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Nationwide SmartMiles Review: Is It on Your Side?

Nationwide SmartMiles is a pay-per-mile auto insurance policy so your car insurance premium is determined by the number of miles you drive. A pay-per-mile policy can be a more affordable alternative to traditional car insurance if you're a low-mileage driver — a retiree or somebody who works from home might want to consider SmartMiles, for instance.

In this Nationwide SmartMiles review, we'll explain how it works and its advantages to determine if it's right for your budget and needs.

Nationwide SmartMiles Overview

Availability

Every state EXCEPT Alaska, California, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New York and Oklahoma

Coverages

  • Bodily injury liability

  • Property damage liability

  • Comprehensive

  • Collision

  • Medical payments coverage (Medpay)

  • Personal injury protection (PIP)

  • Underinsured/uninsured motorist

  • Rental reimbursement

  • Gap coverage

Roadside assistance

Yes

Discounts

  • Multi-policy

  • Accident-free record

  • Good student

  • Defensive driving

  • Anti-theft devices

  • Safe driver

  • Automatic payments

 

Good for:

Bad for:

  • Remote workers, retirees or other types of low-mileage drivers

  • Moderate- to high-mileage drivers

  • Vehicles on your policy that are rarely driven

  • Drivers uncomfortable with having their driving habits tracked

What Is Nationwide's SmartMiles Program?

SmartMiles by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company is pay-per-mile car insurance geared toward low-mileage drivers. Unlike traditional car insurance, you have a flexible monthly rate that is based on the number of miles you drive. Due to this, premiums can vary instead of being a fixed cost.

If you answer yes to any of the following, then a pay-per-mile policy may be worth considering:

  • You work from home.

  • You live near work and local amenities.

  • Have an extra car that you don't regularly drive.

  • You regularly commute using public transportation.

SmartMiles by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company is pay-per-mile car insurance geared toward low-mileage drivers.

How Nationwide SmartMiles Works

SmartMiles has a base premium and a per-mile rate, which are determined based on the same factors used to determine traditional car insurance (driving record, location, vehicle, etc.). For example, say your policy has the following rates:

  • Base rate: $60 per month

  • Per-mile rate: $0.07 per mile

During one month, you drive 500 miles. Your per-mile rate would total $35 (500 miles*$0.07). To calculate your premium for that month, add your base rate (say $60) and per-mile rate ($35), which totals $95.

To accurately measure your mileage, Nationwide sends you a small device to plug into your vehicle's OBD port — typically located under the driver's side dashboard. The device will be compatible on most vehicles manufactured after 1996, but some hybrids and diesel-powered cars may not qualify for SmartMiles. You can log into your online account to review the data collected by the device.

SmartMiles places a 250 mile cap on how many miles can be billed for in a single day — a welcome relief if you're planning a long road trip. If you drive 300 miles in a single day, for example, you're charged only for 250 miles and not the remaining 50 miles.

Tip: If you have more than one vehicle listed in your policy, you can register individual vehicles in SmartMiles. This can be useful if you have a car that you rarely drive or one household member is a low-mileage driver.

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SmartMiles Coverage and Discounts

A SmartMiles policyholder can enjoy all the same coverage options available in a traditional auto policy, including:

Discounts

  • Multi-policy
  • Accident-free record
  • Good student
  • Defensive driving
  • Anti-theft devices
  • Safe driver
  • Automatic payments

What Does Nationwide SmartMiles Monitor?

SmartMiles by Nationwide uses telematics technology to collect data about when, where, how and how much you drive, including:

  • Location
  • Mileage
  • Speed
  • Acceleration
  • Idle time
  • Hard braking
  • Night driving

You can log in to your online account to review more information about the driving data being collected.

SmartMiles places a 250 mile cap on how many miles can be billed for in a single day.

Nationwide SmartMiles Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Wide availability

Compromised privacy

Safe driver discount

 

Pros explained

  • Wide availability: SmartMiles is available in 42 states, which is quite a lot compared to other pay-per-mile insurers.

  • Safe driver discount: Safe drivers can qualify for a discount up to 10% on their first renewal. This discount can increase to 40% if drivers also enroll in SmartRide, Nationwide's safe driving discount program.

Cons explained

  • Compromised privacy: If you're uncomfortable with telematics technology tracking when, where and how you drive, then SmartMiles (or any other type of pay-per-mile policy) may be a poor fit for you.

Is Nationwide SmartMiles worth it?

If you're a low-mileage driver, then a pay-per-mile policy like SmartMiles can be an affordable alternative to a traditional auto insurance policy. Enroll in SmartRide, as well, and you may see even more savings with a premium discount up to 40%.

However, some drivers may feel hesitant about having their vehicle and driving habits tracked — Nationwide requires that you plug the SmartMiles device directly into your vehicle. If you're willing to sacrifice some privacy to see lower premiums, then SmartMiles is a worthy consideration.

Drivers can save even more money by having both SmartMiles and SmartRide in the same policy.

Nationwide SmartMiles vs. SmartRide

SmartMiles is a pay-per-mile Nationwide auto policy that charges drivers based on the number of miles driven, while SmartRide is a safe-driving program that provides up to a 40% discount on car insurance premium for good drivers. SmartRide does not offer any coverage during a covered loss and is meant as an optional program to supplement your existing Nationwide policy.

 

SmartMiles

SmartRide

Description

Auto insurance policy in which premiums are determined by how many miles you drive.

Optional discount program that rewards safe drivers with a discount on their auto insurance premium.

Product type

Insurance policy.

Usage-based discount program.

Enrollment

Enroll when you start or renew your policy.

Enroll at any time.

Maximum Safe Driving Discount

Up to 10%.

Up to 40%.

Best for

Drivers with low annual mileage who want their premiums to reflect how much they actually drive their car.

Drivers that want to save on car insurance by exhibiting and maintaining safe driving habits.

Tip: Drivers can save even more money by having both SmartMiles and SmartRide into the same policy. You do not need to choose between one or the other.

Nationwide SmartMiles FAQs

What is SmartMiles with Nationwide?

SmartMiles by Nationwide is a pay-per-mile auto insurance policy that calculates your premium based on the number of miles you drive. SmartMiles can be an ideal car insurance solution for low-mileage drivers, such as remote workers and students and retirees.

Does Nationwide give a discount for low mileage?

Nationwide offers SmartMiles, a pay-per-mile policy, which allows drivers to spend less on car insurance when they drive fewer miles. SmartMiles customers may qualify for a discount up to 10% (or up to 40% if they also sign up for SmartRide) when they renew their policy.

Does Nationwide SmartMiles track your speed?

Yes. SmartMiles requires drivers to plug a device into their vehicle, which collects data about your driving behaviors, including your speed, mileage, idle time, braking events and acceleration.

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