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State Farm vs. Nationwide: Cost and Coverage Comparison (2023) – MarketWatch

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State Farm and Nationwide are two of the most well-known auto insurance companies on the market today. While both are reputable insurers, we ranked State Farm first overall in our 2022 study of the best car insurance companies.
We at the Guides Auto Team thoroughly examined the reputation, availability, coverage options, affordability and customer satisfaction of each auto insurance provider to see how they stack up. In this article, we will break down State Farm and Nationwide car insurance to help you decide which is right for you.
Which auto insurance company is your best choice — State Farm or Nationwide? Through our research-backed, industry-wide insurance review process, we’ve rated State Farm considerably higher than Nationwide in terms of reputation, coverage and customer experience. However, both companies score well when it comes to availability and cost. Overall, we awarded State Farm a rating of 9.3 and Nationwide a rating of 8.7 out of 10.0.
The table below shows how State Farm and Nationwide scored in our major rating categories for car insurance.
Both State Farm and Nationwide are reputable auto insurance companies that have been in business for decades and hold positive ratings from several well-known organizations. Each company has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which considers factors such as responsiveness to consumer complaints, transparency and truthful advertising.
The table below offers reputation-based awards and industry scores for both State Farm and Nationwide. As you can see, State Farm and Nationwide hold AM Best financial strength ratings of A++ and A+, respectively. These ratings are given to insurers that demonstrate a superior ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations. We’ll discuss other scores below in our Customer Experience section.
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), State Farm is the largest auto insurance provider in the U.S. and accounts for 15.9% of all auto insurance premiums sold. State Farm celebrated 100 years of business in 2022. While the provider offers auto insurance coverage in all 50 states, it no longer sells new policies in Massachusetts or Rhode Island.
Formerly known as Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance, Nationwide sold its first insurance policy in 1926. With nearly 100 years of experience in the insurance industry, Nationwide has expanded its offerings to 47 states and offers life and home insurance alongside its auto policies. According to the NAIC, Nationwide wrote over $5.5 billion in premiums in 2021 and owns 2.1% of the overall market share.

Source: Automoblog
Both State Farm and Nationwide offer standard types of car insurance coverage, including bodily injury and property damage liability coverage, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage and personal injury protection coverage
One difference between these two auto insurers lies in their selection of add-on coverages. State Farm offers rideshare insurance to those who work for companies like Uber or Lyft, as well as travel expense coverage for food and other costs incurred if your vehicle breaks down far from home. 
While Nationwide doesn’t offer either of these special coverages, it does offer a vanishing deductible, which can lower your comprehensive or collision deductible by $100 for every year of safe driving. In addition, the insurer offers gap insurance, which pays the difference between what your car is worth and what you owe in the case of a total loss after an accident.
Both State Farm and Nationwide offer usage-based insurance programs that feature savings for safe driving habits tracked via a mobile app. State Farm’s Drive Safe & Save™ program offers customers savings for signing up as well as up to a 30% discount for practicing safe driving habits. Your driving is evaluated based on acceleration, braking, cornering, speed and phone usage while driving.
The Drive Safe & Save program is not available for drivers in California, Massachusetts or Rhode Island, and it may not be available for certain drivers in North Carolina.
Nationwide’s usage-based program is called SmartRide®. You receive a 10% discount for signing up and can save up to 40% on your insurance premiums based on your safe driving habits. SmartRide takes miles driven, hard braking, acceleration and nighttime driving into account when calculating savings.
For the average 35-year-old driver with a good credit score and clean driving record, Nationwide tends to offer the cheapest car insurance rates at $1,281 per year. Compared to competitors, State Farm’s annual average premium is also very affordable at $1,481 per year
However, it’s important to note that car insurance rates vary widely based on personalized factors such as age and driving history. State Farm typically charges lower rates on average for a wider variety of driving profiles, such as young drivers and those with a recent accident or driving under the influence (DUI) violation on their record. On the other hand, you might want to consider Nationwide if you’ve received a recent speeding ticket, as the company generally offers some of the best rates for this driver profile.
Both State Farm and Nationwide come in below the national average rate of $1,730 for an annual full-coverage car insurance premium. Here’s how both providers compare to other national insurers on average cost.
Bar graph showing average annual car insurance estimates from top providers.
See below for a breakdown of full-coverage insurance costs for various types of policyholders for State Farm and Nationwide.
*Our average profile is for a 35-year-old driver with good credit and a clean driving record.
Both State Farm and Nationwide offer an impressive lineup of car insurance discounts. While there are many savings opportunities available with each auto insurance provider, there are some differences to take into consideration. 
State Farm stands out for its discount opportunities for students and young drivers in particular. It offers discounts for good students and students away at school, as well as savings through its Steer Clear® training program for drivers under 25. Nationwide offers a handful of discounts that State Farm does not, such as for going paperless or setting up an automatic payment system. 
We’ve provided a breakdown of the discounts available from these providers below.
State Farm and Nationwide offer additional discounts for bundling your car insurance with other types of insurance products.
State Farm offers discounts for bundling your car insurance with homeowners, renters, condo or life insurance policies.
Nationwide offers its bundling discount to those who combine their auto insurance with life, renters, boat or homeowners insurance policies.
State Farm holds consistently high rankings across auto insurance studies. In the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, the provider received 882 out of 1,000 points, which is above the industry average for overall customer satisfaction. In the J.D. Power Insurance Shopping Study, State Farm ranked first among large insurers with 885 out of 1,000 points.
Nationwide scored below the industry average of 873 in the Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, ranking 14th out of 22 auto insurance providers with a score of 868. Nationwide ranked fifth in the large insurers portion of the Insurance Shopping Study, with a score of 858.
As shown in the previous table, both State Farm and Nationwide have A+ ratings through the BBB. However, customer ratings for both companies are considerably low. It’s good to keep in mind that customers often report negative experiences over positive experiences, and low BBB ratings from customers are standard in the insurance industry.
When it comes to comparing State Farm vs. Nationwide, both providers have solid reputations, a wide variety of coverage choices and similar bundling options for their auto insurance policies. However, while both are reputable options for coverage, we rate State Farm auto insurance as the superior pick overall and across every one of our rating categories.
It’s always good to explore your options by comparing auto insurance quotes from several providers. Our team recommends checking out both Geico and USAA in your search for the right auto insurance policy.
Affordability is an important factor when choosing car insurance that’s right for you, and Geico offers some of the cheapest rates for a variety of driver profiles. The company is known for its large selection of discounts, which can help bring the total cost of your car insurance policy down even further. The company offers discounts for safe drivers, new vehicles, military members and more.
Keep reading: Geico insurance review
Auto insurance coverage from USAA is available only to military members, veterans and their families, but it’s a great choice for those who qualify. USAA offers affordable average rates for a variety of driver profiles and is often one of the cheapest options for coverage. It’s also known for its customer service, as the provider regularly scores well in J.D. Power customer satisfaction surveys.
Keep reading: USAA insurance review
Below are frequently asked questions about State Farm vs. Nationwide.
On average, Nationwide is cheaper than State Farm, with an estimated annual cost of $1,281 versus State Farm’s $1,481. However, State Farm may be a cheaper option for certain driver profiles. The provider also offers a variety of discounts that could make it the more affordable choice for your circumstances.
Both Nationwide and State Farm are reputable and well-known auto insurance companies, but they’re not the same. We’ve rated Nationwide with an overall score of 8.7 and State Farm with an overall score of 9.3, with State Farm receiving our Editor’s Choice award.
Nationwide ranked below the average score of 873 out of 1,000 in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, with a score of 868. In this same study, State Farm ranked above the industry average with a score of 882.
Because consumers rely on us to provide objective and accurate information, we created a comprehensive rating system to formulate our rankings of the best car insurance companies. We collected data on dozens of auto insurance providers to grade the companies on a wide range of ranking factors. The end result was an overall rating for each provider, with the insurers that scored the most points topping the list.
Here are the factors our ratings take into account:
 
*Data accurate at time of publication.
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