American Family vs. Sentry: Which Company is the Best Fit for You?

Want to know if American Family or Sentry is the better choice for car insurance? You're probably wondering which carrier offers the best rates or the most discounts. Check out our latest guide below to find out which of these two companies is the best for you.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • In general, American Family offers significantly cheaper premiums than Sentry
  • American Family offers more affordable prices for drivers who have a speeding ticket on their driving record
  • Sentry has more affordable premiums in WA and WI

American Family or Sentry: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

Are you considering a new insurance policy? After all, you've seen ads from all sorts of companies offering large savings. But exactly how much can you save by switching?

You've maybe even narrowed it down to American Family or Sentry as your top options, but which company will save you the most?

American Family Sentry

Looking at the national average rates for both carriers, American Family is quite a bit cheaper than Sentry, with rates averaging $140 a month compared to $195 with Sentry.

However, that doesn't mean American Family will necessarily be less expensive than Sentry for every driver. After all, auto insurance companies can offer drastically different rates to every driver depending on rating factors like where you call home, your driving record, your age, or even your credit score (among other things), so prices will change quite a bit from person to person.

So, if you want to find out which of American Family or Sentry is really the best for you, keep reading to see average rates for each company broken down by a bunch of different rate factors.

American Family vs. Sentry: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State American Family Sentry

American Family and Sentry only compete against each other in two states, with American Family offering cheaper prices to the average driver in all of them. Wisconsin has the most noticable difference, where American Family premiums are $72 more affordable than insurance rates at Sentry.

That being said, there's a lot more that goes into your auto insurance bill than just your home state. Continue reading to learn more about how other variables will affect your rates.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

American Family Sentry
18-year-old drivers$311$397
25-year-old drivers$121$186

Teen drivers will almost always have the most expensive car insurance premiums of any group on the road. It's because teen drivers are statistically much more likely to cause collisions and other accidents that will result in an insurance claim.

But still, even with seemingly sky-high prices, teen drivers can still find ways to save money. For example, 18-year-old drivers pay an average of over 20% less per month by choosing American Family over Sentry. It's worth noting that American Family offers insurance in 16 different states compared to Sentry's two, which can skew the average rates a bit, but the difference here is still considerable.

That being said, with both carriers, you'll see your premiums reduce significantly once you turn 25. For example, average prices for American Family policyholders decrease around $200 and Sentry's rates lower about $200 over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

American Family Sentry
65+-year-old drivers$107$148

When it comes to car insurance, patience and experience pay off, with drivers around retirement age paying some of the lowest prices out there.

When looking at American Family and Sentry specifically, which carrier is best for retired drivers? American Family gets the edge, with premiums for drivers 65 and older $41 less expensive than the national average for Sentry.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

American Family Sentry

Did you know that insurance prices are usually more affordable for married drivers than they are for single drivers? That's because policies for married couples normally cover several vehicles, which quite a few companies will give you a discount for.

For single policyholders, the difference in average rates between these two carriers is significant, with American Family premiums coming in at a quarter less than Sentry's. The advantage for married policyholders with American Family is also obvious, where drivers save almost $50 a month.

American Family or Sentry: Average Rates by Gender

American Family Sentry

You may not know, but auto insurance is typically cheaper for women than it is for men. That's because men are more likely to get tickets and get into accidents, which increases the chances of filing a claim with insurance.

On average, men see rates around $5 per month higher with American Family, and about $20 with Sentry.

Looking at the data for each company specifically, American Family comes out on top for both men and women. On average, women save about $47 a month and men save around $62 with American Family compared to the average Sentry policyholder.

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American Family vs. Sentry: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

American Family Sentry
State Minimum*$96$104
Full Coverage**$185$286

*State minimum value indicates liability-only policies at each state's minimum bodily injury and property damage (BI/PD) limits

**Full coverage indicates state minimum BI/PD limits with collision and comprehensive coverages added to policy.

It's no secret that car insurance can be pretty complicated. There are many different coverages that account for multiple different things. Some protect you and your car, while others only provide coverage for other people's property and health if you cause a collision.

