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Published: Feb 07, 2022 14 min read
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Best for Bundling Discounts

It’s less easy to get a break on your life insurance premiums by buying from a company that already provides you with other types of coverage than, say, when signing on with home and auto insurance from a single insurer.

That’s a key reason to consider Nationwide for life insurance, especially if you’re already a customer of the company’s auto insurance and home coverage, or are open to considering getting both.

Nationwide offers a discount on your life insurance if you insure both your home and cars through it. That, and strong records for financial stability and customer service, make the company our pick for the best life insurer for bundling discounts, despite some minor drawbacks.

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Nationwide Life Insurance Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Multi-policy discounts available
  • Very strong customer service ratings
  • Multiple insurance options
  • Long-term care riders available
Cons
  • Most policies must be purchased through agents
  • All policies are fully underwritten
  • Term life coverage limited to $1 million

Pros explained

Multi-policy discounts available

With many major insurance companies, life insurance policies aren’t eligible for bundling discounts. But if you’re a Nationwide customer with an auto and home policy (and you must have both), you can receive a discount on your life insurance premiums.

Very strong customer service ratings

Nationwide was ranked second among more than 20 more companies scored for customer satisfaction for individual life insurance by JD Power, the leading agency for assessing such measures. It has also gathered relatively few customer complaints to the national insurance organization that monitors such customer feedback.

Multiple insurance options

Nationwide doesn’t sell just one type of life coverage like some insurers. Instead, it sells term, whole, universal, and variable universal policies, which facilitates choosing the best type of coverage for your needs.

Long-term care riders available

Long-term care insurance is increasingly difficult to find (or at least to afford) as a standalone policy. While life insurers don’t often offer long-term care riders, Nationwide does. With its riders, you can get coverage for your long-term care needs, such as hiring a caregiver or moving into an assisted-living facility.

Cons explained

Most policies must be purchased through agents

Although you can submit an application for term life insurance online, you’ll have to complete the process through an agent. For all other policy types, you have to work with an agent to get quotes and apply for coverage.

All policies are fully underwritten

While most life insurance companies have some plans that don’t require medical exams, Nationwide’s policies are fully underwritten. To apply for coverage, you’ll have to get a medical exam and bloodwork.

Term life coverage limited to $1 million

The maximum amount of term life coverage available is $1 million. Other companies offer as much as $10 million in coverage, so those that need a substantial amount of coverage will likely be better off with another company.

Nationwide Life Insurance Products

Nationwide sells four types of life insurance: term, whole, universal and variable universal. All of its policies require medical exams.

Available life insurance plans

Nationwide sells eight different policies:

Term life

One of the most popular forms of life insurance, term life insurance is relatively inexpensive because it only provides coverage for a specified term. With Nationwide’s YourLife Guaranteed Level term policy, terms range from 10 to 30 years, and you can purchase up to $1 million in coverage. This plan has level premiums, meaning they won’t increase during your policy term.

Whole life

Whole life coverage is significantly more expensive than term life insurance because it lasts for your lifetime. In addition to a death benefit, whole life policies also can accumulate cash value. With Nationwide’s policies, your account receives a guaranteed, fixed-rate of interest on the cash value.

Universal life

Like whole life coverage, universal life insurance is permanent. Both types of coverage have a death benefit and cash value, but universal coverage is more flexible. You can reduce or increase your death benefit, and you can use your cash value to pay your premiums if you’ve accrued enough money in the policy.

There are four universal life options:

  • Indexed Universal Life Accumulator: For those that want to maximize their policy’s income potential, this plan aims to provide a higher rate of growth for your cash value.
  • Indexed Universal Life Protector: This plan has fixed benefits and a higher rate of cash value growth than a standard whole life plan.
  • Survivorship Indexed UL: The survivorship plan covers two people, and only pays a death benefit after both persons have died.
  • YourLife CareMatters: This policy includes universal life coverage and long-term care insurance.

Variable life

Variable universal life policies are permanent. A portion of your premiums are deposited into a tax-deferred savings account, and you can choose to invest that money in funds selected by Nationwide. Since these accounts are dependent on the performance of the stock market, they have a higher chance of growth — but also higher levels of risk.

There are two options:

  • Variable Universal Life Accumulator: With the Accumulator option, you can invest your money to potentially increase your cash value to cover future income needs.
  • Variable Universal Life Protector: This plan provides a guaranteed death benefit plus cash value growth potential.

Insurance riders

Depending on the policy you choose, you may be able to add optional insurance riders to your policy. Available at an additional cost, riders allow you to get extra coverage, receive a portion of the death benefit while living or cover other family members. Nationwide’s riders include:

  • Accelerated death benefit riders: Accelerated death benefit riders include riders for chronic, critical and terminal illnesses. If you receive an eligible diagnosis and prognosis, you can use a portion of your policy’s death benefit while you’re living to cover your expenses.
  • Accidental death: If you pass away and your death was caused by an accident, your beneficiaries will receive an additional benefit.
  • Children’s term: With the children’s term rider, you can get term life insurance for a dependent child.
  • Guaranteed insurability: The guaranteed insurability rider allows you to purchase additional coverage without having to undergo a medical exam.
  • Long-term care: The long-term care rider provides you with a benefit if you need care, either in your home or an assisted-living facility.

Limitations

Not all of Nationwide’s policies and riders are available in all states. To find out what’s available, contact a Nationwide agent.

