Nationwide Life Insurance Review

Low-cost term life insurance with multi-policy discounts

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Nationwide

 Nationwide

overall rating
3.7

Our Take 

Nationwide is a large, well-known insurance company that offers term, whole, universal, and variable life insurance plans, with discounts available for existing customers. It offers competitive term life rates, but coverage is capped at $1,000,000. Nationwide has a large selection of permanent life insurance products and available riders, making it a great option for customizing your life insurance policy.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Low-cost term policies for young, healthy individuals

  • Mobile app available for account management

  • Multi-policy discounts available for existing Nationwide customers

  • Wide variety of life insurance options available

Cons
  • $1,000,000 max term policy limits (lower than competitors)

  • No online quotes for permanent life policies

  • All policies require a medical exam

Key Takeaways
  • Nationwide is the third-largest insurer in the U.S. by market cap.
  • Nationwide offers term, whole, universal, and variable universal life insurance.
  • Nationwide is licensed to sell life insurance in all 50 states (some New York state policies may differ slightly).
  • Nationwide also offers auto, home, and umbrella insurance, among others.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1926
  • Kinds of Plans Term, Whole, Universal, Variable Universal
  • Number of Plans Eight
  • Payment Options Monthly, Quarterly, Annual
  • Official Website www.nationwide.com/personal/insurance/life

Introduction

Nationwide Life Insurance offers term, whole, universal, and variable universal life insurance with discounts available for existing Nationwide customers. We researched Nationwide’s financial stability, policy plan options, riders, website tools, and customer service reviews to help you compare the life insurance policy options of Nationwide with the competition.

Company Overview

Founded in 1926 as Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Nationwide started as a simple auto insurance company for farmers in Ohio. Through expansion and growth into neighboring states, its name changed to “Nationwide” in 1955. It has since grown to cover all 50 states, offering many types of insurance from life and long-term care to homeowners and umbrella insurance. Nationwide also offers investment products including mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and annuities.

Nationwide offers eight different types of life insurance including term, whole, universal, and variable universal policies. Term life quotes can be obtained through their online quoting tool, and users can sign up for a term life policy online as well. All other types of life insurance require speaking to a Nationwide agent to get a quote and sign up.

Nationwide Life Insurance is licensed in all 50 states, but policies in New York may differ slightly due to the regulations for New York state.

Nationwide offers life insurance premium discounts for existing policyholders. If you have auto or homeowners insurance through Nationwide, it offers multi-policy discounts for life insurance.

Available Plans 

Nationwide Life Insurance offers eight types of life insurance plans including term, whole, universal, and variable universal plans. 

Nationwide YourLife Guaranteed Level Term Life Insurance

Nationwide offers term life insurance in 10-, 15-, 20-, or 30-year policy lengths with level premiums for the duration of the term. Policies are offered from $100,000 to $1,000,000 in coverage. To help users find the right level of coverage, Nationwide has a life insurance needs worksheet to help calculate things like income replacement, debts to pay off, and final expense calculations.

The term life policy is convertible, meaning it can be converted into a whole life policy at the end of the term.

Whole Life Insurance

Nationwide offers a whole life insurance policy that covers the insured for life. This is a level premium policy that keeps premiums the same for the duration of the policy. Whole life policies accumulate cash value that can be borrowed against tax-free, or withdrawn early (with optional riders).

There are two premium payment options for the whole life policy:

  • Whole Life 100: This keeps the policy in force with level premiums until age 100.
  • 20-pay Whole Life: This keeps level premiums for 20 years. The policy can be renewed after the 20-year period, though premiums may increase.

Quotes are only available by contacting a Nationwide agent directly.

Universal Life Insurance

Nationwide offers four universal life insurance products that can be customized with optional riders. From flexible premiums to hybrid policy coverage to cash value investing, universal life policies offer the widest array of options for clients to choose from.

Some of the universal life policies allow customers to earn more interest based on changes in the value of a stock index or indexes. There are also options for guaranteed interest rates for a more predictable investment of your cash value. 

The exact policy details and rates vary by policy and will need to be reviewed directly with a Nationwide agent before purchasing.

