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

Wondering if Dairyland or Shelter is the best insurance company for you, your vehicle, and your wallet? We've broken down all the rates and discounts for both companies to help you make a more informed decision. Read on to learn more.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • In general, Shelter offers more affordable premiums than Dairyland
  • Dairyland offers more discounts than Shelter Insurance
  • Shelter has less expensive prices for people who are single and purchasing auto insurance by yourself

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

So, you're thinking about switching your auto insurance. With so many ads from all sorts of companies offering substantial discounts, you're probably wondering exactly how much you might be able to save.

You've maybe even narrowed your search down to Dairyland or Shelter, but which carrier will offer you cheaper premiums?

Dairyland Shelter

Looking at nationwide averages, Shelter has average rates that are about 19% per month less expensive than those from Dairyland.

Even so, that doesn't necessarily mean Shelter will be the more affordable option for every driver. Car insurance companies use a variety of complex algorithms to calculate rates, so depending on where you live or how old you are (among an array of other factors), you could see wildly different prices from the ones above.

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

Dairyland or Shelter: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Dairyland Shelter

Dairyland and Shelter only compete against each other in two states, with Shelter offering cheaper prices to the average driver in all of them. Arkansas has the most noticable difference, where Shelter rates are over 10% less expensive than insurance prices at Dairyland.

But there's more to calculating car insurance premiums than just your home state. Keep reading to find out more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Dairyland Shelter
18-year-old drivers$524$444
25-year-old drivers$232$197

Teen drivers will almost always have the most expensive auto insurance rates of any other group of drivers. The reason is that young, inexperienced 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. Just look at the table above -- where 18-year-old drivers who have Shelter for their car insurance pay $80 less than those who use Dairyland.

However, both carriers will offer you dramatically lower rates once you turn 25. For example, average premiums for Dairyland policyholders lower nearly $300 and Shelter's rates decrease around $250 over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Dairyland Shelter
65+-year-old drivers$203$141

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

So, which company offers the best premiums to retired drivers? Shelter gets the edge here, with average rates coming in at about $141 per month compared to Dairyland's $203.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Dairyland Shelter

Did you know that auto insurance premiums are normally cheaper for married drivers than they are for single drivers? That's generally because married policyholders tend to own and insure several cars, which can often earn you a discount.

When it comes to relationship status, Shelter is the clear winner for those who are single, with prices around $52 a month more affordable than Dairyland, on average. The advantage for married couples with Shelter is also obvious, where drivers save more than 20% per month.

Dairyland vs. Shelter: Average Rates by Gender

Dairyland Shelter

Men tend to pay more for car insurance than women. This is because men are statistically more likely than women to get pulled over for speeding or get into an accident, which leads to increased risk for insurers and, therefore, higher rates.

On average, men see prices about $10 a month higher with Dairyland, and around $25 with Shelter.

When it comes to the lowest premiums for each gender, Shelter comes out on top for both men and women, with average rates 15% less for men and 22% cheaper for women.

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Dairyland or Shelter: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Dairyland Shelter
State Minimum*$142$129
Full Coverage**$370$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.

Auto 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.

That being said, most policies end up falling into two different types of coverage -- liability only (which provides bodily injury and property damage coverage for other drivers if you cause a collision) and full coverage (which includes two additional coverages -- comprehensive and collision -- alongside liability).

If you're looking for state minimum liability insurance, Shelter typically offers slightly cheaper prices of $129 compared to Dairyland's $142. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, Shelter again has the edge, with policies about $80 per month less expensive than Dairyland, on average.

Is Dairyland or Shelter Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

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

Accidents and tickets will most likely raise your premiums, but is Dairyland or Shelter more affordable for drivers with less-than-perfect records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Dairyland Shelter
Clean Record$225$142
1 Speeding Ticket$265$181

Dairyland policyholders can expect their rates to go up an average of $40 a month if they get a ticket, while Shelter usually raises premiums around $39 per month, on average.

But Shelter tends to offer the best prices for drivers both with clean records and with a speeding ticket, offering prices that are $83 and $84 cheaper, respectively, compared to Dairyland.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Dairyland Shelter
Clean Record$225$142
1 At-Fault Accident$297$234

After an accident, drivers who have their car insurance through Dairyland can expect to see about an $72 -- or around 24% -- increase in their insurance rates. Drivers who use Shelter for their auto insurance will see a monthly bill about $92 (or 39%) more expensive after reporting an accident to their car insurance carrier.

Overall, the more affordable prices come from Shelter, with monthly premiums averaging $234 compared to Dairyland's $297.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Dairyland Shelter
Clean Record$225$142
1 DUI$236$277

If you get a DUI charge on your record, it's probably going to cost you more than a simple ticket or even a collision. On average, Shelter will increase your rates around 49% after a DUI, while Dairyland's average premiums rise by 5%.

