Nationwide vs. USAA Car Insurance (2021)

Our Nationwide vs. USAA car insurance guide will help you decide between two great companies when taking into consideration your unique factors such as age, driving record, and credit score. USAA’s rates are cheaper than Nationwide on all of our comparison points, but Nationwide has a wider variety of discounts.

Are you looking for free insurance quotes?

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

Full Bio →

Written by

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by insurance experts.

The Highlights

  • USAA has cheaper auto insurance rates than Nationwide; however, USAA offers auto insurance only to active, inactive, and retired military members and their immediate family members
  • Nationwide has an impressive number of discounts and substantial savings of up to 40 percent
  • USSA auto insurance for teen drivers is 21 percent cheaper than Nationwide
  • Nationwide drivers that get traffic violations will have an increase in rates, but not as harshly as USSA’s increases

We all need to take every opportunity to save money, and car insurance is no exception. It’s a flooded market, and you’ve done some research, but now you’re down to the remaining two: Nationwide vs. USAA car insurance.

Nationwide and USAA are two of the top 10 best car insurance companies, but how do they compare when it comes to rates, discounts, consumer satisfaction and complaints, mobile apps, and financial strength?

USSA’s auto insurance rates are cheaper than Nationwide’s auto insurance rates through all of our comparison points.

However, USAA offers auto insurance only to active, inactive, and retired military members and their immediate family members, so you may not qualify for their car insurance programs.

Before you jump into this Nationwide vs. USAA car insurance review, or enter your ZIP code to start comparing multiple companies in your local area.

Is Nationwide or USAA car insurance cheaper based on age?

It’s completely fair for car insurance companies to base rates on your age. After all, the more experience driving we have, the better drivers we become. Some states will also base your car insurance rates on gender and/or marital status, though several states have outlawed this practice.

See below for USAA and Nationwide car insurance quotes based on age.

Nationwide vs. USAA Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Age, Gender, and Marital Status
Age, Gender, and Marital StatusNationwide Average Annual RatesUSAA Average Annual Rates
Single 17-year-old female$5,756$4,808
Single 17-year-old male$7,175$5,386
Single 25-year-old female$2,686$1,989
Single 25-year-old male$2,889$2,126
Married 35-year-old female$2,360$1,551
Married 35-year-old male$2,387$1,540
Married 60-year-old female$2,130$1,450
Married 60-year-old male$2,215$1,449
Get Your Rates Quote Now

Compare RatesStart Now →

USAA’s auto insurance rates are 31 percent cheaper than Nationwide’s auto insurance rates for drivers 25 and older.

Coming in at 21 percent cheaper than Nationwide, USAA is the better choice if you have a teen driver on your policy.

Your one-stop online insurance guide. Get free quotes now!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is Nationwide or USAA car insurance cheaper based on driving record?

Speeding tickets, accidents, DUIs, and other traffic violations will increase your Nationwide and USAA car insurance rates.

Nationwide vs. USAA Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Driving Record
InfractionNationwide Average Annual RatesUSAA Average Annual Rates
Clean record$2,746$1,934
With one speeding violation$3,114$2,193
With one accident$3,397$2,516
With one DUI$4,543$3,506
Get Your Rates Quote Now

Compare RatesStart Now →

No matter what type of driving record you have, USAA will have cheaper car insurance rates than Nationwide.

However, USSA is more forgiving with their customers if they cause an accident while under their policy. If you cause an accident while with USSA, expect your rates to increase by 30 percent.

Getting a speeding ticket will increase your USAA auto insurance rates by 13 percent, and if you get a DUI, your rates will increase by more than 80 percent.

Nationwide and USAA increase their rates by the same amount if you get a speeding ticket: 13 percent. But, if cause an accident while with Nationwide, your rates will increase by 24 percent, which is less than USAA will increase your rates (30 percent).

Both USAA and Nationwide take DUIs very seriously, but Nationwide will increase your rates by 65 percent compared to USAA’s 81 percent.

Is Nationwide or USAA car insurance cheaper based on credit score?

Just like gender and marital status, more states are outlawing car insurance rates based on credit score.

Your credit score is a strong reflection of your consistency with paying your bills, but the reason it is being outlawed is that rates quoted by insurance companies assume those with higher credit scores are better drivers.

Nationwide vs. USAA Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Credit History
Credit ScoreNationwide Average Annual RatesUSAA Average Annual Rates
Good Credit (670-739)$2,926$1,821
Fair Credit Score (580-669)$3,255$2,220
Poor Credit Score (300-579)$4,083$3,691
Get Your Rates Quote Now

Compare RatesStart Now →

USAA car insurance quotes are cheaper than Nationwide car insurance rates if you have bad credit.

Expect to pay more than twice as much as drivers with good credit with USSA, but only 40 percent more with Nationwide.

