Nationwide Home Insurance Reviews | 2020 Homeowners Guide

Nationwide Homeowners Insurance Review and Prices

Long before it was Nationwide by name or in the geographic sense, the Ohio-based Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. wrote its first policy in 1926 with a goal of providing affordable insurance to local farmers. It wasn’t long before the young company began offering policies in other rural states and eventually in metropolitan areas. By 1955, a name change was in order, reflecting the company’s growth across the country, and Nationwide Insurance was born.

Based in Columbus, Ohio, Nationwide offers a full range of insurance and financial services across the U.S., including car, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, pet, farm, life and commercial insurance, along with annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and specialty health services.

With more than $158 billion in statutory assets, shareholder-owned Nationwide has grown to be one of the largest insurance companies in the U.S. Nationwide gets an A+ rating for financial strength from A.M. Best.

To insure a prototypical $250,000, two-bedroom town house in Naperville, Illinois, used for comparison purposes, we calculated a monthly rate of $79.02 with Nationwide.

Nationwide provides a variety of homeowners insurance policies, from standard policies to more customized options with added coverage. Specialized policies for renters and condo owners are also available to cover belongings and furniture, and to provide liability coverage.

Nationwide offers a smartphone app for policyholders to check and update policy details, make a payment or claim, call for roadside assistance and more. Similar services are available using a personal computer. Nationwide works with a national network of licensed agents, and its website will locate one near you. The company’s website also has an estimating tool to help you get an idea of what your rates will be.

What Home Insurance Coverage Options Are Available From Nationwide?

Standard homeowners policies with Nationwide provide the coverages typical of other insurance companies, including dwelling coverage to protect your home against damage from fire, theft and vandalism, and storm damage caused by lightning or wind. Standard coverage also includes personal property protection for your furniture, appliances, clothing and other possessions in your home. Other-structures insurance covers a garage, shed, fence or outbuilding on your property, while loss-of-use coverage can help pay for lodging and food or meals out while your home is being repaired or rebuilt following a claim. Liability coverage helps pay for medical and legal costs resulting from an injury to someone else on your property if you are deemed to be at fault. You have the option of raising limits on parts of the policy, such as adding coverage for personal property to cover jewelry or other valuables.

Nationwide includes other benefits that are not always standard with some competitors, including ordinance or law insurance to rebuild your home to current building codes after a covered loss if changes have been made since it was built. Credit card coverage helps pay for unauthorized transactions or ATM activity, along with reimbursement for forged checks.

Nationwide offers a number of optional coverages. Some, like flood and earthquake coverage, may either be mandatory or at least a very good idea, depending on where you live.

What Homeowners Insurance Discounts Are Offered by Nationwide?

Nationwide offers a variety of discounts on homeowners insurance. Your eligibility for discounts may depend on where you live and other factors. Check with an agent or a Nationwide representative for details.

  • Multipolicy: Bundling your homeowners insurance with another Nationwide policy, such as auto insurance, can get you a reduced rate.
  • Protective device: Equipping your home with a fire or burglar alarm, motion detectors, smoke detectors or other protective equipment may qualify you for a discount.
  • Claims-free: If you have not made a homeowners claim for three years or more, you may be eligible for savings.
  • Home renovation credit: Upgrading your home with new plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical systems can get you a discount.
  • Roof rating discount: A newer roof can provide better resistance to storms and cost less to insure than an older one.
  • Home purchase: New homebuyers may get a discount if their home was purchased within the last 12 months.
  • Prior insurance: Switching to Nationwide from another provider can lower your rates, based on the number of years you stayed continuously with the prior company.

What Additional Homeowners Insurance Coverages Are Offered by Nationwide?

Optional coverages from Nationwide include a variety of things that may make sense for you. Some, like flood and earthquake coverage, may either be required or advisable depending on where you live. Talk to an agent or call Nationwide customer service for more advice.

  • Identity theft: This helps monitor activity in your financial accounts and provides up to $25,000 in reimbursement to help pay legal fees and losses associated with fraud or identity theft.
  • Valuables Plus: Nationwide’s branded name for additional personal property insurance, this provides higher coverage levels for jewelry, art and other valuables that might exceed the limits of a standard policy.
  • Replacement cost plus: This increases the amount covered by your standard policy by up to 20% if your home needs to be rebuilt after a loss.
  • Water backup: This covers repairs following a septic system backup or sump pump failure that are not covered by a standard policy.
  • Flood insurance: Flood damage is not covered by a standard policy. Flood insurance may be required depending on where you live and is a separate policy with its own deductible.
  • Earthquake coverage: Like flood insurance, earthquake insurance is not included with a standard policy. A separate deductible applies.
  • Brand New Belongings: A standard homeowners policy with Nationwide will pay to repair or replace damaged or stolen personal possessions, less depreciation. This option provides additional reimbursement for new replacements.
  • Better Roof Replacement: This helps replace a damaged roof after a covered loss with a new, stronger one, using better materials to make it more resistant to the next storm.

