Nationwide Life Insurance Reviews – Are they really on your side?

Nationwide Life Insurance Reviews

Is Nationwide really on your side? This Nationwide life insurance review will give you all the details that you need if you are considering Nationwide insurance to protect your family.  We will cover Nationwide’s ratings, history, and life insurance products.

There are hundreds of life insurance companies operating in the United States, but is Nationwide the right one for you? If you are considering purchasing life insurance with Nationwide, do not move forward without reading this review.

Shall we begin?

Nationwide Life Insurance Company History

Over the past 94 years, Nationwide has grown from a small mutual automobile insurer to one of the largest the multiline and financial services companies in the world with greater than $158 billion in assets.

The Nationwide Insurance Company was founded in 1925 by Murray D. Lincoln as the Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company in Ohio.  The goal was simply to provide quality automobile insurance at low rates to the farming community in Ohio.  By 1943, Farm Bureau Mutual operates in 12 states and the District of Columbia.

As the Farm Bureau Mutual expanded operations westward, the company had to accept the reality that they had outgrown beyond their humble beginnings and original mission. Subsequently, the company changed its name to Nationwide Insurance in 1955.

Today, Nationwide is still owned by policyholders, but they offer a wider range of products and services than just automobile insurance to Ohio Farmers. Nationwide is a Fortune 100 company that provides property and casualty insurance, life and health insurance, annuities, mortgages, investments, and other financial services.

The Nationwide Insurance Company Rating

Nationwide’s balance sheet is iron-clad. Nationwide is rated an “A+” (Excellent) by A.M. Best.  A+ is an investment grade rating and one of their highest mark.  Nationwide can be viewed as being in excellent financial health with the ability to meet its ongoing life insurance obligations.

If you want a second opinion, Standard & Poor’s has Nationwide rated as A+. Receiving an A rating is investment grade and indicates that Nationwide has low credit risk.  The Nationwide Comdex score is 91, which is a composite score averaging the ratings of the major insurance rating organizations.  Said another way, Nationwide scores higher than 91% of all other insurance companies ranked on the Comdex scale.

Nationwide Credit Rating Snapshot

Standard & Poor's A.M. Best Moody's Fitch Comdex
A +
A +

Nationwide has been an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau since 1955. Nationwide does hold an A+ rating with the BBB, which is their highest rating. While no company can get it right 100% of the time, Nationwide has demonstrated that negative customer experiences are the exception rather than the rule.

Nationwide Insurance Solutions

Nationwide offers term life, universal life, and whole life insurance.  They also provide other financial services products, such as Nationwide property and casualty insurance, Nationwide annuities, investments, and Nationwide long-term care insurance.  However, for the purposes of this review, we will focus strictly on their life insurance products.

Nationwide Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is a cost-effective way of achieving higher death benefits temporarily.  Term insurance is an excellent solution for replacing your income, covering your mortgage, or providing funds for higher education upon your passing.

Nationwide offers term life insurance in 10-year, 15-year, 20-year, and 30-year term options.  Your monthly premium will remain fixed for whichever term period you select. Additionally, there is no savings component or cash value associated with term insurance.

Nationwide’s term life insurance solutions are available with a conversion option. The conversion option allows you to exchange your term life insurance policy with a permanent life insurance policy, like whole life insurance, without having to requalify with underwriting.  This allows you vast flexibility later in life if you want to maintain some life insurance coverage past your level-term period.

Nationwide’s term life insurance policies are fully-underwritten.  In order to qualify for the coverage, you have to take a medical exam and Nationwide may order your medical records.  Therefore, if you are looking for no-exam life insurance, we would recommend looking at our Sagicor Life Insurance Review for a company that specializes in no-exam life insurance underwriting.

Nationwide term life insurance currently offers a number of optional riders that can be added on to the policy for additional premiums.  Also, Nationwide includes a built-in accelerated death benefit rider for terminal illness at no additional cost to their term policies.  As far as living benefits go, there are better options out there.  We suggest checking out our Phoenix Life Insurance Review for a company that specializes in living benefits.

