Nationwide Life Insurance Review

In this article...
  • Explore the various types of life insurance policies Nationwide has to offer and get a better understanding of what type of coverage fits you and your needs.

The world of life insurance policies can be difficult to navigate. Everyone has unique needs for themselves and their families, and finding the right provider is of utmost importance. Nationwide’s affordable policies, customizable riders and highly-acclaimed customer service can help you find the coverage that fits you just right.

About Nationwide

Since its inception in 1925, Nationwide has become one of the largest and most well-reputed insurance providers in the world. From its humble beginning as a small auto insurance provider in Columbus, OH, its history of reliability and excellent customer service has been a great asset. After spending the first 35 years expanding beyond auto insurance and venturing into a dozen other states, Nationwide became the first major insurer to endorse Medicare (before being required to by law) and establish a 24-hour claims reporting service. 

Nationwide’s record has been littered with “firsts” ever since. In 1978, it founded the first civic action program in the history of the insurance industry; in 1995, it opened the first full-time, corporate-funded blood donation center in the American Red Cross system. In 1999, it combined the benefits of comprehensive long-term care with a retirement savings component, another industry first. Nationwide continued to bolster its reputation for innovation throughout the early 2000s, becoming the first major insurer to launch an iPhone app and approving a $50 million donation to Columbus Children’s Hospital (the second-largest philanthropic grant ever gifted to an American hospital). 

What Life Insurance Products Does Nationwide Offer?

Life insurance policies typically come in one of two forms: term policies and permanent policies. A term life insurance policy provides coverage for a specific period of time (10, 20, and 30 year policies typically being the most common). Permanent life insurance policies accrue cash value and guarantee lifetime coverage as long as premiums are consistently paid. All permanent policies can be broken down into three types of coverage: universal, whole and variable. To help you get a better understanding of what type of coverage is right for you, here’s a more in-depth look at what each of these policies cover.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is often used to replace lost income. In the event that your household’s main breadwinner passes, a term policy can provide your family with a death benefit to help them continue keeping up with financial obligations. This type of coverage is often the most cost-effective way of protecting your family in the event of a sudden tragedy. 

Term policies have no cash value you can invest in or borrow against; they're simply a guaranteed financial safety net provided over a specific period of time that you contractually agree to. This may be a good option to consider if you have financial dependents whose well-being would be directly affected by your death. After assessing how many years your family’s needs will be the greatest and how much your loved ones would need to replace your income, Nationwide’s resourceful needs calculator can help you determine your term policy’s duration and other important details. 

Whole Life Insurance

The most basic form of permanent life insurance, whole life insurance is often used as an estate planning tool to help preserve wealth you plan to hand down to your beneficiaries. In addition to lifelong protection, whole life insurance coverage provides consistent guaranteed cash value growth, which adds support to your retirement budget. Additional benefits might include:

  • Fixed premium payments throughout the duration of the policy.
  • A guaranteed interest rate on your policy’s cash value.
  • A tax-free benefit.
  • A variety of optional features to customize your policy.

With each premium payment you make on a whole policy, a portion of your payment goes towards coverage fees; however, a predetermined amount is also contributed to your policy’s cash value. Once you’ve accumulated a certain amount, you can access these funds in the same way you do with your own personal bank account, from making withdrawals to taking a loan out against them. 

Universal Life Insurance

In addition to usually being more affordable than whole life insurance, universal policies can provide greater flexibility as your needs change over time. You can adjust your levels of protection, how frequent your premium payments are and even your premium amount (within set parameters). The cash value of a universal policy collects interest each month, which can come in handy in the event of a financial emergency. 

Variable Life Insurance

Variable life insurance provides you the opportunity to invest a portion of your policy’s cash value into subaccounts that are tied to the stock market. (Similarly to how mutual funds are structured.) With a variable policy, a portion of your premium covers insurance costs and the remaining amount goes into a tax-deferred savings account through which you can invest in subaccounts. 

Variable policies may be good for individuals who want more variety in market options and the freedom to decide where to allocate funds. However, the innate risks that accompany stock investments have the potential to reduce your policy’s cash value as well. 

The Pros and Cons of Nationwide Life Insurance

While Nationwide’s extensive reputation for financial stability and superb customer service make them an excellent option for coverage, there are some minor drawbacks. 



  • Multi-policy discounts are available to customers who already have auto and home insurance through Nationwide.
  • Its customer service was ranked second among more than 20 other providers by JD Power.
  • The multiple types of coverage Nationwide offers gives you plenty of options to find the policy that best fits your family’s needs.
  • A plethora of long-term care riders are available to customize your coverage with.



  • Although you can submit an application for life insurance coverage online, most policy purchases must be conducted through an agent directly.
  • All Nationwide policies are fully underwritten, so a medical exam and bloodwork are required.
  • The maximum amount of term coverage available is $1 million. (Many other companies offer coverage up to as much as $10 million.)

Nationwide Reviews: What People Are Saying

From benefit limits to customer satisfaction, reviews of Nationwide’s life insurance are overwhelmingly positive. Reviewers seem to find Nationwide solid, reliable and consistent; however, some policy shoppers have expressed their desire for Nationwide to provide a stand-alone long-term care option. While its plentiful care riders add a whole host of customizable modifications to any life insurance policy offered, these riders are often accompanied with complexities that require careful and thorough understanding. 

Is a Nationwide Life Insurance Policy Right for You?

With its vast abundance of options to help you secure your family’s financial future and its award-winning customer service, Nationwide is undoubtedly a major provider to be considered as you shop life insurance. With policies as customizable as they are affordable, the variety of coverage types are versatile to help you find just the right policy for your unique needs. After almost a century in business, Nationwide still swears by its classic mantra: “Nationwide is on your side.”

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