Shelter Insurance Auto Insurance Review: Ratings and Quotes (2024)

Shelter is a small insurer offering competitive rates in 15 U.S. states.

Nick Dauk
Written byNick Dauk
Nick Dauk
Nick Dauk
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  • Contributor to brands like Credible

In addition to insurance, Nick specializes in writing about business, entrepreneurship, personal finance, and travel. He’s been featured in myriad web publications, including Fox Business.

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  • 4+ years in content creation and marketing

As Insurify’s home and pet insurance editor, Danny also specializes in auto insurance. His goal is to help consumers navigate the complex world of insurance buying.

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Konstantin Halachev
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Konstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
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Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

Updated February 12, 2024 at 11:00 AM PST

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Shelter Insurance has high ratings with J.D. Power, so drivers looking for excellent customer service should give this regional insurance company a look. It underwriters policies in only 15 U.S. states, but its limited availability is compensated by more available discounts than many competitors.

Overall, Shelter has a balance of advantages and drawbacks. For instance, while it possesses a good financial strength rating, it has no mobile app. Read on to learn more about policy perks and missed opportunities that will help you determine if Shelter Insurance is the right company for you.

Quick Facts
  • Rates for full-coverage policies from Shelter Insurance are lower than the national average.

  • Liability-only policies from Shelter Insurance include roadside assistance and new-car replacement.

  • Shelter’s National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index score is lower than average for a company of its size.

How Shelter Insurance stacks up

Shelter Insurance is a good option when compared to competitors like CSAA, Auto-Owners, Erie, and State Auto. Its AM Best financial strength rating of A (Excellent) is strong, and although its rates are higher, Shelter Insurance offers more discounts and better customer service. One big drawback is that its availability is limited to 15 states — more than Erie but fewer than Auto-Owners.

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IQ Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
3.5
JD Power
J.D. Power data measures overall customer satisfaction and claims satisfaction based on a 1,000-point scale.
Not rated
A.M. Best
A.M. Best analyzes an insurer’s financials, operating performance, business profile, and other factors to generate an opinion-based rating of a company’s financial and credit strength. Ratings range from A++ (exceptional) to D (poor).
A

Shelter is a mutual insurance company that gets high marks from the Better Business Bureau (A+) and A.M. Best (A). The company also has a lower-than-expected number of complaints in the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s Consumer Complaints Index. In addition to car and homeowners insurance, Shelter also sells different types of vehicle policies, renters, life, farm, flood, and business insurance. Every policy includes new car replacement coverage and roadside assistance. Optional coverages include rental reimbursement, accidental death, disability income, loss of use, and gap insurance.

Pros
  • Ample discounts available

  • New car replacement and roadside assistance included

Cons
  • Only available in 15 states

  • No option for getting getting a quote or buying a policy online

Many years with them.

Terri - May 29, 2023
Verified

Could never get ahold of an agent

Lucy - December 29, 2022
Verified

Great service and great coverage

Frank - January 19, 2022
Verified
Read our Shelter Insurance review
FactorHow Shelter Insurance Compares
RatesHigher than competitors
Customer serviceBetter than competitors
DiscountsMore than competitors
AvailabilityLess than competitors
Financial strengthStronger than competitors

Average cost of Shelter auto insurance

Shelter car insurance rates are lower than the national average of $207 for full-coverage car insurance. Drivers hoping to maximize reimbursement for a covered loss for their vehicle pay $184 per month for a full-coverage policy with Shelter.

However, liability-only insurance isn’t as cheap with Shelter as the national average. Shelter has a monthly average rate of $111 for liability coverage — more than the national average of $103 per month.

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Shelter Insurance reviews and ratings

Shelter Insurance has decent ratings regarding its financial strength and customer satisfaction. However, its reviews on sites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) aren’t as favorable. 

Shelter has a rating of 2.8/5 on Trustpilot and 1.19/5 on BBB. It’s worth noting that both sites have a combined total of 32 reviews, so the reviews don’t represent a large consumer base.[1] [2]

Shelter Insurance customer reviews

Many years with them.

