Shelter car insurance review May 2019 |

Shelter car insurance review

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  • Local agents.
  • Multiple discounts.
  • Available in the Midwest.

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Personal and commercial auto insurance through local agents across 15 Midwestern states.

  • Get a quote if you want one-on-on service.
  • Pick something else if you want to sign up online.
  • Best for Midwestern drivers who want personalized service.
States served Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee
Roadside assistance Included free
Pay schedule custom
Claims methods online
New car protection No
Accident forgiveness No


  • Online claims system.
  • One-on-one support.
  • Few customer complaints.


  • Available in 15 states only.
  • Service varies by agent.
  • Can’t purchase online.
Anti-theft device discount Yes
Bundling discount Yes
Defensive driving discount Yes
Good student discount Yes
Loyalty discount Yes
Homeowner discount No
Military discount No
Safety device discount Yes
Special employment discount No
Usage-based discount No
Other discounts No
Rideshare coverage No
SR-22 coverage No
Temporary & short term coverage No

Who is Shelter best for?

Shelter sells coverage through a network of more than 1,300 local agents across 15 states. This hands-on approach to auto insurance might fit the needs of those who expect personalized service with their comprehensive coverage.

You request a quote online, and Shelter forwards it to your local agent, who stands ready to process your policy.

Where can I buy a Shelter policy?

Shelter services 15 states in the Midwest:

  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana

What is Shelter?

Founded in 1946 as a subsidiary of the Missouri Farmers Association, Shelter Insurance is headquartered in Columbia, Missouri. It offers auto insurance options along with discounts to help your coverage better meet your needs and budget.

Earning strong financial ratings from AM Best, Shelter prides itself on excellent customer service, a focus on integrity and continuous improvement.

What car insurance coverage does Shelter offer?

Shelter’s policies range from your state’s minimum to comprehensive coverage that protects against the unforeseen:

  • Liability coverage. Covers bodily injury and property damage costs of another party if you’re at fault in an accident.
  • Personal injury protection. Covers medical expenses resulting from injuries to the driver and passengers in your vehicle, regardless of who’s at fault.
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Covers the costs of bodily injury and property damage if you’re in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have enough coverage to pay themselves.
  • Medical payments coverage. Pays for medical and funeral expenses if the driver and any passengers in your vehicle are harmed in an accident, regardless of who’s at fault.
  • Collision coverage. Covers damage to your vehicle due to a collision, regardless of who’s at fault.
  • Comprehensive coverage. Helps pay for repairs or to replace your vehicle if it’s damaged by something other than a collision — like theft, fire, vandalism or hitting an animal.
  • Gap insurance. Pays the difference between the payout of collision coverage and the amount you still owe on your financed car.
  • Roadside assistance. Covers the cost of towing and labor to get your vehicle to a service center.
  • Rental reimbursement. Covers the cost of a rental vehicle while your car is in the shop or unavailable after an accident.
  • Loss of use. Provides a single payment to cover living expenses that arise from being without your car.
  • Accidental death. Pays out if you or your spouse dies in a car accident or after being struck by a car.
  • Disability income. If an accident leaves you unable to work, provides a weekly stipend to help out for up to a year.

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Shelter car insurance rates

Shelter claims to provide affordable car insurance, no matter the coverage you need. Based on a six-month policy, we found stronger rates than those from major providers. But your exact rate varies depending on discounts you’re eligible for, the policy you choose and your driving history.

Discounts on Shelter car insurance

Shelter extends more than 10 discounts that can help you shave down your monthly premium:

  • Safe driver. Get a discount if your record is free of accidents and traffic violations for at least three years.
  • Good student. Unmarried full-time students under the age of 25 can get a discount for qualifying as a solid student.
  • Full payment. Save up to 10% if you pay your premiums in full every six or 12 months, rather than monthly.
  • Multicar. Get stronger rates when you insure two or more vehicles with Shelter.
  • Companion policy. Bundle life, homeowners or farmowners insurance with Shelter for better rates across your package.
  • Passive restraint. Get a discount for factory-installed airbags or automatic seatbelts.
  • Accident prevention and training courses. Drivers in some states can score lower rate for completing an approved class.
  • Military. Active military personnel and their families can get a discount if they’re assigned to a base in Louisiana.
  • Antitheft. Residents of Kentucky and Illinois can get a lower rate for installing an alarm system, steering wheel locks or similar devices.
  • Window etching. Residents of Louisiana can get a discount if their VIN is etched on all windows of the vehicle.
  • Multicoverage. Residents of Nevada can get a discount on uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage if two or more vehicles are insured in the same household.

Does Shelter offer any special programs?

Shelter offers two specialized types of auto insurance:

  • Business auto insurance. If you own a business, find protection ranging from standard collision to extras like equipment coverage.
  • Rideshare insurance. Depending on where you live, you might find coverage if you drive for a rideshare company like Uber or Lyft.

