Auto Insurance Review: Shelter

Shelter’s auto insurance policies can be the right fit for some — but it’s limited availability and coverages may be a deal-breaker. Still, if you find those adequate and value customer service and modern conveniences it can be a solid option to consider.

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iconribbonScore94

5/5

discounts

4.5/5

complaints

5/5

satisfaction

4/5

stability

5/5

affordability


pros

This is an iconSolid customer satisfaction and company financial stability ratings
This is an iconRobust discount offerings

cons

This is an iconLimited availability
This is an iconFew coverages included with a basic plan
This is an iconAdditional coverage options may not be available in all locations

Shelter’s car insurance is somewhat hit-or-miss. It’s only available in 15 states, which can be difficult for people preparing or expecting to move states. While there are many opportunities to save, the basic coverage options themselves are somewhat lacking, as compared to other insurers. Still, it can be the right option for some, specifically those who only need basic coverage but are also looking for great customer service and discounts.

How Does Shelter Auto Insurance Rate?

Shelter has been rated by companies like the Better Business Bureau (BBB), AM Best and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to mostly positive scores, especially when compared to other insurance providers.

Customer Satisfaction Rating

The BBB gives Shelter an A+ rating, while customer reviews give it three stars out of five. However, from a customer satisfaction standpoint, this may not be an accurate representation as the star rating is currently only based on two reviews.

Customer Complaint Ratio

Shelter

The NAIC rates insurance companies on the number of complaints they receive in a given year. Companies are then ranked, producing a national median score of 1, with lower scores indicating fewer complaints. By comparison, Shelter comes out ahead of the competition with fewer complaints. The NAIC gave Shelter a score of 0.6, meaning that the insurance company receives fewer customer complaints than most other insurance companies.

Financial Strength

AM Best’s rating system looks at the financial strength of a given insurance company and considers how likely each is able to meet its obligations to customers if they need to file a claim. AM Best gives Shelter an A rating. Shelter’s rating indicates stability in this area, though it’s important to note that this is not a warranty of their financial strength or ability to pay out for claims.

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Shelter Insurance Features

Shelter offers a solid lineup of customer support features. And while its basic auto insurance coverages are somewhat limited, there are many other optional coverages available.

  • Type of Feature
    Description
  • Online Bill Pay
    Customers have the option to pay their auto insurance bill online, and they don’t have to log in to get it done, though that’s an option.
  • Online Claims
    You can also create online claims, with or without logging into your Shelter account.
  • Mobile App
    The company has an iPhone- and Android-compatible mobile app, so customers can easily report claims and upload relevant photos, get roadside assistance, contact their agent, view their I.D. cards and pay their insurance bills.

Shelter Auto Coverage

Consider the coverages that would generally be included with a policy from Shelter.

  • Type of Coverage
    Description
  • Collision
    Covers physical damages to your vehicle in a collision.
  • Personal Injury Protection
    Covers losses related to injuries from a car accident, like loss of income.
  • Uninsured
    Provides protection for covered incidents if you get in a car accident with someone who doesn’t have car insurance or doesn’t have sufficient insurance to cover the costs.
  • Liability
    Includes both bodily injury and property damages incurred during a crash.
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Optional Insurance Features and Coverage

Check the optional coverages customers can add to their insurance policy (though some options may not be available in all states) to determine what Shelter can offer you.

  • Type of Option
    Description
  • Rental Reimbursement
    Pays for the cost of renting a car while yours is being repaired.
  • Roadside Assistance
    Provides help if you end up stuck on the side of the road.
  • New Car
    Applies to cars that have fewer than 15,000 miles on the odometer and gives customers a brand new car of the same year, make and model if their car is totaled in an accident.
  • Gap Coverage
    Can help bridge the gap between the amount you owe on a car and the collision coverage payment received after an accident.
  • Medical Payments
    Can provide “reasonable” medical and dental bills incurred by you or passengers.

Available Discounts on Shelter Car Insurance Coverage

Shelter offers a solid lineup of discounts to its car insurance customers. However, some discounts are only available in certain locations.

