American Family vs. Nationwide Car Insurance [2021]

Our American Family vs. Nationwide car insurance guide will help you choose between two financially strong companies with competitive rates based on your unique qualities such as age, driving record, and credit score. Nationwide is better than American Family for teen drivers, but American Family is best for those 25 and older. Continue reading to decide for yourself.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Aug 4, 2021

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Here's what you need to know

  • American Family and Nationwide have excellent customer satisfaction and a strong financial future.
  • American Family has a higher customer complaint ratio.
  • Nationwide’s rates for teen drivers are 10 percent cheaper.
  • American Family’s rates for 25 and older are 10 percent cheaper.
  • Nationwide has better rates for drivers with a low credit score and offers more discounts than American Family.

Both American Family and Nationwide are good choices based on financial strength, but if you have a teen driver, you should keep reading.

In our American Family vs. Nationwide car insurance guide, we examine rates by your specific demographics: age, gender, marital status, driving record, and credit score. We also compare discounts offered by both companies and ratings from credible agencies that rate all of the best car insurance companies.

Keep reading to compare American Family insurance and Nationwide car insurance, or enter your ZIP code to start comparing multiple companies in your local area.

Is American Family car insurance or Nationwide car insurance cheaper based on age?

The more we drive in a variety of situations and the longer we drive, the safer and more aware we become when behind the wheel. For this reason, car insurance companies use age as one of the most influential factors in quoting your car insurance rates.

In most states, it’s legal to base car insurance rates on marital status and gender; however, some have banned it. Let’s compare American Family’s auto insurance rates and Nationwide’s auto insurance rates based on age, gender, and marital status.

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Overall, Nationwide’s rates for teen drivers are about 10 percent cheaper than American Family. On the other hand, American Family has rates for 25 and older coming in 10 percent cheaper than Nationwide.

It may seem like 10 percent is not that much of a difference, but it can be once you stack some additional discounts onto it. Without considering possible discounts, Nationwide is a good option if you have a young driver in your household.

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Is American Family car insurance or Nationwide 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 you become a higher risk driver.

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Nationwide has slightly higher rates than American Family when it comes to having a bad driving record. Both companies also show about the same percent increase from a clean driving record to each type of infraction.

Compared to a driver with a clean record, both American Family rates and Nationwide rates increase by 12 to 65 percent if you get a speeding ticket, have an accident, or get a DUI.

Is American Family car insurance or Nationwide car insurance cheaper based on credit score?

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

In most states it’s legal for car insurance companies to factor in your credit score when determining your rates; however, some are banning this along with factoring in gender and marital status.

Based on the assumption that those with higher credit scores are more responsible and overall safer drivers less likely to file a claim, car insurance companies justify using your credit score to determine your rates.

Let’s take a look at how American Family and Nationwide address rates for drivers with varying credit scores.

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American Family car insurance rates are cheaper than Nationwide for drivers with good or fair credit. However, Nationwide is more lenient than American Family when it comes to drivers that have a low credit score.

If you have a bad credit history, Nationwide is a better choice than American Family.

Before you choose American Family or Nationwide, read about car insurance laws in your state and examine rates from a variety of companies by reading your state car insurance guide.

It may be that basing car insurance rates on gender, marital status, and/or credit score has been outlawed in your state.

Does American Family or Nationwide have better car insurance discounts?

A car insurance company often determines discounts based on their philosophy and values. Therefore, if you have a bad driving record or low credit score, getting good discounts will offset your high rates.

Unfortunately, our source includes only three American Family car insurance discounts: defensive driver, airbags, and using their driving device or app.

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Both American Family and Nationwide offer 40 percent off for using their driving app or driving device.

But, if you don’t prefer to use a driving app, you can still save 25 to 40 percent with Nationwide if you have an anti-theft system, vehicle recovery system, have a good driving record, or you put everyone in your household on the same policy.

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Does American Family or Nationwide have better car insurance mobile apps?

Usage-based car insurance has become a hot trend in the car insurance industry in the last decade or so, and all of the larger car insurance companies have a driving app that uses your mobile phone or a device installed into your vehicle.

Large car insurance companies also provide a more general app to enable you to pay your bill, make changes to your coverage levels, and use it for electronic verification of insurance in states that permit it.

Read about American Family’s KnowYourDrive and Nationwide’s RightTrack usage-based car insurance apps in our American Family car insurance review and our Nationwide car insurance review.

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

Purchasing car insurance is an important financial responsibility, so you want to make sure you’re selecting the appropriate company that will be there for you when you need it most.

A company’s financial strength, customer satisfaction with the claims process, and customer complaints should be reviewed prior to making 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 claims process, step by step. In their 2017 survey, 27 insurance companies were rated, and scores ranged between 86 to 96.

And the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) calculates a complaint ratio based on total number of customers against total number of complaints. In 2017, the national average complaint ratio was 1. The lower the ratio, the better.

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Both companies have a solid financial future. Additionally, both American Family and Nationwide are highly rated when it comes to customer satisfaction with the claims process.

However, American Family has a larger customer complaint ratio. Before eliminating American Family, be sure to find more details on the NAIC website.

When you’re unsure which company to choose, you can always use our FREE comparison tool to compare car insurance quotes from the car insurance companies in your area.

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