Is Nationwide Roadside Assistance Worth It?

Nationwide’s roadside assistance can help you in an emergency, but how does it stack up next to auto clubs like AAA? Read on to find out!
Written by Sarah Gray
Reviewed by Pat Roache
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Nationwide offers two levels of roadside assistance to their
car insurance
policyholders. Even the top-tier plan only increases the costs of your
Nationwide car insurance rates
by about $42, but even though that’s affordable for most drivers, does that mean it’s worth it?
  • Nationwide’s Basic roadside assistance plans cover basic emergency services, like towing and tire changes, and the Plus plan adds trip interruption coverage.
  • Roadside assistance is available as an add-on for customers who carry at least basic liability car insurance through Nationwide.
  • Customers can contact roadside assistance representatives 24/7 at 1-800-421-3535, or through Nationwide’s website or mobile app.

What does Nationwide roadside assistance cover?

Nationwide offers two tiers of roadside assistance coverage: Basic and Plus. Each plan covers up to six incidents of roadside assistance per year.

Nationwide Roadside Assistance Basic

Nationwide’s Basic roadside assistance plan covers—well… the basics! It offers services like towing, jump-starts, and lockout services on your covered vehicle.
  • Towing: If your car is undrivable, Nationwide will pay to have it towed up to 15 miles. If you’re more than 15 miles away, or you choose not to have your vehicle towed to the nearest repair shop, you’ll pay the difference.
  • Ditch extraction/winching service: If you find yourself stuck in a ditch or a snowdrift, Nationwide will send someone to get you out—as long as you’re not there because of a car accident. This type of tow is covered by your
    collision coverage
    policy or the at-fault driver’s
    liability coverage
    . If you don’t have collision coverage and you’re at fault in an accident that lands you in a ditch, you’ll be footing the bill for extraction yourself.
  • Fuel delivery: Gas is expensive these days, so we don’t blame you for trying to eke every last mile out of each gallon. If you go a little too far and
    run out of gas
    , Nationwide will pay to have up to two gallons of fuel delivered to you.
  • Battery jump starts: If your covered vehicle’s battery is dead, Nationwide will pay to have someone come and
    jumpstart it back to life
    .
  • Locksmith services: Nationwide will cover up to $100 in locksmith services if you lock your keys in your car, lose your key or key fob, or if a key breaks off in your ignition, door, or trunk.
  • Flat tire service: Even those of us who know how to change a car tire don’t always want to.
    If you have a flat tire
    , you can call Nationwide, and they’ll send someone out to put your spare on for it. Don’t have a spare? They’ll still send someone to help, but you’ll have to buy a spare for them to put on.

Nationwide Roadside Assistance Plus

Nationwides’ Roadside Assistance Plus program offers all the services included with the Basic plan, plus trip interruption coverage. It also extends the mileage you have available for towing up to 100 miles.
With trip interruption coverage, Nationwide will reimburse you for transportation, lodging, and meal expenses up to $500 if your car breaks down more than 100 miles from home. This coverage only applies for the first 72 hours following the breakdown of your covered vehicle. It also only covers up to $100 a day for meals and lodging.
One perk of Nationwide’s roadside assistance program is that you don’t have to have a
full-coverage car insurance
policy to take advantage of it. You do have to be a Nationwide policyholder, but even having basic liability coverage qualifies you to add roadside assistance to your policy.
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How to use Nationwide’s roadside assistance program

Like most
types of insurance
, roadside assistance is one we hope we never have to use. But when the time comes for you to contact Nationwide’s roadside assistance program for help, you’ve got three options:
No matter how you choose to contact Nationwide for roadside assistance, their lines are open 24/7/365. 

How much does Nationwide roadside assistance cost?

As with just about everything to do with car insurance, the cost of Nationwide’s roadside assistance program will vary depending on where you live, the type of policy you have, and how many vehicles you’re covering, among other things. That said, the program is comparable in price to others in the industry.
Nationwide claims drivers will pay about $1.90 per month for the Basic plan and $3.50 per month for the Plus plan. This balances out to about $23 per year for Basic and $42 per year for Plus in addition to your existing insurance premiums.
Overall, when it comes to coverage and cost, Nationwide is pretty comparable to plans offered by other major providers, like
GEICO
and
Allstate
, but is it worth it? Does the affordability of Nationwide’s roadside assistance program make it a good option—or would you be better off paying a little more for a
AAA membership
instead?

Nationwide roadside assistance vs. AAA

Let’s start by pointing out that even AAA’s basic plan is more expensive than Nationwide’s. So, if all you care about is the upfront cost, then Nationwide will be your play.
But for those of us looking at how much bang we get for our buck, AAA takes the cake. AAA’s base services are comparable to Nationwide’s, but even Classic Tier customers get to take advantage of an array of discounts that simply aren’t included with Nationwide’s coverage.
Plus, while Nationwide claims its roadside assistance “may” be available for use on non-covered vehicles, AAA members get the confidence that they are covered in any vehicle they’re driving or riding in.
Bottom Line Nationwide’s coverage is worth it if you’re looking for a low-cost convenient way to add a little peace of mind to your daily travels. For those of you looking to include more value in that equation, a AAA membership may be a better choice.
Jerry
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FAQs

No. While you’re billed along with your regular insurance coverage, a Nationwide roadside assistance plan is technically separate from your insurance policy.
Yes. But, unlike many major providers, Nationwide doesn’t require customers to purchase a full coverage policy to qualify to add on roadside assistance. As long as you have at least basic liability coverage you can add roadside assistance to your policy.
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