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Safeco or Nationwide: Which company is best for you?

As two of the country's most popular insurance companies, Safeco and Nationwide both offer appealing insurance options for a variety of drivers and homeowners. Read on to see which company comes out on top.

Safeco car insurance

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3.5 Rating from The Zebra

Safeco Insurance is a popular choice for many car insurance shoppers. As a subsidiary of Liberty Mutual, Safeco customers can enjoy a wide array of policy options and coverage levels. There are also many additional lines of insurance that may be bundled with auto policies, potentially allowing customers to streamline their insurance needs and even save money. Find out more about Safeco Insurance below.

Pros Cons
  • Numerous discount options
  • Rideshare coverage available (in some states)
  • Good bundling options
  • Less than stellar customer service history
  • High number of complaints (according to the NAIC)
  • Less appealing to customers who don't bundle coverage 
Learn more

Nationwide car insurance

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3.5 Rating from The Zebra

Nationwide is also one of the largest car insurance companies in the U.S. Customers can expect relatively affordable rates, a variety of discount options and a wide selection of other coverage types to bundle with their auto policy. Nationwide customers can combine auto insurance with homeowners, renters and life insurance policies, earning potential multi-line savings.

Pros Cons
  • Wide-ranging coverage options
  • Multiple telematics options
  • Affordable rates
  • Plentiful discount options
  • Overall customer satisfaction scores are poor
  • Frequent customer complaints (according to the NAIC)                          
Learn more

Which company comes out on top?

Tie


The two companies cater to insurance customers with different preferences. Both insurers struggle with customer satisfaction scores but offer affordable rates and multiple discount opportunities. If you're deciding between these two carriers, compare quotes and weigh your individual situation before making a decision. 


Safeco vs. Nationwide: car insurance rate comparison

Choosing an auto insurance company on price alone can be difficult: rates vary based on your location, vehicle, and driving record, and insurers often offer varying perks. Safeco and Nationwide are two the nation's most popular insurers. Each sells high-quality insurance policies across most of the country.

To simplify the shopping process, we've gathered average rates from Nationwide and Safeco. These rates take into account various factors, including credit history, driving record, and age. Examine these figures and find the right policy for you.

To learn more about these companies, check out our detailed reviews of Safeco and Nationwide.

Cheapest average rates
Cheapest average rates

The insurer with the cheaper car insurance rates is Nationwide, at $90 per month.


Safeco vs. Nationwide: pricing by credit score

If you have a less-than-stellar credit history, Nationwide presents a relatively affordable option. Nationwide offers some of the most affordable rates for drivers with credit scores lower than 580. In fact, Nationwide's average rates are more affordable than Safeco's for drivers at every credit level. See below detailed insurance rates by credit tier for the two companies.

 

RATES BY CREDIT LEVEL: NATIONWIDE VS. SAFECO
Credit level Safeco avg. annual premium Nationwide avg. annual premium
Very Poor (300-579) $2,051 $1,593
Fair (580-669) $1,358 $1,262
Good (670-739) $1,485 $1,283
Very Good (740-799) $1,120 $1,109
Exceptional (800-850) $1,064 $1,037

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.

Safeco vs. Nationwide: rates for high-risk drivers

If you have a violation such as a DUI, reckless driving conviction, at-fault crash or speeding ticket on your résumé, your rates could be more affordable with Nationwide than with Safeco. Each car insurance company evaluates rates differently after a driving violation, so don't hesitate to shop around to figure out which insurer suits you.

 

RATES BY CITATION: NATIONWIDE VS. SAFECO
Citation Safeco avg. annual premium Nationwide avg. annual premium
At-fault accident (damage < $1,000) $2,546 $1,836
At-fault accident (damage > $1,000) $1,969 $1,475
DUI/DWI $2,796 $2,691
Reckless driving $2,853 $2,508
Speeding ticket $2,512 $1,469

Safeco vs. Nationwide: rates by age

Auto insurance companies use a driver's age to gauge risk, setting their rates accordingly. Insurance is usually expensive for teen drivers and relatively affordable for middle-aged drivers. Because every car insurance company establishes its prices in a different manner, it's usually worthwhile to compare quotes.

