Auto-owners vs. Sentry: Which Company is the Best Fit for You?

If you're in the market for a new car insurance policy, you might be wondering how Sentry and Auto-owners compare when it comes to the most affordable 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

  • Based on national averages for insurance, Auto-owners offers slightly more affordable premiums than Sentry
  • Auto-owners offers less expensive average rates for drivers who have received a ticket within the last few years
  • Sentry has cheaper prices for residents of rural areas

Auto-owners vs. Sentry: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

Are you considering a new insurance policy? With so many ads from all sorts of companies offering pretty big discounts, you're probably wondering exactly how much you might be able to save.

You might have narrowed it down to Auto-owners or Sentry as your top options, but which carrier will save you the most?

Auto-owners Sentry

Looking at the national average rates for both companies, Auto-owners is about $16 per month less expensive than Sentry.

However, that doesn't necessarily mean Auto-owners will be the more affordable option for every single driver. Auto insurance carriers vary their premiums depending on things like how clean your driving record is, how old you are, where you live, how good your credit score is, and a ton of other factors. So, at the end of the day, rates from each company will differ quite a bit from person to person.

Wanting to know if Auto-owners or Sentry is really the right carrier for you? Keep on reading to see how average prices can change based on all of the factors we've mentioned above.

Auto-owners or Sentry: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Auto-owners Sentry

Auto-owners and Sentry only compete against each other in one states, with Auto-owners offering cheaper rates to the average driver in all of them. Wisconsin has the most noticable difference, where Auto-owners premiums are over 10% less expensive than insurance rates at Sentry.

That being said, there's a lot more that goes into your car insurance cost than just the state you live in. Keep reading to find out more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Auto-owners Sentry
18-year-old drivers$393$397
25-year-old drivers$164$186

Young drivers -- especially teens -- generally pay a lot for auto insurance compared to older drivers. Typically, that's because young, inexperienced drivers are statistically much more likely to cause collisions and other accidents that will result in an insurance claim.

That being said, that doesn't mean that teen drivers have to just accept sky-high insurance prices. For example, 18-year-old drivers pay an average of $4 less a month by choosing Auto-owners over Sentry. It's worth noting that Auto-owners offers auto insurance in 23 different states compared to Sentry's two, which can skew the average premiums a bit, but the difference here is still considerable.

But both companies will reduce rates by the time drivers turn 25. Sentry offers the steepest reduction, with 25-year-olds paying less than half what 18-year-old drivers are charged. That being said, Auto-owners still has the lowest prices at $164 monthly.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Auto-owners Sentry
65+-year-old drivers$133$148

When it comes to car insurance, patience and experience pay off, with drivers around retirement age paying some of the cheapest premiums you'll ever find.

So, which company offers the best rates to retired drivers? Auto-owners gets the edge, with prices for drivers 65 and older more than 10% more affordable than the national average for Sentry.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Auto-owners Sentry

You may not be aware, but insurance premiums tend to be cheaper for married policyholders than they are for single policyholders. That's because policies for married drivers usually cover multiple cars, which several carriers will offer you a discount for.

When it comes to relationship status, the two companies are comparable for those who are single, with prices only differing around $14 per month, on average. The advantage for married couples is more obvious, where drivers who use Auto-owners save over 10% a month.

Auto-owners vs. Sentry: Average Rates by Gender

Auto-owners Sentry

Women tend to pay less for car insurance than men. This is because women are less likely to get into collisions and get speeding tickets, which decreases the chances of an insurance claim.

With Auto-owners, women normally pay more than $10 per month less than men, and about $20 cheaper with Sentry when compared to their male counterparts.

Looking at overall affordability, Auto-owners comes out as the most affordable option for both genders. On average, women save about $11 a month and men save around $20 with Auto-owners compared to the average Sentry policyholder.

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Auto-owners or Sentry: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Auto-owners Sentry
State Minimum*$99$104
Full Coverage**$260$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.

