Which Usage-Based Car Insurance Is Best for You?

May 13, 2020
Man Adjusting Rearview Mirror


• If you’re a safe or low-mileage driver you may be able to save now
• Nationwide offers two usage-based insurance options that may be right for you
• Talk to your insurance agent about the best fit for you

You may be wondering which usage-based insurance (UBI) program would best suit you. UBI programs and the customized options they can provide are becoming the choice for a growing number of drivers. Carriers that can tailor auto insurance coverages and options based on the unique needs of all the drivers in a household are giving customers the control they’re looking for from a car insurance company.

Nationwide offers two usage-based insurance programs

There are two UBI options that could help you save, depending on how you drive. SmartRide® offers a discount based on how safely you drive. SmartMiles® provides a rate based on how much you drive. For many, these programs offer opportunities to save.

The best way to understand which option is right for you, is to talk to your insurance agent. Here are some scenarios to help you begin the conversation:

Nationwide SmartRide

This car insurance policy is based on how safely you drive.

There are a variety of usage-based insurance options on the market that reward safe driving. If you’re a driver committed to staying alert, avoiding distractions, and following the rules of the road, you can be rewarded for it. Nationwide’s SmartRide technology tracks your driving behaviors for six months, giving you weekly progress updates and personalized driving feedback. Safe drivers can save up to 40% as a result[1]. Perhaps you can identify with these scenarios:

Examples of SmartRide drivers

  1. SmartRide driver, John. John prides himself on safe driving habits. He’s mostly behind the wheel to commute to and from the office, trips to the gym, or when he’s transporting his most precious cargo to soccer practice.
  2. SmartRide driver, Pat. Pat is a new teenage driver. Her parents have tried to instill safe practices and encourage safe behavior when she’s behind the wheel. SmartRide’s real-time coaching and feedback was an appealing feature, flagging when Pat hit the breaks too hard or accelerated too quickly. While learning how to become a safer driver, Pat was also able to earn a safe driving discount through the SmartRide program.

Nationwide SmartMiles

This car insurance policy is based on the number of miles you drive.

Some insurers offer pay-per-mile insurance solutions. Low-mileage drivers could benefit from Nationwide’s SmartMiles program. SmartMiles customers are saving an average of more than 25% on their auto insurance, compared to traditional Nationwide auto policies[2]. If you identify with Mel or Sam, a mileage-based solution may be a fit for you:

Examples of SmartMiles drivers

  1. SmartMiles driver, Sam. Sam is retired and lives near public transit, rarely using her car. Even with monthly visits to spend time with family who lives a few hours away, Sam is still a good candidate for SmartMiles.  The program includes a road trip exception that caps daily mileage at 250 miles, which limits impact on Sam’s miles driven each month.
  2. SmartMiles driver, Mel. Living near his workplace and walking to work most days, Mel primarily drives for short trips to the grocery store, visiting friends and family nearby, and weekly meet-ups with his trivia group. Mel signed up for SmartMiles and loves the flexible monthly rates based on the number of miles he drives.

Talk to your insurance agent to determine if you’re like Mel, Sam, John, or Pat – or if someone like them is included on your policy. For some, traditional insurance will remain the right option, but for safe and low-mileage drivers there may be an opportunity to save on car insurance.

Learn more about usage-based insurance. Talking to your insurance agent can help you understand the usage-based option that may be right for you.


[1]SmartRide program availability varies; program criteria differ in California. Stated discounts are approximations. Discounts do not apply to all coverage elements; actual savings vary by state, coverage selections, rating factors and policy changes. the final discount is calculated according to driving behavior and could be zero. The final discount applies at the next policy renewal and is subject to change based on actuarial support at subsequent renewals or with changes in drivers or vehicles on the policy. Monitoring is for one policy term if selected for new business. If selected at renewal, monitoring is no more than two policy terms.

[2]SmartMiles savings based on national data through February 2020. Program availability varies. SmartMiles includes a base premium plus a variable premium based on the coverages in force and the days and miles driven.

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