Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Written by Chelsey Tucker
Insurance Expert Chelsey Tucker

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Jun 28, 2022

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The Lowdown

  • Nationwide SmartRide is a program that is an incentive for Nationwide’s customers to practice safe driving
  • SmartRide is a usage-based insurance program
  • There are three different ways that a consumer can participate in the SmartRide program

If you have auto insurance through Nationwide insurance company, you are eligible to enroll in their SmartRide program.

Nationwide SmartRide install is quick and easy and can be completed in a few different ways. Participating in this program is an easy way to save money, and also make good driving behaviors a habit.

Find out if you can get a SmartRide discount. Enter your ZIP code and get a free quote today.

What is Nationwide SmartRide?

Nationwide SmartRide is Nationwide’s incentive for their customers to have safer driving behaviors and habits. SmartRide is a usage-based insurance program that gives you personalized feedback to help you make even safer driving decisions. SmartRide, a usage-based insurance program, allows you to earn a 15% discount for just signing up and up to a 40% discount on your next policy renewal.

A difference between this program and other telematic programs is that your driving is monitored for between four to six months. After the time is up, you can keep whatever discount you’ve earned as long as you are insured with Nationwide.

Participants in the program can choose between the mobile app to track their driving behaviors or a device that connects to their cars. The device will collect data via the data communication module in the car, rather than the app on the smartphone.

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What is the difference between the Nationwide SmartRide mobile app and the Nationwide SmartRide device?

The Nationwide SmartRide mobile app uses your phone to monitor how you drive and award you insurance discounts. The app is separate from the standard Nationwide app.

If you decide to use the app, contact your insurance agent and have them help you to enroll your policy into the program. After the app is downloaded, make sure location services are turned on.

Because the app follows the driver rather than the car, all vehicles and all drivers on the policy must be enrolled. The SmartRide app is available for both iPhone and Android users.

Continuously check the app to review driving feedback from Nationwide. The Nationwide SmartRide plug-in program uses a device that you plug into your vehicle’s onboard diagnostics port (OBD).

Cars that are eligible for Nationwide SmartRide include cars with a DCM, made after 2015 by one of the following manufacturers:

  • Acura
  • General Motors
  • Genesis
  • Honda
  • Hyundai

California auto insurance only participates with the device-based version of the program.

If you are a part of the Nationwide prequalified connected car program, you may be able to receive a Nationwide SmartRide discount without downloading the app or installing a device.

After requesting a quote online or via an agent, Nationwide can view your data and let you know whether your performance makes you eligible for a SmartRide performance discount – if you continue car insurance with Nationwide.

How does it work?

There are four driving factors that SmartRide measures: 

  1. Miles driven: SmartRide measures the number of miles driven during a trip. On average, the more miles that are driven, the higher chances of an accident.
  2. Hard braking and acceleration: If a driver is abruptly slowing down or excessively accelerating, that could be a sign of aggressive driving.
  3. Idle time: This is measured because it could be an indication of driving in congested traffic.
  4. Nighttime driving: Nationwide measures driving between midnight and 5 a.m. because driving during a certain time increases an accident.

After enrolling in SmartRide, you should download and activate the SmartRide app. You will drive as you normally do, confirming the first few trips you take during the app.

At your leisure, you can check the app and see your progress and track any discounts. At the end of the program, lock in your final discount, and Nationwide will apply it at your next policy renewal.

The program will not raise your rates or surcharge your policy, so there is nothing to lose by adding it. While other telematics programs penalize drivers for phone usage, SmartRide does not.

This is how SmartRide compares to other usage-based programs.

Program NameMaximum DiscountLength of Review PeriodCan premiums go up?Phone usage impacts discount
Nationwide SmartRide40%Four to six monthsNoNo
Progressive Snapshot$37 average sign-up discount, $145 avg. final discountFirst policy period (six months)YesYes, if using Snapshot mobile app
Allstate DrivewiseNo maximum discount; initial sign-up discount, then drivers receive performance discounts for safe driving First 50 trips (minimum of 60 days), then every six monthsDiscount may increase or decrease depending on driving performance during previous policy periodsNo
Liberty Mutual RightTrack30%90 days NoNo
Geico DriveEasy25%First policy periodYesYes
State Farm Drive Safe & Save30%, 50% for some customersEach policy renewal period (six months)Discount may increase or decrease depending on driving performance during previous policy periodsYes
USAA SafePilot 20%Each policy renewal Discount may increase or decrease based on performance during the policy period immediately prior to the discountYes

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What happens if I unplug SmartRide?

If possible, avoid unplugging your Nationwide SmartRide device – it can lead you to potentially having to restart the program and forfeit any performance discount you may have earned.

Nationwide would be unable to calculate your discount. At this point, you can either re-enroll in the program and start over, or you can mail the device back to Nationwide.

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How can I contact Nationwide?

If you need assistance from Nationwide, call 1-877-669-6877. If you need investment or financial help, call 1-800-848-6331.

Learn more about Nationwide SmartRide. Enter your ZIP code and get a free quote today.