Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company
Industry Financial services
Founded 1926
Headquarters One Nationwide Plaza
Columbus, Ohio United States
Key people
Steve Rasmussen, CEO
Products Insurance, Investments, Banking
Revenue IncreaseUS$ 40.222 billion (2015)
IncreaseUS$ 581 million (2015)
Total assets IncreaseUS$ 185.306 billion (2015)
Number of employees

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company & Affiliated Companies is a group of large U.S. insurance and financial services companies based in Columbus, OH. The company also operates regional headquarters in Des Moines, IA; San Antonio, TX; Gainesville, FL; Raleigh, NC; and Westerville, OH.

Nationwide Financial Services (NFS), a component of the group, was partially floated on the New York Stock Exchange prior to being repurchased by Nationwide Mutual in 2009. It had owned the majority of NFS common stock since it had gone public in 1997.[1]


Beginnings as Farm Bureau Mutual

On December 17, 1925, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation incorporated the Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company in Columbus, Ohio.[2] At that time, Ohio law required 100 people to pledge to become policyholders. The first agents managed to recruit ten times that number, and on April 12, 1926, Farm Bureau Mutual started business with 1,000 policyholders.

The first product of the new company, as its name implied, was automobile insurance. The company wrote policies only to Ohio farmers. In 1928, Farm Bureau Mutual began offering policies to West Virginia farmers, followed by Maryland, Delaware, Vermont, and North Carolina. Farm Bureau Mutual began underwriting residents of small towns in 1931, and residents in larger cities in 1934.


Nationwide sign outside of One Nationwide Plaza.

Also in 1934, Farm Bureau Mutual began offering fire insurance. This product grew the following year with the purchase of a struggling fire insurance company. With growth came a need for expansion of office space. In 1936, the company moved to the famous 246 Building at 246 N. High Street in Columbus. By 1943, Farm Bureau Mutual operated in 12 states and the District of Columbia. Even with the tripling of space in the 246 Building (which was finally dedicated on the 25th anniversary of the company), Farm Bureau Mutual still had insufficient office space, and began opening regional offices in 1951.

In 1955, Farm Bureau Mutual changed its name to Nationwide Insurance, a name by which it is commonly known today. In the 10 years that followed, Nationwide expanded into Oregon, making the company truly "nationwide". It also expanded into 19 other states, bringing the total by 1965 to 32 states and the District of Columbia.

Nationwide outgrew the 246 Building by the 1970s and work began on a new skyscraper headquarters for the company. In 1978, One Nationwide Plaza was completed at the southwest corner of N. High Street and Nationwide Blvd. on the northern edge of downtown Columbus, Ohio. Since 1988, Nationwide has added the following to its presence in Downtown Columbus: Plaza Two (on the northeast corner of High Street and Chestnut), Plaza Three (just west of High Street and Chestnut), Plaza Four (Front Street), 275 Marconi (behind Plazas One and Three on Marconi Blvd), and 10 West Nationwide, which together with Plaza One form the primary downtown complex. In addition to downtown Columbus, Nationwide also has a significant presence in the Columbus, Ohio metropolitan suburbs of Dublin and Grove City.

Previous logo used until September 2014

Nationwide currently has approximately 31,000 employees,[3] and is ranked #69 in the most recent Fortune 500.[4] Nationwide is currently ranked #71 in Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work For".[5]


Nationwide Tour

In 2003, Nationwide secured the naming rights from what was then the Tour, the second-highest men's professional golf tour in the United States. The tour was known by this name until 2012, when Nationwide relinquished the naming rights.

Nationwide Children's Hospital

On September 24, 2007 Columbus Children's Hospital was rededicated as Nationwide Children's Hospital. This was done in response to a $50 million donation to the hospital by Nationwide.[6]

Helping Columbus become a major league city

One Nationwide Plaza, the headquarters in Columbus.

By 1997, the city of Columbus had grown to become the 15th largest city in the United States. However, Columbus by this time was the largest American city without a professional sports franchise competing in the top leagues in the United States (i.e., Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, or the National Hockey League). After plans to move the Hartford Whalers to Columbus failed when voters rejected a tax levy, the Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company announced that it would build an arena adjacent to One Nationwide Plaza in an effort to bring an NHL franchise to Columbus. This second effort was successful, and the Columbus Blue Jackets began play at Nationwide Arena in late 2000. Nationwide Arena, named for the company, is the centerpiece of the Arena District, an area of entertainment venues, restaurants, and hotels linking downtown Columbus with The Short North neighborhood.

The Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer were actually the first Major League franchise representing Columbus in the post-war era, and they play at their own stadium, Columbus Crew Stadium, which was the first Soccer-specific stadium built in the United States, opening in 1999. The Crew were one of the original members of the MLS, and won their first MLS Cup in 2008.


Nationwide became the title sponsor of the NASCAR Nationwide Series beginning in the 2008 season. On September 18, 2013, the company announced it will no longer sponsor the series after 2014, but will remain an official sponsor of NASCAR.[7] Beginning in 2015, Nationwide became the primary sponsor for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in the Sprint Cup Series.[8]

Memorial Tournament

On September 3, 2010, Nationwide announced a six-year deal to become the presenting sponsor of the PGA Tour Memorial Tournament beginning with the 2010 event.

