Nationwide vs. Allstate – What’s Better for Car Insurance?

Last Updated on June 4, 2021

It’s difficult to choose the right automobile insurance provider; do you want to go with the cheapest insurance and sacrifice customer service, or do you want to pay more for better coverage and assistance? There are so many factors when it comes to choosing, and it can get confusing especially when you live in an area that has a wide variety of car insurance providers. There are a few things you need to consider along with cost, and looking up each company’s website to do some research can literally take days. Here a good part of the work will be done for you: Nationwide and Allstate will be compared and contrasted so that you can make the best choice for your insurance needs.

Nationwide vs. Allstate – What’s Better for Car Insurance?This article will look at company backgrounds, discounts available, and customer service so that you can decide if Nationwide or Allstate is the company for you.

Company Backgrounds

About Nationwide

The Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company in Ohio sold its first policy in 1926. Changing their name to Nationwide, they expanded their insurance offerings beyond automobile insurance and became a truly national company in the 1950s. In 1968, they were the very first insurance company to offer 24/7 service, which was revolutionary at the time. Nationwide is now a Fortune 100 company.

About Allstate

Allstate is a Fortune 500 company, originally founded in 1931 as part of Sears, Roebuck and Company. It became its own stand-alone company in the early 1990s. “Are you in good hands?” is their famous slogan, and Allstate can be found in all 50 states as well as Canada.  They are also known for their television commercials which feature a character named Mayhem, who represents different calamities.

Geographical Coverage and Languages

As mentioned above, Allstate is available in all 50 states. Nationwide is not available in Hawaii, Alaska, or Louisiana.

Interestingly, Allstate can be found in Canada, where their website has English, French, and Chinese versions. The US website is written in English and Spanish.

Nationwide’s internet presence appears to be in English only.

Discounts Offered – Nationwide vs. Allstate

Similar Discounts at Both Insurers

Anti-theft device: Nationwide and Allstate will give you a discount if you have an approved theft prevention device installed in your car.  Examples include wheel locks, steering wheel locks, and alarms.

Multiple policies: You’ll be rewarded with substantial savings at both companies if you bundle your home insurance with your car insurance, or if you insure multiple cars. Along with economizing, it’ll make the paperwork a lot easier.

Good student: If you’re under a certain age and still going to school, college, or university, you get a discount if you have good grades. Nationwide requires a B average, while Allstate requires a B- or 2.7 GPA. However, you’ll still get a good student discount with Allstate if you complete the teenSMART driver education program, or attend a school that is at least 100 miles away from where your car is stored.

Automatic bank payments: When you sign up for automatic electronic bank payments, Nationwide and Allstate will further reduce your insurance cost.

Paperless: This discount is applied if you ask for your documentation to be sent electronically. You’ll help save the environment while you save a bit of money – and both insurers are happy to provide paperless service.

Safe driving:  Allstate has a safe driving club, and if you meet the requirements, your insurance premiums will go down dramatically. An agent will give you more details. Nationwide has several safe driving incentives, including Accident-Free, Defensive Driving, and Safe Driver discounts. To qualify for the Defensive Driving discount, you’ll need to be over 55 years old and complete a certified, approved defensive driving course.

Pay-per-mile:  If you’re looking to keep your costs to an absolute minimum and don’t drive much, Nationwide offers a SmartMiles program, and Allstate offers MileWise. While the details are not available online, some insurance agencies will require you to keep track of your mileage with an app downloaded to your phone, or manually by writing down the difference in mileage between maintenance appointments.

Driving habits:  A substantial discount applies if you don’t mind a monitoring device installed on your car. SmartRide is the Nationwide program, and Allstate’s is called DriveWise. Basically, a program monitors your safety habits while driving. The better you drive, the better your discount.

Unique Discounts

Nationwide Discounts

Affinity discount: If you belong to a qualifying organization, such as a community group, a sports group, a professional group, or an alumni association, your premium will be cheaper.

Learn more about Nationwide’s Discounts here.

Allstate Discounts

New car discount: Are you the first owner of a current year model vehicle or last year’s model? Because new cars are considered safer, you’ll save.

Anti-lock brake discount: Safe cars cause fewer accidents, and anti-lock brakes are a good safety feature that will earn you a further discount.

Responsible payer discount: This is one of the easiest discounts to qualify for: if you didn’t get a non-payment cancellation notice in the previous twelve months, you’ll get a reduction on your premium.

Early Signing discount:  To obtain this price reduction, you need to sign your policy at least 7 days ahead of time, before the policy becomes effective.

FullPay discount: Like many other insurance companies, at Allstate, if you pay in full upfront, you’ll pay less than if you pay in monthly installments.

Learn more about Allstate’s Discounts here.

Other Information About Allstate and Nationwide

Allstate and Nationwide appear to go out of their way to ensure their customers get the best deals on their insurance policies. Allstate offers a sort of tailor-made insurance; when you speak with an agent, they’ll go through all of the policies and determine which discounts you qualify for. This means you won’t have to do the legwork yourself.

Nationwide has a program that is quite similar; however, it only applies if you are already a customer. OnYourSide is a process in which an agent helps you review your policies to see if there are ways to improve your coverage or to keep your costs down. This might help you discover discounts you didn’t think you qualified for.

Customer Service

As mentioned earlier, Allstate provides services in English and Spanish, while in Canada, services are in English, French, and Chinese.  Nationwide appears to only have English-languages services available.

Reviews for Allstate vary: while customer service gets a nod, the claims payments can be tricky. Nationwide, on the other hand, is known for quick claims payments and is solid in the customer service department.

Finally, as far as customer service is concerned, both companies serve the continental United States, but Nationwide does not have a presence in Louisiana.

The Verdict – Nationwide vs. Allstate

Allstate and Nationwide are good, dependable choices for insuring your automobile. You get solid insurance with companies that have been around a long time. Similar discounts are offered, and there are similar programs to help you determine what price reductions you qualify for. In all, if English is your first language or if you’re fluent in English, either company will do the job nicely.

However, if you don’t feel comfortable buying something as important as an insurance policy in English, you might want to try Allstate.  Even if their claims payouts take more time, it may be worth it so that you can get a policy that suits your needs best.

For more information, visit the Nationwide and Allstate websites.

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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