Terri - May 29, 2023
Verified

Could never get ahold of an agent

Lucy - December 29, 2022
Verified

Great service and great coverage

Frank - January 19, 2022
Verified

Never really had to call them; they were cheap and easy to work with

Stephanie - July 25, 2019
Verified

Shelter Insurance ratings

Reviewing ratings from third-party companies like J.D. Power and AM Best can offer more insight into how a company operates. For example, J.D. Power and the NAIC complaint index use customer reviews to rate service, while AM Best rates the financial strength of auto insurance companies.

  • AM Best: A[3]

  • J.D. Power: No. 1 in customer satisfaction among auto insurers in the Central region[4]

  • S&P: N/A

  • Moody’s: N/A

  • NAIC Complaint Index: 0.32[5]

Shelter Insurance coverage options

All car insurance companies have to offer the state-minimum required coverage, which is referred to as liability-only insurance. Shelter Insurance’s liability coverage includes:

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/f2ca9fa443/protection-for-passengers.svg

    Bodily injury liability

    Bodily injury liability pays for injuries or death you cause another driver.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/db598219e3/damage-from-aircraft.svg

    Property damage liability

    Property damage liability pays for damages you cause to another vehicle or structure.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/100x100/9997698e9e/emergency-roadside-service.svg

    Roadside assistance

    Roadside assistance covers costs associated with battery jumps, getting locked out of your car, and getting your flat tire patched.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/38dc81ba93/drive-1.svg

    New-car replacement

    New-car replacement replaces your car with a new one of the same make, model, and year if yours is totaled within a year and has fewer than 15,000 miles.

Some companies, like Shelter Insurance, offer additional coverage that isn’t required by law but provides the policyholder with more protection, such as:

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/169fdfde11/liability-coverage.svg

    Collision coverage

    Collision insurance covers damages to your vehicle when you collide with an object.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/665da91bf7/comprehensive-coverage.svg

    Comprehensive coverage

    Comprehensive insurance covers damages to your vehicle from fire, flood, vandalism, and other non-collision sources.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/4c9753bdbe/medical-payments.svg

    Medical payments coverage

    Medical payments coverage pays medical bills for accident-related medical expenses, like X-rays and ambulance rides.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/abffe6238f/financial-protection.svg

    Personal injury protection coverage

    Personal injury protection covers expenses an injured person is without after an accident, such as income loss, housecleaning, or child care.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/5285c4cd74/uninsured-or-underinsured-motorist-coverage.svg

    Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage

    Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage pays for injuries to you that an uninsured or underinsured motorist causes.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/100x100/24f1697280/car-key.svg

    Temporary transportation coverage

    Temporary transportation coverage pays for the cost of alternative transportation when your car is in the shop.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/100x100/9cd41581f2/savings.svg

    Gap coverage

    Gap insurance covers the remaining payment on your auto loan that exceeds your collision limit if your car is totaled.

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Shelter Insurance car insurance cost by state

Each state sets its own minimum insurance requirements. Colorado, for instance, has a 25/50/15 requirement, while Louisiana has a 15/30/25 requirement. This means that drivers need more bodily injury liability protection in Colorado but more property damage liability coverage in Louisiana.

The table below shows the monthly average quotes for both liability-only coverage and full-coverage policies in some of the states where Shelter Insurance operates.

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Thursday, February 1 at 11:00 AM PST
Data reviewed by Konstantin Halachev
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

State Average Quote: Full Coverage Average Quote: Liability Only
Nebraska12172
Arkansas12562
Missouri14878
Oklahoma17592
Mississippi17689
Kentucky278190
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Shelter Insurance rates by driving history

It’s common knowledge that less-than-perfect driving records can increase how much you pay for car insurance. However, some drivers may be surprised to learn that each infraction — such as getting a speeding ticket or getting into a fender bender — may be penalized differently depending on the insurance company.[6]

Some of these mistakes can even stay on your driving record and affect your premiums for years, even if you haven’t caused an accident or received a ticket since.

The table below shows the monthly averages for a Shelter Insurance policy when a driver has a clean record, a single speeding ticket, a single at-fault accident, and a single DUI.

Driving HistoryAverage Quote: Full CoverageAverage Quote: Liability Only
Clean record$184$111
With speeding ticket$254$153
With at-fault accident$271$164
With DUI$237$143
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Shelter Insurance car insurance cost by age

Age is a significant rating factor for all insurance agencies. Older drivers tend to have fewer accidents than teenagers, which is why drivers younger than 25 receive higher rates, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).[6] Drivers tend to pay the lowest rates as they enter middle age, while the youngest drivers pay the highest rates due to their increased risk of getting into an accident.

