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Nationwide Home and Auto Insurance Review: From an Industry Expert on Home Insurance


Nearly a century ago, Nationwide began as a small mutual insurance company owned by Ohio farmers. Nationwide has since become a Fortune 500 company and is the 7th largest home insurer in the country. They sell a broad range of insurance products, including homeowners, car, condo, flood, earthquake, and pet insurance. Nationwide works with an extensive network of insurance agents to sell their insurance policies through all 50 US states.

The Protection

Nationwide is an expert at offering property and casualty coverage, from big-ticket items (e.g., homes, cars, boats, golf carts, and other toys) to very particular possessions close to your heart (e.g., pets, weddings, travel).

Homeowners Insurance Policy

The insurer sells home insurance policies for primary residences, second homes, and vacation homes. Basic coverage always includes standard protections for loss and damage caused by things like theft, liability lawsuits, and fire.

The Nationwide policy covers:

  1. House/Dwelling: Coverage for the structural parts of your home like the walls, roof, and permanent floor
     
  2. Personal property: Coverage for the contents of your home. That means coverage for personal belongings
     
  3. Other structures: Coverage for any outbuildings like detached garages, swimming pools, and sheds
     
  4. Liability: Coverage for accidents that happen to someone else while they’re at your residence
     
  5. Medical payments: Coverage for medical bills or funeral expenses of a guest on your property
     
  6. Loss of use: Coverage for when a policyholder must relocate temporarily -- only applies in a covered loss event, like a fire
     
  7. Credit card protection: Coverage for unauthorized transactions on your credit or debit cards

Nationwide adds extra coverage to their homeowners policies with other features like Brand New Belongings and Better Roof Replacement.

  • Brand New Belongings - Replacement Cost on Personal Property
     
  • Better Roof Replacement - Money towards a safer and more durable roofing material should their roof need replacing in a covered loss

You can also check out a list of optional Nationwide coverages that can be purchased: such as Identity Theft, Valuable Plus for high-value belongings, Water Backup, Earthquake, and Flood insurance. Replacement Cost Plus (aka Extended Replacement Cost) is a popular add-on as Nationwide will pay up to 50% more towards rebuilding your residence after a covered loss.

Nationwide sells optional add-on insurance for Theft Extension, Water Backup, and Earthquake.

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Homeowners Insurance Discounts

Nationwide customers may qualify for several discounts to help lower their overall home insurance premiums. The insurer offers the usual menu of discounts homeowner expect like Multi-Policy, Protective Device, and Claims Free. Nationwide insureds may qualify for:

  • Bundling Discount: As Nationwide is a package carrier, you can often get the most significant discounts by bundling your home and auto insurance together.
     
  • Home Renovation Credit: If you renovate your home’s systems for electric, plumbing, heating, or cooling, then expect a break in premium.
     
  • Home Purchase: If you purchased your residence within the last 12 months, Nationwide would give you a discount.
     
  • Gated Community: If your home is part of a gated community which requires all vehicles to enter through the main gate staffed with security guards, you’ll most likely get a premium price cut.
     
  • Roof Rating: You could receive a discount depending on the style and age of your roofing material.
     
  • Prior Insurance: If you’re a new client with Nationwide, you’ll probably get a discount based on how many years another insurer previously insured you.

Condo Insurance

Condo insurance is available from Nationwide to cover both the internal system and structures of your unit, as well as your personal belongings. Nationwide includes liability insurance for their condo owners, along with temporary housing coverage, should you need to relocate short-term because of covered damage.

The Carrier

Consistently deft management and flush sales have kept Nationwide in a stable industry position for over 90 years. The company continues to build its core book of property business while also partnering and investing with insurance tech startups. Nationwide is proud of its history but unafraid of getting involved in the latest and most innovative ways of executing insurance coverage.

Nationwide maintains solid service ratings. For example, the carrier has been accredited with BBB since 1955 and currently has an A+ consumer rating. Consumer Affairs gives the company a respectable 3.5/5.0-star satisfaction rating. The NAIC complaints reporting indicates that Nationwide homeowner insureds are overall pretty satisfied, far more than policyholders with other companies. The NAIC reports the average complaint index within the property industry is 1.00. A closer review shows that Nationwide home coverage is far exceeding those expectations: 0.38 (2019), 0.38 (2018), 0.76 (2017).

Nationwide’s strong financial performance shines in the following industry ratings:

  • Standard & Poor’s Financial Rating: A+ (since 2008)
  • Moody’s Financial Rating: A1 (since 2009)
  • AM Best Financial Rating:  A+ (since 2002)

Finally, the insurer offers the same online and mobile options as other property carriers. For instance, policyholders can quickly pay bills via the Nationwide website or free mobile app, by phone 1-888-891-0267, by texting PAY to 245569, or by snail mail.

The Claims

New claims can be reported quickly and efficiently 24/7 by doing any of the following:

  • Online Claims Portal
  • Using the Nationwide mobile app
  • Call 1-800-421-3535 and ask to speak with a Claims Representative

The company doesn’t have any specific claims guidelines or expectations published for the processing of a new loss. However, Nationwide does advise insureds that some claims can be settled over the phone while others will require an inspection and estimate. There’s very little negative feedback about the insurer, which seems to indicate they are doing something right when it comes to claims handling.

One thing to consider is Nationwide’s On Your Side Property Repair Network is available if you need help finding a contractor. Policyholders may also go with a contractor they already know and trust.
 
Where is Nationwide Insurance Available?


Nationwide State Coverage Map



The Conclusion

Nationwide’s CEO, Kirt Walker, ascended to his pivotal role just over one year ago. Mr. Walker took the steering wheel of a large insurance company, focused on property and casualty coverage, life insurance, and retirement savings with products available throughout all 50 states. Based on the company’s 2019 Annual Report, Nationwide is holding firm as the 7th largest homeowners insurer. Homeowners can work with a big pool of Nationwide agents, tap into the usual industry discounts and coverages, as well as access their policies or file claims through the carrier’s website or mobile app. Nationwide is a tried and true property carrier that will give you reliable coverage at an affordable rate.

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At your service,
Young Alfred

Disclosure: Nationwide is one of the many options Young Alfred offers for home insurance. Young Alfred did not receive any compensation or direction from Nationwide in writing this review.