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Nationwide Auto Insurance

Nationwide auto insurance is a division of Columbus, Ohio-based Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. Established in 1925, and went public in 1997. The company holds more than $157 billion in assets. They have a catchy tune and logo that you've probably heard, promising that "Nationwide is on your side", but is that true or just a gimmick? Here are a few questions you should ask before acquiring a policy:

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Financial Outlook

Given the current depressed state of the economy, it is no surprise that this major provider is suffering financially just like almost every other business out there. Recently at the end of 2009 Standard & Poor's - the national credit rating agency for businesses - reduced the company's credit rating from AAA- to A+ in order to bring it in line with its parent company, however S&P's outlook for the provider remains stable, so their financial outlook and ability to pay claims is strong, but do they pay?

Claims Service

Reviews of the company's claims service are mixed, but leaning toward the negative if you are not a customer and are involved in an accident with someone who is. Getting the provider to pay up for a claim that their client is at fault for seems to be a monumental task unto itself. In addition, the claims adjusters seem to be difficult to get a hold of at the most inopportune time, requiring that contact be initiated by the policyholder and much legwork that they should be handling be handled by the client instead.

Customer Service

Reviews of the company are positive overall. The carrier seems to employ excellent customer service representatives and offers many different discounts to encourage their clients to stay with them, including a loyalty discount. Complaints about the way customer relations is handled seem few and far between. The one common downside in relation to the product provided is the seeming inevitable rise of premiums over time, even if you and your insured family remain accident free for a greater period of time. With a strong financial outlook, shady claims service and impressive consumer reviews, this carrier comes across as a better-than-average insurer, but not an excellent one. Our report card score is a B.