Other Questions About Nationwide

What does Nationwide homeowners insurance cover?
A standard homeowners policy with Nationwide covers your home and its contents after damage or loss from theft, fire or storms. It also provides liability protection to help with medical and legal costs if others are injured on your property. A standard policy includes coverage for outbuildings and loss-of-use coverage to help pay for meals and lodging elsewhere while your home is being repaired or rebuilt. Nationwide also includes two features not always found in a standard policy: ordinance or law insurance to help rebuild your home to current building codes after a loss, and credit card coverage to help guard against fraud and pay for unauthorized transactions.

What does Nationwide homeowners insurance not cover?
Damage from a flood or earthquake is not included with standard coverage from Nationwide. Both need additional coverage and may be required depending on where you live. Expect costs to vary widely depending on risk. Similarly, damage from a failed septic system or sump pump is not covered and requires optional insurance. Valuable art, jewelry or collectibles may also require additional coverage.

How much is Nationwide homeowners insurance?
For a prototypical $250,000, two-bedroom town house in Naperville, Illinois, used for comparison purposes, we calculated a monthly rate of $79.02 with Nationwide. Your costs will vary depending on your home’s location, size and age, as well as other factors.

Does Nationwide homeowners insurance cover mold?
Mold damage may be covered, depending on the source of the mold and the limits of your policy. Mold caused by a washing machine or dishwasher that breaks suddenly probably is covered within limits. Your homeowners policy probably will not cover mold that results from a flood unless you purchase optional flood insurance, because floods are not covered by standard homeowners insurance.

Does Nationwide homeowners insurance cover water damage?
Damage from something like a burst pipe or failed washing machine hose may be covered by a standard homeowners policy with Nationwide, but flood damage or repairs needed after a sump pump or septic system failure are not. Optional coverage is available for either.

Does Nationwide homeowners insurance cover termites and insects?
Nationwide does not include insect damage as part of standard homeowners coverage because it is typically considered a preventable maintenance issue.

Does Nationwide homeowners insurance cover theft?
Loss from theft is included in a standard homeowners policy from Nationwide. However, depending on their value, jewelry, art or other collectibles may exceed the limits of a standard policy and require additional coverage.

Does Nationwide homeowners insurance cover roof leaks?
If a roof is damaged as the result of a falling tree or storm covered by your policy, repairs will be covered. A leak caused by neglect or age is not.

Does Nationwide homeowners insurance cover tree damage?
Damage caused by falling trees or branches as a result of wind may be covered, depending on the circumstances and your policy.

Does Nationwide homeowners insurance cover dog bites?
The liability portion of a standard homeowners policy typically does provide coverage for dog bites, but a severe injury may exceed the limits of your coverage. Depending on your circumstances, additional liability coverage may be a good idea.

Does Nationwide homeowners insurance cover personal injury?
A standard policy does cover personal injuries, but you may want to consider additional coverage if a trampoline, pool or other item on your property increases risk to guests.

Does Nationwide homeowners insurance cover fire?
Fire insurance is included with a standard policy from Nationwide up to certain limits.

Does Nationwide offer a gated community discount?
Nationwide offers a discount when all vehicle entrances to your community are protected at all times by security guards, residence cards or key-lock devices.

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Renters’ Insurance Claims for Damaged or Stolen Property

Learn the basics of filing a claim under your renters’ insurance policy.

In the event that you need to a file a renters’ insurance claim for damaged or stolen property, you’ll want to get compensated for your loss as soon as possible. Understanding the basics of the claims process will help you save a lot of time and hassle, and is useful, even if you don’t need to file a claim right now. Filing a renters’ insurance claim is similar to filing most other types of insurance claims, and if you don’t follow the filing process correctly, you may run the risk of getting your claim denied or getting less than you’re entitled to.

Here are the basic steps involved with filing a claim under your renters’ insurance for property loss or damage.

Report Damages or Losses to Your Landlord

Your landlord should be notified immediately regarding any damages or losses. Not only is this reporting mandatory in most states and a typical lease requirement, but your landlord may also be liable for repairing broken doors, windows, or any other damage to the unit. If your home was broken into, your landlord can also alert your neighbors of the incident.

Report Damages or Losses to the Police

In the event of a theft, vandalism, and/or burglary, you’ll need to contact the police as soon as possible. In fact, reporting a theft or a home break-in is typically required in order to file a renters’ insurance claim, assuming that your policy covers loss from theft. In addition, a police report will not only establish additional proof to show your renters’ insurance company, but it can help the claims process run smoother as well. Be sure to get the names of any police officers you speak with just in case your insurance company has additional questions.

Keep in mind, however, that damage caused by a pet or a leaky roof, assuming your renters’ insurance covers these types of damages, usually doesn’t warrant a police report. Use your best judgment when deciding on a police report.

