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

Last Updated on May 21, 2021

If you’re reading this, you’re looking for car insurance and you’re not really sure what company you want to go with because there are so many choices out there. While you can read reviews about insurance companies, you can never be sure if the reviews are honest. So how do you choose? By learning as much as you can before buying a policy. Here, we’ll give you the low-down on two companies and compare what they have to offer so that you can narrow the field and select an insurer who suits your needs best. This article will compare and contrast two of the larger car insurance companies in the country; Nationwide and GEICO.

About Nationwide and GEICO


Nationwide vs. GEICO – What’s Better for Car Insurance?Selling their first policy as the Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company in 1926, Nationwide began expanding into more and more states, eventually changing the company’s name and selling more types of insurance in the mid-1950s. Interestingly, Nationwide was the first among insurance providers to offer 24/7 service, way back in 1968.


The second-largest insurance company in the United States was founded in 1936 as the Government Employees Insurance Company. GEICO presently deals with customers via phone and internet and is possibly one of the most well-known companies due to its strong advertising presence featuring a charming gecko reptile.

Nationwide vs. GEICO Coverage Availability

Nationwide offers automobile coverage in all of the continental United States, except for Louisiana. Nationwide car insurance is also not available in Alaska or Hawaii. Some states are also excluded from home insurance; this must be kept in mind if you’re looking to bundle your policies.

GEICO is available in all 50 states, simplifying matters.

Neither company provides auto insurance in Puerto Rico.

Nationwide vs. GEICO Discounts

Discounts Offered by Both Companies

Multipolicy: Nationwide and GEICO both offer discounts if you bundle your car insurance with other types of insurance. However, if you’re with Nationwide, you might not be able to insure your home in some states. GEICO also has a multivehicle discount available if you want to insure more than one automobile.

“Smart” policies: Nationwide gives discounts to customers who sign up for SmartRide and SmartMiles. SmartRide includes plugging in a device that makes safer driving suggestions, and SmartMiles is basically a pay-per-mile type of policy: if you drive less, you pay less. GEICO has its own pay-per-mile program called DriveEasy.

Anti-theft discount: GEICO and Nationwide will give discounts if your car is equipped with specific anti-theft devices. Nationwide requires proof of installation for the discount to be applied. GEICO’s discount in this department is a substantial 25%.

Safe driving discounts: Safety is a major concern for all insurance companies; GEICO and Nationwide offer more safe driving-type discounts than some other insurers. Both companies offer

The conditions for these discounts differ slightly; however, GEICO’s safe driving discounts can add up to more than 26% off your policy.

Good student discount: Getting good grades pays off with Nationwide and GEICO; in some cases, you can get a 15% discount.

Nationwide-Specific Discounts

Easy-pay sign-up discount: If you set up automatic payments from your bank account, you’ll get a one-time cost reduction.

Affinity member discount: If you belong to a qualifying community organization, such as a professional group, sports group, alumni association, or special interest group, you could get a discount.

On Your Side Reviews:  n agent will periodically review your policy to ensure that you get all the discounts you are entitled to. This appears to be a unique service to Nationwide and can be very useful when it comes to saving as much as possible.

Finally, Nationwide also offers a discount on your policy premium if you decide to go paperless.

GEICO-Specific Discounts

The company is big on automobile and driver safety, and its rewards for safe conditions are considerable. The safety discounts include:

Airbag discount: You can qualify for a 25-40% discount if you’ve got airbags in your car.

Anti-lock brakes discount: GEICO will take another 5% off the price of your policy if you’ve got the right kind of brakes.

Daytime running lights discount: 1% might seem like it’s not much, but at the end of the year, the daytime running light discount a substantial amount of money.

Seatbelt use discount: A discount of up to 15% might apply.

New vehicle discount: According to GEICO, new cars are safer on the roads, so they’ll give you a discount of 15%.

Further discounts at GEICO include Emergency Deployment, Federal Employee (Eagle) Membership and Employee, and Military.

Nationwide vs. GEICO Customer Service

One of the most difficult parts of purchasing an insurance policy is negotiating a price or learning what discounts you are eligible for. For some, it can be quite nerve-wracking, especially if the agent seems to be less than forthcoming with information. This step of the process can be costly if mistakes are made.

In Nationwide’s favor is their On Your Side review service, which assists customers. However, when purchasing a policy, a client has to deal with an agent and must speak with a representative to know how much the discounts are.

With GEICO, their customer service model appears to be more online and on the phone: a client doesn’t need to speak to a representative, and all the information about discounts and percentages are right there on the website. This eliminates the need to speak with an agent and negotiate. For those who are anxious about negotiating or demanding discounts they’re entitled to, this can be seen as a relief. The entire process becomes far easier. However, online transactions lack the human touch, and speaking with a good agent can sometimes bring about some fantastic benefits- such as answering questions that aren’t dealt with on the website’s FAQ section.

And finally, when it comes to customer service, GEICO has a wider coverage, while Nationwide has some gaps in geographical coverage that can make policy bundling impossible, which can drive up the cost of insurance in some cases.

The Verdict – GEICO vs. Nationwide

It’s hard to say which automobile insurance is better –both companies are solid options when it comes to insuring your vehicle. With that being said, if you’re in a state where Nationwide only offers automobile insurance but not home insurance, you might be far better off with GEICO if you want an insurance bundle.

If you’re looking for the cheapest possible insurance but don’t want a pay-per-mile option limiting your driving distances, GEICO might be the choice for you as they offer more discounts to more people.

But, if you are looking for a more personalized service where you get more rewards for smart, safe driving practices, Nationwide might be the provider to go with.

In all, both insurance companies offer great value for money, and the best policy for you depends on where you live, what your driving habits are, and whether you prefer speaking face-to-face with an agent or just getting it all done online. As always, get informed: knowledge pays in more ways than one! To get more information, visit the Nationwide and GEICO websites and see what works best for you.

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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