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Nationwide vs. USAA: Which Car Insurance Is Cheaper?

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

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

  • The USAA insurance market share is larger than the Nationwide insurance market share
  • Although USAA car insurance is cheaper, it’s only available to military families
  • Nationwide provides more coverage options and discounts
  • Both companies have consumer complaint rates that are higher than average

You have a lot of choices when it comes to auto insurance companies, and comparing them side by side can help you narrow down your options. In this guide, we will look at the pros and cons of Nationwide vs. USAA car insurance companies.

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. USAA car insurance quotes, or enter your ZIP code to see quotes from multiple companies in your area.

Nationwide vs. USAA car insurance rates: Which company is cheapest on average?

When we look at the national average rate comparison, USAA is $77/mo cheaper than Nationwide insurance.

Although USAA is cheaper, only military members, veterans, and their immediate families are eligible for USAA insurance policies.

Those who are not affiliated with the military will have to get car insurance through another company, such as Nationwide.

But your car insurance rates vary based on several factors, including:

  • Credit history
  • Driving record
  • Age, gender, and marital status

Continue reading this guide to learn how these factors affect Nationwide and USAA car insurance.

Nationwide vs. USAA car insurance: Which company is cheapest by credit history?

Many people are surprised to discover that their credit affects their car insurance rates. According to Experian, car insurance providers issue cheaper rates to customers with good or excellent credit.

But why? Car insurance companies believe credit correlates to the risk of filing a claim: the better your credit, the less likely you’ll file a claim.

But how do Nationwide and USAA respond to credit history? Let’s compare both companies.

Nationwide vs. USAA Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates by Credit History
Credit HistoryNationwide Average Monthly RatesUSAA Average Monthly Rates
Good Credit History$244$152
Fair Credit History$271$185
Poor Credit History$340$308
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USAA car insurance is about $90/mo cheaper for those with good and fair credit. Of course, if you’re not connected to the U.S. military, Nationwide would be the better choice.

You may live in a state, such as California or Michigan, where basing car insurance on credit score is illegal. Check out our car insurance by state page before judging Nationwide vs. USAA car insurance rates based on credit score alone.

Nationwide vs. USAA car insurance: Which company is cheapest by driving record?

One of the most significant factors when determining car insurance rates is a person’s driving record. Maintaining a clean driving record is a reliable method for keeping your car insurance affordable.

Let’s see how Nationwide and USAA issue rates based on different driving records.

Nationwide vs. USAA Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates by Driving Record
Driving RecordsNationwide Average Monthly RatesUSAA Average Monthly Rates
Clean Record$229$161
With 1 Speeding Violation$259$183
With 1 Accident$283$210
With 1 DUI$379$292
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While clean driving records produce discounted rates, accidents and DUI convictions increase your car insurance cost the most.

Overall, USAA remains the cheaper company.

Nationwide vs. USAA car insurance: Which company is cheapest by age, gender, and marital status?

In some states, car insurance companies have been banned from taking gender into account when setting rates. However, age and marital status determine car insurance costs everywhere in the United States.

What do car insurance rates look like for Nationwide and USAA when considering all three factors? Let’s review.

Nationwide vs. USAA Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates by Age, Gender, and Marital Status
Age, Gender, Marital StatusNationwide Average Monthly RatesUSAA Average Monthly Rates
Married 60-year-old female$178$121
Married 60-year-old male$185$121
Married 35-year-old female$197$129
Married 35-year-old male$199$128
Single 25-year-old female$224$166
Single 25-year-old male$241$177
Single 17-year-old female$480$401
Single 17-year-old male$598$449
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Teen car insurance is the most expensive at both companies, but the Nationwide car insurance rates are a few dollars more. Teens could also benefit from USAA or Nationwide roadside assistance to make sure they aren’t stranded without help.

Senior drivers pay the least for car insurance, and married drivers have more affordable rates than single drivers.

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Nationwide vs. USAA Car Insurance Discounts

All car insurance companies carry standard and special discounts. The more discounts a company has, the more opportunities for you to save.

So which company has more discounts? Let’s compare Nationwide and USAA’s deals.

Nationwide vs. USAA Car Insurance Discounts
DiscountsNationwide AvailabilityUSAA Availability
Adaptive Cruise Controlxn/a
Adaptive Headlightsxn/a
Anti-lock Brakesxx
Daytime Running Lightsxx
Electronic Stability Controlxn/a
Vehicle Recoveryxx
VIN Etchingxx
Lane Departure Warningxn/a
Newer Vehiclexx
Forward Collision Warningxn/a
Claim Freexx
Defensive Driverxx
Distant Studentxx
Driver's Edn/ax
Driving Device/Appxx
Early Signingxx
Family Legacyn/ax
Family Planxn/a
Further Educationxn/a
Good Creditxn/a
Good Studentxx
Life Insurancexn/a
Low Mileagexx
Military Garagingn/ax
Multiple Policiesxx
Multiple Vehiclesxx
Occasional Operatorn/ax
Paperless Documentsxn/a
Paperless/Auto Billingxx
Passive Restraintxx
Safe Driverxx
Senior Drivern/ax
Stable Residencexn/a
Students & Alumnixn/a
Young Drivern/ax
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Although Nationwide is more expensive than USAA, Nationwide insurance has more discounts. When compared, Nationwide has 35 discounts, and USAA has 28.

Call the Nationwide or USAA customer service phone number to ask about more discounts and bundling policies.

Nationwide vs. USAA Financial Strength Ratings

The price of insurance isn’t the best or worst way to determine how well a company performs. To get a better idea about an insurance company’s reliability, you should look at its ratings.

We’ve researched the ratings for you and compiled them into one information table. Let’s check it out.

Nationwide vs. USAA Company Ratings
AgenciesNationwide RatingsUSAA Ratings
AM BestA+A++
NAIC Complaint Index1.451.8
J.D. Power - Power Circle RatingsAbout AverageAmong The Best
Consumer Reports8895
iOS App Rating2 stars5 stars
Android App Rating3 stars5 stars
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Overall, USAA ratings are much better than Nationwide ratings. However, Nationwide has a better consumer complaint rating from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Meanwhile, USAA has a perfect score under mobile app ratings and an excellent rating from J.D. Power’s U.S. Auto Insurance Shopping and Claims Satisfaction Study.

Nationwide vs. USAA: What’s the bottom line?

You may have thought about the pros and cons of both companies as you were reading.

The pros at USAA are the cheaper rates and overall good ratings, but the disadvantage is that USAA is only available to military affiliates and their families.

Before you buy Nationwide vs. USAA car insurance, enter your ZIP code to start comparing multiple car insurance companies in your area.

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