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

If you're in the market for a new auto insurance policy, you might be wondering how Shelter and American Family compare when it comes to the lowest prices and biggest discounts. To find out which of these companies is the best fit for you and your wallet, check out our newest guide below.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • Looking at the national averages for insurance, American Family offers significantly more affordable premiums than Shelter
  • American Family tends to be a much less expensive option for residents of rural areas
  • American Family offers more affordable rates for drivers who have received a ticket within the last few years

American Family vs. Shelter: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

So, you're thinking about switching your auto insurance. After all, you've seen ads from all sorts of companies offering large discounts. But exactly how much can you save by switching?

You might have narrowed your search down to American Family or Shelter, but between the two, which carrier will offer you cheaper premiums?

American Family Shelter

As you can see, American Family is quite a bit cheaper than Shelter, with prices averaging $140 per month compared to $208 with Shelter when looking at the national average rates for auto insurance.

But American Family may not be the cheapest or best option for every driver out there. Car insurance companies use tons of complex algorithms to calculate rates, so depending on how clean your driving record is or how good your credit score is (among multiple other factors), you could see wildly different prices from the ones above.

Wanting to know if American Family or Shelter is really the right company for you? Keep on reading to see how average premiums can change based on all of the factors we've mentioned above.

American Family or Shelter: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State American Family Shelter

American Family and Shelter only compete against each other in two states, with American Family offering less expensive rates to the average driver in all of them. Kansas has the most noticable difference, where American Family premiums are over 50% more affordable than insurance rates at Shelter.

That being said, there are plenty of other factors that go into your auto insurance payment than just the state you live in. Keep reading to learn more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

American Family Shelter
18-year-old drivers$311$444
25-year-old drivers$121$197

Teen drivers will almost always have the most expensive car insurance prices of any group on the road. That's because young, inexperienced drivers are statistically much more likely to get into an accident that results in an auto insurance claim, making them much riskier to insure.

That being said, that doesn't mean that teen drivers have to just accept sky-high insurance premiums. Just look at the table above -- where 18-year-old drivers who have American Family for their car insurance pay nearly $150 less than those who use Shelter.

However, both carriers will offer you dramatically lower rates once you turn 25. For example, average prices for American Family policyholders lower almost $200 and Shelter's rates reduce about $250 over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

American Family Shelter
65+-year-old drivers$107$141

Drivers around retirement age normally enjoy some of the most affordable auto insurance prices you'll ever find. After all, they've likely been driving for quite some time, which typically decreases their chances of accidents and other infractions that can increase premiums.

So, which carrier offers the best rates to retired drivers? American Family gets the edge, with premiums for drivers 65 and older $34 cheaper than the national average for Shelter.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

American Family Shelter

Married policyholders tend to get slightly more affordable insurance prices than those who are single. This usually boils down to married couples having more than one car on their policy -- something quite a few auto insurance companies will reward with discounts.

When it comes to relationship status, American Family is the clear winner for single policyholders, with premiums around $78 a month cheaper than Shelter, on average. The advantage for married drivers with American Family is also obvious, where drivers save nearly 35% per month.

American Family vs. Shelter: Average Rates by Gender

American Family Shelter

Men are statistically more likely than women to get into collisions and file an insurance claim. That means when it comes to insurance men will usually end up paying a little more.

On average, women see rates about $5 a month less expensive with American Family, and around $25 with Shelter.

When it comes to the cheapest prices for each gender, American Family comes out as the most affordable option for both genders, with average premiums 35% less for men and 30% cheaper for women.

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American Family or Shelter: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

American Family Shelter
State Minimum*$96$129
Full Coverage**$185$288

*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.

Car insurance can be a complicated subject for most people. There are so many different terms and coverages that it can make it pretty confusing to find the right policy.

The two most common policies that many drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability only (which covers the other party's injuries and property damage if you cause an accident) and full coverage (which generally refers to having comprehensive and collision coverages alongside liability coverage).

If you're looking for state minimum liability insurance, American Family typically offers significantly more affordable rates of $96 compared to Shelter's $129. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, American Family again has the edge, with policies about $100 per month cheaper than Shelter, on average.

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

You've probably seen plenty of commercials from insurance carriers offering great prices for good drivers, but that doesn't mean people with less-than-perfect driving records can't save money, too.

You'll probably end up paying more with tickets and at-fault accidents on your record, but which of these two companies offers the lowest rates to drivers with spotty records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

American Family Shelter
Clean Record$118$142
1 Speeding Ticket$147$181

American Family policyholders can expect their premiums to go up an average of $29 a month if they get a ticket, while Shelter usually raises prices around $39 per month, on average.

Even so, American Family tends to offer the best prices for both drivers who have a recent speeding ticket and those with clean records, offering premiums that are $24 and $34 less expensive, respectively, compared to Shelter Insurance.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

American Family Shelter
Clean Record$118$142
1 At-Fault Accident$138$234

After an accident, drivers who have their auto insurance through American Family can expect to see about an $20 -- or around 14% -- increase in their car insurance prices. Drivers who use Shelter for their auto insurance will see a monthly bill about $92 (or 39%) more expensive after reporting a collision to their insurance company.

