Buying a new house is like a honeymoon. But when the honeymoon’s over? Sewers burst. Fires happen. Burglars steal. We know this because one in 20 policyholders in the U.S. filed a claim last year.1 Nationwide fielded quite a few of them.
Despite its name, Nationwide isn’t actually “nationwide.” If you like what you read here, then your first step is to check availability in your area (see below for more on that). But what it lacks in geographic coverage, Nationwide makes up for with stand-out basic protections and budget premiums. At least that’s the word on the street.
I spent a while getting to know Nationwide’s rates and coverages, discounts, customer experience, and availability so I could see firsthand if one of the oldest home insurers in the nation lived up to its reputation.
Did You Know: Nationwide entered the market in 1926 as Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. It was based in Ohio and, as the name implies, insured local farmers.
The first thing I do when I’m exploring a potential long-term relationship with an entity that’s going to be in charge of protecting my property, my stuff, and anyone who happens to be on my property using my stuff? I check out its coverages, line by line.
Here’s how Nationwide looks under the hood, starting with standard protections — i.e., coverage that comes with my basic HO-3 policy.
Every Nationwide home policy includes five basic coverages.
FYI: Figures vary, but no less than 75 percent of us have some form of home insurance. Yet only 30 percent of us open our policies to familiarize ourselves with their contents.2
I would need to pay extra for these coverages, or endorsements.
Important: Inflation protection is included in basic Nationwide policies. It will offset rising construction prices if you build in the future.
Nationwide has one of the quickest, most granular, and least invasive online quote widgets I’ve ever used, so I recommend giving it a spin before you jump on the phone. I requested a quote for a $250,000 home in the Columbus, Ohio, area with Better Roof Replacement and Brand New Belongings coverage so I wouldn’t have to dig into my pockets if my stuff got damaged or lost.
Because inflation protection came with my Nationwide policy, I didn’t opt for additional dwelling replacement coverage. I did insure myself for weather damage with an extra 0.5 percent deductible. Here’s what my Nationwide quote looked like:
Important: The lower your deductible, the higher your monthly premium. With Nationwide’s weather damage coverage, my premium would have dropped to $84 per month if I’d taken out a 5 percent deductible. But then I would have been responsible for up to $12,500 of wind or hail damage. No, thanks.
At $111 per month, Nationwide’s rates are just a bit over the national average. But this is only one scenario with some add-ons you may not need. Clipping off one or two extra coverages on this list would have lowered my premium substantially. I could also have saved up to 20 percent by bundling my Nationwide homeowners and auto insurance.
|Type of Coverage||Amount of Coverage|
|Loss of use||Up to $250,000|
|Medical payments to others||$2,000 per person|
|Replacement cost plus||No|
|Better Roof Replacement||Yes|
|Brand New Belongings||Yes|
|Smart home program||No|
|Wind and hail deductible||0.5%|
*Covers up to 10% of my property coverage, or $25,000, to offset future costs of rebuilding to code.
The average home in the U.S. costs around $250,000, but yours may not. Below are some estimates of your Nationwide homeowners insurance premium if your house costs more.
|Home Value||Estimated Monthly Rate|
J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Home Insurance Study shows Nationwide ranking 16th out of 22 providers in overall customer satisfaction. Not very encouraging. However, in property claims satisfaction — where we need our insurers the most — Nationwide climbed all the way up to fifth place.3 Between a subpar customer experience and an efficiently resolved claim, I’m firmly in the quick claim camp.
Did You Know: Wondering who was at the top of J.D. Power’s Property Claims Satisfaction survey? It was MetLife (now Farmers). Check out where else Farmers scored big customer points in our hands-on Farmers home insurance review.
All home insurers throw some discounts into the pot to sweeten the deal. Nationwide offers quite a few.
Did You Know: Nearly 60% of homeowners who installed a smart home product such as a doorbell camera say it’s helped prevent property damage.4
Nationwide writes in most states, and it’s nothing personal in the states it doesn’t. Extreme weather is the most common reason for an insurer to balk at covering an area. Rest assured, you will find coverage. You can start by checking out your state Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) office.
