D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Apr 29, 2021

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Just the Basics

  • American Family and Nationwide have excellent customer satisfaction and a strong financial future.
  • American Family has a higher customer complaint ratio.
  • Nationwide insurance rates for teen drivers are 10% cheaper.
  • American Family insurance rates for 25 and older are 10% cheaper.
  • Nationwide has better rates for drivers with a low credit score and offers more discounts than American Family.

Is American Family good insurance? What about Nationwide? Both American Family, also known as AmFam, and Nationwide are good choices based on financial strength, but if you have a teen driver, you should keep reading.

In our American Family vs. Nationwide car insurance guide, we compare rates by age, driving record, credit score, and other factors that affect the cost of car insurance.

We also include external ratings from the most trustworthy agencies and compare American Family and Nationwide car insurance discounts, coverage types, and usage-based insurance programs.

This review discusses Nationwide Insurance and American Family Insurance, not American Family Care, which is an urgent care facility.

Keep reading to compare American Family insurance vs Nationwide car insurance, or enter your ZIP code and start comparing car insurance quotes from multiple companies in your local area.

Is American Family car insurance or Nationwide car insurance cheaper based on age?

The more we drive in a variety of situations and the longer we drive, the safer and more aware we become when behind the wheel. For this reason, car insurance companies use age as one of the most influential factors in quoting car insurance rates.

Let’s compare American Family car insurance rates and Nationwide car insurance rates based on age, gender, and marital status.

American Family vs. Nationwide Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Age, Gender, and Marital Status
DemographicAmerican Family Average Annual RatesNationwide Average Annual Rates
Single 17-year-old female$5,997$5,756
Single 17-year-old male$8,131$7,175
Single 25-year-old female$2,289$2,686
Single 25-year-old male$2,695$2,889
Married 35-year-old female$2,203$2,360
Married 35-year-old male$2,224$2,387
Married 60-year-old female$1,993$2,130
Married 60-year-old male$2,014$2,215
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Overall, Nationwide car insurance rates for teen drivers are about 10% cheaper than American Family. On the other hand, American Family has rates for 25 and older coming in 10% cheaper than Nationwide.

It may seem like 10% is not that much of a difference, but it can be once you stack some additional discounts onto it. Without considering possible discounts, Nationwide is a good option if you have a young driver in your household.

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Is American Family car insurance or Nationwide car insurance cheaper based on driving record?

Speeding tickets, accidents, or DUIs on your driving record will raise your car insurance rates no matter what company you pick because you become a high-risk driver.

American Family vs. Nationwide Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Driving Record
InfractionAmerican Family Average Annual RatesNationwide Average Annual Rates
Clean record$2,694$2,746
With one speeding violation$3,026$3,114
With one accident$3,723$3,397
With one DUI$4,330$4,543
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Nationwide has slightly higher rates than American Family when it comes to having a bad driving record. Both companies also show about the same percent increase from a clean driving record to each type of infraction.

Compared to a driver with a clean record, both American Family rates and Nationwide rates increase by 12%-65% if you get a speeding ticket, have an accident, or get a DUI.

Is American Family car insurance or Nationwide car insurance cheaper based on credit score?

If you experience some type of financial trauma such as medical debt or going through a divorce, a good credit score can drop in a matter of months.

In most states it’s legal for car insurance companies to factor in your credit score when determining your rates; however, some are banning this along with factoring in gender and marital status.

Based on the assumption that those with higher credit scores are more responsible and overall safer drivers less likely to file a claim, car insurance companies justify using your credit score to determine your rates.

Let’s take a look at how American Family and Nationwide address rates for drivers with varying credit scores.

American Family vs. Nationwide Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Credit Score
Credit HistoryAmerican Family Average Annual RatesNationwide Average Annual Rates
Good Credit (670-739)$2,692$2,926
Fair Credit Score (580-669)$3,170$3,255
Poor Credit Score (300-579)$4,468$4,083
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American Family car insurance rates are cheaper than Nationwide for drivers with good or fair credit. However, Nationwide is more lenient than American Family when it comes to drivers with a low credit score.

If you have a bad credit history, Nationwide is a better choice than American Family.

Before you choose American Family or Nationwide, read about car insurance laws in your state and examine rates from a variety of companies.

It may be that basing car insurance rates on gender, marital status, and/or credit score has been outlawed in your state.

Does American Family or Nationwide have better car insurance discounts?

A car insurance company often determines discounts based on their philosophy and values. Therefore, if you have a bad driving record or low credit score, getting good discounts will offset your high rates.

