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Nationwide vs AAA

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Nationwide and AAA are two of the top car insurance companies by market share in the United States. At a first glance, it can be hard to know which is best for your needs, budget and lifestyle. To help you decide, Bankrate compares each company based on average rate information pulled from Quadrant Information Services, discounts, J.D. Power customer service ratings and more to help you see which car insurance company might be most suitable for you.

Read our full reviews:

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. The higher a company’s Bankrate Score, the better it performs across these various categories.

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 $549 $1,383
AAA 3.8 A- 868/1,000 $641 $2,389

Rates by credit score

When you apply for a car insurance policy, insurance companies 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 and Massachusetts are not legally allowed to consider your credit when calculating your rate. In Michigan, insurers are not allowed to use your credit score, but can use factors that contribute to your credit score such as missed or late payments. The following table highlights national average car insurance premiums for Nationwide vs. AAA for drivers based on credit tier.

Car insurance company Poor Average Good Excellent
Nationwide $1,928 $1,534 $1,383 $1,218
AAA $5,191 $2,638 $2,389 $2,013

Rates by life stage

Various life changes can impact your car insurance policy. Car insurance companies have different ratings for single and married individuals, as well as new and young drivers being added to their parents’ policies. The table below shows the average full coverage premiums from AAA vs. Nationwide drivers that are single, married and adding a young driver to their policy.

Car insurance company Single Married Married with a 16-year-old driver
Nationwide $1,383 $1,343 $2,215
AAA $2,389 $2,242 $5,028

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 $1,383 $1,635 $1,802 $2,557
AAA $2,389 $2,912 $3,453 $5,146

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: Bundling your home and auto insurance with the same carrier often results in savings on both policies.
  • 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,
  • Advanced shopping 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 solid online experiences, according to our research and third-party customer reviews. 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, we found that 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 (4.2): 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 (4.4): 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 (4.3): 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

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2022 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 2020 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 a 16-year-old male or female driver and their married parents on a full coverage car insurance policy.

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 Score

Bankrate Scores primarily reflect a weighted rank of industry-standard ratings for financial strength and customer experience in addition to analysis of quoted annual premiums from Quadrant Information Services, spanning all 50 states and Washington, D.C. We know it is important for drivers to be confident their financial protection covers the likeliest risks, is priced competitively and is provided by a financially-sound company with a history of positive customer support.

To determine how well the best car insurance companies satisfy these priorities, third-party agency ratings from J.D. Power, AM Best, S&P, NAIC, and Moody’s had the most impact on the companies’ Bankrate Scores. As price is a common consideration for drivers, we analyzed quoted premiums based on 40-year-old male and female drivers with a 2019 Toyota Camry. This profile, assessed across nearly 35,000 ZIP codes in the U.S., provided a basis on which drivers may compare each provider.

While coverage options, insurer availability, affordability and customer experience are often the top priorities, Bankrate also analyzed each insurer’s online and mobile resources for policy management and claims handling. Insurance is rapidly evolving to keep pace with our digital world, so these aspects also carried weight in determining Bankrate Scores.

Written by
June Sham
Insurance Writer
June Sham is an insurance writer for Bankrate. Before joining the team, she worked for nearly three years as a licensed producer writing auto, property, umbrella and earthquake policies.
Edited by
Insurance Editor