FYI: FAIR plans have been around since the 1960s. The policies you get from FAIR insurance pools will be more expensive than private insurance, but coverage is guaranteed.
|Provider||Lemonade||Liberty Mutual||Nationwide||Progressive||State Farm|
|Availability||22 states||50 states||44 states||Most states||48 states|
|BBB rating||Not rated yet||B||A+||A-||A-|
|Years in business||6||110||95||85||99|
My Nationwide quote was only a few dollars over the national average, even with extra coverage for my roof and belongings. The option to customize my plan quickly online saved me plenty of time. In less than 10 minutes, I had a draft of my policy with everything I wanted and zero bloat.
When I needed a hand, I had plenty of Nationwide agents — 42 in my area alone — to choose from, and the added peace of mind that I’d be dealing with an insurer ranked in the top five in the nation for claims settlements if I ever had a claim to file.
Did You Know: We always try to give our readers the clearest picture possible of the policies we test, but home insurance can still feel like a foreign language. For a crash course in language you can understand, check out our Homeowners Insurance Buyer’s Guide.
I get that I’d need to pay a little extra to cover myself if I ever rebuilt my home to code, but I really didn’t like having to pay an extra deductible for weather damage. That was my only real beef with Nationwide. It drove my bill up by more than $25 per month, which isn’t peanuts. On the bright side, at $111 per month with the deductible, my premium was still nothing to complain about.
Nationwide’s pet policies start at $35 per month. That’s $7 less than the national average, according to the ASPCA.5 If you still think that’s a chunk, I assure you it’s nothing compared to an unexpected $5,000 medical bill.
Bundling home and auto insurance is always more economical. Nationwide offers some stand-out perks with its auto coverage that I really liked, such as accident forgiveness, an add-on that preemptively locks my rate against any future accidents I may have.
This is for the worst-case scenario, where my HO-3 liability limit doesn’t come close to covering me for a serious accident on my property. If you’re considering an umbrella policy, this would definitely be a conversation to have with your lawyer.
FYI: Insured pets surged from 2.5 million in 2019 to 3.1 million in 2020. One reason for that huge increase is simply that pets are living longer and many households can’t cover medical expenses without insurance.
It’s always nice to find a policy that feels like a good deal — auto, home, or life. My Nationwide home insurance policy came at the right price, but I could also set it up exactly the way I wanted. If you appreciate customizable plans as much as I do, you’ll probably like Nationwide too.
Getting an online quote was super quick and painless. The quote I got — $111 and change per month — meant Nationwide was going to replace my belongings at cost, help me rebuild my house to code with a better roof (if I ever needed one), and protect me against rising construction costs with inflation protection.
Considering all that good stuff, can I forgive Nationwide for making me pay more for weather damage coverage? I’m leaning toward yes.
Filing a claim with Nationwide is easy. You can do it either online via the company’s claims portal or by phone via its toll-free number.
No, you can’t cancel your Nationwide policy online at this time.
Try its online quote builder. It’s great. If you need further assistance, then you can always reach out to an agent in your area.
Nationwide’s policies are affordable, but it’s almost impossible to compare apples to apples with home insurance. Premiums depend not only on where you live, but also on what kinds of additional coverage you want or are willing to pay for.
Yes, for Androids and iPhones. The Nationwide app lets you make payments, file claims, check the status of your claims, and order roadside assistance.
Insurance Information Institute. (2020). Facts + Statistics: Homeowners and renters insurance.
Business Wire. (2020, November 24). Study Finds Only 30% of American Homeowners Know What Their Home Insurance Policy Covers.
J.D. Power. (2021, February 25). Surge in Digital Home Insurance Claims during COVID-19 Drives Faster Cycle Times and Improved Customer Satisfaction, J.D. Power Finds.
J.D. Power. (2021, September 21). Home Insurers Struggle with Customer Loyalty as Boomers Flock to Rental Market, J.D. Power Finds.
ASPCA. (2021). Cutting Pet Care Costs.
National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2021, August 25). Pet Insurance.
As Managing Editor for SafeHome.org, Rob Gabriele has written and edited over 1,000 articles in home security. His expertise is in smart home automation and home protection with thousands of hours of testing and research under his belt. Formerly a reporter and producer for the USAToday network, Rob has been a writer and editor for over 10 years. He holds a Master’s of Science with an emphasis on writing from the University of Montana, and he currently lives in the Reno/Tahoe area of Nevada.