Cost-conscious young drivers should consider Nationwide over Safeco. The former is one of the most affordable choices for teen drivers, while the latter charges young drivers more than $600 per month, on average. 

 

RATES BY AGE: NATIONWIDE VS. SAFECO
Age tier Safeco avg. annual premium Nationwide avg. annual premium
Teens $7,765 $3,624
20s $2,566 $1,582
30s $2,566 $1,582
40s $2,128 $1,151
50s $1,114 $1,114
60s $1,028 $1,028

Costs aside, Safeco and Nationwide each have pros and cons: ranging from their customer satisfaction ratings to their discount programs and various policy extras. To ensure you're making an informed insurance decision, get quotes and compare rates before buying a policy.

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Ratings comparison: Safeco vs. Nationwide

Safeco and Nationwide have plenty of ratings and reviews to evaluate. We've gathered some of these ratings to provide perspective on each company's customer satisfaction standards, complaint ratios and financial stability standing.

Safeco vs. Nationwide
Ratings comparison Safeco Nationwide
Financial strength (A.M. Best) Excellent Superior
JD Power (claims satisfaction) Average Average
JD Power (customer satisfaction) Average Poor
NAIC rating Poor Poor
The Zebra's editorial review score 3.5/5 3.5/5
The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey N/A 4.3/5

Which company scores best?

Tie


These two companies are evenly matched in an overall sense— both boast solid financial strength and have been rated similarly by The Zebra reviewers, but have more than the average number of complaints. Both compnaies are worth checking out.


The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey

The Zebra conducted an in-house survey of insurance consumers to discover how they viewed their insurance companies across a number of topics.afeco did not meet the criteria to be included in this survey, but you can see how customers viewed their experiences with Nationwide below.

survey logo
Nationwide

Nationwide earned near-average marks in most categories. Out of the 15 companies for which we gathered data, 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 company.

  • 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

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.


Safeco vs. Nationwide: discount comparison

See below a head-to-head comparison of the companies' discount options for car insurance.

Safeco vs. Nationwide: discount comparison
Discount comparison Safeco Nationwide
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

Telematics options: Safeco vs. Nationwide

Both insurers offer telematics-powered policies. See more information about each company's mobile app below. 

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Nationwide SmartRide

SmartRide is Nationwide's telematics offering, giving safe drivers the opportunity 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.

Safeco logo
Safeco RightTrack®

Safeco RightTrack® allows customers to choose either a plug-in device or an app to monitor your driving for 90 days. The company claims that safe drivers may be eligible for savings between 5 and 30%, though no savings are guaranteed.

Zebra Tip: Consider both companies for telematics offerings


Both companies offer similar telematics options that monitor driving habits and apply possible discounts. 


Roadside assistance: Safeco vs. Nationwide

Find below summaries of the roadside assistance programs available via Safeco and Nationwide.

Safeco

Safeco offers and optional roadside assistance package that is on par with most other major carriers. Roadside assistance can be requested through the company's mobile app or by calling 1-877-762-3101. Drivers who choose to add roadside assistance from Safeco can expect the following services:

  • Towing
  • Battery jump start
  • Fuel and fluids
  • Flat-tire change
  • Lock-out services

 

Nationwide

Nationwide partners with Agero to provide roadside assistance services. Drivers who add roadside assistance receive access to:

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

Safeco vs. Nationwide: home insurance

In addition to their car insurance products, both companies have unique homeowners insurance offerings at differing price points. Consult our comparison below to find out which company suits your home insurance situation.

Safeco homeowners insurance review

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3.5 Rating from The Zebra

Safeco homeowners insurance is a good option for many customers. In general, homeowners can expect good coverage at competitive rates. While Safeco doesn't offer a vast number of endorsements, those that they do are very reasonably priced. One thing that potential customers will want to consider is the overall satisfaction of Safeco customers. The company's homeowners coverage receives fewer complaints than their auto coverage, though customer satisfaction is still well below average. To find out more about the different types of coverage offered — as well as average rates — have a look at our guide below. 