  • Type of Discount
    Description
  • Safe Driver
    Can reward drivers who have been accident- and violation-free for the past three years. This discount can increase if those three years have been with Shelter as well as for those who can stay accident- and violation-free for six years.
  • Driver Training
    Accident Prevention Course Discount - Rewards the primary driver of a vehicle for passing an accident prevention course by reducing premiums. The driver may be required to repeat the course to continue getting this discount. Driver Training Course Discount - Reduces premiums if every driver in the household under age 21 has completed an approved driver's education course. This discount is limited to a few states, though the company doesn’t specify which ones.
  • Good Student
    Applies to primary drivers under 19 who qualify as good students based on class rank, grade average or academic honors, and provide proof of such. Can be renewed as long as the driver remains an unmarried full-time student up until age 25.
  • Multi Vehicle
    Applies if you insure two or more vehicles with Shelter.
  • Anti Theft
    Applies to drivers who install basic alarms, steering wheel locks, or ignition or fuel cutoffs in their vehicle.
  • Multi Policy
    May apply to uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage when at least two vehicles, motor homes or motorcycles from the same household are insured by Shelter. Companion Policy - Applies to drivers who are at least 48 years old and own a qualifying Shelter property policy, like homeowners insurance or farmowners insurance, in addition to their auto insurance discount. Companion Life Discount - Rewards those who have a life insurance policy and a qualifying property policy with Shelter, in addition to their auto insurance policy.
  • Safety Equipment
    Passive Restraint Discount - Applies to those who have factory-installed airbags or automatic seatbelts that meet federal safety standards.
  • Pay In Full
    Save up to 10% on your car insurance if you pay your premiums in full every six months or annually, rather than monthly.
  • Other
    Window Identification System Discount (Louisiana residents only)- Provides a reduction in the premium for comprehensive coverage if the vehicle identification number (VIN) is etched into all windows of the vehicle.

Other Shelter Insurance Products

Shelter offers a wide variety of other insurance products, which can be especially useful to those looking to take advantage of bundling discounts. However, keep in mind that, even with those discounted rates, you may still be able to find cheaper options elsewhere, even if it requires you to use separate companies for different types of insurance policies.

  • Type of Product
    Description
  • Homeowners Insurance
    Includes options for homeowners, dwelling, mobile home, condominium, apartment owners and personal articles.
  • Renters Insurance
    Protects your belongings housed in your rental, in addition to providing liability and medical payments coverages.
  • Umbrella Insurance
    Provides additional coverage for your home and auto policies.
  • Flood Insurance
    Provides building and personal property coverages in the event of a flood.
  • Personal Property Insurance
    Gives policyholders additional protection for their personal items, like jewelry, guns and livestock.
  • Life Insurance
    Provides access to term life, permanent life and junior special life insurance.
  • Business Insurance
    Includes coverages for business owners, like work-related vehicles, commercial fire insurance, general liability, apartment owners and rental dwellings.
  • Agricultural Insurance
    This includes coverages for farmowners, including farm property, liability, Equipment and livestock.

How to Make a Car Insurance Claim With Shelter

Customers can file a claim through the Shelter website, via their mobile app or by calling the toll-free customer service phone number, which is available 24/7. The company directs customers to visit one of their claims offices if they have any questions about filed claims.

Contact Shelter Car Insurance

Methodology and Assumptions

To evaluate and review auto insurance companies, MoneyGeek carefully weighs factors such as price, financial strength, policy features, customer satisfaction, service and other leading indicators. MoneyGeek also references publicly available data from industry leaders such as J.D. Power, AM Best and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the Better Business Bureau. Learn more about MoneyGeek’s review methodology here.

About the Author


expert-profile

Devon Delfino is an independent journalist based in the Pacific Northwest. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Boston University. Her personal-finance reporting has been featured in publications such as the L.A. Times, Teen Vogue, Mashable, MarketWatch, CNBC and USA Today, among others.


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