For example, you can see in the table below that a teenage driver pays twice as much for car insurance through Shelter Insurance than a driver older than 40. Review the monthly averages below to see just how much age affects a Shelter Insurance auto policy premium.

Age GroupAverage Monthly Quote
Teens$302
20s$229
30s$170
40s$153
50s$120
60s$114
70s$107
80+N/A
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Shelter Insurance car insurance discounts

Shelter Insurance lists 14 discounts on its website, which range from good student discounts specifically catering to teen drivers to evidence of continuous insurance, which can benefit a wider range of policyholders.[7]

Discounts are a convenient way to lower your rate and should be considered when comparing insurers. Shelter Insurance may change its discount availability, so it’s always a good idea to ask a Shelter agent what discounts you qualify for during your renewal period.

  • Prior insurer tenure

  • Prior coverage selection

  • Evidence of continuous insurance

  • Loyalty 

  • Length of ownership

  • Companion other vehicles

  • Companion life policy

  • Companion property policy

  • Safe driver

  • Good student

  • Pay in full

  • Passive restraint

  • Accident prevention course

  • Driver training course

Shelter Insurance vs. other insurance companies

The car insurance industry is highly saturated, which means that even in markets with the least number of insurance companies, customers still have plenty of choices for coverage options. It’s always a good idea to get free quotes from multiple insurance companies so you can compare factors like customer satisfaction scores, claims reviews, insurance premiums, and industry ranking in terms of financial strength.

Here’s how Shelter Insurance’s reviews, coverage availability, and average quotes compare to Auto-Owners and Erie. Keep in mind that each insurance company may have dissimilar coverage options, discount programs, and third-party reviews.

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Thursday, February 1 at 11:00 AM PST
Data reviewed by Konstantin Halachev
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

Insurance Company Liability Only Full Coverage IQ Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
Auto-Owners39814.0
Erie58884.4
Shelter1111843.6
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.
  • Insurify uses an in-house, proprietary method to rate and review the best car insurance companies. The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 crucial criteria, including average premiums, customer satisfaction, discounts, third-party ratings, and more, to calculate a final score for a company.

    Criteria are weighted by importance to the consumer — factors such as customer reviews and affordability influence the score more than availability and third-party ratings. With the IQ Score, Insurify is able to provide quantitative ratings for drivers to better compare car insurance companies and make informed decisions to meet their coverage needs.

Shelter Insurance vs. Auto-Owners

Auto-Owners has used independent agents since its inception more than a century ago. It writes policies in 26 states, which is a larger service area than Shelter’s. Like Shelter Insurance, Auto-Owners offers insurance products beyond auto, including renters insurance, home insurance, and personal property coverage.

When considering customer complaints, the two are almost identical. Auto-Owners scoreds 0.53 on the NAIC’s consumer complaint index, while Shelter Mutual Insurance Company is just below the industry average, at 0.32.

Auto-Owners is an excellent choice for drivers who are concerned about whether their insurance company will pay out their claim. Auto-Owners has the highest AM Best financial strength rating available: A++ (Superior).[8]

Shelter Insurance vs. Erie

Erie was founded in Pennsylvania nearly a century ago and provides auto, homeowners, life, umbrella, business, and life insurance policies. It has more than 13,000 independent agents in the 12 states that it operates in.

Erie has a few advantages over Shelter Insurance: It’s a larger insurer by premiums written, and it has an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best.[9] Erie’s policies also include unique coverages like pet coverage, personal item coverage, and locksmith services.

However, Erie offers half as many discounts as Shelter, and with a smaller service area, it isn’t as available to as many drivers as Shelter Insurance is.

Drivers who don’t want their premiums to increase should look into Erie’s Rate Lock, a feature that sets a consistent premium amount that won’t increase — even with a claim — unless you make changes to your policy or address.

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How to file an auto insurance claim with Shelter Insurance

Shelter Insurance policyholders can file an auto claim in one of three ways: over the phone, with an insurance agent, or online.

To file a claim online:

  1. Visit the Shelter Insurance website and click “File a Claim.”

  2. Either log in to your My Shelter account and follow the prompts, or click “file a claim without logging in.”

  3. Select the type of claim you wish to file, provide your Shelter auto insurance policy details, and list the required information before submitting the claim.