Overall, the cheaper rates come from American Family, with monthly prices averaging $138 compared to Shelter Insurance's $234.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

American Family Shelter
Clean Record$118$142
1 DUI$158$277

If you get a DUI charge, you can expect some pretty significant increases in your monthly car insurance bill -- generally a lot more than an accident or ticket. For example, Shelter increases average premiums by just under $150 a month -- that's just under a 50% increase.

If you have a DUI on your record and are looking for more affordable rates, American Family tends to be the much less expensive option with average premiums of $158 a month compared to $277 from Shelter.

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How does Credit Score Impact American Family and Shelter Rates?

Did you know that many insurance carriers take your credit score into account when calculating prices? This isn't always the case (Michigan, for example, has banned the use of credit score as a rating factor) but it does affect a lot of drivers out there.

The reasoning auto insurance companies use is that policyholders with good credit will be more likely to pay their bills on time; so they'll reward them with cheaper rates, while those with poor credit will normally be forced to pay more.

Looking specifically at Shelter and American Family, which one has the best prices for drivers at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

American Family Shelter
Excellent Credit Score$100$164
Good Credit Score$120$187

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

American Family Shelter
Fair Credit Score$141$221
Poor Credit Score$201$261

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

American Family Shelter
6,000 Annual Miles$138$203
12,000 Annual Miles$143$214

Did you know that the amount of time you spend in your car have a pretty big impact on your monthly car insurance bill? Typically, those who drive less will end up with more affordable premiums since there's less of a chance of getting into a collision and causing an insurance claim.

For both drivers who put 6,000 miles on their vehicles each year, as well as those who average twice that figure, American Family tends to be the cheaper option. American Family's average rates for drivers with 6,000 annual miles come in over 30% more affordable than Shelter. Those who drive 12,000 miles yearly can expect to pay nearly 35% less with American Family over Shelter.

American Family vs. Shelter: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where you call home can play a big role in how much you pay for auto insurance. Normally, policyholders who live in less densely populated rural areas will pay quite a bit less than urban drivers due to the small number of vehicles that are on the roads in those areas.

American Family Shelter
Urban Areas$166$235
Suburban Areas$134$187
Rural Areas$121$203

American Family boasts the cheapest average premiums for drivers in every type of area, no matter if it's urban, suburban, or rural.

For drivers in urban ZIP codes, American Family's average rates are around $166 while Shelter offers prices about $235. Drivers in suburban ZIP codes pay a monthly premium of around $134 with American Family compared to $187 with Shelter. Those in rural areas can expect to pay about $121 per month with American Family compared to Shelter's $203.

American Family vs. Shelter Discounts

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

But where do you even start? With what seems like a million different discounts out there, it may be difficult to find all the ones you qualify for.

In the section below, we've broken down all of the different discounts offered by both American Family and Shelter so that you can find the company that has the most discounts and, therefore, the biggest savings.

American Family Shelter
Advance Quote Discount
Anti-Theft Discount
Connect Partner Discount 
Covid-19 Relief Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount 
Driver Training Discount 
DRL Discount 
EFT Discount 
ESC Discount 
Generational Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount
Group Discount 
Homeowner Discount 
Multi-Car Discount
Multi-Policy Discount
Paid In Full Discount
Paperless Discount 
Passive Restraint Discount 

American Family blows Shelter away when it comes to the sheer amount of discounts available, offering 11 more discounts than Shelter.

There are a couple discounts both carriers offer, but American Family also offers connect partner discounts, COVID-19 relief discount, distant student discounts, and more that Shelter does not.

On the flip side, Shelter has a couple unique discounts of its own -- discounts for getting driver training, discounts for being a good driver, and passive restraint discounts.

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

You've seen the effect certain factors have on your insurance and the different discounts companies offer. That's all well and good, but at the end of the day, is American Family or Shelter the best one for you and your specific needs?

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

  • Your credit is less-than-stellar.
  • You already have a great credit score.
  • You don't spend much time in your car.

Shelter might be best for you if...

  • You have a more unique driver profile than those we mentioned above.

We hope this guide helps you get a good idea of the differences between American Family and Shelter and that it aids in making a more informed 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 multiple carriers, not just American Family and Shelter. Luckily, does all the hard work for you. Just enter your ZIP code below and get free quotes from dozens of the top insurance companies in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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American Family vs. Shelter FAQs

Is American Family or Shelter cheaper?

Looking just at the national average premiums, American Family is the less expensive of the two carriers, offering average rates of $140 per month compared to $208 for Shelter. However, American Family won't necessarily be the lowest carrier for every policyholder, since there are a range of different variables that come into play when it comes to your car insurance cost.

Who is better, American Family or Shelter?

Unfortunately, the only answer we can give you is "it depends.". Neither company is "better" for everyone -- it all depends on the makeup of your unique insurance profile.

Why do American Family and Shelter offer me different rates?

Auto insurance companies take a look at lots of different factors when determining the rates they charge policyholders. Variables such as gender, where you live, your driving record, age, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be taken into consideration. Both American Family and Shelter calculate prices differently, so each one will most likely offer different rates. The only real way to see which carrier is the most affordable for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a variety of different carriers.

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

The only way to find the car insurance company that's right for you is by getting quotes from several companies and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, sites like make it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your ZIP code and you'll get free quotes from dozens of the best auto insurance carriers in your area. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the best rate. And who knows, the best carrier for you might not be American Family or Shelter at all!


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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