Nationwide vs AAA

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Nationwide Insurance was founded in 1926 and is based in Columbus, Ohio. The company sells insurance in all 50 states and Washington D.C. through an extensive network of agents. As of 2021, Nationwide holds 2.32% in private passenger auto insurance market share, making it the eighth-largest provider in the United States.

AAA Insurance, also known as the American Automobile Association, is the eleventh-largest private passenger auto insurance company, with 1.43% of the total market share. The company was founded in 1902 and has headquarters in Heathrow, Florida.

Nationwide vs AAA: car insurance rates comparison

Nationwide and AAA vary significantly in terms of their third-party reviews. Nationwide has stronger ratings overall and has much lower premiums on average than AAA. The table below includes a more detailed breakdown of third-party ratings and average premiums for Nationwide vs. AAA. We include scores from AM Best for financial strength, J.D. Power for auto claims customer satisfaction, and our proprietary Bankrate Score out of 5.0 points, based on performance across these key factors.

Car insurance company Bankrate Score AM Best J.D. Power Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Nationwide 4.3 A+ 876/1,000 $501 $1,485
AAA 3.8 A- 858/1,000 $602 $1,990

Rates by credit score

When you apply for a car insurance policy, the insurance provider may run your credit and use your score to determine your rate. The use of credit depends on the specific provider and your state, as car insurance carriers in Hawaii, California, Washington, and Massachusetts are not legally allowed to consider your credit when calculating your rate. The following table highlights national average car insurance premiums for Nationwide vs. AAA for drivers based on credit score.

Car insurance company Poor Average Good Excellent
Nationwide $1,924 $1,577 $1,485 $1,269
AAA $3,706 $2,146 $2,003 $1,645

Rates by age

Young drivers typically pay the highest car insurance rates due to lack of driving experience, but AAA’s average premiums for newly licensed drivers are much more expensive on average than the rates from Nationwide. Car insurance premiums usually start to decrease once a driver reaches their mid-twenties. The table below shows the average full coverage premiums from AAA vs. Nationwide based on age.

Car insurance company Age 16* Age 18 Age 25 Age 30 Age 40 Age 60
Nationwide $1,241 $4,449 $1,668 $1,479 $1,485 $1,243
AAA $3,210 $5,446 $2,317 $2,034 $2,003 $1,808

*16 year old cost when added to parents’ policy, 18-year-old renter

Rates by driving record

If you have negative marks on your driving record, like a speeding ticket, accident or DUI conviction, you could face a higher car insurance rate due to being a high-risk driver. When comparing Nationwide vs. AAA, our sample rates indicate that AAA is a more expensive option on average for drivers with a history of violations. Below are the average rates from each company based on driving record.

Car insurance company Clean driving record Speeding ticket Accident DUI conviction
Nationwide $1,485 $1,734 $1,745 $2,665
AAA $2,003 $2,817 $2,819 $5,131

Nationwide vs AAA: discounts

Nationwide and AAA both offer car insurance discounts that could help policyholders get a lower rate. However, each company offers different savings opportunities. Here are how some of the discounts available differ from Nationwide vs. AAA:

Nationwide

  • SmartRide discount — Drivers who sign up for Nationwide’s SmartRide safe driver discount program could save up to 10% when they enroll and up to 40% for practicing safe driving habits.
  • Multi-policy discount — Nationwide customers could save an average of $646 on their insurance premium when they bundle their auto and home insurance.
  • SmartMiles discount — Through Nationwide’s SmartMiles program, infrequent drivers may get a lower premium based on the number of miles they drive each year.

AAA

  • AAA member discount — You may qualify for a discounted car insurance premium if you have an active AAA membership,
  • Quote in advance discount — Drivers who switch car insurance companies may get a discount from AAA if they get a quote more than seven days before the policy’s start date.
  • Good student discount — Students in high school and college could earn a lower car insurance rate if they maintain a set minimum GPA in school.

Nationwide vs AAA: online and mobile experience comparison

Nationwide and AAA both have good online experiences. In particular, Nationwide offers a variety of online tools, resources and articles, which can be helpful for first-time auto insurance buyers. Because AAA has a different website for each state or region, the online experiences are not uniform and some states may have a smoother online experience than others.

Additionally, Nationwide and AAA offer free mobile apps for policyholders. Overall, Nationwide has a more useful app for insurance purposes as AAA’s app does not include any insurance-related features. Below is a comparison of the AAA and Nationwide mobile apps:

Nationwide

  • App Store (4.4) — Through Nationwide’s iOS app, users can download their ID cards, file a claim, track the status of an existing claim, request roadside assistance, find vehicle repair shops in their area and get connected to customer service.
  • Google Play (4) — Nationwide’s Android app has all the same features that are found in the iOS app. However, the Android app has a lower rating, with some users complaining about bugs and issues logging in.

AAA

  • App Store (4.2) — AAA’s iOS app has good ratings, but there are no insurance-related features. Users are not able to view policy information, file a claim or get ID cards. However, the app does have some good features, including the ability to request roadside assistance, search for hotels and gas stations nearby and reserve a rental car.
  • Google Play (4.1) — If you own an Android device, you can download the AAA app and get the same features as the iOS app. The app has good reviews overall, but some users have said that the app is slow to load, while others have cited issues when requesting roadside assistance services.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

The best car insurance company is different for every driver. It may depend on your budget, where you live, what discounts you qualify for, what coverage you need and the vehicle you drive.

How much does car insurance cost?

The average cost of car insurance in the United States is $1,674 per year for a full coverage policy. However, every driver pays a different rate. Factors like your age, state, ZIP code, credit score and claim history typically impact the price.

Where is car insurance required?

Car insurance is a legal requirement in most states. The only states that do not require traditional car insurance are New Hampshire and Virginia. However, drivers in these states typically have to file some proof of financial responsibility in the event of an at-fault accident.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Credit: Rates were calculated based on the following insurance credit tiers assigned to our drivers: “poor, average, good (base), and excellent.” Insurance credit tiers factor in your official credit scores but are not dependent on that variable alone. The following states do not allow credit to be a factor in determining auto insurance rates: CA, HI, MA

Age: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the ages 18-60 (base: 40 years) applied. 16-year-old rates were factored as the added cost to their parents’ policy; 18-year-old rates were calculated as drivers who rent their primary residence.

Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, single DUI conviction (BAC of >= .08) and lapse in coverage.

Bankrate Scores

Bankrate Scores primarily reflect a weighted rank of industry standard ratings for financial strength (AM Best, S&P, Moody’s) and customer experience (J.D. Power, NAIC), in addition to average quoted rates from Quadrant Information Services. The J.D. Power studies utilized include the 2020 Auto Insurance Study and the 2020 Auto Claims Study. Our Bankrate editorial team’s extensive research and analysis provided a secondary assessment of each insurer’s online and mobile resources and policy management options, which also contributed to overall ratings.

Written by
Elizabeth Rivelli
Insurance Contributor
Elizabeth has two years of experience writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate.com, The Simple Dollar, Coverage.com and NextAdvisor, among others. In addition to auto insurance, Elizabeth regularly writes about home insurance, renters insurance and life insurance. She also covers industry trends and general insurance education.
Edited by
Insurance Editor