People who wish to file their claim by phone, as well as people who aren’t Shelter Insurance policyholders, can call the claims center phone number at 1 (800) SHELTER (1 (800) 743-5837).

Shelter Insurance FAQs

Learn more about Shelter Insurance with answers to these commonly asked questions.

  • Is Shelter Insurance legitimate?

    Yes. Originally the MFA Mutual Insurance Company, Shelter Insurance has a history dating back to 1914 and has strong ratings with AM Best and J.D. Power. Insurify research found no accusations of fraudulent practices against Shelter Insurance.

  • What is the average cost of Shelter Insurance car insurance?

    The average cost of full-coverage car insurance from Shelter is $184 per month. Although Shelter Insurance has a lower monthly average for full-coverage policies, its liability-only policies are slightly higher than the national average.

  • Is Shelter Insurance good at paying claims?

    Yes. Shelter Insurance has an A (Excellent) rating from AM Best. AM Best rates the financial status of insurance companies based on their position to pay claims. A++ (Superior) is the highest rating, so Shelter Insurance’s rating of A (Excellent) signifies its strength in paying claims.

  • What’s the grace period for Shelter Insurance?

    The Shelter website doesn’t spell out its auto insurance grace period, but it does say most auto insurance companies have a grace period of up to 30 days.

Methodology

Insurify data scientists analyzed more than 90 million quotes served to car insurance applicants in Insurify’s proprietary database to calculate the premium averages displayed on this page. These premiums are real quotes that come directly from Insurify’s 50+ partner insurance companies in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quote averages represent the median price for a quote across the given coverage level, driver subset, and geographic area.

Unless otherwise specified, quoted rates reflect the average cost for drivers between 20 and 70 years old with a clean driving record and average or better credit (a credit score of 600 or higher).

Liability-only premium averages correspond to policies with the following coverage limits:

  • Bodily injury limits between state-minimum rates and $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident
  • Property damage limits between $10,000 and $50,000
  • No additional coverage
Full-coverage premium averages correspond to the same bodily injury and property damage limits in addition to:
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible

Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Services’ database of auto insurance rates.

Sources

  1. Trustpilot. "Shelter Insurance." Accessed January 16, 2024
  2. Better Business Bureau. "Shelter Insurance." Accessed January 16, 2024
  3. Ambest.com. "AM Best Revises Issuer Credit Rating Outlook to Negative for Shelter Mutual Insurance Company and Its Subsidiaries." Accessed January 16, 2024
  4. Shelter Insurance. "J.D. Power Ranks Shelter Insurance® #1 in Central Region for the Sixth Time." Accessed January 16, 2024
  5. Naic.org. "Consumer Insurance Refined Search Results." Accessed January 16, 2024
  6. III. "What determines the price of an auto insurance policy?." Accessed January 16, 2024
  7. Shelter Insurance. "Discounts." Accessed January 16, 2024
  8. Ambest.com. "AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Auto-Owners Insurance Company and Subsidiaries." Accessed January 16, 2024
  9. Ambest.com. "AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Erie Insurance Group’s Members and Erie Family Life Insurance Company." Accessed January 16, 2024
Nick Dauk
Nick Dauk

Nick Dauk is a freelance writer specializing in business, entrepreneurship, personal finance, and travel. His work has been featured in Fox Business, BBC, The Edge, Business Insider, and Bisnow. Nick is a first-generation college graduate, having majored in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Central Florida. His eclectic coursework, combined with previous managerial roles in the retail and broadcast television industries, have helped him develop an interdisciplinary approach to writing.

For nearly a decade, Nick has created content for mom-and-pop businesses and global corporations. As a travel writer, his global adventures have also been featured on Inside Hook, Houston Chronicle, Culture Trip, and Matador. When he's not traveling, Nick can be found in Orlando spending time with his wife and toddler.

Danny Smith
Edited byDanny Smith
Photo of an Insurify author
Danny Smith
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 4+ years in content creation and marketing

As Insurify’s home and pet insurance editor, Danny also specializes in auto insurance. His goal is to help consumers navigate the complex world of insurance buying.

Featured in

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Konstantin Halachev
Data reviewed byKonstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

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