Nationwide SmartMiles: What Is It, and Should You Try It?

Drivers may benefit from Nationwide’s SmartMiles program if they don’t drive often and therefore prefer pay-per-mile insurance.
Written by Liz Jenson
Edited by Sarah Gray
Nationwide’s SmartMiles is a pay-per-mile
car insurance
program, meaning drivers who choose this plan will pay a different rate each month based on the number of miles they drive.

What is Nationwide SmartMiles?

Nationwide’s SmartMiles program is a pay-per-mile option that allows you to customize your policy based on how often you get behind the wheel. 
This is a type of
telematics insurance
, meaning Nationwide uses either a small device that plugs directly into your car or a mobile app on your phone to track your driving habits. Then, you’ll make monthly payments based on the data gathered by your device of choice.
Nationwide’s SmartRide
is another popular telematics insurance program offered by this provider. SmartRide and SmartMiles use the same telematics technology but, while SmartMiles uses this tech to determine your premiums via a per-mile rate, SmartRide is designed as an add-on to an existing policy. It’s used to track your driving habits and reward you for being safe.  
You can sign up for SmartRide to improve your rates on most other Nationwide insurance policies. You’ll get an automatic 10% discount on your premium when you sign up, and savings can increase up to 40% within 80 days of signing up—if you consistently
drive safely

What does SmartMiles track?

Nationwide’s SmartMiles program tracks both your mileage and your driving behavior. While your mileage will determine your rate, you can also get a discount of up to 10% for practicing safe driving habits1
If you’re aiming for the discounted rate, you can practice safe driving behaviors like:
  • Driving at or just under the speed limit
  • Avoiding harsh braking
  • Take turns slowly and smoothly to avoid jerking your car
  • Drive during the day when possible, and avoid driving between 12 AM and 5 AM
  • Never use your phone while driving

Who benefits from using SmartMiles?

According to
a study by the US Department of Transportation
, the average American drives 13,476 miles per year2. If you drive less than the national average, it’s possible that you’ll benefit from a usage based insurance policy like SmartMiles. If you drive less than 10,000 miles per year, it’s even more likely that you’ll save via pay-per-mile.
Some examples of people who may benefit from SmartMiles or a similar program include:
  • Drivers with short regular commutes
  • Drivers who have another primary method of travel, like public transportation
  • Remote workers
  • Students who study from home
  • Retirees
If you’re not sure whether you fall into one of these categories, try tracking your mileage over the course of the next month. Simply write down the number currently on your odometer, then compare it to the end of the month. This can teach you more about your typical monthly mileage and help you better understand your potential SmartMiles rate.

How much does SmartMiles cost?

The average user pays approximately $46 per month for this type of insurance. 
While things like your driver profile, age, and location can all affect your rates, the cost of SmartMiles largely depends on how much you drive. The less you drive, the lower your monthly rates will be.
Below, you’ll see the average monthly rates for SmartMiles users as compared with rates for other popular pay-per-mile auto insurance programs.
Insurance provider/program
Average monthly rate
Nationwide SmartMiles
Mile Auto

How does Nationwide determine your SmartMiles rate?

Usage-based auto insurance rates come in two parts: your monthly base rate and your variable rate, i.e. the cost per mile. 
Your base premium will be the same each month no matter how many miles you drive. Like other insurance premiums, your SmartMiles base rate is determined by your driver profile, including factors like your credit score, zip code, age, and driving record. Monthly base rates for SmartMiles average at $40 to $50.
Your variable rate will change from one month to the next depending on how much you drive. It averages at about 5.5 cents per mile, but different drivers will see different rates based on their driver profile.
Your monthly insurance bill will be your base rate plus every per-mile surcharge you’ve incurred over the month, meaning your insurance costs for your Nationwide auto policy can vary dramatically depending on how much you drive.
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What if you take a road trip?

Your SmartMiles variable rate has a road trip exception so, if you’re planning a big road trip, SmartMiles is still an option. 
SmartMiles will only charge you for the first 250 miles you drive on any given day, meaning you can take a road trip without ruining your insurance budget for the month. This may be beneficial for drivers who typically drive very little, but who may take one to three big road trips per year.

What kind of coverage can you get with SmartMiles?

You can get the same types of coverage via SmartMiles that you might get for another Nationwide insurance policy. This includes:
Type of insurance
What it covers
Liability coverage comes in two parts:
bodily injury liability
property damage liability
. Both are required by all states to help cover damages suffered by other drivers if you’re at fault in an accident.
Collision coverage helps you pay for damages to your vehicle if you’re in a collision with another vehicle or a stationary object.
If your vehicle is damaged from a non-collision accident (like a natural disaster, vandalism, theft, or an accident involving an animal), comprehensive coverage will help pay for your damages. 
Some no-fault states may require this coverage to help you make medical payments for yourself or your passengers after an accident
Also required in some states, PIP offers more extensive bodily injury protection for you and your passengers. In addition to medical bills it may cover funeral expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation, and more.
This insurance will cover damages and medical expenses if you get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
This add-on coverage option pays for towing and labor costs for someone to come help you if you’re stranded on the side of the road.
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Is SmartMiles cheaper than regular insurance?

For drivers who don’t hit the road often, yes. However, it’s important to compare rates from several providers if you want to get a good deal on your car insurance policy.

Which insurance company has the best rates for low-mileage drivers?

​​Auto insurance rates are highly personalized, so it’s best to get quotes for pay-per-mile insurance if you’re looking for the most affordable pricing. With that being said, if you want a standard policy, low-mileage drivers have had luck with the low-mileage discount options at
State Farm

Where is SmartMiles available?

SmartMiles is currently available in every state except Alaska, Hawaii,
North Carolina
New York
, and

Can you get SmartMiles in California?

Yes, SmartMiles is currently available to policyholders in
, as is Metromile.

Meet our experts

Liz Jenson
Liz Jenson is an insurance writer who specializes in general automotive and insurance topics. Liz’s mission is to produce informative and useful content to help car owners make smart choices when buying cars and car insurance. Since joining Jerry in 2021, Liz has written nearly 4,000 long- and short-form articles on topics including state-specific insurance recommendations, common car insurance questions, and deep dives into vehicle model details.
Before they came to Jerry, Liz was a full-time student at Indiana University, Bloomington working on a double major in English and French.
Sarah Gray
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Licensed Insurance Agent — Expert Insurance Writer and Editor
Sarah Gray is an insurance writer with nearly a decade of experience in publishing and writing. Sarah specializes in writing articles that educate car owners and buyers on the full scope of car ownership—from shopping for and buying a new car to scrapping one that’s breathed its last and everything in between. Sarah has authored over 1,500 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from first-time buyer programs to how to get a salvage title for a totaled car.
Prior to joining Jerry, Sarah was a full-time professor of English literature and composition with multiple academic writing publications.

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