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Nationwide Review

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Our Reviews Last Updated: 03/18/2009

If life comes at you fast, maybe you should worry about your auto insurance. Is Nationwide a good choice?

Is Nationwide on your side?

Is Nationwide on your side?

Car Insurance can be a pretty boring topic. That’s why you gotta love Madison Avenue’s attempt to make things more interesting. Such is the case with Nationwide Insurance’s “Life Comes At You Fast” commercials. From radio to TV spots, they’re always good for a laugh. I found out later that not everyone appreciates the lighter side of insurance – more on that below.

But the more important question is: how good is Nationwide auto insurance?

About the Company

Nationwide has a good reputation in the industry. Started in 1925 as Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Nationwide outgrew their home state of Ohio in a few short years.

As the name implies, Nationwide is now a big company. They currently insure cars in 50 states including the District of Columbia. They are the 4th largest auto insurance company measured by premiums collected. According to their website, they are #106 of the Fortune 500 and boast over 35,000 employees.

With all the uncertainty with financial services companies, it’s important to know how strong Nationwide is. In March of 2008, A.M. Best rated Nationwide Insurance with an A+ for financial strength – it’s their 2nd highest rating. From the looks of it, Nationwide won’t be going bust anytime soon.

Getting a Nationwide Online Quote

So with their reputation in the industry and their commercials that make me smile, I decided to get a quote from Nationwide. To save time, I recommend doing what I did. First off, I grabbed an online quote. Second, since it made sense, I called them on the phone with my online quote in hand.

To start, I grabbed my current auto insurance policy and matched coverages at their website. I input my personal info, then matched the coverages I have with my current policy.

One interesting thing: they apparently pull personal info from a state database. When I was an agent with a different company, we could grab some info from prospects, but it wasn’t as sophisticated as Nationwide’s.

Within a minute, I got back my car insurance quote. However, they did not automatically email me the quote. I guess they expect people to buy right then. Not me. I called instead.

Nationwide Call Center Quote

After waiting a few minutes, I got Jeremy on the phone. He told me he was in a call center  Amarillo, Texas. At the time of this quote, the others call centers were in Portland, Oregon, Des Moines, Iowa, San Antonio, Texas, and Lynchburg, Virginia.

My quote was not saved online, so Jeremy had to ask the same questions again. Despite the technical problems, he did a good job of not making it too painful. As he reviewed my coverages, Jeremy explained what each coverage did. In my mind, this is one of the agent’s most important jobs, so Jeremy passed that test.

Nationwide Positives: Service & Options

First off, Nationwide has both call centers and local offices to service their car insurance policies. I like that. If I want a local office, I can choose a local office. If I want extended hours with 6 days a week policy service, I can choose the call center.

Second, I like the policy options they offer. For one, they have ‘Accident Forgiveness’. In my case, it was an extra $24/term. That means they won’t raise my rates if I have an at-fault accident. Two, they have ‘Diminishing Deductible’. For another $20, I could get $100 off my deductible every year I don’t have an accident. That’s a great coverage for accident-prone customers.

Nationwide Negative: Price

Nationwide could not beat my current car insurance premiums. They were slightly higher even after they gave me a long-term credit for being with my other auto insurance company. According to my state rates, they don’t even show up in the Top-25 cheapest car insurance rates, so I’m not too surprised.

Not to say you won’t get a better rate, especially if you don’t live in Texas. As for me and my premiums, Nationwide was not on my side.

“Life Comes At You Fast” Commercials Drives Calls for Nationwide

So even though I won’t be switching to Nationwide this go around, I’m still impressed with their commercials. I even like them better than GEICO’s. Jeremy told me something interesting. He said people never call him to say they want a quote because they saw Nationwide’s commercials. But, he told me several people have called to complain about them.

I think that’s funny. I guess some people don’t have anything better to do than to harass some guy in a call center for a commercial that makes most people smile. I say, go back to your TV and stop bothering people. Such is life.

Quote Process: 8
(Scale 1-10: 10=the best)

Price: 4
(Scale 1-10: 10=Cheapest)

Customer Service: 9
(Scale 1-10: 10=the best)

Claims: *
(Scale 1-10: 10=the best)

Overall Rating: 8
(Scale 1-10: 10=the best)

Do you have your own experience with Nationwide Car Insurance? Leave a comment or write your own review.


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Todd Clay

Todd Clay is a former insurance agent with the largest insurance company in the United States. He earned his Bachelor’s from the University of Texas. He's worked in several fields but has specialized in insurance, financial-related information, and technology. He blogs at Car Insurance Guidebook. Connect with Tood on Google+

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