A drop in credit score could increase your car insurance rates, so be sure to keep an eye on your rate when it’s time to renew your six-month policy.

Use your Nationwide insurance login or USAA login to make temporary adjustments to your coverage levels and deductibles while you work to improve your credit score. Otherwise, it may be a good opportunity to see what other car insurance companies have to offer.

Where you live is the biggest factor in determining your car insurance rates because of state laws. Be sure to check your state car insurance guide before judging Nationwide and USAA car insurance rates by credit score.

Does Nationwide or USAA have better car insurance discounts?

Each company has its selling point, and sometimes that comes down to who has the best discount that applies to your specific situation. Is it easier to find affordable Nationwide car insurance or affordable USAA car insurance? Read on.

Nationwide vs. USAA Car Insurance Discounts
DiscountsNationwide Discounts Offered (Percentage)USAA Discounts Offered (Percentage)
Anti-lock Brakes5N/A
Anti-Theft25N/A
Claim Free1012
Daytime Running Lights5N/A
Defensive Driver53
Driver's EdN/A3
Driving Device/App405
Early Signing812
Family LegacyN/A10
Further Education15N/A
Garaging/StoringN/A90
Good Student103
Membership/Group7N/A
Military GaragingN/A15
Multiple Policies10N/A
Multiple Vehicles20N/A
Newer VehicleN/A12
Occupation15N/A
Paperless/Auto Billing303
Safe Driver3512
Students & Alumni7N/A
Vehicle Recovery25N/A
Young DriverN/A75
Get Your Rates Quote Now

Compare RatesStart Now →

When comparing all discounts that either company offers, Nationwide has a total of 17 auto insurance discounts while USAA has only 13 discounts.

USSA doesn’t have as many or as high discounts, but their absolute best car insurance discounts are 75 percent for young drivers and 90 percent for garaging your vehicle while deployed.

Nationwide can’t compete with 75 and 90 percent, but you can still save between 25 and 40 percent for being a safe driver, having an anti-theft or vehicle recovery system in your car, getting paperless bills, using autopay, or using their driving app or driving device.

Your one-stop online insurance guide. Get free quotes now!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What types of auto insurance coverages are offered by Nationwide and USAA?

Since both Nationwide and USAA are two of the companies that hold the majority of the market share, they will offer many different types of coverages, and that includes the basic six list below:

  • Liability auto insurance coverage – bodily injury and property damage
  • Comprehensive auto insurance coverage
  • Collision auto insurance coverage
  • Uninsured/Underinsured auto insurance coverage
  • Medical Payments (MedPay) auto insurance coverage – particularly important in states that require no-fault auto insurance
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) auto insurance coverage

Other optional coverages may include rental reimbursement, roadside assistance, guaranteed auto protection (GAP), mechanical breakdown, and recreational vehicles such as ATVs or boats. Also, be sure to check out Nationwide pet insurance and Nationwide retirement.

Does Nationwide or USAA have better car insurance mobile apps?

Most of the top 10 car insurance companies have mobile apps to access policy information and/or make payments and a separate mobile app that tracks your driving habits (usage-based car insurance).

Read about Nationwide’s SmartRide and compare it to USAA’s SafePilot usage-based car insurance app highlighted in our USAA company review.

How does Nationwide and USAA car insurance compare in financial strength and customer satisfaction?

Reviewing ratings from three different agencies will provide you with a good picture of how a car insurance company works with its consumers, handles complaints, and their overall financial strength.

A.M. Best scores companies based on their ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations such as balancing premiums collected and claims paid. The highest score A.M. Best awards is Superior A++.

Consumer Reports collects annual data from its subscribers regarding customer satisfaction of the claims process, step by step. In their 2017 survey, 27 insurance companies were rated, and scores ranged between 86 to 96.

And the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) calculates a complaint ratio based on total number of customers against total number of complaints. In 2017, the national average complaint ratio was 1. The lower the ratio, the better.

Nationwide vs. USAA Company Ratings
Rating AgencyNationwideUSAA
AM Best RatingA+A++
Consumer Reports8895
NAIC Company Complaint Ratio0.280.74
NAIC Total Complaints25296
Get Your Rates Quote Now

Compare RatesStart Now →

Nationwide and USSA both have excellent marks from external financial rating agencies. In fact, USAA holds the highest score from A.M. Best.

Still not sure if you should buy Nationwide car insurance or buy USAA car insurance?

USAA has one of the best scores for customer satisfaction through the claims process, but Nationwide customer service is still good because their score floats around the same scores for other large car insurance companies.

Both USAA and Nationwide have reasonable complaint ratios.

Now that you’ve finished this Nationwide vs. USAA car insurance review, you can always use our FREE comparison tool to compare car insurance of companies in your area.

Are you looking for free insurance quotes?

Your one-stop online insurance guide. Get free quotes now!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption