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

So, you're in the market for a new insurance policy. You may have even narrowed down your search to American Select and Shelter. But which of these two companies is the best one for you? Read on to find which company has the best prices and biggest discounts.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

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

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

Are you in the market for a new insurance policy? After all, you've seen ads from all sorts of companies offering considerable discounts. But exactly how much can you save by switching?

You've maybe even narrowed it down to American Select or Shelter as potential options, but which carrier has cheaper rates for insurance?

American Select Shelter

Looking at nationwide averages, American Select is about $38 per month more affordable than Shelter.

Even so, that doesn't necessarily mean American Select will be the less expensive option for every single driver. Car insurance companies use a variety of complex algorithms to calculate prices, so depending on where you live or how clean your driving record is (among a wide array of other factors), you could see wildly different premiums from the ones above.

So, if you want to find out which of American Select or Shelter is really the best for you, keep reading to see average rates for each carrier broken down by a variety of different rate factors.

American Select or Shelter: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State American Select Shelter

American Select and Shelter only compete against each other in one states, with American Select offering cheaper premiums to the average driver in all of them. Kentucky has the most noticable difference, where American Select prices are over 40% more affordable than auto insurance premiums at Shelter.

There's a lot more that goes into your insurance bill than just where you call home. Keep reading to learn more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

American Select Shelter
18-year-old drivers$311$444
25-year-old drivers$165$197

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

That being said, that doesn't mean teen drivers can't still save money on their auto insurance. For example, 18-year-old drivers pay an average of nearly $150 less a month by choosing American Select over Shelter.

However, with both carriers, you'll see your prices reduce significantly by the time you turn 25. For example, average premiums for American Select policyholders lower more than 45% and Shelter's prices drop over 55% over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

American Select Shelter
65+-year-old drivers$136$141

Drivers around retirement age typically enjoy some of the lowest car insurance rates you can find. After all, they've likely been driving for quite some time, which generally decreases their chances of accidents and other infractions that can increase premiums.

When looking at American Select and Shelter specifically, which company is best for retired drivers? American Select gets the slight edge here, with average prices coming in at around $136 a month compared to Shelter's $141. But the difference is only about 5%, so other factors (such as where you live or your driving record) will likely come into play when determining which carrier has the most affordable rates for you.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

American Select Shelter

Single drivers tend to get offered slightly more expensive insurance premiums than married policyholders. That's usually because married drivers tend to own and insure more than one car, which can often earn you a discount.

When it comes to relationship status, American Select is the clear winner for those who are single, with prices around $53 per month less expensive than Shelter, on average. The advantage for married couples with American Select is also obvious, where drivers save almost $20 a month.

American Select vs. Shelter: Average Rates by Gender

American Select Shelter

Because men are more likely to get speeding tickets and get into collisions, they raise the chances of filing a claim with insurance. Therefore, insurance companies will tend to offer men more expensive rates.

On average, men see premiums about 1% per month higher with American Select, and around 11% more with Shelter.

Looking at overall affordability, American Select offers the cheapest average rates for both men and women. On average, male drivers save about $50 a month and women save about $26 with American Select compared to the average Shelter policyholder.

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

American Select Shelter
State Minimum*$90$129
Full Coverage**$251$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.

For most people, auto insurance isn't the easiest topic to understand. There are so many different coverages and terms that it can make it pretty confusing to find the right policy.

However, the 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 includes two additional coverages -- comprehensive and collision -- alongside what you get with a liability policy).

If you're looking for state minimum liability insurance, American Select generally offers significantly cheaper prices of $90 compared to Shelter's $129. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, American Select again has the edge, with policies around $35 per month more affordable than Shelter, on average.

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

It's no big secret that drivers who are accident-free get better deals on their car insurance. But even if you have a spotty record, you can still find plenty of ways to save some cash on your monthly bill.

You'll probably end up paying more with at-fault collisions and tickets on your record, but which of these two carriers offers the most affordable premiums to drivers with less-than-ideal driving records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

American Select Shelter
Clean Record$117$142
1 Speeding Ticket$149$181

American Select policyholders can expect their rates to go up an average of $32 a month if they get a ticket, while Shelter typically raises prices about $39 per month, on average.

But American Select tends to offer the best prices for both drivers who have a recent speeding ticket and those with clean records, offering premiums that are 18% and 18% cheaper, respectively, compared to Shelter Insurance.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

American Select Shelter
Clean Record$117$142
1 At-Fault Accident$158$234

American Select drivers who get in a collision can expect to see their rates increase by over $40, while those who have insurance through Shelter will see around a $90 increase.

Overall, drivers who use American Select end up with the cheaper prices after an accident, with monthly prices averaging $158 compared to Shelter Insurance's $234.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

American Select Shelter
Clean Record$117$142
1 DUI$258$277

If you get a DUI charge on your record, it's probably going to cost you more than a simple ticket or even an accident. For example, American Select increases average premiums by just under $150 a month -- that's just under a 55% increase.

If you have a DUI on your record and are looking for more affordable prices, American Select tends to be the much less expensive option with average rates of $258 monthly compared to $277 from Shelter.

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How does Credit Score Impact American Select and Shelter Rates?

