Janet Hunt has over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry. She’s covered trends, regulations, and company reviews for The Balance since 2012.
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Updated July 31, 2019
Auto insurance customers are always looking for ways to save money. Nationwide offers its auto insurance customers an option to lower insurance premiums with its usage-based auto insurance program called SmartRide.
SmartRide is offered as an optional program to any Nationwide member who has auto insurance. The program gives you an instant 5% auto insurance discount on your premium just for signing up. Depending on how safe your driving habits are when measured, you can save up to a total of 40% on your auto insurance. Once you decide to sign up for the SmartRide program and notify Nationwide, the company will send a small telematics device for you to install in your automobile within 10 days of signing up. There are online instructions to help you with installation of the device including help in finding your vehicle’s port and a video showing you how to plug in the device.
You can track your progress and how much you are saving online and get personalized feedback on your driving habits. The discount is updated weekly. Once the program ends in 4-6 months, you will send the device back in and the final discount will be locked in and applied at your next auto policy renewal date. To be eligible, vehicles must have been manufactured after 1996. There are some hybrid vehicles and diesel-powered cars that are not compatible with the SmartRide device.
SmartRide measures these driving factors when determining your discount:
· Miles Driven: Keeping the miles driven down will help you save and accumulate a discount. Lower mileage means you are on the road less and less likely to have an accident.
· Hard Braking: Hard braking means making sudden forced stops in excess of 7.7 miles per hour/per second. A tenant of safe driving is avoiding hard braking incidents whenever possible.
· Fast Acceleration: This is a quick acceleration of speed in excess of 7.7 miles per hour/per second. This should be avoided whenever possible as aggressive driving can lead to accidents.
· Nighttime Driving: Avoid driving between midnight and 5 a.m. as driving during these times can increase your likelihood of being involved in an auto accident because of being tired or distracted.
Nationwide Insurance is one of the best-known insurance companies in the United States. It has a history of providing personal and business insurance for over 80 years. The company is very reputable with superior financial strength ratings from A.M. Best insurance rating organization. Coverage is offered in 32 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. It is ranked in the top 100 of the Fortune 500 companies. The company motto is “on your side.” Nationwide provides insurance, investment, retirement, banking, and life event/planning services. The company’s personal insurance products include homeowners, renters, condo, flood, auto, motorcycle, boat, life, pet, dental, travel insurance and more.
Nationwide Insurance has an excellent reputation among insurance companies in providing excellent customer service and also has superior financial strength ratings. When it comes to auto insurance, safe drivers cost less to insure. It is a win-win situation for both the insurance company and the insured. For the safest drivers, Nationwide passes along the savings by discounts to your policy when you sign up for the SmartRide program. The Nationwide SmartRide program can save you as much as 40% on your auto insurance premium. If you are already a Nationwide customer, you have the option to try this program. While there is no guarantee your insurance premium will drop, Nationwide does state that the information gained from the telematics device you install in your vehicle will only be used to give you a discount. It will in no way raise your rates. Discounts may vary by state and apply only to bodily injury, medical payments, property damage and collision coverage.
When comparing usage-based auto insurance programs such as Snapshot from Progressive and Drivewise from Allstate, NationWide’s SmartRide program is worth your consideration. As with any usage-based auto insurance program, drivers with the safest driving habits will realize the greatest savings.
If you are a current Nationwide auto policyholder and not yet signed up for the SmartRide program, you can do so by calling 1.855.421.2688 or by a direct request from your auto insurance agent to add SmartRide. You can search here for a local Nationwide Insurance Agent near you by entering either your city and state or zip code. If you have additional questions about how the SmartRide discount works, you can visit this page on the Nationwide website that explains the discount and the factors that determine the discount in detail.