Nationwide Insurance History
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company was founded in Columbus, Ohio in 1926 under the name Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. At the time, farmers were paying the same rates as city drivers – even though farmers had fewer accidents and claims. The Ohio Farm Bureau took action and approved the company that would eventually become Nationwide. Interestingly, Farmers Insurance has a similar origin story.
Nationwide’s first product was automobile insurance. Initially, the company only served farmers in Ohio – specifically, farmers who were part of the Ohio Farm Bureau. By the end of the 1920s, however, the company had expanded to several other states. By 1943, Farm Bureau Mutual was operating in 12 states and the District of Columbia. By 1955, after several major acquisitions, the company officially changed its name to Nationwide Insurance.
Today, Nationwide – as you may have guessed from the name – serves every state in America. The company continues to be headquartered at One Nationwide Plaza in Columbus, Ohio. However, Nationwide also has offices in Des Moines, San Antonio, Gainesville, Raleigh, Sacramento, and Westerville. As of 2019, Nationwide ranks at #72 on the list of Fortune 500 companies.
Nationwide Insurance Rankings
Nationwide has better-than-average ratings compared to most other major car insurance companies in the United States. The company has fewer customer complaints than the median for auto, home, and life insurance products. Most ranking agencies also put Nationwide near the top of the list for claims satisfaction and customer service.
Here’s how J.D. Power ranked Nationwide in certain categories in the 2018 survey:
Insurance Shopping (Auto): About average
Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction: About average
Home Insurance: About average
Property Claims: About average
Life Insurance: Among the best
Nationwide also achieved a very strong rating from A.M. Best, which assesses the financial strength of insurance companies. The company received an “A+” or “Superior” rating from A.M. Best. That’s among the highest in the car insurance industry (many other major companies only score an A-). It indicates that Nationwide should have no trouble covering its liabilities or paying its claims.
What Makes Nationwide Insurance Unique?
Nationwide offers a number of unique features that distinguish it from other car insurance companies, including:
Mobile App: Nationwide, like most other major insurance companies in America, has a strong mobile app where you can manage your policy, start a claim, call for roadside assistance, and get proof-of-insurance cards. The app is available for iOS and Android.
Multiple Policies and Insurance Products: Nationwide is one of the few major car insurance companies that also sells home insurance and life insurance, making it easy to bundle multiple policies together for further discounts. If you want to buy a range of insurance products and save money on each one, then Nationwide may be the right choice.
Good Life Insurance: Nationwide offers a full suite of life insurance products, including 10, 15, 20, and 30 year term life insurance policies as well as whole life, universal life, and variable life insurance. Nationwide was ranked as one of the best life insurance companies in the United States in the recent J.D. Power rankings.
Good Home Insurance: Nationwide also offers high-quality home insurance products, including brand new belonging replacement (instead of actual cash value replacement), better roof replacement, water backup of sewer coverage, and valuables plus coverage, among other features.
Is Nationwide a Good Insurance Company? Our Review
Nationwide is generally ranked among the top major car insurance companies in the United States in terms of claims satisfaction and customer service. The company doesn’t quite touch the top of J.D. Power’s latest rankings, but it does have stronger scores than GEICO, Allstate, MetLife, American Family, Esurance, Progressive, Liberty Mutual, and other major insurance companies in the latest rankings. That being said, with a rating of 3 stars out of 5 overall, and 3 stars out of 5 for claims satisfaction, Nationwide certainly has room for improvement.
However, the companies at the top also charge some of the highest insurance premiums in the nation. Nationwide strikes a good balance between strong value and customer service without breaking the bank. In some states, it’s among the cheapest auto insurance providers.
Nationwide Auto Insurance Policies and Products
Nationwide offers a range of car insurance products similar to what you’ll find from other major insurers. Policies and products include all of the following:
SmartRide: Nationwide has a telematics driver tracking system called SmartRide. A device plugs into your car’s diagnostic port to track your driving behavior. It can track mileage, hard acceleration and braking, the times of day you drive, and more. Nationwide analyzes this data to determine your discount. Good drivers can save up to 40%. You also get a guaranteed discount just for installing the telematics device.
On Your Side Review: Nationwide provides a free assessment called “On Your Side”. This assessment takes place every year or after a major life event (like getting married). Nationwide agents will help you determine whether your insurance policies are right for you, then go over any available discounts.
Accident Forgiveness: Nationwide will not increase your rates after a single at-fault accident. However, this is not available in every state, and Nationwide will only forgive one accident per policy.
Vanishing Deductible: This program is optional but allows you to reduce your deductible for every year of safe driving. For every year you go without an accident, your deductible drops $100, up to a reduction of $500.
Nationwide claims to be on your side. For the most part, this is true: Nationwide is ranked higher than many of its larger competitors in terms of customer service and claims satisfaction. Many people also appreciate that all of their insurance products can be bundled with a single company: you can get good home, life, and car insurance all under the Nationwide umbrella.