Skip to main content

Economic factors creating higher demand for telematics

January 14, 2022

Consumers consider several factors when choosing their auto insurance, but value has become even more important in recent years. According to Tom Super, head of property and casualty insurance at J.D. Power, over the past decade auto insurance costs have risen at two times the rate of inflation.1 That means that your customers are likely devoting a larger portion of their incomes to auto insurance.

Additionally, the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has left consumers holding onto their wallets even more tightly. Approximately 42% of Americans say they have been spending less money than usual since the pandemic began.2 Spending on auto insurance has received scrutiny, as many consumers who began driving less during the pandemic continue to pay the same premiums, resulting in an unprecedented desire for cost-effective auto insurance.

Enter telematics. Findings from Nationwide’s Agency Forward 2020 research found that more auto insurance customers are ready to give telematics a try than agents might realize. Not only has the interest remained nearly a year later, but adoption of telematics programs has increased two-fold.3 With unprecedented consumer demand, agents must now consider which carriers offer the greatest availability of telematics options, which provide the most value for their customers’ needs, and which carriers products are easiest to sell and service.

Nationwide makes it easier for agents to meet their customers’ evolving needs

Telematics is the future, and Nationwide is constantly evolving to deliver unique options that provide clear advantages for you and your customers. That’s why we began introducing our cutting-edge telematics programs in 2011 by first focusing on rewarding safe driving behavior with SmartRide followed by being able to provide fair rates to low-mileage drivers with SmartMiles using simple, innovative digital technology.

Today, our appointed independent agents are winning by having access to two easy to sell products designed around an experience that is easy to service. A benefit that has allowed agents the ability to meet customer needs by offering greater personalization, protect against rising inflation through steeper savings (up to 40% discount for SmartRide and an average 25% savings with SmartMiles), as well as improved retention which over 1 in 3 agents reported in our recent agent authority survey.6

Our commitment to driver well-being doesn’t stop at savings, however. Nationwide has long been involved nationally and at the state level to help ensure safer roadways. Last year, we advocated for state lawmakers across the country to enact hands-free legislation with the intent to curb distracted driving. And we have seen in our own data how SmartRide technology is helping change this driving behavior with a 10% average reduction in hand-held distractions.5

Start offering telematics today

SmartRide is currently available in 46 states and Washington D.C. SmartMiles is available in 32 states — more than any pay-per-mile program offered in the industry. With more OEM partnerships than any other competitor, we continue to build and deploy innovative telematics capabilities and programs across the country.

Nationwide leads the industry when it comes to offering customers more value for their unique driving needs and goals, no matter what, how or why they’re driving.4 We look forward to working with you to help you strengthen and expand relationships with your clients by utilizing the full suite of Nationwide telematics.


  • 4

    Nationwide Named TU Automotive Connected Car 2020 Insurer of the Year, 2020

  • 5

    Data is from Nationwide SmartRide mobile app users. Distracted driving program launched in June 2020, with trip feedback provided to drivers starting in September 2020. Research examined phone distractions that include active screen time while the vehicle is moving more than 15km.

  • 6

    2020 Nationwide’s Agency Forward Report: Telematics

    • 36% of agents report telematics helps improve retention
  • 7

    SmartRide SmartRide program criteria differ by state. Stated discounts are approximations. Discounts do not apply to all coverage elements; actual savings vary by state, coverage selections, rating factors and policy changes. Enrollment discount applies during data collection; final discount is calculated on driving behavior and could be zero. Final discount applies at the next policy renewal and is subject to change based upon actuarial support at subsequent renewals or with changes in drivers or vehicles on the policy.

  • 8

    SmartMilesMonthly estimated mileage varies based on the number of days in each month of your policy term, as determined by your policy effective date. Cost per mile is subject to change during your policy period if any changes are made to the policy. Please refer to your policy declarations page for the total cost per mile. Estimated vehicle premium is subject to change based on actual miles driven during the mileage period and any changes made to the policy. Discount applies at the next policy renewal and remains in effect while the vehicle is enrolled in SmartMiles. Availability and actual savings may vary by state, coverage selections, rating factors and policy changes.