Nationwide Renters Insurance Review of 2023

Read our complete review of Nationwide renters insurance, including details about costs, coverage, discounts, customer support, and pros and cons.
Nationwide Renters Insurance
Editors star rating review
4.0
Editor's Rating (4 Stars out of 5)

Nationwide Renters Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Offers coverage for stolen credit or debit cards
  • Covers building alterations as a standard feature
  • Replacement cost coverage is available
  • Renters can receive personalized service from a local Nationwide agent
Cons
  • Higher than average premiums compared to some major competitors
  • You can’t purchase a policy online; you must work with an agent to apply for a policy

Although many landlords don’t require it, renters insurance can be as valuable for renters as home insurance is for homeowners. In this article, we’ll focus on renters insurance from one of the most recognized companies in the property and casualty insurance business – Nationwide. You’ll learn what Nationwide renters insurance does and doesn’t cover, what discounts the company offers, how it stacks up against several major competitors’ renters insurance, and more.

PropertyNest believes that if you rent an apartment, condo, or home, you need to protect yourself and your belongings. Some managed communities require a certain amount of renters insurance as part of your lease agreement because your landlord’s policy won’t cover you if your belongings are damaged or stolen. Required or not, renters insurance provides the financial protection you need.

About Nationwide and the Company’s History

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, known as Nationwide, was founded in 1925 in Columbus, Ohio, where it still maintains its headquarters. The company was originally named the Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, and it sold auto insurance exclusively to farmers.

In 1955, the company changed its name to Nationwide Insurance. It now offers a complete line of personal and commercial insurance products, including auto, homeowners, renters, life, motorcycle, boat, pet, business, and farm insurance. Nationwide also sells mutual funds and other financial products.

Nationwide sells its renters insurance and other insurance products through its sales force of Nationwide agents who maintain neighborhood offices in 44 states and the District of Columbia. The company also sells variable life insurance and annuity products through a network of independent agents.

Policies and Coverage

Nationwide’s basic renters insurance protects you when the unexpected happens, such as a fire, severe weather, a plumbing accident, or a burglary. Your landlord’s policy won’t cover the cost of repairing or replacing your property.

Basic renters insurance from Nationwide covers the following:

Nationwide Renters Insurance Coverage

  • Contents: Your personal property is protected from covered losses specified in your policy, such as those caused by lightning, fire, hail, windstorms, frozen plumbing, theft, and vandalism. Renters insurance also typically covers belongings that are stolen from your car.
  • Personal liability: If a visitor or guest has an accident in your home that results in covered injuries or damage, the personal liability portion of your renters insurance policy will help pay court costs, legal fees, and other expenses.
  • Loss of use: If a covered loss prevents you from living in your apartment, condo, or home, additional living expenses like hotel and meal costs are provided so you can stay elsewhere while repairs are being made.
  • Medical payments to others: If someone visiting you is injured on your property, your Nationwide renters insurance policy helps pay for their medical expenses.
  • Building additions and alterations: Any additions, alterations, or improvements you’ve made to your home will be covered if they’re damaged.
  • Credit card coverage: Your policy pays up to the limit stated in your policy for forged checks or unauthorized credit or debit card transactions.

Nationwide also offer several options that allow you to customize your renters insurance policy:

  • Valuables Plus: Provides additional coverage for expensive items like jewelry or art.
  • Brand new belongings: Pays you the actual cash value of your belongings (current price to replace them) instead of replacement cost value (their depreciated value).
  • Theft extension: Provides extra coverage for personal items stolen from your motor vehicle or watercraft.
  • Earthquake: Pays for damage that was caused by an earthquake.
  • Identity theft protection: reimburses you up to $25,000 of covered expenses to restore your identity and connects you with a network of cybersecurity experts.
  • Personal injury coverage: Extends your policy’s liability coverage and includes things like libel or slander.
  • Inflation guard: Adjusts your personal property limit to keep pace with inflation.

A Nationwide renters insurance policy does not protect your:

Home-based business: If you operate a small business out of your home, you may need additional coverage for business assets. A Nationwide agent can verify if you need this additional coverage.

Motor vehicle: Your renters insurance policy doesn’t cover damage to your vehicle, even if it’s parked on your property; you need auto insurance for that. However, your renters insurance usually covers your personal belongings inside the vehicle.

Roommate: Your Nationwide renters insurance doesn’t cover your roommates, and they can’t be added to your policy. They need to purchase their own policies.

Coverage Limits

Like all other types of insurance, renters insurance has limits on the amount the insurance company will pay for a covered loss. Typical coverage amounts for Nationwide and other insurers are:

  • Personal property coverage: $30,000
  • Personal liability coverage: $100,000
  • Loss of use coverage: $40% of your personal property coverage amount

Most agents recommend a $500 deductible. The higher your deductible is, the lower your premiums will be. You’ll want to make sure you have enough savings to pay your deductible if it becomes necessary.

Discounts

Nationwide offers an extensive number of discounts for its renters insurance policyholders:

  • Bundle discount: You receive a discount for having other policies with Nationwide in addition to your renters insurance, including auto or life insurance.
  • Protective devices discount: Discount for homes with smoke detectors, fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and more.
  • Claims-free discount: Receive a discount for not filing any recent claims
  • Gated community discount: If your home restricts access to non-residents of your community.
  • Paperless billing discount: For receiving your policy documents electronically.