The two most common policies end up falling into two different types of coverage -- liability coverage (which provides bodily injury and property damage coverage for other drivers if you cause an accident) and full coverage (which includes collision and comprehensive coverages that protect your own car, in addition to what you get with liability).

Looking specifically at state minimum liability limits, American Family has the slight edge, with average monthly premiums coming in at $96. If you want a full coverage policy with the same state minimum limits, American Family again has the edge, with policies averaging about $185 per month to Sentry's $286.

Is American Family or Sentry Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

It's no secret -- drivers with good records end up getting the best deals on their auto insurance. But that's not to say you can't save money if you don't have the best driving record, either.

It's no secret secret that collisions and speeding tickets lead to higher prices, but which carrier -- American Family or Sentry -- has the cheapest premiums for drivers with spotty records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

American Family Sentry
Clean Record$118$178
1 Speeding Ticket$147$203

Policyholders who use American Family for their insurance can generally expect their monthly bill to go up around 20% after getting a speeding ticket. Sentry policyholders can expect a less drastic increase of about 12%.

Even so, American Family is normally the cheaper option for both drivers who have clean records and those with a recent ticket, offering rates that are 34% and 28% less expensive, respectively, compared to Sentry Insurance.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

American Family Sentry
Clean Record$118$178
1 At-Fault Accident$138$221

Both companies will raise prices pretty significantly if you get into an at-fault collision with Sentry increasing by around 19%. American Family has a less extreme rise, but you can still expect to pay nearly 15% more than you were prior to your first accident.

At the end of the day, the cheaper rates come from American Family, with average premiums coming in at $138 compared to Sentry Insurance's $221.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

American Family Sentry
Clean Record$118$178
1 DUI$158$178

On average, a DUI offense is going to cost you much more than a single collision or speeding ticket when it comes to your car insurance bill. American Family drivers usually see a 25% increase in their auto insurance prices after a DUI charge, while Sentry will typically climb rates by about 0%.

American Family has the overall most affordable premiums for drivers with a DUI on their records at $158 a month, but it's worth noting that American Family's average rates come from 16 states compared to just two for Sentry, so the data may be skewed slightly.

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How does Credit Score Impact American Family and Sentry Rates?

Often times, your credit score can be used as one of the factors to determine your monthly insurance prices. Certain states and carriers do not allow for credit score to be used as an auto insurance factor, but it might come into play for a lot of drivers.

Car insurance companies argue that someone with bad credit is less likely to pay their bills on time, which makes them riskier to insure. Because of that, policyholders with bad credit will often be forced to pay more.

So, which company offers the cheapest premiums for drivers with poor, average, or good credit?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

American Family Sentry
Excellent Credit Score$100$172
Good Credit Score$120$185

If you have great credit, American Family will usually reward you the most. For policyholders with "excellent" credit scores, American Family comes in more than 41.86 less expensive. Drivers with "good" credit scores generally save around 35% with American Family compared to average rates from Sentry.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

American Family Sentry
Fair Credit Score$141$198
Poor Credit Score$201$225

American Family typically offers lower prices than Sentry when it comes to drivers with a below average credit score. Drivers with "fair" credit pay about 29% a month less with American Family compared to Sentry, and those with "poor" scores typically save an average of around 11% per month.

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Is American Family or Sentry Better for Drivers who Work from Home or Have Short Commutes?

American Family Sentry
6,000 Annual Miles$138$195
12,000 Annual Miles$143$195

How much you drive can have a substantial impact on your monthly rates. Normally, those who drive less will end up with more affordable prices since there's less of a chance of causing a collision and filing an insurance claim.

As you can see in the table above, annual mileage doesn't have much of an impact on how much Sentry charges. However, there's a small difference in monthly premiums for American Family, with policyholders who drive the least paying about $5 less each month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles annually. Still, for drivers in both categories, American Family is the cheaper carrier.

American Family or Sentry: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where you call home can have a big impact on your monthly insurance payment. Usually, those who live in rural areas will pay less than drivers in urban areas since there are a lot fewer vehicles on the road where they live, which decreases the chances of an accident.