If you have a DUI on your record and are looking for more affordable prices, Dairyland tends to be the much less expensive option with average premiums of $236 a month compared to $277 from Shelter.

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How does Credit Score Impact Dairyland and Shelter Rates?

Did you know that many insurance companies take your credit score into account when calculating rates? Certain states and carriers do not allow for credit score to be used as a rating factor, but it might come into play for several drivers.

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

Looking at Dairyland and Shelter specifically, which one has the best prices for policyholders at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Dairyland Shelter
Excellent Credit Score$221$164
Good Credit Score$244$187

If you have great credit, you'll usually find a better deal with Shelter. Drivers with "excellent" credit can save over 25% compared to Dairyland, and those with "good" scores can also expect to see savings -- about $57 or 23% cheaper every month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Dairyland Shelter
Fair Credit Score$260$221
Poor Credit Score$299$261

Shelter typically offers lower premiums than Dairyland when it comes to drivers with bad credit. Drivers with "fair" credit pay around $39 a month less with Shelter compared to Dairyland, and those with "poor" scores typically save an average of about $38 monthly.

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

Dairyland Shelter
6,000 Annual Miles$256$203
12,000 Annual Miles$256$214

How much you drive can have a pretty big impact on your monthly car insurance payment. Generally, those who drive less will end up with less expensive prices since there's less of a chance of getting into an accident 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 Dairyland charges. However, there's a small difference in monthly rates for Shelter, with drivers who put 6,000 miles on their vehicle annually paying around $11 less each month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles every year. Still, Shelter is the more affordable option for drivers in both categories.

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

Where you park your car can have a big impact on your monthly auto insurance cost. Usually, policyholders who live in less densely populated rural areas will pay quite a bit less than urban drivers because of the small number of vehicles that are on the roads in those areas.

Dairyland Shelter
Urban Areas$314$235
Suburban Areas$251$187
Rural Areas$203$203

Dairyland 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 car insurance discounts comes into play.

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

In the section below, we've broken down all of the different discounts offered by both Dairyland 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.

Dairyland Shelter
Advance Quote Discount
Agency Transfer Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Defensive Driver Discount
Driver Training Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount
Homeowner Discount 
Multi-Car Discount
Multi-Policy Discount 
Paid In Full Discount
Passive Restraint Discount
Prior Insurance Discount 
Travelink Discount 

Looking at the total number of discounts, Dairyland comes out ahead with 11 discounts to Shelter's 10.

There are a couple discounts both carriers offer, but Dairyland also offers agency transfer discounts, homeowner discounts, prior insurance 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 multi-policy discounts.

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Final Thoughts: Is Dairyland or Shelter Best for You?

So, you've seen how different factors can affect your insurance prices. We've broken down the different discounts each company offers, too. But, when it comes down to it, which carrier is the best company for you and your specific needs?

Shelter might be best for you if....

  • You're single and purchasing auto insurance by yourself.
  • You live in an suburban area.
  • You have a short commute.

Dairyland might be best for you if...

  • You have a DUI charge on your record.
  • You care about discounts (Dairyland offers the most).
  • You live in a rural area.

We hope this guide helps you get a better idea of the difference between Dairyland and Shelter. We also hope we've given you the information you need to make the best decision about your car insurance.

At the end of the day, the best way to make sure you're getting the best deal on your auto insurance policy is to compare quotes from several companies, not just Dairyland and Shelter. Luckily, Compare.com does all the hard work for you. Just enter your ZIP code below and get free quotes from dozens of top insurance carriers in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Dairyland vs. Shelter FAQs

Is Dairyland or Shelter cheaper?

Looking just at the national average premiums, Shelter is the cheaper of the two companies, offering average rates of $208 per month compared to $256 for Dairyland. That being said, Shelter won't necessarily be the most affordable company for each policyholder, since there are a range of different variables (things like age, gender, driving record, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, Dairyland or Shelter?

Unfortunately, the real answer is "it depends.". No one carrier is necessarily "better" for everyone -- it all boils down to your unique auto insurance profile. For example, Dairyland offers less expensive rates for drivers with a recent DUI, while Shelter is more affordable for drivers with excellent credit.

Why do Dairyland and Shelter offer me different rates?

Car insurance carriers take a look at quite a few different factors when determining the prices they charge policyholders. Variables like where you live, age, where you call home, gender, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all come into play. Both Dairyland and Shelter calculate rates differently, so each one will most likely offer different premiums. The only real way to see which company is the cheapest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from lots of different companies.

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

The only way to find the insurance carrier that's right for you is by getting quotes from multiple carriers and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, sites like Compare.com make it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your area information and you'll get free quotes from dozens of the best auto insurance companies in your area. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the best premium. And who knows, the best company for you might not be Dairyland 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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