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Nationwide Life Insurance Credentials

Nationwide has a lengthy history. Established in 1926, it has expanded to offer multiple types of coverage, including auto, home, life and pet insurance. Today, Nationwide is a Fortune 100 company, and it has a strong reputation within the insurance industry.

Financial stability

Life insurance is a unique investment. You hope you won’t have to use it, but you’re counting on your policy to provide your family with protection. Policies can last for decades, so you want to ensure that the insurance company you choose is financially strong and likely to still be around in 20 to 30 years.

When shopping for life insurance, look up the ratings from credit rating agencies to see what experts think about the company. Nationwide is widely regarded as one of the top insurers. It has an A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best, and a A1 rating from Moody’s. Those ratings indicate that the agencies believe that Nationwide is financially stable and able to handle any market changes.

Third-party ratings

Nationwide is a leading life insurance provider. In the J.D. Power U.S. individual Life Insurance Study, it was ranked second out of 21 companies based on customer satisfaction. The study looked at insurers’ pricing, product offerings and customer communication to determine its rankings.

Regulatory actions

In the past, Nationwide has faced regulatory actions, typically around how its universal and variable universal life policies and their corresponding investment options were described. That’s not uncommon for a large company, but you should review your policy agreement carefully before signing and ask questions about anything you don’t understand.

Credit Rating Agency Rating Rating Range
Moody's A1 C to AAA
AM Best A+ (Superior) D to A++

Cost of Nationwide Life Insurance

Although Nationwide sells multiple types of life insurance, it only offers quotes for term life coverage.

We collected quotes from Nationwide for term life insurance for a healthy 30-year-old. Nationwide’s quotes were in line with the industry averages, and customers that have qualifying auto and homeowners policies may be eligible for discounts.

Your rates may vary from the below rates because your premiums are based on your location, gender, health and prescription history. In general, the earlier you buy life insurance, the better, since you’re less likely to have been diagnosed with chronic health conditions.

$100,000 policy $250,000 policy $500,000 policy $1M policy
10 years $11.29 $11.59 $13.56 $19.69
20 years $11.55 $15.09 $19.69 $32.81
30 years $13.48 $19.91 $30.63 $53.81

Your rates may vary from the sample rates we received because premiums are based on multiple factors including your age, gender, health history and location.

Nationwide Life Insurance Accessibility

Customers can get quotes and apply for term life coverage through Nationwide’s sites. For all other policy types, you’ll have to work with a Nationwide specialist or your own insurance agent to get information and apply.

You can reach Nationwide by calling its customer service line, or you can schedule a time for an agent to call you.

Nationwide does have an online chat feature, but it’s an automated chatbot rather than a real customer service representative.

Contact information

Nationwide’s support staff is available by phone. You can call 866-207-9160. Customer service is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. EST, and on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. EST.

User experience

Nationwide customers can create online accounts to manage their accounts. You can make payments, adjust your beneficiaries, file claims and download policy documents.

Nationwide Life Insurance Customer Satisfaction

Nationwide is a huge insurance company with a good reputation. Its life insurance segment has a low number of complaints, but its overall customer service score is relatively low.

Customer reviews

On TrustPilot, Nationwide’s rating is average. It has a 2.8 TrustScore based on a handful of reviews. Keep in mind that Trustpilot doesn’t differentiate between reviews about life insurance and reviews about Nationwide’s other products, so bad experiences with auto or renter’s insurance may lower its overall rating.

Complaint index

Researching the complaint ratios for life insurance companies can give you an idea of the insurer’s customer service levels. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) releases the ratios each year to reflect how many complaints it received about companies relative to the insurer’s share of the market. The industry standard is 1.0. Top companies have ratios below 1.0 because they received fewer complaints than the NAIC would expect.

Nationwide’s complaint ratio is quite low. Its ratio for its individual life insurance segment was 0.26 in 2020, substantially better than the industry standard.

What types of life insurance does Nationwide sell?
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Nationwide sells term, whole, universal and variable universal life insurance policies. All of its policies are fully underwritten, meaning they require medical exams. Nationwide doesn't sell simplified or guaranteed issue coverage.
Is Nationwide a good life insurance company?
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Nationwide is a reputable insurance company. It was ranked second out of 21 companies in the J.D. power Individual Life Insurance Study, and it received fewer customer complaints than expected for a company of its size.
How much does a Nationwide life insurance policy cost?
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We found Nationwide's term life coverage to be about average in cost. Your premiums are based on several factors, including your location and health history, so you'll have to work with an agent to get an exact quote.

How We Evaluated Nationwide Life Insurance

In our evaluation of Nationwide and other life insurance companies, we looked at the following factors:

  • Available plans and terms
  • Insurance riders
  • Policy exclusions
  • Underwriting process
  • Cost
  • Financial stability
  • Customer service
  • Customer reviews
  • Third-party ratings

Summary of Money’s Nationwide Life Insurance Review

If you’ve been putting off life insurance because of concerns about cost, Nationwide may be a good fit for you. Existing Nationwide customers may be eligible for valuable discounts that reduce your overall cost, making a life insurance policy more affordable. And, Nationwide has multiple policy options and riders so you can customize your coverage to meet the needs of your family.

Nationwide’s policies are all fully underwritten and require medical exams and bloodwork. If you don’t want to go through the hassle or have an aversion to needles, you’ll need to work with another company that offers simplified underwriting to get a policy.

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