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Nationwide or AAA: Which company is best for you?

Nationwide and AAA are two very popular options for insurance, but which one is best for you? We've compared both companies to give you an idea of what you can expect as a customer. Read on to find out more.

Nationwide car insurance

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3.5 Rating from The Zebra

Nationwide is another one of the largest car insurance companies in the country. Customers can generally expect affordable rates, discount options and a large selection of additional coverage lines to pair with an auto policy, including homeowners, renters and life insurance just to name a few.

Pros Cons
  • Wide-ranging coverage options
  • Multiple telematics options
  • Affordable rates
  • Numerous discount options
  • Overall customer satisfaction scores are poor
  • High number of complaints (according to the NAIC) 
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AAA car insurance

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3 Rating from The Zebra

Perhaps best known for its roadside assistance programs, AAA also offers car insurance to its members. In most cases, coverage is not provided by AAA themselves, but through partner companies. AAA simply acts as an intermediary, meaning that coverage options and experiences can be vastly different based on location. 

Pros Cons
  • Many bundling options
  • Additional membership benefits
  • Numerous discount opportunities
  • Lack of robust coverage options
  • Customer satisfaction scores are low
Learn more

Which company comes out on top?

Nationwide


Nationwide's affordable rates and broad list of coverage options, plus its higher review score, make it worthy of the top spot.


Nationwide vs. AAA: car insurance rate comparison

Affordability is an important consideration when shopping for an auto policy. Your rates are determined by many factors, including your driving history, state regulations and your credit score — at least in most states. 

To give you a better sense of how Nationwide and AAA rates stack up, we've gathered average rates based on a few different factors. Take a look at the figures below to get a sense of which company could be most affordable for you.

Cheapest average rates medal
Cheapest average rates

Nationwide has the cheapest rates at $90 per month. AAA comes in considerably higher at $151 per month.


Nationwide vs. AAA: pricing by credit score

For those with very poor credit, Nationwide could be preferable to AAA. Typically, Nationwide offers better rates than AAA for drivers with credit scores lower than 580. Insurance shoppers with exceptional credit — a score of 800 or better — should consider Nationwide, which typically beats AAA by $1,750 annually. Check out typical insurance rates by credit level for AAA and Nationwide below.

 
RATES BY CREDIT LEVEL: AAA VS. NATIONWIDE
Credit level Nstionwide avg. annual premium AAA avg. annual premium
Very Poor (300-579) $1,593 $6,569
Fair (580-669) $1,262 $4,023
Good (670-739) $1,283 $3,723
Very Good (740-799) $1,109 $3,004
Exceptional (800-850) $1,064 $2,814

Auto insurance data methodology

The auto insurance rates published in this guide are based on the results of The Zebra's State of Insurance car insurance pricing analysis. This analysis of more than 83 million insurance rates spans every U.S. ZIP code, using a sample user profile: a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord, good credit and full coverage at these levels:

  • $50,000 per person/$100,000 per incident for bodily injury liability
  • $50,000 per incident for property damage liability
  • $500 deductibles for collision and comprehensive coverage

To generate pricing for particular rating factors, we adjusted the driving profile based on common pricing factors used by major car insurance companies. These factors include credit score, coverage level, driving record and others.

In some instances, average rates from Liberty Mutual were derived from internally sourced sales data.

Nationwide vs. AAA: rates for high-risk drivers

If you're carrying an at-fault accident, speeding violation, reckless driving violation or DUI on your driving record, Nationwide could be a better choice than AAA. Every car insurance company will handle driving offenses differently, so don't be afraid to shop around and get quotes to find out which insurance company suits you.