Pros and cons of Shelter car insurance


  • Online claims system. Easily start your claim online or on the phone.
  • One-on-one support. Get personalized service through a network of more than 1,300 agents.
  • Few customer complaints. Low rates of online grievances indicates high satisfaction.


  • Services 15 states only. If you don’t live in the Midwest, you’ll need to look for another provider.
  • No online purchases. You can get a quote through the site, but you’ll have to speak with an agent to purchase a policy.

What do customers say about Shelter?

Because policies are sold through independent agents, a number of Shelter listings with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) are for local agencies. However, many Shelter branches are accredited with the bureau, most earning an A+ from the BBB based on internal criteria that considers complaint resolution and transparency.

Of the two reviews on Shelter Insurance’s corporate BBB page, both are positive — though 27 separate complaints are filed against the company. Most complaints stem from billing and collections issues along with spotty communication.

Online reviews generally slant negative, because bad experiences are most likely to prompt us to write a review. Keep that in mind when reading customer reviews on the Internet.

How to apply

Purchasing coverage from Shelter can start with a quote online. But to sign up for a policy, you contact a local agent.

To get an online quote:

  1. Go to Shelter Insurance’s website and find the Get a Quote widget.
  2. Enter your ZIP code and click Get a Quote.
  3. Enter your personal information, your coverage needs and information about the vehicles you’re looking to insure.
  4. After you received a quote, send the information directly to your local agent to purchase your policy.

What info do I need to apply?

Gather together your personal information before applying, including your:

  • Name, address, email address and phone number.
  • Driver’s license number and general driving history.
  • Employment information.
  • Year, make, model and VIN for each vehicle.
  • Payment information.

How to find a Shelter agent near me

Find your closest Shelter agency in three quick steps:

  1. Visit Shelter Insurance’s website and find the Find an Agent widget.
  2. Enter your ZIP code and click Find.
  3. Call or visit an agent near you.

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How to file an auto insurance claim with Shelter

Shelter makes it easy to file a claim 24/7 online or by calling 800-743-5837.

To file a claim online:

  1. Visit Shelter’s site and hover over Claims in the top navigation. Click File a Claim.
  2. Log in to your Shelter account, then click Continue. If you’re filing a glass claim, call Shelter directly.
  3. Enter your policy number, then click Continue.
  4. Enter your policyholder information and details about the incident, then click Continue.
  5. Complete details about the incident, then click Submit Claim.

What do I need to file a claim with Shelter?

  • Details about your accident, including the date and location.
  • Vehicle and driver information for everyone involved.
  • Insurance information for everyone involved, including the policy number and insurer.
  • Contact information for all parties involved.

How to contact Shelter

Get help in three ways:

  • Phone. Call 800-743-5837 Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. Get roadside assistance at 855-817-6510.
  • Email. Complete the secure form on Shelter’s site to be contacted by a rep.
  • Mail. Send a note to Shelter Insurance, 1817 West Broadway, Columbia, MO, 65218.

Does Shelter offer any other types of insurance?

Yes. Shelter’s suite of insurance products includes:

  • Business auto insurance
  • Renters insurance
  • Homeowners insurance
  • Life insurance

Call a rep to learn more about bundling policies for extra savings.

Shelter auto insurance competitors

Shelter offers affordable auto insurance and a wide range of policy options for those in the Midwest. But if you live outside of Shelter’s 15-state service area, you may want to consider similar insurers like:

  • Geico. This leading auto insurer offers competitive pricing on a range of policies.
  • State Farm. “Like a good neighbor”, this big-name provider focuses on personalized customer service.
  • Liberty Mutual. Established more than 100 years ago, it’s grown to become one of the most popular providers in the country.

Compare car insurance providers

Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Accident forgiveness Available states
All 50 states
Save up to 31% with safe driver discounts and bundling all your rides in one convenient policy.
Drive less than 30 miles a day? Save on the coverage you need with pay-per-mile insurance from Metromile. Get a low monthly rate then pay just a few cents per mile. Available in AZ, CA, IL, NJ, OR, PA, VA and WA.
All 50 states
Enjoy having your own dedicated agent to help you get the best discounts and coverage.
All 50 states
Car insurance through Liberty Mutual will give coverage options for almost any situation.
Root offers simple, affordable insurance that’s ideal for good drivers. Try the Root app for 2 weeks and see how much you could save. Available in 24 states.
All states except AK, DE, HI, MT, NH, VT, WY
Esurance offers a modern online and mobile experience that helps you take your insurance on the go. Available in 42 states.
All 50 states
Backed by nearly 100 years in the business, Farmers Insurance aims to offer options and support to help you find the coverage you need.
All states except Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan and New Jersey
The General offers affordable coverage for nearly any driver who needs car insurance.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Shelter is an auto insurance provider that offers comprehensive, flexible options with a slew of discounts in 15 Midwestern states. But a focus on personalized service means you can’t purchase coverage online.

To find a provider that meets your driving needs and budget, compare your car insurance options.

Frequently asked questions about Shelter

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