Auto insurance isn't the easiest topic to understand. Everyone needs insurance, but there are so many different terms and coverages that it can be hard to find the right policy.

The two most common policies end up falling into two different types of coverage -- 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 -- in addition to what you get with liability).

If you're looking for state minimum limits for liability insurance, Auto-owners typically offers slightly less expensive rates of $99 compared to Sentry's $104. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, Auto-owners again has the edge, with policies about $25 per month cheaper than Sentry, on average.

Is Auto-owners or Sentry Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

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

Tickets and accidents will most likely raise your premiums, but is Auto-owners or Sentry more affordable for drivers with less-than-perfect records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Auto-owners Sentry
Clean Record$121$178
1 Speeding Ticket$165$203

Auto-owners policyholders can expect their prices to go up an average of $44 a month if they get a ticket, while Sentry generally raises premiums around $25 per month, on average.

Even so, Auto-owners has cheaper rates for drivers in both categories -- their rates are around 32% less expensive for drivers with clean records and 19% more affordable for those with a ticket.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Auto-owners Sentry
Clean Record$121$178
1 At-Fault Accident$168$221

After an accident, drivers who have their car insurance through Auto-owners can expect to see about an $47 -- or around 28% -- increase in their auto insurance prices. Drivers who use Sentry for their insurance will see a monthly bill about $43 (or 19%) more expensive after reporting a collision to their car insurance carrier.

Overall, Auto-owners offers the cheapest rates for drivers with an at-fault accident on their records, with monthly premiums averaging $168 compared to Sentry Insurance's $221.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Auto-owners Sentry
Clean Record$121$178
1 DUI$264$178

If you get a DUI charge on your record, it's probably going to cost you more than a simple speeding ticket or even an accident. On average, Auto-owners will climb your prices around 54% after a DUI, while Sentry's average premiums climb by 0%.

Sentry has the overall lowest rates for drivers with a DUI on their records at $178 a month, but it's worth noting that Auto-owners's average rates come from 23 states compared to just two for Sentry, so the data may be skewed slightly.

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How does Credit Score Impact Auto-owners and Sentry Rates?

Often times, your credit score can come into play when carriers calculate your monthly bill. This isn't always the case (Michigan, for example, has banned the use of credit score as a rating factor) but it will come into play for a lot of drivers.

Insurance companies argue that those with poor credit scores are less likely to pay their bills on time every month, which increases the risk involved on their end, while the opposite is true for those with good credit.

Looking specifically at Auto-owners and Sentry, which company has the best premiums for policyholders at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Auto-owners Sentry
Excellent Credit Score$95$172
Good Credit Score$129$185

If you have solid credit, you'll usually find a better deal with Auto-owners. Drivers with "excellent" credit can save just under 45% compared to Sentry, and those with "good" scores can also expect to see savings -- about $56 or 30% cheaper each month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Auto-owners Sentry
Fair Credit Score$176$198
Poor Credit Score$317$225

If you have less-than-perfect credit, it can be somewhat of a toss-up as far as which company offers you the best prices. Drivers with "fair" credit pay around $22 less with Auto-owners than Sentry, but those whose credit is considered "poor" have it flipped -- saving about $92 a month with Sentry.

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Is Auto-owners or Sentry Better for Drivers who Work from Home or Have Short Commutes?

Auto-owners Sentry
6,000 Annual Miles$179$195
12,000 Annual Miles$180$195

How much you drive can have a large impact on your monthly auto insurance payment. Usually, those who drive fewer miles will end up with less expensive rates since there's less of a chance of getting into a collision and causing 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 prices for Auto-owners, with policyholders who drive the least paying around $1 less every month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles annually. Still, Auto-owners is the more affordable option for drivers in both categories.

Auto-owners vs. Sentry: 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 considerable impact as well. Normally, those who live in urban areas will pay more than policyholders in rural areas due to the number of vehicles that are on the roads in those areas.