Unfortunately, our source includes only three American Family car insurance discounts: defensive driver, airbags, and using their driving device or app.

American Family vs. Nationwide Car Insurance Discounts
DiscountsAmerican FamilyNationwide
Adaptive Cruise Controln/an/a
Adaptive Headlightsn/an/a
Anti-lock Brakesyes5
Claim Freeyes10
Continuous Coverageyesn/a
Daytime Running Lightsn/a5
Defensive Driver105
Distant Studentn/a10
Driver's Edn/an/a
Driving Device/App4040
Early Signingn/a8
Electronic Stability Controln/an/a
Emergency Deploymentyesn/a
Engaged Coupleyesn/a
Family Legacyyesn/a
Family Planyes25
Farm Vehicleyesn/a
Fast 5yesn/a
Federal Employeeyesn/a
Forward Collision Warningn/an/a
Full Paymentn/an/a
Further Educationyes15
Good Creditn/an/a
Good Studentn/a10
Green Vehiclen/an/a
Lane Departure Warningn/an/a
Life Insurancen/an/a
Low Mileagen/an/a
Military Garagingyesn/a
Multiple Driversn/an/a
Multiple Policiesn/a10
Multiple Vehiclesn/a20
New Addressn/an/a
New Customer/New Plann/an/a
New Graduateyesn/a
Newer Vehicleyesn/a
Newly Licensedn/an/a
Occasional Operatorn/an/a
On Time Paymentsn/an/a
Online Shoppern/an/a
Paperless Documentsn/a5
Paperless/Auto Billingn/a$30
Passive Restraint3020
Recent Retireesyesn/a
Roadside Assistanceyesn/a
Safe Drivern/a35
Seat Belt Usen/an/a
Senior Drivern/an/a
Stable Residenceyesn/a
Students & Alumnin/a7
Switching Providern/an/a
Utility Vehiclen/an/a
Vehicle Recoveryyes25
VIN Etchingyesn/a
Young Drivern/an/a
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Both American Family and Nationwide offer 40% off for using their driving app or driving device.

But, if you don’t prefer to use a driving app, you can still save 25%-40% with Nationwide if you have an anti-theft system, vehicle recovery system, have a good driving record, or you put everyone in your household on the same policy.

The discounts provided by car insurance providers also target particular categories of drivers, so be sure to inquire if there are any extra discounts by calling American Family or Nationwide customer service at the American Family or Nationwide phone number.

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Does American Family or Nationwide have better car insurance mobile apps?

Usage-based car insurance has become a hot trend in the car insurance industry in the last decade or so, and all of the larger car insurance companies have a driving app that uses your mobile phone or a device installed into your vehicle.

Most of the bigger car insurance companies have two different types of apps. One is a general app used to show electronic verification of coverage, pay your bill, or adjust your coverage levels. Before making adjustments, make sure you understand the different types of car insurance coverage.

A more general app is also offered by major car insurance providers to allow you to access your policy, make adjustments, and pay your bill. Usually, in both the general app and the driving app, your American Family login or Nationwide insurance login would be the same.

How do American Family and Nationwide car insurance compare in financial strength and customer satisfaction?

Purchasing car insurance is an important financial responsibility, so you want to make sure you’re selecting the appropriate company that will be there for you when you need it most.

Before you buy car insurance, examine the company’s financial strength, customer satisfaction with the claims process, and customer complaints prior to making your decision.

The following three agencies provide insight into these factors:

A.M. Best scores companies based on their ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations such as balancing premiums collected and claims paid. The highest score A.M. Best awards is Superior A++.

Consumer Reports collects annual data from its subscribers regarding customer satisfaction of the claims process, step by step. And the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) calculates a complaint ratio based on the total number of customers against the total number of complaints.

American Family vs. Nationwide Company Ratings
Rating AgencyAmerican FamilyNationwide
AM Best RatingAA+
Consumer Reports8988
NAIC Company Complaint Ratio0.790.28
NAIC Total Complaints7325
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Both companies have a solid financial future. Additionally, both American Family and Nationwide are highly rated when it comes to customer satisfaction with the claims process.

However, American Family has a larger customer complaint ratio. Before eliminating American Family, be sure to find more details on the NAIC website.

If you are wondering what states are American Family insurance in, the best way to find out is to use our quote tool to find out if American Family offers auto insurance in your own backyard.

When you’re unsure which company to choose between American Family vs. Nationwide, you can always use our FREE comparison tool to compare affordable car insurance quotes from the car insurance companies in your area.