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

You've probably seen ads offering big savings on car insurance, but are Esurance or Shelter right for you? Which carrier offers the lowest premiums, or the most discounts? Read on to see how Esurance and Shelter compare, and to find out which company is the best one for you, your vehicle, and your budget.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • Looking at the national averages for auto insurance, Shelter offers significantly cheaper prices than Esurance
  • Esurance may help you save more money -- they offer more discounts than Shelter Insurance
  • Shelter offers more affordable rates for policyholders who drive fewer than 6,000 miles every year

Esurance or Shelter: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

So, you're considering switching to a new insurance policy. You've probably seen commercials and billboards from companies offering big savings, but exactly how much money can you save by switching?

You might have narrowed it down to Esurance or Shelter as your top options, but between the two, which carrier has less expensive premiums for insurance?

Esurance Shelter

Looking at nationwide averages, Shelter has average rates that are around 30% a month cheaper than those from Esurance.

Even so, that doesn't mean Shelter will necessarily be more affordable than Esurance for each driver. Auto insurance carriers vary their prices depending on things like where you live, how clean your driving record is, how good your credit score is, how old you are, and all sorts of other factors, so rates could change drastically from person to person.

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

Esurance vs. Shelter: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Esurance Shelter

Esurance and Shelter only compete against each other in one states, with Shelter offering less expensive rates to the average driver in all of them. Missouri has the most noticable difference, where Shelter prices are $24 cheaper than car insurance rates at Esurance.

That being said, there's a lot more that goes into your insurance payment than just the state you live in. Continue reading to see how other variables will affect your rates.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Esurance Shelter
18-year-old drivers$711$444
25-year-old drivers$233$197

You might already know that teen drivers typically pay a lot more for auto insurance than any other group of drivers. Usually, that's because teen drivers are statistically much more likely to get into an accident that results in a car insurance claim, making them much riskier to insure.

That being said, that doesn't mean teen drivers can't still save money on their car insurance. Just look at the table above -- where 18-year-old drivers who have Shelter for their insurance pay over 40% less than those who use Esurance.

But both companies will offer you dramatically lower prices once you turn 25. For example, average premiums for Esurance policyholders decrease more than 65% and Shelter's rates lower over 55% over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Esurance Shelter
65+-year-old drivers$232$141

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 prices to retired drivers? Shelter gets the edge here, with average rates coming in at about $141 per month compared to Esurance's $232.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Esurance Shelter

Married drivers tend to get slightly more affordable auto insurance premiums than those who are single. This usually boils down to married couples having more than one vehicle on their policy -- something lots of insurance carriers will reward with discounts.

For single drivers, the difference in average prices between these two companies is significant, with Shelter premiums coming in at a third less than Esurance's. The advantage for married policyholders with Shelter is also obvious, where drivers save more than 25% per month.

Esurance or Shelter: Average Rates by Gender

Esurance Shelter

Men are statistically more likely than women to get pulled over for speeding or get into a collision. That means when it comes to auto insurance men will normally end up paying a little more.

Typically, women see rates around $20 a month less expensive with Esurance, and about $25 less with Shelter.

When it comes to the most affordable prices for each gender, Shelter comes out on top for both men and women, with average premiums $88 less for men and $92 cheaper for women.

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Esurance vs. Shelter: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Esurance Shelter
State Minimum*$201$129
Full Coverage**$396$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.

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

However, most policies that drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability coverage (which covers the other party's injuries and property damage if you cause a collision) and full coverage (which includes collision and comprehensive coverages that protect your own car, alongside liability coverage).

Looking specifically at state minimum liability limits, Shelter has the significant edge, with average monthly rates coming in at $129. If you want a full coverage policy with the same state minimum limits, Shelter again has the edge, with policies averaging around $288 per month to Esurance's $396.

Is Esurance or Shelter Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

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

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

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Esurance Shelter
Clean Record$242$142
1 Speeding Ticket$287$181

Policyholders who use Esurance for their car insurance can generally expect their monthly bill to go up about 16% after getting a speeding ticket. Shelter policyholders can expect a bit more drastic of an increase of around 22%.

That being said, Shelter is typically the more affordable option for both drivers who have clean records and those with a recent ticket, offering rates that are $100 and $106 less expensive, respectively, compared to Esurance.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Esurance Shelter
Clean Record$242$142
1 At-Fault Accident$364$234

Esurance drivers who get in an accident can expect to see their premiums increase by just under 35%, while those who have insurance through Shelter will see about a 40% increase.

At the end of the day, drivers who use Shelter end up with the cheaper prices after an accident, with average prices coming in at $234 compared to Esurance's $364.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Esurance Shelter
Clean Record$242$142
1 DUI$301$277

On average, a DUI offense is going to cost you much more than a single collision or speeding ticket when it comes to your auto insurance bill. For example, Shelter increases average premiums by nearly $150 a month -- that's nearly a 50% increase.

But if you end up with a DUI charge and are looking for more affordable rates, Shelter tends to be cheaper for the average driver, with monthly premiums coming in at around $277 to Esurance's $301.

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How does Credit Score Impact Esurance and Shelter Rates?

In many cases, your credit score can come into play when companies determine your monthly bill. Certain states and carriers do not allow for credit score to be used as an insurance factor, but it might come into play for many policyholders.

Insurance companies argue that someone with good credit is more likely to pay their bills on time, which makes them less risky to insure. