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Nationwide vs. Travelers: Which Car Insurance Is Cheaper?

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Jeffrey Johnson graduated summa cum laude from the University of Baltimore School of Law and has worked in legal offices and nonprofits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman University and worked in film, education, and publishing. His professional writing has appeared on sites like The Manifest and Vice, and he is the author of a novel ...

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UPDATED: Jun 2, 2021

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Key Takeaways

  • Both Nationwide and Travelers have high customer satisfaction and low complaint ratios
  • Nationwide car insurance is the better choice if you have a young driver
  • Travelers has fewer customer complaints and a lower complaint ratio than Nationwide
  • If you have a bad driving record, you can save nearly $1,000 per year by choosing Nationwide rather than Travelers
  • Nationwide offers more and heftier discounts compared to Travelers

You have a lot of choices when it comes to auto insurance companies, and comparing them side by side will help you narrow down your options.

In this guide, we’ll look at the pros and cons of Nationwide vs. Travelers car insurance companies to see if either might be a good fit.

Which company will provide the best and cheapest car insurance for you? We’ll compare rates, discounts, financial ratings, and customer satisfaction ratings to help you answer that question.

Keep reading to compare affordable Nationwide vs. Travelers car insurance quotes, or, before you jump into our guide, enter your ZIP code to compare multiple companies in your area.

Is Nationwide or Travelers car insurance cheaper based on age?

Generally speaking, the older we get, the more driving experience we have. This is why age is one of the most influential factors in determining your car insurance rates.

Your car insurance rates may also be based on your gender and marital status, though some states have banned car insurance companies from considering these factors.

Let’s compare Nationwide and Travelers car insurance rates based on age, gender, and marital status.

Nationwide vs. Travelers Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Age, Gender, and Marital Status
Age, Gender, and Marital StatusNationwide Average Annual RatesTravelers Average Annual Rates
Single 17-year-old female$5,756$9,307
Single 17-year-old male$7,175$12,851
Single 25-year-old female$2,686$2,325
Single 25-year-old male$2,889$2,491
Married 35-year-old female$2,360$2,179
Married 35-year-old male$2,387$2,200
Married 60-year-old female$2,130$2,052
Married 60-year-old male$2,215$2,074
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For anyone 25 and older, Travelers auto insurance rates are an average of 9% cheaper than Nationwide insurance rates.

Nationwide car insurance is the better choice if you have a young driver. Travelers’ teen car insurance rates are 70% higher than Nationwide’s.

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

Speeding tickets, accidents, or DUIs on your driving record will raise your car insurance rates no matter what company you pick because these infractions make you look like a high-risk driver.

Nationwide vs. Travelers Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Driving Record
InfractionNationwide Average Annual RatesTravelers Average Annual Rates
Clean record$2,746$3,448
With one speeding violation$3,114$4,261
With one accident$3,397$4,290
With one DUI$4,543$5,741
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Nationwide is the better option if you have a poor driving record. Travelers’ car insurance rates are around $1,000 more per year than Nationwide’s when it comes to having infractions on your driving record.

As for current customers, Nationwide and Travelers increase rates about the same for getting a speeding ticket, causing an accident, or getting a DUI. Nationwide is a little more forgiving (with a 13% increase) when it comes to speeding tickets.

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

A good credit score can drop in a matter of months if you experience some type of financial trauma, such as incurring medical debt or going through a divorce.

In most states, it is legal for car insurance companies to base rates on your credit score; however, some are banning this practice along with basing rates on gender and marital status.

Car insurance companies justify using your credit score to determine your rates based on the assumption that those with higher credit scores are more responsible drivers less likely to file a claim.

Let’s take a look at how Nationwide and Travelers set rates for drivers with low credit scores.

Nationwide vs. Travelers Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Credit History
Credit ScoreNationwide Average Annual RatesTravelers Average Annual Rates
Good Credit (670-739)$2,926$4,059
Fair Credit Score (580-669)$3,255$4,344
Poor Credit Score (300-579)$4,083$5,160
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Nationwide is the better choice for any type of credit score.

However, once you are with Nationwide, your car insurance rates will increase by 40% if you experience financial hardship and your credit score drops.

You may live in a state, such as California or Michigan, where basing car insurance on credit score is illegal.

Be sure to check out our car insurance by state page before judging Nationwide vs. Travelers car insurance rates based on credit score alone.

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Does Nationwide or Travelers have better car insurance discounts?

Auto insurance company discounts vary widely, so it pays to shop around. If you have a bad driving record or low credit score, discounts can help offset high rates.

Nationwide vs. Travelers Car Insurance Discounts
DiscountsNationwide Discounts Offered (Percentage)Travelers Discounts Offered (Percentage)
Anti-lock Brakes5N/A
Anti-Theft25N/A
Claim Free1023
Continuous CoverageN/A15
Daytime Running Lights5N/A
Defensive Driver510
Distant Student107
Driver's EdN/A8
Driving Device/App4030
Early Signing810
Family Plan25N/A
Full PaymentN/A8
Further Education15N/A
Good Student108
Green VehicleN/A10
Homeowner55
Loyalty5N/A
Membership/Group7N/A
Multiple Policies1013
Multiple Vehicles208
Newer VehicleN/A10
Occupation15N/A
On Time PaymentsN/A15
Paperless Documents5N/A
Paperless/Auto Billing303
Passive Restraint20N/A
Safe Driver3523
Students & Alumni7N/A
Vehicle Recovery25N/A
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When reviewing discounts offered by these two companies, Nationwide has 24 car insurance discounts, and Travelers has only 17 discounts.

Nationwide also offers heftier discounts compared to Travelers.

Travelers’ best car insurance discounts range from 15% to 30% for having continuous coverage, making payments on time, being claim-free, or being a safe driver.

Nationwide’s best car insurance discounts range from 25% to 40% for having anti-theft and vehicle recovery systems in your car, having a family plan, being a safe driver, and using paperless billing and auto-pay.

You can also save 30% by participating in Travelers’ usage-based car insurance program and 40% by participating in Nationwide’s usage-based car insurance program.

Be sure to look into other discounts and programs such as Travelers or Nationwide roadside assistance.

Some companies offer accident forgiveness, so before you file Nationwide or Travelers claims, call the Nationwide or Travelers insurance phone number and ask about this.

What types of car insurance coverages are offered by Nationwide and Travelers?

Since Nationwide and Travelers are two of the 10 companies that make up most of the car insurance market share, they have the means to offer a wider variety of car insurance coverages beyond the standard six coverages listed below.

Be sure you understand the various car insurance coverage types before purchasing a policy:

  • Liability car insurance coverage (bodily injury and property damage)
  • Comprehensive car insurance coverage
  • Collision car insurance coverage
  • Uninsured/underinsured car insurance coverage
  • Medical payments (MedPay) car insurance coverage (particularly important in states that require no-fault car insurance)
  • Personal injury protection (PIP) car insurance coverage

Be sure to take a close look at any specialty coverages you might need, such as rental reimbursement, roadside assistance, guaranteed auto protection (GAP), mechanical breakdown, and insurance for recreational vehicles such as ATVs or boats.

Be sure to check out Nationwide pet insurance and Nationwide retirement services when reviewing coverage options as well.

Does Nationwide or Travelers have better car insurance mobile apps?

Usage-based car insurance has become an industry trend in the last decade or so, and all of the bigger car insurance companies have a phone app or a device you can install in your car that will evaluate your driving for a discount.

Large car insurance companies also provide a more general app to enable you to view your policy, make changes, and pay your bill.

Usually, your Nationwide or Travelers insurance login will work with both the general app and the driving app.

How do Nationwide and Travelers car insurance compare in financial strength and customer satisfaction?

Buying car insurance is a big financial responsibility, so you want to make sure you’re choosing the right company that will be there for you when you need it.

A company’s financial strength, customer satisfaction with the claims process, and customer complaints should be examined before you make your decision.

The following three agencies provide insight into these factors:

A.M. Best scores companies based on their ability to meet 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 Nationwide claims process and the Travelers claims process, step by step.

In its 2017 survey, 27 insurance companies were rated, and scores ranged from 86 to 96.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) calculates a complaint ratio based on the total number of customers vs. the total number of complaints.

In 2017, the national average complaint ratio was one. The lower the ratio, the better.

Let’s take a look at external ratings for Nationwide and Travelers before you choose to buy Nationwide vs. Travelers car insurance.

Nationwide vs. Travelers Company Ratings
Consumer ReportsNationwideTravelers
AM Best RatingA+N/A
Consumer Reports8890
NAIC Company Complaint Ratio0.280.09
NAIC Total Complaints252
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Both Nationwide and Travelers are highly competitive based on ratings from consumer and government agencies. Nationwide earns an A+ for financial stability.

Now that you’ve compared Nationwide vs. Travelers car insurance, enter your ZIP code to see quotes from multiple car insurance companies in your area.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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