 
RATES BY CITATION: AAA VS. NATIONWIDE
Citation Nationwide avg. annual premium AAA avg. annual premium
At-fault accident (damage < $1,000) $1,836 $4,078
At-fault accident (damage > $1,000) $1,475 $4,002
DUI/DWI $2,691 $5,530
Reckless driving $2,508 $5,530
Speeding ticket $1,469 $4,078
 

Nationwide vs. AAA: rates by age

Insurance companies use age as an estimator of risk, pricing premiums accordingly. An auto insurance policy is typically most expensive for teen drivers — thanks to their inexperience — and more affordable for drivers aged 25 or older. Because every insurance company rates ages in a different way, it's smart to shop around and find the perfect policy for you.

In general, teen drivers should choose Nationwide over AAA: Nationwide offers average yearly savings of $6,632, compared to AAA.

RATES BY AGE: AAA VS. NATIONWIDE
Age bracket Nationwide avg. annual premium AAA avg. annual premium
Teens $3,624 $10,256
20s $1,582 $4,644
30s $1,582 $4,644
40s $1,151 $3,195
50s $1,114 $3,083
60s $1,028 $2,887
 

Affordability aside, Nationwide and AAA each carry pros and cons, including their discount programs, add-ons, customer satisfaction ratings, and financial stability. Be sure to get quotes and compare rates before purchasing a policy.

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Ratings comparison: Nationwide vs. AAA

Both Nationwide and AAA are widely known companies, each with a long history of third-party ratings and customer satisfaction scores. Below you'll find the compiled results of many of these most recent ratings. Included are scores for financial strength, customer complaints, and overall customer satisfaction.

NATIONWIDE VS. AAA
Ratings comparison Nationwide AAA
Financial strength (A.M. Best) Superior Superior
JD Power (claims satisfaction) Average Below average
JD Power (customer satisfaction) Poor Average
NAIC rating Good Poor
The Zebra's editorial review score 3.5/5 3/5
The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey 4.3/5 4.2

Which company scores best?

Nationwide


Nationwide receives slightly better scores in most categories compared to AAA. 


The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey

To get a better sense of how the overall customer experience, The Zebra conducted an independent survey taking a look at many different factors. Below you'll find the results for each company.

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Nationwide

Nationwide placed among the middle of the pack in most categories. Out of the fifteen major insurers included, Nationwide auto insurance placed 9th overall with a score of 4.3. While it struggled in the claims satisfaction category, Nationwide is generally viewed as a trustworthy car insurance option.

  • Nationwide auto insurance placed 9th overall
  • Millennial and Gen X respondents rated Nationwide highly for ease of interaction
  • Scored poorly for claims satisfaction and online satisfaction

 

 

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AAA

Among the carriers on our survey, AAA ranked 13th (out of 15) with a score of 4.2. In general, the company placed near the bottom in almost every category.

  • Younger respondents had a more favorable view than older drivers
  • Best scores came in the trust category

The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey methodology

Findings are based on an online quantitative survey of 4,134 current U.S. auto and home insurance customers, with Census-balanced sampling by age, gender and region. Categories with n=<20 responses are considered insufficient sample size and are not reported. This survey was developed by The Zebra and executed by independent research firm Maru/Blue in 2021.


Nationwide vs. AAA: discount comparison

Discounts are a great way to bring down the costs of your car insurance. See how each company's available discount options stack up below.

NATIONWIDE VS. AAA: DISCOUNT COMPARISON
Discount comparison Nationwide AAA
Good student
Multiple policies
Multiple vehicles
Anti-theft device(s)
Anti-lock brake system
Air bags
Good driver
Defensive driver
Student away at school
Driver training
Green vehicles
Affinity membership alum
Advanced purchase
Pay in full
Home owner
eSign or ePay
Telematics
New Vehicle
Annual Mileage
Military

Due to AAA's partnerships with other car insurance companies to provide policies, some of these discount options may not be available in some locations. Always ask about what discounts you are eligible for when shopping for your policy.


Telematics options: Nationwide vs. AAA

Nationwide and AAA both offer telematics programs that can help to measure your driving habits and calculate the level of risk you pose. Take a look at our rundown of available options from both carriers below. 

