Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Aug 30, 2021

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Key Takeaways

  • Nationwide SmartRide can net users a discount upward of 40%
  • Most SmartRide users claim to receive a discount of about 20%
  • SmartRide monitors idle time, nighttime driving, hard braking, and number of miles driven

Are you looking for a cheaper alternative for car insurance? Read our Nationwide SmartRide car insurance review to learn if this program is what you need.

What is Nationwide SmartRide? This is a usage-based insurance program geared towards helping Nationwide’s insured save money. It’s different from Nationwide SmartMiles, which is a pay per mile policy.

By the time you finish this SmartRide by Nationwide car insurance review, you’ll know several things. You’ll know where to get SmartRide, how much it costs, how much it can save you, and how easy it is to set up.

Before diving into our Nationwide SmartRide car insurance review, type your ZIP code into our free and helpful tool above. With it, you’ll be able to find the most affordable car insurance rates in your area.

Nationwide SmartRide Car Insurance Review: How does it work?

What is the SmartRide device? It’s really no different from the other usage-based car insurance programs (a.k.a. telematics) on the market.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Usage-Based Insurance (UBI) programs are mileage based discount programs that utilize a GPS.

What is the Nationwide SmartRide device installation process? It’s as simple as downloading a mobile app that evaluates your driving ability for four to six months.

The Nationwide SmartRide activation lasts as long as your vehicle is insured by Nationwide. Meaning, the program will net you car insurance discounts for driving devices and apps for as long as you’re insured.

What is being monitored? Risk driving behaviors such as speeding, abrupt braking in conjunction with safe driving habits. It’s all about the insurance company getting actual numbers next to the concept of risk.

In detail, Nationwide SmartRide monitors:

  • Idle time
  • Nighttime driving (12 a.m. to 5 a.m.)
  • Number of miles driven
  • Hard braking and hard acceleration

Now that we know how it works, let’s next see how much you can save.

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How much can you save with Nationwide SmartRide?

First off, a driver gets a 10% discount on their policy just for signing up for Nationwide SmartRide.

When will the discount apply? Immediately. However, the total discount (upwards of 40%) that SmartRide can save you will replace the enrollment discount upon renewal.

The vast majority of SmartRide users report discounts far lower than 40%. What is the average awarded discount? Around 20%.

Next, let’s look at the rates you’d be charged prior to SmartRide’s effect.

Nationwide Average Rates

The following table compares Nationwide’s average annual rates (without SmartRide) in each state.

Nationwide Insurance Rates by State
StateAverage Annual Premium Nationwide
Alaska$3,421.51N/A in State
District of Columbia$4,439.24$4,848.98
Indiana$3,414.97N/A in State
Louisiana$5,711.34N/A in State
Maine$2,953.28N/A in State
Massachusetts$2,678.85N/A in State
North Carolina$3,393.11$2,848.03
North Dakota$4,165.84$2,560.35
New Hampshire$3,151.77$2,491.10
New Jersey$5,515.21N/A in State
New Mexico$3,463.64$3,514.38
New York$4,289.88$4,012.93
Oklahoma$4,142.33N/A in State
Rhode Island$5,003.36$4,409.63
South Carolina$3,781.14$3,625.49
South Dakota$3,982.27$2,737.66
West Virginia$2,595.36N/A in State
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As you can see, even just 20% off of Nationwide’s annual rates would be substantial. Furthermore, Nationwide is already cheaper than most states’ averages even before SmartRide.

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Nationwide SmartRide Car Insurance Review: Is it worth it?

It all depends on your personal situation. It doesn’t have any financial penalties, so any current Nationwide customer should at least consider it.

The major caveat for some individuals is the fact that SmartRide monitors you. If this is not an issue in your mind, see how much SmartRide could save you.

Now that you have finished this Nationwide SmartRide car insurance review, type your ZIP code into our free and helpful tool below. With it, you will find the most affordable car insurance quotes in your area.