Jack Hanna

In March 2010 Nationwide announced that it would be co-sponsoring Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Director Emeritus Jack Hanna's "Into the Wild" TV show and national speaking tour.[9]

The Companies

Nationwide is one of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the world, focusing on domestic property and casualty insurance, life insurance and retirement savings, asset management, and strategic investments.

The Nationwide family includes:

Property and Casualty






Scottsdale Insurance

Life Insurance, Retirement and Investment

Asset Management

Strategic Investments

Additionally, Nationwide Communications, a broadcasting company that owned radio station WNCI, was once owned by Nationwide.


Since 2004, Nationwide has continuously received a 100% rating each year on the Corporate Equality Index, which is released by the gay rights activist group Human Rights Campaign. Nationwide includes "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" in its equal employment opportunity policy, and provides diversity training to its employees on sexual orientation.[11]

In 2008 Nationwide entered into an exclusive partnership with Tavis Smiley, including sponsorship of Smiley’s PBS television program as a provider of property and casualty insurance products. The sponsorship of the television program ended in 2011, but the partnership continues for other events and initiatives.

Nationwide was also a national sponsor of the 2009 State of the Black Union event.[12]


Enterprise Collaboration

Nationwide’s internal collaboration platform "SPOT" is an advanced enterprise social media platform that combines Yammer and Sharepoint to provide a unified experience to Nationwide employees.[13][14]

Mobile claims application

In 2009, Nationwide released Nationwide Mobile, a free iPhone application for Nationwide auto insurance customers and other iPhone users. The app is designed to assist drivers with the steps to take after an accident. It also helps Nationwide customers start the claims process, finds Nationwide-certified local repair shops, and facilitates the exchange of accident and insurance information. Nationwide was the first US insurer to offer such an application for the iPhone.[15]


CEO Years Served
Lee B. Palmer 1926–1928
George L. Cooley 1928–1939
Murray Lincoln 1939–1964
Bowman Doss 1964–1969
George Dunlap 1969–1972
Dean Jeffers 1972–1981
John Fisher 1981–1992
Dimon McFerson 1992 - 2000
Jerry Jurgensen 2001 – 2009
Steve Rasmussen 2009 – Present


Death Benefit Controversy

In October 2012, Nationwide paid $7.2 million to resolve a proof of its payouts for death benefits in a probe led by a multistate task force headed by Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty.[16] The task force stated that over $1 billion of death benefits was not paid to consumers by multiple companies, including Nationwide, MetLife, Prudential Financial, Inc., and Manulife Financial Corp,[17] because of customers failure to file a claims report. The pact reached with the task force will commit Nationwide and other insurers to compare its records against the Social Security Death Index and conduct a search for beneficiaries. The language in life insurance policies make it clear that it is up to the beneficiaries to notify the insurer; however, few companies have fallen back on this argument due to public relations fallout.[16]

Claims of Bad Faith

In June 2014, Nationwide was hit with an $18 million punitive damages award after a plaintiff proved the company "strong-armed its own policyholder rather than negotiating in good faith to compensate plaintiff for the loss suffered in an automobile collision."[18]

See also


  1. "Newsroom -".
  2. Wolf, Barnet D. and Charlie Zimkus. "Made in Ohio." The Columbus Dispatch (OH) 17 Aug 2003: 01B. Print.
  3. "News Resources -".
  4. "Fortune 500". Fortune.
  5. /
  6. "Columbus Children's Hospital Becomes Nationwide Children's Hospital". 2007-09-24. Retrieved 2011-12-27.
  7. Ryan, Nate (September 18, 2013). "Nationwide to end sponsorship of NASCAR's No. 2 series". USA Today. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  8. Bruce, Kenny (May 2, 2014). "JUNIOR'S SPONSORSHIP PART OF NATIONWIDE 'EVOLUTION'". NASCAR. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
  9. "Nationwide Partners With Jack Hanna and the Columbus Zoo on Wildlife Conservation". Nationwide. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  10. "Crestbrook Insurance Expands into California, More States to Come".
  12. "Tavis Smiley Hosts First On Your Side® Tour Stop with Nationwide Insurance". Black News. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  13. Kass, Kelly. "Nationwide Insurance hits the 'spot' with enterprise collaboration platform". Simply-Communicate. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  14. Buckley, Christian. "Building a Social Platform with SharePoint and Yammer at Nationwide Insurance". CMSWire. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  15. Ask, Julie. "Print Share FOR EBUSINESS & CHANNEL STRATEGY PROFESSIONALS Case Study: Nationwide Insurance Uses Mobile To Offer Customers Self Service On The Road". Forrester. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  16. 1 2 Scism, Leslie (October 11, 2012). "Nationwide Settles 'Death Benefits' Case". The Wallstreet Journal Online. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  17. Mercado, Daria (May 19, 2011). "Insurance cops grill MetLife, Nationwide on death benefits". Retrieved October 11, 2012. External link in |publisher= (help)
  18. "Insurer Hit With $18 Mil. Punitive Damages Award". Legal Intelligencer. Retrieved June 24, 2014.

Coordinates: 39°58′04″N 83°00′10″W / 39.967893°N 83.00268°W / 39.967893; -83.00268

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