Auto-owners Sentry
Urban Areas$205$224
Suburban Areas$169$218
Rural Areas$164$143

Looking at these carriers side-by-side, Auto-owners typically comes out as the cheaper option for drivers in urban and suburban areas, while Sentry wins in rural areas.

In urban areas, Auto-owners's average prices are about $205 per month compared to Sentry's $224. People in suburban areas pay a monthly rate of around $169 with Auto-owners compared to $218 with Sentry. If you live in a rural area, you can expect to pay about $143 per month with Sentry compared to Auto-owners's $164.

Auto-owners vs. Sentry 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 where do you even start? With so many discounts out there, it may seem challenging to find all the of the ones you can take advantage of.

In the section below, we've taken a look at all of the different discounts Auto-owners and Sentry offer their customers so that you can see which one offers the most discounts and see which ones you might be able to take advantage of.

Auto-owners Sentry
ABS Discount 
Advance Quote Discount
Anti-Theft Discount 
Company Car Discount 
Covid-19 Relief Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount 
Driver Training Discount 
Education Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount 
Group Discount 
Homeowner Discount
Inside Storage Discount 
Life Policy Discount 
Low Mileage Discount 
Minor Child Discount 
Multi-Car Discount
Multi-Policy Discount 
Paid In Full Discount

Auto-owners knocks Sentry out of the park when it comes to the sheer number of discounts available, offering 24 different discounts to Sentry's five.

A couple of those are overlapping for things like advance quote discounts, discounts for being a homeowner, and paid in full discounts. Auto-owners also offers ABS discounts, anti-theft discounts, company car discounts, and more that Sentry does not.

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

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Final Thoughts: Is Auto-owners or Sentry Best for You?

You've seen the effect certain factors have on your car insurance and the different discounts companies offer. That's all well and good, but when it comes down to it, which carrier is the right carrier for you and your specific profile and needs?

Auto-owners might be best for you if....

  • You've received a ticket for speeding recently and don't want to see your premiums rise.
  • You live in an urban area.
  • Your home is located in the suburbs.

Sentry might be best for you if...

  • You like the personalized touch of a small, regional company.
  • You have a DUI charge on your record.
  • You live in a rural area.

We hope this guide has ben a valuable resource as you compare Auto-owners and Sentry and that it aids in making a more informed decision about your insurance.

But, at the end of the day, there's only one way to know for sure that you're getting the best possible deal on car insurance -- comparing quotes from several carriers, not just Auto-owners and Sentry. Luckily, sites like do all the hard work for you. Just enter your ZIP code below and get free quotes from dozens of the top auto insurance companies in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Auto-owners vs. Sentry FAQs

Is Auto-owners or Sentry cheaper?

Looking just at the national average rates, Auto-owners is the less expensive of the two carriers, offering average rates of $179 a month compared to $195 for Sentry. But Auto-owners won't necessarily be the lowest carrier for each policyholder, since there are several different variables that come into play when it comes to your car insurance bill.

Who is better, Auto-owners or Sentry?

Sadly, the real answer is "it depends.". No one company is necessarily "better" for everyone -- it all boils down to your unique insurance profile. For example, Sentry offers more affordable prices for drivers with a recent DUI, while Auto-owners is less expensive for drivers with excellent credit.

Why do Auto-owners and Sentry offer me different rates?

Auto insurance companies take a look at lots of different factors when calculating the rates they charge drivers. Variables such as age, your driving record, gender, where you park your car, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be used. Both Auto-owners and Sentry calculate premiums using different factors, so each one will most likely offer different rates. The only real way to see which carrier is the cheapest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a range of different carriers.

How do I know if Auto-owners or Sentry is right for me?

The only way to find the car insurance company that's right for you is by getting quotes from a handful of 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 free quotes from dozens of the best insurance carriers in your area. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the lowest price. And who knows, the best carrier for you might not be Auto-owners or Sentry 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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