Nationwide Term Life Insurance Riders:

  • Accelerated Death Benefit Rider
  • Children’s Term Insurance Rider
  • Spouse Rider
  • Premium Waiver Rider

Nationwide Whole Life Insurance

Nationwide is known for its participating whole life insurance, which pays dividends to policyholders. Whole life insurance is a form of permanent life insurance. Whole life insurance is designed for permanent life insurance needs like final expenses and burial costs or estate planning. Whole life insurance provides lifelong death benefit protection with the most guarantees of any life insurance policy.

Whole life has guaranteed cash accumulation, guaranteed level premiums, and guaranteed death benefits.  The cash value can also be accessed through tax-advantaged loans in a pinch. The policy may also receive non-guaranteed dividend payments.

However, Nationwide’s whole life insurance are non-participating whole life policies that receive no dividend payments.  Check out of Foresters Financial Life Insurance Review for one of the top participating whole life contracts on the market today!

Policy dividends can be used in the following ways:

  • Reinvested within the policy to as paid-up additions (additional paid-up death benefits)
  • Allocated toward your premium payments
  • Earn interest in a Nationwide interest account
  • Pay down any loan balances or interest
  • Received as a cash payment

Nationwide offers a 20-pay whole life insurance policy that can be paid-up in 20 years and a traditional whole life insurance policy that you pay premiums for in perpetuity.  Furthermore, Nationwide offers a simplified whole life product with no medical exam and a graded death benefit designed for final expenses and burial insurance.

Nationwide Universal Life

Nationwide also offers universal life policies, which is another type of permanent life insurance policy. Universal life insurance was designed to offer permanent death benefit with flexibility.  For example, you can select the monthly premium that you wish to pay with universal life insurance.

However, these types of policies usually come with fewer guarantees than whole life insurance.  The owner of the policy assumes the investment risk of the cash value.  If the policy was not funded adequately, then the coverage could lapse.

As a general rule, mutual life insurance companies are known for and focus on their whole life products and public life insurance companies tend to have a higher focus on their universal life insurance.  However, Nationwide has been known to be competitive in both major areas of permanent life insurance.

Nationwide offers the following types of universal life insurance:

  • Current Assumption Universal Life Insurance
  • No-lapse Guarantee Universal Life Insurance
  • Indexed Universal Life Insurance
  • Variable Universal Life Insurance
  • Survivorship Universal Life Insurance

Nationwide Universal Life Insurance

Nationwide offers a traditional universal life insurance policy.  These types of policies have decreased in popularity in recent years due to a low-interest-rate environment.  Universal life insurance has a fixed minimum interest rate, but the credited rate, which is not guaranteed, can fluctuate higher.

Nationwide’s universal life insurance policy offers exceptional flexibility.  It has flexible premium payments, and policy cash values.  However, you can purchase a secondary guarantee to prevent lapse for an additional fee. These no-lapse guarantee universal life insurance policies can be the most cost-effective way to achieve lifetime death benefits, but usually, have little or no cash value accumulation.

Nationwide Indexed Universal Life Insurance

Indexed universal life insurance is another type of universal life insurance.  Nationwide’s indexed universal life insurance policy provides death benefit protection with the potential to grow your cash value with three index account strategies or a competitive fixed rate account.

The cash value in an indexed strategy increases based on changes in a market index such as the S&P 500.  Since your cash value is not directly invested in the stock market itself, your investment principal is protected from investment loss due to the decreases in the index.  However, you often have to sacrifice some upside investment return as a result.

These types of policies should be monitored on a regular basis to ensure that they are being funded adequately.  If the indexed investment strategy doesn’t perform as expected, the policy could potentially lapse.

Nationwide Variable Universal Life Insurance

Variable universal life insurance offers people lifetime life insurance protection with the ability to build cash value through numerous portfolio strategies.  Your cash value grows tax-deferred based on the performance of the underlying stock, bond, or money market investment strategies in sub-accounts that you choose.

However, your cash value is directly invested within whichever sub-account investment strategy you select, unlike indexed universal life.  So if you invest in a stock sub-account strategy and the stock market declines, your cash value would decline with it.  However, if the stock market goes up, your cash value will increase with it.

Due to the investment risk, these types of policies should be carefully considered and monitored frequently.  If the investment strategy underperforms, the policy could potentially lapse due to lack of sufficient funding unless you purchase a secondary lifetime guarantee within the policy.