Average rates

Nationwide has neither the cheapest nor the most expensive renters insurance. It states that monthly premiums will range between $15 to $20 per month, placing their rates at or slightly above average.

The cost of your renters insurance coverage will depend on the following:

  • The city, state, or neighborhood where you rent
  • The age, condition, and size of your building
  • The value of your possessions
  • Your coverage limits
  • Your deducible

Claims

You can file a claim with Nationwide online, through their mobile app, by calling their toll-free claims number at (800) 421-3535, or by contacting your Nationwide local agent. To start the claims process, you’ll need to provide your policy number and a brief description of the loss.

After completing this process, you’ll be assigned a dedicated Nationwide claims representative who will ask for more details concerning your claim. This may include requesting evidence regarding the claim or scheduling a property inspection, if necessary.

How is Nationwide Renters Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000) 859
A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating A+
BBB A+
NAIC Complaint Index 0.04 (Very Low)

Customer Service Options and Availability

Nationwide has an excellent reputation and ratings for its customer service, available through several channels.

Local agent: The local agent you purchased your policy from can assist you with your claim.

Telephone: You can reach Nationwide customer service 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. on weekdays at 877-669-6877.

Website: You’ll find a chatbot on the Nationwide website that can help answer simple questions about renters insurance but nothing specific about your coverage or rates.

How Does Nationwide Compare to Other Renters Insurance Companies?

For consumers who likes to compare companies before making a purchase, PropertyNest provides this comparison between Nationwide and Allstate, Farmers, State Farm, and Lemonade.

Nationwide vs. Allstate

Both Nationwide and Allstate are large, financially sound insurers. While Nationwide sells renters insurance in 44 states and the District of Columbia, Allstate offers policies in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Both insurers provide standard coverage for the four primary areas of renters insurance: personal property, liability, loss of use, and medical payments. Nationwide also covers fraudulent credit card transactions and damage to additions or installations a renter has made to their home, apartment, or condo.

Allstate and Nationwide both have large neighborhood agent networks, which many people prefer over buying insurance online. Both companies also offer bundle discounts for combining renters insurance with their auto insurance. Nationwide offers more discounts than Allstate, such as a discount for being claims-free, but Allstate gives discounts for people age 55 and above.

Read a full Allstate renters insurance review.

Nationwide vs. Farmers

Like Nationwide, Farmers allows renters to get quotes online and buy a renters insurance policy through an agent. Farmers sells renters insurance in 42 states, while Nationwide sells their renters policies in 44 states. Unlike Nationwide, which offers seven different add-ons to its standard coverage, Farmers offers only two – personal identity theft and replacement cost coverage. Nationwide’s basic coverage is also more robust than Farmers, with protection for damages to additions a renter has made to their home.

Farmers and Nationwide both give discounts for bundling their renters and auto insurance and for being claims-free. Farmers also offers discounts for households that have been smoke-free for two years or more and discounts for select professionals, such as doctors, nurses, dentists, teachers, engineers, firefighters, and police personnel.

Read a full Farmers renters insurance review.

Nationwide vs. State Farm

One of Nationwide’s primary competitors is State Farm, which has 19,000 neighborhood agents in the U.S., more than any other insurance company. State Farm sells its renters insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Despite its high overhead from all of its local sales offices and 30 regional claims centers spread across the country, State Farm’s renters insurance premiums are among the cheapest in the country. While it doesn’t offer as many discounts as Nationwide, State Farm’s generally lower premiums make it very competitively priced.

Unlike Nationwide, roommates can be covered under a State Farm renters insurance policy if they’re listed on the policy. This can be beneficial for roommates who need to share the cost of renters insurance, though it can create some confusion with deductibles when there are claims.

Read a full State Farm renters insurance review.

Nationwide vs. Lemonade

Although Nationwide and Lemonade both sell renters insurance, they are very different in how they do business. While Nationwide uses a network of neighborhood agents to sell and service policyowners, Lemonade is strictly a 100% online buying experience. Renters can get quotes, apply for coverage, and be protected in minutes with Lemonade, while Nationwide customers need to work through an agent to get coverage in force.

Compared to other insurers, Lemonade is also unique in its charitable giving. The company donates a portion of its profits to charities chosen by its policyholders.

Lemonade’s renters insurance is only available in 29 states and Washington, D.C., and coverage amounts vary by state, which means you should look at the fine print to make sure you know what your policy’s coverage and limits are. However, Nationwide’s policies are uniform in their coverage and limits.

Read a full Lemonade renters insurance review.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for quality renters insurance from a financially stable company, you’ll be pleased with Nationwide. Its coverage is comprehensive and there are plenty of add-ons to customize your policy, Nationwide’s rates for renters insurance are average to slightly above average, depending upon where you live and your coverage limits. With discounts, its rates are very competitive.

Bob Phillips
About the author
Bob’s expertise in the insurance industry comes from his decades of experience as a licensed agent and trainer for several large national insurance companies. He lives in Fort Worth, Texas. Education: B.A. in Sociology from State University of New York College at Cortland.