Nationwide SmartRide Program Program Review for 2021

Nationwide SmartRide is a usage-based auto insurance program that monitors your driving habits. Through the mobile app, users receive personalized feedback to help them make safer driving choices. Based on the evaluation, drivers receive a discount of up to 40 percent off of auto insurance premiums. Users also get 10 percent off just for signing up for SmartRide with Nationwide.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and Cinncinati.com. ...

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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 in...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021

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Can't-Miss Facts

  • Nationwide SmartRide, a usage-based auto insurance program, tracks your driving habits through a mobile app or plug-in device
  • Safe drivers can save up to 40 percent through the SmartRide program. All users receive 10 percent off just for signing up
  • SmartRide monitors only four driving habits: the number of miles driven, hard braking and acceleration events, idle time, and nighttime driving

If you use Nationwide insurance, enrolling in the Nationwide SmartRide program could help you save up to 40 percent on your policy premium.

Usage-based programs like SmartRide from Nationwide evaluate your driving habits. The safer you drive, the larger the discount you’ll receive on your auto insurance rates. Keep reading to discover if SmartRide from Nationwide is right for you.

Before you buy auto insurance, enter your ZIP code into our free tool above to compare usage-based programs from reputable providers near you before learning more about Nationwide SmartRide.

What is Nationwide SmartRide?

Nationwide retirement plans and Nationwide pet insurance have made a splash in the insurance market making products available to all. Did you know this auto insurance company also offers a competitive usage-based insurance program (UBI) for drivers?

The UBI program, called Nationwide SmartRide, is also be referred to as telematics. According to data reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), 40 percent of drivers are interested in telematics programs like SmartRide.

Through a mobile app, your driving habits are monitored and evaluated. Drive safe, and you’ll earn higher discount auto insurance leading to actual savings that last.

The program evaluates your driving for four to six months. In the end, you’ll receive a total score and an exclusive discount. It lasts for as long as the vehicle remains insured with Nationwide.

Nationwide initially offered a SmartRide device program that used a plug-in for your car. However, the company now focuses primarily on the mobile app. The rules and regulations have not changed. It’s still an optional program with rewards if you sign up, but no penalties if you don’t.

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How does Nationwide SmartRide work?

First, you must enroll in the SmartRide program through Nationwide. Then you download and activate the SmartRide app on your smartphone. The goal for the insurer is to create a safer driver by changing habits. The goal for the insured is to pay less again through safer driving habits.

For the first few trips, drive as usual and confirm it in the app. This sets a baseline. Then practice the safe driving techniques offered through the app and track your progress. Programs like SmartRide often provide real time feedback allowing you to create lasting change with ease. You can also see your estimated discount rate any time you want on the app.

Telematics devices track risky behaviors like speeding, quick braking, and other careless behaviors. They also track behaviors that could indicate (more dangerous) aggressive driving behaviors. The system balances these bad habits against the good decisions you make throughout the trial period to come up with a score based on driving trends and habits instead of single incidences.

At the end of the program, you lock in your final affordable Nationwide SmartRide auto insurance discount amount. It will be applied at your next policy renewal and will last as long as the vehicle stays insured through Nationwide.

If things go as intended, drivers become safer on the road leading to fewer accidents, bodily injury, and traffic violations. This makes you a lower risk, and your insurance rates will continue to drop with good behavior. Unlike some competitors, Nationwide will not increase rates for applicants with lower scores.

What driving habits does Nationwide SmartRide track?

The SmartRide program through Nationwide only tracks four different driving factors:

  • Number of miles driven
  • Hard braking and acceleration events that exceed 7.7 miles per hour per second
  • Idle time
  • Nighttime driving between midnight and 5 am

The app updates your estimated discount weekly for the duration of the program. Unlike other usage-based policies, Nationwide will not use the data to increase your rates.

Is Nationwide SmartRide worth it?

Like anything else, you have to consider the costs and benefits of SmartRide. It’s set up to be free of negative penalties and full of potential rewards. If you’re a graveyard shift worker, a program like SmartRide may not be for you. One of the behaviors the system tracks is miles driven in the middle of the night because accidents are more likely. Essentially, it’s a different take on a safe driver discount.

Even if you already have a perfect driving record and low rate, you could still benefit from SmartRide. If you’re willing to let this simple app track you for a set period, you could enjoy an even lower auto insurance rate with Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

Again, the program is free and will not result in any policy increases. Some estimates show rate could drop by as much as 40 percent for some drivers.

However, the company will gather data about your driving habits, which may make some people uncomfortable.

Nationwide is not the only insurer offering a telematics program with earned discounts. So don’t choose an auto insurance company simply because of its usage-based insurance program. Consider average rates, customer satisfaction, and claims reviews as well. The important part is programs like this reward drivers for safe driving decisions, and there’s no reason you can’t participate.

Perform a Nationwide auto insurance review to determine how competitive this company is where you live.

Now that you know more about the Nationwide SmartRide discount, compare auto insurance companies near you by entering your ZIP code into our free quote tool below to find the best auto insurance quotes near you.

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