In many cases, your credit score can be used as one of the variables to determine your monthly auto insurance prices. This isn't always the case (for example, Michigan and Hawaii are two states that ban the practice entirely), but it does affect several policyholders out there.

Insurance companies argue that those with good credit scores are more likely to pay their bills on time each month, which lowers the risk involved on their end, while the opposite is true for those with bad credit.

Looking specifically at Shelter and American Select, which company has the best rates for drivers at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

American Select Shelter
Excellent Credit Score$107$164
Good Credit Score$133$187

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

American Select Shelter
Fair Credit Score$169$221
Poor Credit Score$273$261

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

American Select Shelter
6,000 Annual Miles$170$203
12,000 Annual Miles$170$214

How much you drive can have a sizable impact on your monthly auto insurance payment. That's because the more miles you put on your vehicle each year, the more likely you are to get into a collision and cause an insurance claim.

As you can see in the table above, annual mileage doesn't have much of an impact on how much American Select charges. However, there's a small difference in monthly premiums for Shelter, with policyholders who drive 6,000 miles every year paying about $11 less each month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles yearly. Still, American Select is the more affordable option for drivers in both categories.

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

We've already mentioned how your home state can play a role in how much you pay for car insurance, but the type of area you live in can have a big impact as well. Normally, policyholders who live in less densely populated rural areas will pay quite a bit less than urban drivers because of the small number of cars that are on the roads in those areas.

American Select Shelter
Urban Areas$205$235
Suburban Areas$150$187
Rural Areas$156$203

When comparing these two carriers side-by-side, American Select usually comes out as the lowest option for drivers in every type of area, no matter if it's urban, suburban, or rural.

For policyholders in rural ZIP codes, American Select offers rates around $156 per month compared to Shelter's $203. People who live in urban ZIP codes can expect to pay about $205 per month for American Select and $235 for Shelter. Lastly, those in suburban areas tend to get the most affordable premiums from both companies, with average monthly rates coming in at $150 and $187 for American Select and Shelter respectively.

American Select vs. Shelter Discounts

Regardless of why you might be in the market for a new insurance policy, you're always going to want to save as much money as possible. That's where auto insurance discounts comes into play.

But with what seems like a million different discounts out there, it can be difficult to find all the ones you can take advantage of or to nail down the carrier that has the most discounts for your unique driver profile.

In the table below, we've broken down all of the different discounts offered by both American Select and Shelter so that you can easily see which company offers the most discounts and see which ones you might be able to take advantage of.

American Select Shelter
ABS Discount 
Account Relationship Discount 
Advance Quote Discount
Agency Transfer Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Companion Auto Discount 
Company Car Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount 
Driver Training Discount
Family Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount
Group Discount 
Multi-Car Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount
Next Generation Discount 
Paid In Full Discount
Passive Restraint Discount
Prior Carrier Discount 

American Select blows Shelter away when it comes to the sheer amount of discounts available, offering 10 more discounts than Shelter.

Both carriers offer several of the same discounts -- like discounts for being a defensive driver, discounts for getting driver training, and paid in full discounts -- but American Select also offers ABS discounts, account relationship discounts, agency transfer discounts, and more that Shelter does not.

On the flip side, Shelter has a couple unique discounts of its own -- discounts for being a good driver and discounts for insuring multiple cars with the same company.

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

So, we've broken down the average prices for many of the factors 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, is American Select or Shelter the best one for you and your specific driver profile?

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

  • You have a speeding ticket on your driving record.
  • You're looking for more protection with "full coverage" car insurance.
  • You and your spouse are buying auto insurance together.

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 Select and Shelter. We also hope we've given you the information you need to make the best decision when it comes to your insurance.

At the end of the day, the sure-fire way to make sure you're getting the best deal on your car insurance policy is to compare quotes from a handful of carriers, not just American Select and Shelter. Luckily, makes it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your ZIP code below and get free quotes from dozens of top auto insurance companies in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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American Select vs. Shelter FAQs

Is American Select or Shelter cheaper?

Looking just at the national average premiums, American Select is the cheaper of the two carriers, offering average rates of $170 a month compared to $208 for Shelter. Even so, American Select won't necessarily be the cheapest carrier for every driver, since there are several different variables (things like age, gender, driving record, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, American Select or Shelter?

Sadly, the only answer we can give you is "it depends.". Neither company is necessarily "better" for everyone -- it all depends on what your unique insurance profile looks like. For example, American Select offers less expensive rates for drivers with an at-fault accident on their record, while Shelter is more affordable for drivers who have less-than-stellar credit scores.

Why do American Select and Shelter offer me different rates?

Car insurance companies take a look at a lot of different factors when calculating the premiums they charge policyholders. Variables like where you live, where you park your vehicle, gender, age, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be used. Both American Select and Shelter calculate prices using different formulas, so each one will most likely offer different premiums. The only real way to see which carrier is the lowest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a range of different carriers.

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

The only way to find the auto 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 do all the hard work for you. Just enter your ZIP code and you'll get free quotes from dozens of the best car insurance carriers in your area. That way, you can guarantee you're getting the best premium. And who knows, the best carrier for you might not be American Select 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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