Survivorship Universal Life Insurance

Survivorship life insurance, also known as joint-life policies, is a niche product that is usually used in estate planning strategies. These second-to-die policies cover two lives at one time.  After the death of the second insured, the life insurance policy pays the death benefit to your heirs!

Second-to-die policies come in handy for families that need to leave a liquid estate; for example, to care for a special-needs child.  Survivorship policies are also great for people who have illiquid estates with a majority of the family wealth in hard assets like rental properties, farmland, or family businesses who want liquidity to pay estate and inheritance taxes.

The Nationwide survivorship life insurance policy allows the potential for cash accumulation with either indexed strategies, a fixed interest account, or variable subaccounts.  Index strategies are an alternative for people who want to limit their equity exposure due to its downside protection of principal.

The cash value allows additional flexibilities.  If plans change later in life, you can access the cash value within the policies through withdrawals and tax-advantaged loans.  This gives the policy the flexibility to be used as a source of income.  However, these policies should be monitored to ensure that they are funded adequately.  If the investment strategy underperforms, the policy could potentially lapse unless you purchase a secondary lifetime guarantee within the policy.

How Do Nationwide Agents Work With their Customers?

Nationwide has evolved since its founding into more than just life insurance. Nationwide’s life insurance products are usually sold by their career agents but can be sold by independent brokers. These Nationwide agencies typically are focused on property and casualty insurance but will offer Nationwide life and health products to their customers as well.

This approach to doing business may suit people looking for a more comprehensive service that bundles all their insurance lines together.  However, this approach does have some drawbacks.  A property and casualty agent who is more of a life insurance generalist may not have the broader industry expertise than a broker who solely focuses on life insurance may have.

Besides, business models similar to Nationwide’s career model have been scrutinized recently due to perceived conflicts of interest.  The concern is that career agents can be incentivized to offer higher-margin proprietary products even if another company or product was a better fit for your family. Before you work with any financial professional or insurance agent, be sure they are reputable and trustworthy.

If you are strictly looking for life insurance, we would suggest working with an independent broker who specializes in life and health products.  Independent brokers don’t work for any insurance company.  They work with insurance companies to find you the best deal period!

Life insurance is something you need to qualify for based on your health, lifestyle, and age.  By consulting with an agent, it ensures you receive an accurate quote as opposed to an unrealistic price that you may not even qualify for.

Nationwide Rates

Nationwide does not publicly display their rates on their website.  As a result, you would need to reach out to a Nationwide agent or broker in order to get a quote specific to you and your unique situation. However, we always recommend that you compare the rates of multiple life insurance companies before you.

Before you move forward and purchase a Nationwide insurance policy, there is no harm in comparing the rates of other companies. Give one of our veteran agents a call or request a free no-obligation quote today. A simple phone call could potentially save you thousands of dollars on your life insurance.

The Nationwide Insurance Company phone number is 1-(877)-669-6877, or you can visit them on the web at the Nationwide website to request a quote.

The Final Word: Is Nationwide a Good Life Insurance Company?

Some people like the simplicity of having a multiline insurance agent that is a generalist.  A Nationwide agent can offer you a blend of home, automobile, and life insurance solutions in a single agency.

However, while Nationwide is great at a lot of things, they are not always the best solution out there for life insurance. Since Nationwide agents work for Nationwide, that may cause a conflict of interest when recommending what life insurance company is best to protect your family. If you have a pre-existing condition, want the rock-bottom lowest price, or no-exam underwriting, Nationwide might not be the best company for you.

That being said, Nationwide has a long company history of serving their policyholders. Today, Nationwide offers life insurance, long-term care insurance, annuities, and investment services to their policyholders.  Overall, Nationwide’s life insurance is a solid option, but there might be better out there.

If you are looking for life insurance, don’t hesitate.   Request a free no-obligation quote, or call on of our veteran life insurance agents for a consultation today.

Joseph Cirillo of Good Life Protection

Joe is a lifelong learner with a passion for sharing what he has learned with others. Joe has publicly spoken on life insurance in the past to both colleagues at industry conferences and to consumers in educational settings and as a contributor to industry blogs.  Additionally, Joe is studying for certifications such as the CFP, CLU, and RICP to further his professional knowledge.