Does Nationwide’s SmartRide Really Save You Money?

Last Updated on July 18, 2020

When you pay monthly for auto insurance, you want to save as much as possible. After all, who would want to overpay for insurance? More companies are offering ways to save, including safe driver programs. These programs don’t take your word for it, however. Instead, they monitor your driving using their proprietary method, and depending on the data they collect; they will reduce your premiums, deductibles, or another portion of your insurance policy so that you can save more money each year.

Nationwide recently jumped aboard the savings idea by releasing their SmartRide service. SmartRide gets accurate information on usage, but also your driving habits, which help them pinpoint if you are worthy of discounts.

What is the SmartRide Program?

nationwide smartride saves you moneySmartRide is your usage-based insurance option. Instead of just saying you drive 10,000 miles per year, the company will track it themselves to find out how much you genuinely drive. According to the company’s website, you could save an instantaneous 10% just for signing up. From there, you can earn up to 40% – depending on the data collected.

When you sign up through your portal online, the company mails a device to your home that you need to install in your primary vehicle – and you only have ten days to do so. You will have instructions on how to install it, and then you can also pair it with your smartphone’s app to track your personalized feedback and data collected by the Nationwide team.

The discounts are tracked and updated weekly in your feedback report, and you keep the device in your car for 4 to 6 months. Your final deduction is calculated at your next renewal period.

What Does SmartRide Track to Calculate My Discount?

SmartRide does more than just calculate how many miles you drive daily; it also tracks and monitors driving behaviors to see if you are a safe driver or a hazardous one. Some of the data collected by SmartRide includes:

  • How Many Miles You Really Drive: You might have said you drive 12,000 miles per year, but after tracking, the system may let you know that you would average more like 15,000. Other times, it can notify you that you would drive less. It is hard for someone to truly estimate how many miles they drive each year, which is why this device can be beneficial. It tracks how much you drive each day and then reports that average to Nationwide. The fewer miles you drive, the less you will pay – because of fewer risks for collisions.
  • How often You Hard Brake in Your Vehicle: Hard brakes mean that you stopped suddenly when driving more than 7.7 miles per hour, hard braking is a sign of an incautious driver, at least to insurance companies. They may assume you are tailgating the vehicle ahead of you, or that you come to sudden stops rather than gradually slowing down at red lights and stop signs – which puts you at higher risk for a rear-end collision.
  • How Often You Drive During the Danger Hours: Certain hours are a higher risk of severe accidents, especially from midnight into 5:00 am. Therefore, the system will track how often you are in the danger zone, and that will affect the discount you receive.
  • How Often You Speed Up too Quickly: Fast acceleration moments, outside of getting up to speed on the highway are also considered. It often means you are overly aggressive about your driving – and a higher risk factor for accidents.

Is Nationwide SmartRide Worth Trying?

There is no risk for using the device, and if you want to save money on your insurance premiums, you might as well try Nationwide’s SmartRide if you are a member. Nationwide has an excellent reputation for how they handle their customers and the discounts they offer. They also know that they should keep safe drivers, which means they are always willing to reward safe drivers with the best discounts possible.

You can save up to 40% off your premium with SmartRide, which is a significant saving. Therefore, you should do everything you can to lower your premium, so you don’t overpay for coverage. Even if you don’t get 40%, anything is better than nothing.

When you compare SmartRide to other insurance company programs like this, they are very competitive; so, it is definitely worth it if you are a Nationwide customer already. Do not forget to talk to Nationwide about other ways you can save that you might not be using, like multiple policy discounts, defensive driver courses, and student discounts.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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