If you already engage in safe driving habits, shouldn’t you be rewarded for it? Nationwide auto insurance offers a plan to help you save money on your policy through the SmartRide program. A small device captures your driving data, and, depending on several factors, you could be eligible for significant savings on your next policy renewal.

Those who aren’t already Nationwide customers can compare prices for its policies and other cheap car insurance options by heading to Insurify. With just a few clicks of the mouse, you can find the best insurance policy to meet your budget needs.

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Nationwide SmartRide: What is it, and how does it work?

Several large insurance companies offer similar programs; however, Nationwide provides one of the most massive potential final discounts on the market. Drivers find that it’s easy to enroll in SmartRide and can save up to 40 percent on their policy.

What is Nationwide SmartRide?

Safe drivers can enroll in SmartRide for free by visiting the Nationwide website. You’ll be sent a small device that you plug into your vehicle for four to six months. Upon completion of the program, you’ll be able to save on your policy based on your driving behavior.

Telematics

The SmartRide device works via telematics, a system of measuring multiple factors, including speed and location. While some individuals have been concerned about privacy issues related to telematics in the past, Nationwide assures its customers that driving data is only used to track driving behaviors.

How does Nationwide SmartRide work? 

After enrolling at nationwide.com, Nationwide will ship a SmartRide device to you within 10 days. It’s advised that you also download the accompanying mobile app to track your estimated discount as you go. At the end of the program period, you’ll lock in your final discount, and it will be applied on your next renewal.

What does SmartRide record?

The SmartRide device uses several pieces of data to calculate your driving trends, including your total miles driven, instances of hard braking or fast acceleration, idle time, and nighttime driving. All of these elements contribute to safer driving and will help Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company determine your discount.

How is your information used?

The idea of telematics, in general, has often been concerning for drivers, as they are afraid Nationwide will track their every moment. You can rest assured that with this optional program, only the data described above will be used.

Am I eligible?

Current customers who drive a vehicle manufactured in 1996 or later are eligible for Nationwide’s SmartRide program. If you’re concerned that your vehicle may not be eligible but would like to enjoy deeper discounts, contact Nationwide today.

Costs and Discounts

SmartRide is considered a benefit to policyholders’ current insurance program, so there’s no cost to participate. Your SmartRide discount is based on your daily driving decisions and could save you between 10 and 40 percent on your auto insurance premiums.

Nationwide SmartRide: Step by Step

1. Enroll in Nationwide SmartRide.

With a few clicks of your mouse, you can enroll in the SmartRide program. Simply visit nationwide.com to get started.

2. Set up your device and app. 

Your telematics device will be mailed to you within 10 days of your enrollment. It plugs into a port in your vehicle underneath the steering wheel. Then, visit the app store on your mobile phone and download the app.

3. Drive during the evaluation period. 

It’s no easy feat to follow the rules of the road every day, and that’s why Nationwide offers drivers four to six months for an evaluation period. For many, simply knowing that their driving habits are being tracked helps people become safer drivers.

4. Return your device. 

When your evaluation period is over, mail the SmartRide device back to Nationwide and lock in your final discount.

5. Receive your discount. 

Safe driving habits can earn you up to 40 percent off with SmartRide, and these savings will be reflected on your next policy renewal.

6. [Optional] Cancel Nationwide SmartRide. 

There’s no obligation to stay enrolled in SmartRide if you’re no longer interested in the program. Contact your Nationwide insurance agent to cancel the program without disrupting any of your other insurance products.

Nationwide SmartRide: Is it worth It?

It might seem too good to be true for an insurer to offer such a substantial discount, leading many to wonder if the SmartRide program is really a good idea.

Pros and Cons

Most policyholders find that using SmartRide is incredibly user-friendly, as plugging in the telematics device only takes a minute, and from that moment on, Nationwide does the rest. Seeing a deep discount on your next policy renewal makes the time spent enrolling well worth it.

However, some fear that Nationwide’s device is too sensitive and may penalize you for aggressive driving behavior even when it may have been necessary out of safety. In general, while the device is undoubtedly advanced, its telematics might need some fine-tuning.

Customer Reviews

Despite how straightforward the program is, SmartRide doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of glowing reviews. Customers are happy with the discounts they receive, but they note that the app isn’t user-friendly, the device misses some trips, and the sensitivity is too high for hard braking and fast acceleration.

Nationwide SmartRide Contact Information

Call 1 (877) On Your Side, or 1 (877) 669-6877. 

Nationwide SmartRide FAQ

Is Nationwide SmartRide worth enrolling in?

The SmartRide program is free to enroll in and won’t penalize you in any way. Customers who participate for a full four to six months in the program can save up to 40 percent on their policies.

Can I hack my SmartRide device to get the maximum discount?

Some drivers try to cheat the SmartRide device to receive a more considerable discount, but the program prevents individuals from doing so. If you do attempt to hack the program, you could face insurance fraud charges depending on what state you live in.

Where can I find and compare cheap car insurance quotes?

Nationwide’s insurance programs are affordable for many, but if you’re looking for cheap car insurance from other providers, visit Insurify today. You’ll be able to compare quotes from multiple carriers at once and select the best option for you.

Conclusion: How to get the best and cheapest car insurance

For many drivers, the Nationwide SmartRide program is the ideal way to save money on car insurance. However, if you’re not currently a Nationwide customer or you’re looking to switch your coverage to another carrier, you don’t need to spend time comparing prices across numerous websites.

Individuals can find car insurance quotes with Insurify after answering a few simple questions. You’ll easily be able to compare discounts and coverage limits and enroll in the policy that best meets your needs.

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Updated November 19, 2020

Courtney Elder has loved to write since age six, yet she didn’t turn it into a career until many years after that. She graduated from Sonoma State University with a degree in Communications, and when she’s not creating content for Insurify, she’s exploring Portland, OR with her kids.