Nationwide universal life policies in New York may differ slightly. Please speak with a Nationwide agent directly for details.

YourLife CareMatters

This universal life policy combines universal life insurance with long-term care coverage. This policy allows the insured to use the cash value of the policy to help cover long-term care expenses. 

Nationwide Survivorship Indexed UL

This universal life policy covers two people and the benefit is only paid out after both persons pass away.

Nationwide Indexed Universal Life Accumulator II

This is a type of indexed universal life insurance that allows the cash value to earn interest based on the performance of a certain index such as the S&P 500.

Nationwide Indexed Universal Life Protector II

This policy is an indexed universal life insurance policy with fixed benefits. It offers guaranteed interest rate protection on the cash value of the policy, regardless of the performance of the index it follows.

Nationwide No-Lapse Guarantee UL II

This guaranteed benefit variable life insurance policy allows clients to choose to be covered up to age 120 and they're guaranteed a death benefit payout to beneficiaries.

Variable Universal Life Insurance

Nationwide also offers two variable universal life insurance products. Variable universal policies are the most flexible for investing cash value but also come with a risk of loss. Variable policies do not offer the same interest rate guarantees as a traditional universal life policy but offer far more control over the investment options within the policy.

Withdrawals of the cash value of a policy may be considered a taxable event. Borrowing against the cash value of the policy is a tax-free way to access the funds, but may carry interest and fees.

Quotes for universal life policies require speaking with an agent directly.

Nationwide Variable Universal Life Accumulator

This plan offers a wide selection of investment options for your cash value, including stocks, bonds, and real estate.

Nationwide Variable Universal Life Protector

This plan offers permanent life insurance protection with the ability to invest the cash value in up to 70 different investment options.

Available Riders

Nationwide offers a wide range of riders for their life insurance policies that allow clients to access their benefits early or cover additional members of their family within their life insurance policy. Riders are add-on coverage options to enhance or improve life insurance policies. The costs and coverage options for riders vary by policy, so contact Nationwide for pricing details.

Here are a few of the rider options for Nationwide Life Insurance:

Critical Illness Rider

If you suffer a critical illness such as a heart attack or cancer diagnosis, you can access a portion of your death benefit early.

Chronic Illness Rider

If diagnosed with a permanent chronic illness, you can access a portion of your death benefit early.

Terminal Illness Rider

If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness, you can access your policy’s death benefit early.

Children’s Term Insurance Rider

This rider allows you to add term life insurance on your children.

Premium Waiver Rider

If you become disabled and unable to work, monthly premiums are waived after a six-month waiting period.

Overloan Lapse Protection Rider

Protect your policy from lapsing due to excess loan amounts with this rider.

Waiver of Monthly Deductions Rider

Pays the cost of insurance monthly deductions while disabled, after a six-month waiting period.

Customer Service: Support Seven Days a Week

Nationwide Life Insurance offers customer support over the phone by calling 1-800-848-6331 seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. ET to 11:00 p.m. ET. (Note that most insurance companies don’t offer live customer support on weekends.) If you need to contact a representative between 11:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., you can still do so by scheduling a callback for the next business day. 

You can also contact Nationwide Life Insurance online, via social media, or in person at one of their local offices. There is a mobile app for account management available on Android and iOS, or you can file a claim using the same phone number.

Nationwide also handles basic customer service questions via Twitter

Customer Satisfaction: High Marks  

According to the NAIC complaint index, Nationwide receives far fewer complaints than the industry average life insurance company. A complaint score of 1.0 is average with lower scores being better. Nationwide received a 0.10 score in the 2020 complaint index survey. Nationwide has had a score of 0.16 or below the past three years, which is well below the average number of complaints for a company their size.

Nationwide received the third-best rating in the 2020 J.D. Power Life Insurance Study, and it also received top honors from J.D. Power for its annuity offerings. Ratings are based on product offerings, price, and customer service.

Financial Strength: A+ (Superior)

AM Best recognized Nationwide as a strong financial company, giving them an A+ (Superior) ranking. This ranking is based on Nationwide’s strong balance sheet, margin operating performance, and favorable business profile. A strong rating from AM Best points to Nationwide being financially stable and able to pay out claims as they arise.