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Nationwide SmartRide

SmartRide is Nationwide's telematics offering, giving safe drivers the chance to save money. Because the app tracks your driving habits, it also provides feedback in an effort to help you avoid risk and stay safe.

Nationwide SmartMiles
Nationwide SmartMiles

In addition to the SmartRide program, Nationwide also offers a usage-based program aimed at low-mileage drivers. Commonly referred to as pay-per-mile car insurance, SmartMiles offers savings potential for drivers who aren't often behind the wheel. 

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AAA OnBoard

Depending on the state in which they reside, some customers may be able to sign up for OnBoard, AAA's telematics option. The company boasts savings of 15% at sign-up, with total savings of up to 30% possible for eligible drivers. However, there is no separate app at the time of writing, meaning that all participants must download the AAA mobile app.

Zebra Tip: Explore Nationwide for telematics offerings


Nationwide offers both a telematics and usage-based program that could appeal to a wider group of drivers. 


Roadside assistance: Nationwide vs. AAA

No one wants to be stuck on the side of the road. If you ever find yourself in that situation, you'll want a roadside assistance program that can get you back on the road quickly. Take a look at each company's roadside assistance options below.

Nationwide

To provide roadside assistance to its customers, Nationwide also partners with Agero. Drivers who choose to add roadside assistance, the following services are available:

  • Towing
  • Battery jump start
  • Fuel delivery
  • Flat-tire change
  • Winching services
  • Lock-out services

 

AAA

Perhaps no other company is more closely associated with roadside assistance than AAA. For that reason, it's no surprise that the company has an expansive selection of options available to both members and policyholders. Below is a list of options available:

  • Jumpstarts
  • Towing
  • Fuel delivery
  • Vehicle lockout
  • flat tire service
  • Stuck vehicle services

AAA offers different levels of membership that apply to roadside assistance. Those in higher tiers are often reimbursed for larger amounts or eligible for towing for longer distances. The highest tier even offers trip interruption coverage.

tow truck

Nationwide vs. AAA: home insurance

Both Nationwide and AAA have popular home insurance options to accompany their auto coverage. Below, we take a look at how the two companies compare. 

Nationwide homeowners insurance review

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4.0 Rating from The Zebra

Nationwide insurance has a strong presence in the home insurance space, offering a variety of coverage options at competitive rates.

  • The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey — 4.3/5: Nationwide placed 10th overall in The Zebra's homeowners insurance customer survey. 
  • Claims satisfaction (J.D. Power) — Above average: J.D. Power's property claims satisfaction study for 2021 gave Nationwide an above-average score of 892 out of 1,000.
  • Customer satisfaction — (J.D. Power) — Below average: Nationwide earned below-average marks in J.D. Power's study of customer satisfaction. 
  • Financial strength — Superior: AM Best rates Nationwide an A+.
  • NAIC Rating — Good: Nationwide received fewer complaints than other major homeowners insurance companies.
Learn more

AAA homeowners review

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4 Rating from The Zebra

As with AAA's car insurance offering, the company partners with a number of affiliated insurers to provide homeowners coverage. These companies include CSAA and Auto Club Indemnity Company. Ratings of AAA's home insurance offering are a composite of these companies in an effort to give a broad idea of what customers can expect.

  • The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey — 4.2/5: AAA ranked 14th in the overall homeowners carrier category of The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey.
  • Customer Service (J.D. Power) — Below Average: The average J.D. Power ranking of CSAA and Auto Club of Southern California Insurance group comes in just shy of the average for customer satisfaction. 
  • Financial Strength (AM Best) — Excellent: With a financial rating of “excellent,” you can rest assured AAA will be able to handle your claims.
  • Claims Satisfaction (NAIC) — Good: The average number of complaints across different branches of AAA homeowners insurance companies is fewer than average.
Learn more

Which company comes out on top?

Tie


Both AAA and Nationwide can pair customers with good homeowners policies. They are evenly matched in terms of customer satisfaction and financial strength.  For these reason, we feel that both companies are worth exploring for homeowners insurance.


