Is Shelter Good for Auto Insurance?

Last Updated on April 16, 2020

Shelter is a home and auto insurance company available in 15 states.

The company is well-rated for its financial strength and customer satisfaction. However, Shelter also tends to be one of the most expensive insurance companies in its coverage areas.

Shelter only sells auto insurance companies in 14 states, mostly in the Midwest and South.

Is Shelter good for auto insurance? Or should you choose a different car insurance company? Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about whether or not Shelter is good for auto insurance.

Is Shelter Good for Auto Insurance?

What is Shelter?

Shelter is a mutual insurance company specializing in auto, property, business, and life insurance. The company offers a wide range of insurance products to customers primarily in the Midwest and South.

Shelter offers auto and business auto insurance, for example, along with motorcycle, RV, ATV, and boat insurance.

Customers can also buy renters, home, life, farm, and business insurance through Shelter. The company also offers umbrella insurance, flood insurance, and other insurance products.

Shelter was founded in 1946. The company is headquartered in Columbia, Missouri. Today, Shelter operates 20 offices in 14 states, including Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

Is Shelter a Good Company?

Shelter is a well-rated insurance company in terms of both financial strength and customer satisfaction. Although its prices tend to be higher than competing options, Shelter is in a strong financial position and is well-rated among customers.

Shelter has an A (Excellent) rating from A.M. Best, for example, which means the company is in a strong financial position. A.M. Best affirmed that rating in 2016 while also upgrading Shelter’s credit rating to A+ from A.

Shelter also has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau. And, based on its NAIC complaint index, Shelter receives fewer complaints to state regulators than other insurance companies of its size.

Shelter is a smaller, regional insurance provider, which means it does not appear on nationwide J.D. Power rankings. However, the company does appear on the Central Region J.D. Power rankings, where it has earned an award for being #1 in Customer Satisfaction in three of the last four years (as of 2020).

J.D. Power surveys customers who have made claims with insurance companies. Being number one in customer satisfaction in the region is a big deal, as it shows customers are generally happy with how their Shelter claim was handled.

Shelter Pricing

Shelter is usually one of the most expensive car insurance companies in covered areas. The company frequently ranks among the most expensive car insurance companies in the Midwest and South.

In Louisiana, for example, Shelter recently ranked as one of the top ten most expensive car insurance companies in the state, ranking tenth among 72 surveyed companies.

In some states, Shelter’s average insurance rates are nearly twice as expensive as the average insurance rates of other, cheaper providers.

Shelter seems particularly expensive for young, unmarried males. Young, unmarried males generally pay higher rates for car insurance, although they pay particularly high rates with Shelter.

However, low-risk drivers – like older drivers with a long history of safe driving – may find particularly low rates with Shelter.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for cheap car insurance, then Shelter is rarely the best option. However, Shelter has other features that could make it a good choice.

Shelter Car Insurance Coverage Options

Shelter offers standard car insurance policies across its coverage area, including liability coverage, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and other ordinary car insurance coverages.

The company also offers several unique car insurance coverage options, including:

Accidental Death Benefits: In case of accidental death of a driver or passenger, Shelter will pay compensation.

Disability Income: Shelter car insurance can cover disability income after an accident.

Gap Insurance: Shelter is one of the few car insurance companies that offers gap coverage, which covers the difference in the value of your vehicle and the amount owing on your loan.

Loss of Use Coverage: If you are unable to use your vehicle while it’s being repaired, then Shelter will cover the cost of renting a vehicle for the duration of repairs.

New Car Coverage: Shelter will automatically extend temporary car insurance to any new cars you purchase to replace an older, insured vehicle. If you visit a dealership and swap your insured car for a newer vehicle, for example, then Shelter should extend coverage to the new vehicle.

Roadside Assistance: Like most car insurance companies, Shelter offers roadside assistance coverage, which covers the cost of towing and labor to get your vehicle to a service center.

Shelter Car Insurance Discounts

Shelter offers standard car insurance discounts, including bundling discounts and multi-vehicle discounts.

The company also offers certain discounts we don’t see with other providers, particularly to drivers in Louisiana, including:

Driver Training Course Discounts: You can receive a discount on your Shelter car insurance policy by completing driver training.

Anti-Theft Discounts: Shelter policyholders in Kentucky and Illinois can qualify for anti-theft discounts, getting a lower rate for installing an alarm system, steering wheel lock, or similar anti-theft device.

Safety Feature Discounts: Safety features like factory-installed airbags and automatic seatbelts may qualify you for a discount.

VIN Etching Discounts: Shelter policyholders in Louisiana can get a discount for etching their vehicle identification number (VIN) into their windshield, which reduces theft.

Active Military Personnel: Active military personnel stationed to a military base in Louisiana qualify for special discounts through Shelter.

Other Unique Shelter Features

Some of the features that make Shelter unique include:

Good Home Insurance: Shelter is a well-rated home insurance company. Shelter will pay for restoration costs, which means that damaged items in your home will be replaced with new materials. Shelter’s home insurance policies have a broad selection of coverage options and generous homeowner’s insurance discounts. Homeowners are covered for dwellings, other structures, personal property, additional living expenses, personal liability, medical payments, and more, for example.

Life Insurance: Not all car insurance companies offer life insurance. Shelter offers term life, permanent life, and junior special insurance.

Limited to 14 States: Shelter is not available nationwide. Car insurance is only available to 14 states in the Midwest and South.

Ideal for Low-Risk Customers: Shelter tends to charge higher prices than competing insurance companies. However, certain low-risk customers may find competitive rates with Shelter. If you are in your 40s and 50s and have never had an accident, for example, then Shelter may offer competitive rates.

Get Quotes Through Agents: You can request a quote through Shelter’s website, although you need to speak with an agent to buy a policy.

Low Customer Complaints and High Satisfaction: Shelter is rarely the cheapest car insurance company, but the company is often among the best-rated companies for customer complaints and claims satisfaction.

Final Word

Shelter is a Missouri-based insurance company serving customers throughout the Midwest and South. The company is rarely the cheapest option in any region, although it has strong ratings for claims satisfaction and customer service in many states.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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