Cancellation Policy: Average

Nationwide follows the state-regulated minimum “free-look” period for insurance policies. This allows customers a minimum of 10 days to cancel their insurance policy while receiving a full refund. (Free-look periods vary by state.)

Once the free-look period has ended, canceling a term life insurance policy offers no refund of premiums paid. Canceling a whole or universal life policy may have a surrender value, but exact details vary by policy. 

It's important to speak directly with a Nationwide agent to understand the details of canceling a life insurance policy.

Price of Nationwide Life Insurance: Low Prices for Healthy Individuals

Nationwide Life Insurance premiums quotes are only available for the term policies; whole and universal life policies require speaking with an agent. The prices for term policies are very low for young, healthy individuals compared to Nationwide Life Insurance’s competitors.

Term policies require all a medical exam so prices may vary. Term quotes are based on gender, age, height, weight, and evaluation of current health. Premiums can be paid monthly, quarterly, semiannually, or annually. Prices do not include potential multi-policy discounts.

Sample Nationwide Term Life Rates
  Man Woman
10-year policy $12.69/month $12.47/month
20-year policy $16.84/month $16.19/month
30-year policy $25.16/month $21.44/month

Sample rates provided are for a 35-year-old individual in excellent health with $250,000 of coverage.

How Nationwide Life Insurance Compares to Other Life Insurance

Nationwide is a large insurance company that offers a wide variety of life insurance products, as well as many other types of insurance. The term life policies offer great rates as well as discounts for existing Nationwide customers. As an auto insurance company first, their focus is on car insurance, but this doesn’t mean they are not competitive in the life insurance space. Here’s how Nationwide stacks up against another life insurance company.

Nationwide Life Insurance vs. Allstate Life Insurance

Both Nationwide and Allstate offer a variety of insurance policies, have excellent customer service rankings, and are auto insurance first companies. Both are financially strong insurance companies and give multi-policy discounts to existing customers.

Here’s how Nationwide and Allstate compare:

  • Allstate offers flexible term life insurance policy lengths and benefit amounts.
  • Nationwide offers a survivorship option on their variable life insurance (covers two people on one policy).
  • Allstate offers sample life insurance quotes for whole and universal policies.
  • Nationwide’s sample term life quotes are much less expensive than Allstate.
Nationwide vs. Allstate Price Comparison
  Nationwide Allstate
10-year policy  $12.69/month $18/month
20-year policy $16.84/month $22/month
30-year policy $25.16/month $30/month

Sample rates provided are for a 35-year-old male in excellent health with $250,000 of coverage.

While Allstate offers flexible policies for term life participants, Nationwide offers far more life insurance options, and their term life policies are less expensive when comparing young, healthy individuals.

Read our full Allstate Life Insurance review.

  Nationwide Life Insurance Allstate Life Insurance
Market Share 14th-largest in the U.S., 1.84% Eight-largest in the U.S., 2.80%
Number of Plans Eight Four
Online Quotes Available? Yes (term life only) Yes (term life only)
Service Method Email, phone, in-person, social media Email, phone, in-person, social media
AM Best Rating A+ (Superior) A+ (Superior)
Complaints Index 0.10 (excellent) 0.29 (very good)
Final Verdict

Nationwide offers low-cost term life insurance coverage for healthy individuals. The coverage amounts are capped at $1,000,000, so those seeking more term life coverage may need to look elsewhere. Existing customers do get discounts for holding multiple policies, which makes Nationwide best for existing policyholders who want to keep all their insurance coverage with one company. 

With extra discounts and low-cost term coverage, existing customers can find some of the best rates for term life insurance using Nationwide. If you are looking for more than $1,000,000 in coverage or the ability to get no-exam life insurance, you may be better served elsewhere.

Methodology 

All of our reviews of life insurance companies are based on extensive research and analysis of each company based on offerings, customer service, financial stability, cost, and more. For each company, we compared the life insurance products offered, available features, and reported customer experiences. Visit our life insurance review methodology for the full breakdown of what we evaluated for over two dozen companies.