Features

Price Quotes differ from person to person
In business since 1925
Standout features 90+ years of business insurance experience
A+ financial strength ratings from A.M. Best and S&P Global
22 industry-specific packages
Industry-specific resource documents
Online quote tool
Agents in 48 states and Washington, D.C.
A.M. Best financial strength rating A+ ("Superior")
A.M. Best issuer credit rating aa- ("Superior")
Moody's rating A1 ("Strong")

Many coverage options for small businesses

Nationwide is a convenient option for small businesses because it combines property, liability, and other common types of insurance in one customizable policy. Business owners can also opt to purchase the types of coverage they need individually or add industry-specific coverage with endorsements. Nationwide specializes in policies for agriculture, construction, care, food, and energy companies, but an agent can help you build a customized policy regardless of your industry.

Strong financial ratings

Nationwide boasts some of the best financial ratings in the business insurance industry. This is important, because a financially stable insurance company is more likely to make good on large claims. Nationwide garners near-perfect ratings for financial strength from S&P Global, Moody’s, and A.M. Best, three of the top rating agencies in the country. These ratings assure that Nationwide has long-term solvency.

Online tools and resources

Nationwide has a plethora of online guides for just about any question you might have as a prospective commercial client. Its resources are unique, with sections on small business 101, resources by industry, and employee management guides. Many industry-specific guides include printable PDFs that outline considerations and best practices. If you’re insuring a food service business, for instance, find PDFs for food safety guidelines, cut and burn prevention tips, and more. These resources demonstrate Nationwide’s commitment to providing holistic help for business owners, even beyond basic insurance.

Stellar customer satisfaction for small businesses

In J.D. Power’s 2018 Small Commercial Insurance Study, Nationwide earned the No. 1 spot. It was also the only company that earned a perfect five out of five score, beating out other big names like Allstate, State Farm, and Farmers Insurance. The study evaluated interaction, policy offerings, price, billing and payment, and claims. Nationwide’s high score is an indication that it meets small business needs from the beginning of the insurance process to the end.

Possible drawbacks

Lacks some industry-specific policies

While Nationwide offers insurance protection packages for businesses in more than 20 different industries, it does lack specific policy packages in some common sectors, including dental practice and hospitality. The lack of policy packages for these industries doesn’t mean you’re ineligible for Nationwide business insurance — but you’ll need to work with a Nationwide agent to customize a suitable policy. In the end, it might be better to keep your options open and shop around for quotes from other business insurance providers that specifically cater to your line of work.

Poor customer satisfaction scores for large businesses

For insight into customer satisfaction, we turned to J.D. Power, an agency that ranks the customer satisfaction of companies in a variety of industries. In J.D. Power’s 2017 study on large commercial insurance satisfaction, Nationwide shared last place with AIG. It received a score of two out of five in every category, meaning it may not offer you a stellar customer experience if you’re looking to insure a larger business. If you have a large business and customer service is important to you, we recommend looking elsewhere.

The Competition

Nationwide
Allstate
Farmers Insurance
Progressive
Our review
Our review
Our review
Our review
A.M. Best financial strength rating
A+
A+
A-
A+
A.M. Best issuer credit rating
aa-
aa
a-
aa
Moody's rating
A1
A3
A2
A2
S&P Global rating
A+
A-
A
A

Nationwide vs. Allstate

Nationwide beat out everyone including Allstate when it came to overall customer satisfaction in J.D Power’s small business commercial insurance study. In fact, Allstate only came in at “about average,” scoring three out of five. However, Allstate’s advantage comes in the form of its policy offerings: It makes available 36 industry-specific packages, as opposed to Nationwide’s 22. If customer service is a priority for you, go with Nationwide; if you’re looking for a more comprehensive list of policy options, Allstate may be a better fit.

Nationwide vs. Farmers Insurance

Like Nationwide, Farmers Insurance has a wealth of online guides and learning materials. Of particular interest are the Farmers industry “cheat sheets,” which equate common risks with coverage types offered. Of these coverage types are some larger-scale endeavors that Nationwide does not cover, such as hospitality — hotels, bed and breakfast, etc. If you’re looking to insure one of these businesses, Farmers is likely a better bet than Nationwide. However, it is worth noting that Farmers earned one of the lowest scores in the small business insurance study, so you may experience a few more headaches if you decide to use the company for your insurance needs.

Nationwide vs. Progressive

Progressive advertises far fewer industry-specific coverage packages than Nationwide. However, one area where Progressive stands out is in the realm of commercial auto insurance. Progressive touts this coverage as its own category of insurance — and the only type that Progressive underwrites in-house. This coverage is comprehensive, with 24 different policies from standard liability to pet injury insurance. That said, given that Progressive outsources all types of insurance aside from commercial auto, Nationwide is likely a better option if you’re looking to insure other industries.

Nationwide Business Insurance FAQ

What types of business insurance does Nationwide offer?

Nationwide offers 12 types of coverage for business owners:

  • Accounts receivable
  • Business auto
  • Business income insurance
  • Business interruption insurance
  • Business liability insurance
  • Business owner's policy (BOP)
  • Commercial property insurance
  • Crime insurance
  • Cyber liability insurance
  • Equipment breakdown insurance
  • Umbrella insurance
  • Workers’ compensation

What factors affect business insurance rates?

As with other insurance products, your business insurance quote depends on several factors, including:

  • The location of your business
  • How many employees you have
  • Your industry
  • Your business’s financial and claims history
  • Your policy details (deductible, limits, endorsements, etc.)

Because each insurer uses these factors a little differently in its underwriting process, we recommend gathering quotes from a few options to see which offers you the best deal.

What type of business insurance do I need?

That depends on the size and type of your business. Overall, Nationwide offers 22 industry-specific business insurance policies. You may also have the option of customizing your coverage depending on the nature of your industry, location, and specific needs. Speaking with a Nationwide agent can help you determine what type of policy you need.

The Bottom Line

Nationwide’s top customer satisfaction scores in small commercial insurance, plus its wide variety of industry-specific coverage, makes it a solid contender in the world of business insurance. If you’re looking for coverage for a farm, Nationwide also provides specialized coverage and agribusiness-focused resources. It lacks some options for large-scale endeavors — hotels, major department store chains, etc. — and customer satisfaction scores fall short when it comes to large commercial insurance. However, if you have a small business or want to take advantage of Nationwide’s wealth of resources, we recommend including it in your quote-gathering process.