Safeguard Your Home and Belongings

Before you begin the claim process, make sure that the rest of your belongings and your home are safe. Board up any broken windows, if needed, and make any other necessary repairs, such as changing the locks on your doors, to ensure you’re as protected as possible. Be certain to keep all maintenance and repair receipts.

If you can’t repair broken locks or windows right away, or if you have security concerns, make temporary living arrangements, but be certain to keep record of all expenses. Some renters’ insurance companies will cover temporary living expenses while your home is being repaired. Refer to your policy to see if you have coverage for this situation, which is normally referred to as “loss of use.”

Contact Your Renters’ Insurance Company

Aside from contacting your landlord, calling the police (if appropriate), and safeguarding your property, one of the first things you need to do is contact your renters’ insurance company immediately after property damage or loss. For one thing, you’ll want to find out if your loss is covered. In addition, almost every insurance company has a deadline for filing a claim, which is typically between 48 to 72 hours after the damage or loss happened. Ask your agent exactly how long you have to file your claim so that there will be no surprises.

To make the process smoother, be certain to have the following items handy before you call:

  • your policy number
  • details regarding the damage, including when and around what time it occurred, and
  • a phone number where you can be reached easily

Even if you haven’t documented all of your losses, it’s imperative to contact your insurance company and give them an estimate of what you think needs to be replaced. Again, most insurance companies have strict time requirements after property is damaged, and the sooner you contact your company, the better.

Document Your Losses

When you start to document your property, make sure to video or take photos of everything damaged. For example, if your items were damaged due to fire, be as detailed as possible, noting each and every item. In addition, do not throw any of your damaged items away until a claims adjuster has inspected your property. If a claims adjuster is not necessary, such as with items with lower values, your insurance company will let you know. Until then, keep all of your belongings and be certain to utilize your personal inventory sheet (assuming you’ve done one). A previously prepared inventory is highly recommended and will make the process much easier if your property was stolen.

A detailed written home inventory is useful for several reasons. First, writing down a list of your damaged or lost possessions will help you file a claim more quickly and with more completeness, especially if you include photos or videos. Second, your insurer will be in a better position to determine the replacement cost of your damaged or lost items. This allows your insurer to settle a claim faster.

Complete a Claims Form

After you have all of your losses documented, you’ll need to fill out a claims form. A claims agent will usually call you shortly after you’ve contacted the renters’ insurance company. Again, it’s imperative to document every detail on your claims form as well. For items with a higher value, a claims adjuster may come to your home for inspection, as mentioned earlier. Make sure to have all documentation, expenses, receipts, and if applicable, a police report available.

Once you’ve submitted your claim, your renters’ insurance company will start the investigation process. The amount of time to get your claim taken care of will vary according to how extensive your damages or losses are. Some claims may only take a few hours while others can take longer. In most instances, your insurance company will give you an average estimated time.

Update Your Personal Property Inventory (or Complete One for the First Time)

If you already have a personal property inventory list, it’s a good idea to keep it up-to-date. If you haven’t done so already, now is a great time to create a home inventory and list of all of your belongings. Make sure to be as detailed as possible, including model numbers, brand names, and serial numbers, if applicable.

Understand Why Your Renters’ Insurance Claims May Be Denied

Keep in mind that insurance companies thoroughly investigate all claims, and in most cases, as long as you follow the steps discussed above, your claim will be approved. However, there are a few reasons that claims are denied.

Damage Costs Are Less than the Deductible

If the cost of your damages falls below your deductible amount, your claim will be denied. For instance, if you have $500 in damage or loss, but your deductible is $1,000, then the claim makes no sense. However, if you suffer more damage or loss later on in the same year, this amount can be applied to the $500 from your previous damage or loss.

Uncovered Disasters and Losses

There are certain disasters that your policy won’t cover unless you opted for additional coverage. For example, if you don’t have flood coverage and your items were damaged after a flood, you won’t be able to make a successful claim. This may also apply to hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes. In addition, if you run a business from home, your office products may not be covered under your policy unless you’ve added extra protection prior to damage or loss. In other words, if your fax machine or other equipment used for business is damaged or stolen, they may not be accepted on your claim if you don’t have additional business property coverage.

The Damages Were Intentional

Although rare, in some instances people plan damages in order to replace their belongings. In other instances, intentional horseplay resulted in property damage. Renters’ insurance companies are extremely thorough when investigating claims, and if the damage wasn’t accidental and unintentional, the claim is usually not honored.

The Landlord Is Responsible for the Loss

In instances in which your landlord is responsible for your damage and loss, your claim may be denied. For instance, if your landlord failed to repair faulty wiring which in turn caused a fire which damaged to your couch, then your landlord may be liable for the damage incurred.

Additional Resources on Renters’ Insurance Claims

Your own insurance company’s website will provide details on the claims process. Also, check out the United Policyholders’ website for resources on the claims process for renters’ insurance, including state-specific insurance resources.

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