 

  • The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey — N/A: Safeco was not included in The Zebra's homeowners insurance customer survey. 
  • Customer satisfaction (J.D. Power) — Average: Safeco customers expressed average levels of satisfaction, according to J.D. Power's 2021 study. 
  • Financial strength — Excellent: Safeco's excellent financial strength — tracked by AM Best — indicates a strong ability to pay out claims.
  • NAIC rating — Poor: The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) received more complaints than average regarding Safeco in 2020.
Learn more

Nationwide homeowners review

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4.0 Rating from The Zebra

Nationwide is a popular option for homeowners insurance, due to its solid product offerings and relatively affordable rates. The company earned roughly average reviews from various third-party reviewers and consumers, placing 10th in The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey. 

  • 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 did other major homeowners insurance companies.
Learn more

Which company comes out on top?

Nationwide


Each company's home insurance product comes with pros and cons. Nationwide wins by a hair here, as its third party ratings are positive and it has strong customer satisfaction scores. As an insurance customer, be sure to compare quotes, discounts and coverage options to come to an understanding of which company meets your home coverage needs.


Safeco vs. Nationwide: home insurance rate comparison

Both Nationwide and Safeco offer homeowners policies at competitive rates: both companies average annual homeowners insurance rates are $1,236. The carriers' products and pricing strategies differ depending on your situation, so it's important to consider your quotes may not match these exactly when looking for coverage. 

Much like auto insurance rates, homeowners insurance prices can vary based on certain factors. Companies use your insurance history — along with your location — when establishing your rate.

Cheapest average rates
Cheapest average rates

Since both of these insurers offer the same average monthly rate for homeowners, this is a tie. 

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.


Safeco vs. Nationwide: homeowners discount comparison

Nationwide and Safeco both offer home insurance discounts for customers meeting certain criteria. Compare these discounts head-to-head below.

SAFECO VS. NATIONWIDE: HOMEOWNERS DISCOUNT COMPARISON
Discount comparison Safeco Nationwide
Claims free
Recent home buyer
Multi-policy
Early signing
Newer/more durable roof
Protective devices (smoke/burglar alarms, etc...)
Paid in full
Auto pay
New home construction

Zebra tip: Consider Nationwide if you're interested in homeowners insurance discounts


Nationwide's collection of home insurance discounts is among the most comprehensive of any company. This doesn't necessarily mean the company will be the cheapest option for everyone.


Other insurance products and bundling options

Safeco and Nationwide offer a variety of insurance products, along with the option to bundle policies for extra savings. Compare product offerings from the two carriers below.

Nationwide vs. Safeco: other insurance products
Other products Safeco Nationwide
Boat insurance
Condo insurance
Life insurance
Homeowners insurance
Travel trailer insurance
Renters insurance
RV insurance
Motorcycle insurance
Mobile home insurance
Umbrella
ATV insurance
Pet insurance

Find the best insurance policy for your needs.

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RECENT QUESTIONS

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

What's the ADOT code for Nationwide

The ADOT code for Nationwide would be listed on your policy documents. But for Nationwide, it is 0014.
Jul 30, 2018 Lake Havasus City, AZ

Should I stay with my car insurance company even if I'm getting a better quote from elsewhere?

It's possible that your agent is simply trying to keep your business. However, he may actually be correct.
Nov 11, 2019 Rockledge, FL

Can I get an EMT discount with Nationwide?

To my knowledge, Nationwide does offer discounts to EMT but I'm not 100% if there are any specifics to the state of California. Because car insurance is regulated at the state, there could be some implications regarding California's state legislation that would prohibit employment status from being considered.
Aug 27, 2018 Los Alamitos, CA

Ross Martin photo
Ross MartinManager, Content Quality

As a licensed insurance agent, Ross researches and writes insurance content intended to help users make informed decisions.

Ross's background is in writing and education. He holds a master's degree from Royal Holloway, University of London.

Ross's work has been cited by The New York Times, Investopedia, The Simple DollarThe BalanceCar and Driver and Fox Business. He has been quoted by CNET, I Drive Safely and Kin Insurance

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.