American Family Sentry
Urban Areas$166$224
Suburban Areas$134$218
Rural Areas$121$143

American Family tends to offer the lowest prices for drivers in all areas, regardless of if they're urban, suburban, or rural.

For policyholders in urban ZIP codes, American Family Insurance's average rates are around 26% less than Sentry Insurance. People who live in suburban areas pay about 39% less with American Family compared to Sentry. Those in rural areas can expect to save around 15% with American Family compared to Sentry.

American Family vs. Sentry Discounts

You want to save as much money as you can, right? The best way to do that is by taking advantage of as many auto insurance discounts as possible.

The hard part is finding all of the discounts you're eligible for, since it can feel sometimes like every carrier has different discounts and each one is advertised differently.

Luckily, we did the hard work for you and looked at all of the different discounts American Family and Sentry offer their customers so that you can see which carrier offers the most discounts and see which ones you might be able to take advantage of.

American Family Sentry
Advance Quote Discount
Anti-Theft Discount 
Connect Partner Discount 
Covid-19 Relief Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount 
DRL Discount 
EFT Discount 
ESC Discount 
Generational Discount 
Good Student Discount 
Group Discount 
Homeowner Discount
Multi-Car Discount
Multi-Policy Discount 
Paid In Full Discount
Paperless Discount 
Renewal Discount 
Steer into Savings Discount 
Teen Driver Discount 

American Family knocks Sentry out of the park when it comes to the sheer number of discounts available, offering 16 more discounts than Sentry.

There are a couple discounts both carriers offer, but American Family also offers discounts for anti-theft, connect partner, COVID-19 relief, and more.

Sentry's discounts come through just a few categories, including Advance Quote, Defensive Driver, Homeowner, and more.

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Final Thoughts: Is American Family or Sentry Best for You?

So, we've broken down the average premiums for many of the variables insurance companies look at, and we've shown you all the discounts each company offers. That's all well and good, but when it comes down to it, which carrier is the best fit for you?

American Family might be best for you if....

  • You have a speeding ticket on your driving record.
  • You have below-average credit.
  • You are purchasing your car insurance with a spouse.

Sentry might be best for you if...

  • You like the personalized touch of a small, regional company.

Hopefully, this guide helps you get a better idea of the difference between American Family and Sentry. We also hope we've given you the information you need to make the best decision about your auto insurance.

At the end of the day, the best way to make sure you're getting the best deal on your car insurance policy is to compare quotes from several carriers, not just American Family and Sentry. Luckily, sites like make it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your ZIP code below and get multiple free quotes from some of the best auto insurance companies in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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American Family vs. Sentry FAQs

Is American Family or Sentry cheaper?

American Family is the more affordable of the two carriers when looking at national average prices, with policies averaging $140 per month with American Family and $195 for Sentry. But that doesn't mean American Family will be the cheapest carrier for everyone, since there are a variety of different factors that come into play when it comes to your insurance cost.

Who is better, American Family or Sentry?

Unfortunately, the answer truly is "it depends.". Neither company is "better" for everyone -- it all comes down to what your unique auto insurance profile looks like.

Why do American Family and Sentry offer me different rates?

Car insurance companies use many different variables when determining the rates they charge. Factors such as age, where you live, gender, your driving record, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all come into play. Both American Family and Sentry calculate prices differently, so it's likely they'll offer different premiums. The best way to determine which carrier is the lowest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from lots of different carriers.

How do I know if American Family or Sentry is right for me?

The only way to find the insurance company that's right for you is by getting quotes from multiple companies and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, does all the hard work for you. Just enter your information once and you'll get quotes from dozens of your local top car insurance carriers for free. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the best rate. And maybe you'll find that the best carrier for you isn't American Family or Sentry at all, but another you hadn't even thought of!


All of the data referenced in this article has been gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. We analyzed more than 2.5 million rows of carrier-reported data to calculate the average rates referenced above. All rates are based on an insurance profile of a single-vehicle policy for a driver that owns a 2016 Honda Accord. For more information on how we calculate rates, please reference our data methodology.

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