Nationwide SmartRide Review

Nationwide SmartRide can save drivers up to 40% off their policy if they score well on the app. If you're a safe driver, it may be best to look at the list of pros and cons we've put together to see if it's a good fit for you.

UPDATED: Jul 11, 2022Fact Checked

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Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Written by Sara Routhier
Director of Outreach Sara Routhier

Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

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Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
Licensed Agent Cynthia Lanctot

UPDATED: Jul 11, 2022

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A Concise Overview

  • Nationwide SmartRide offers drivers a 10% discount just for signing up 
  • Drivers must participate in the program for four to six months 
  • Nationwide SmartRide won’t raise your rates for a poor score in the program

If you have a Nationwide auto insurance policy, you’ve probably heard of the Nationwide SmartRide app. This usage-based discount program is intended to save safe drivers money on their auto insurance coverages, but as with any discount program, there are pros and cons to signing up. 

Read on for a full SmartRide Nationwide review, from its pros and cons to how the app tracks your data to determine drivers’ scores. For the same reason that you would compare the benefits of getting multiple auto insurance quotes, you’re going to be looking for the solution that saves you the most money on your policy.   

Nationwide SmartRide Reviews – The Pros and Cons

To help you decide if the SmartRide program is for you, let’s review all the pros and cons of the program. 

Pros of Nationwide SmartRide 

As the program is designed to save drivers money, there are several pros and benefits to the Nationwide SmartRide program. Take a look at the basic pros below: 

  • Free downloadable app. The app is free to download and use for Nationwide policyholders. 
  • Fix trips as a passenger. If you mistakenly record a trip where you are the passenger, you can go and change it, so it doesn’t count against you as a driver. 
  • It only tracks a few factors. Unlike other programs, Nationwide SmartRide doesn’t track your phone usage or penalize you for phone usage on a trip. 
  • Rates aren’t increased for poor driving. Some usage-based programs will increase your rates if you score poorly in the discount program, but Nationwide SmartRide won’t increase your rates. 
  • Sign-up discount. Drivers are given a 10% discount just for signing up. They can earn up to 40% off their policy, depending on what they score on the app. 

Because Nationwide promises not to raise rates if you do poorly in the program, it is risk-free to download the app and try the program. However, it is worth trying the program if you are a safe driver looking for insurance discounts

Cons of Nationwide SmartRide 

There are relatively few cons to the Nationwide SmartRide program, but there are a few factors that some people may not be happy about. We’ve listed the main cons below. 

  • The average discount earned is only 21%. Nationwide states that the average discount earned through the program is only 21%, so not many drivers are earning up to 40% off their insurance policies. 
  • Complaints about the program not correctly recording data. App reviews complain about the program not recording driving data accurately, although this is common with usage-based apps. 
  • The program is four to six months long. It can take a few months for you to earn your final discount through the program, which means quite a bit of time running the app when driving. 

Even though most drivers aren’t earning the full 40% discount, an average of 21% off their insurance policy is still significant. Read on to see how the Nationwide SmartRide tracks your data to determine your discount. 

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How the Nationwide SmartRide App Tracks Data 

The Nationwide SmartRide uses a third party to collect and store your driving data. The data it collects includes: 

  • Braking and acceleration. Hard braking and acceleration are risky driving behaviors. 
  • Idle time. Idle time includes sitting in traffic or at red lights. 
  • Miles driven. The app records the miles driven on each trip. The longer you are on the road, the more likely you will get into an accident. 
  • Time of day. Driving late at night is more dangerous than driving during the day. 

These are the factors that Nationwide SmartRide will record and then use to calculate your discount. 

How to Decide If the Nationwide SmartRide Program Is for You 

If you aren’t comfortable with your data being tracked or using an app on your phone, then the Nationwide SmartRide program probably isn’t for you. However, because the Nationwide SmartRide program says it doesn’t increase rates, it is usually worth it for most drivers to sign up for it. 

The program will save drivers money even if drivers don’t earn a discount beyond the 10% sign-up discount. Although you have to participate in the program for a few months, it is relatively easy to use the app and track your driving trips. 

Final Word on Nationwide SmartRide 

Nationwide SmartRide is beneficial for most drivers, as it promises not to raise your rates for poor driving and will give drivers an initial discount for signing up. However, drivers who aren’t comfortable with their data being tracked for months may not want to sign up with the program. 

If you want to reduce your auto insurance costs, shopping around for auto insurance quotes is one of the best ways to save. Use our free quote comparison tool to find the best auto insurance rates from insurance companies in your area.

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