Nationwide vs. AAA: home insurance rate comparison

Nationwide's average annual homeowners insurance rate is $1,236. The average rates for AAA comes in slightly pricier at $1,296 per year. It's important to note that every company has its own underwriting methods, meaning that prices can vary one company to another. This is even true amongst AAA partner companies. 

Home insurance rates are comprised of both individual and environmental factors. This can include things such as your claims history, area crime and your proximity to fire fighting services. For this reason, it's important to shop around when looking for home insurance quotes.

Cheapest average rates
Cheapest average rates

AAA has cheaper rates than Nationwide on average, coming in at around $108 per month to Nationwide's average of $119 per month.

Homeowners insurance data methodology

The homeowners insurance rates published in this guide are based on The Zebra's analysis of the cost of home insurance in every U.S. ZIP code. These rates are based on a sample user profile: a 45-year-old married homeowner living in a 2,500-square-foot single-story home built in 2011 with these coverage levels:

  • $200,000 for the dwelling
  • $20,000 for other structures
  • $100,000 for personal property
  • $100,000 for personal liability
  • $1,000 deductible

To generate pricing for particular rating factors, we adjusted the homeowner profile based on common pricing factors used by major home insurance companies. These factors include location, coverage limits, claims record and others.


Nationwide vs. AAA: homeowners discount comparison

Discounts can be enticing to prospective insurance shoppers. See how the homeowners discount options from Nationwide and AAA compare below.

NATIONWIDE VS. AAA: HOMEOWNERS DISCOUNT COMPARISON
Discount comparison Nationwide AAA
Claims free
Recent home buyer
Multi-policy
Early signing
Newer/more durable roof
Protective devices (smoke/burglar alarms, etc.)
Paid in full
Early signing
Auto pay
Newer home
Renovated home
Senior citizen
Gated community
Smart home

Zebra tip: Check out Nationwide is you are seeking home insurance discounts


Nationwide offers more discounts than AAA for qualifying customers, but keep in mind this doesn't necessarily mean that they'll be cheaper for everyone.


Other insurance products and bundling options

Nationwide and AAA both offer multiple lines of insurance that can be bundled together. This can streamline your insurance policies and also lead to potential savings. Along with auto and home, customers may be able to add life, pet, or even small business coverage from Nationwide and AAA. Take a look at the additional coverage types available from each company below.

NATIONWIDE VS. AAA: OTHER INSURANCE PRODUCTS
Other products Nationwide AAA
Boat insurance
Condo insurance
Life insurance
Homeowners insurance
Renters insurance
RV insurance
Motorcycle insurance
Mobile home insurance
Umbrella
Offroad vehicles and ATVs
Classic car
Small business
Farm and ranch
Pet

Find the best insurance policy for your needs.

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RECENT QUESTIONS

Can a bank add insurance to my loan when I already have insurance?

This sounds like a processing error. Short of that, I would say that this issue is unfortunately too specific to your policy for me to accurately advise.
Jun 4, 2019 Chino, CA

How do i dispute a driving record with AAA

The only way you can dispute a claim on your driving history is to contact LexisNexis. That is the database that reports accidents to other companies.
Sep 21, 2018 Los Angeles, CA

Can I bundle my renters and new car insurance?

We have several companies that will be able to fit your needs. At this time, we do not quote renters insurance on our site but we can quote you with our agency.
Jul 2, 2018 Belleville, Il

Is accident forgiveness a good idea for me?

You might be a good contender for this policy option. Most lease contracts will require you to keep the vehicle in good condition.
Mar 30, 2018 The Woodlands, Texas

Renata Balasco photo
Renata BalascoAssociate Content Strategist

Renata is a licensed insurance professional and content strategist responsible for creating home and auto insurance guides for The Zebra.

Renata's background in technical writing and her experience working in the insurance industry informs her work. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications.

Renata's work has been cited by Car and Driver

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.

  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.

  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.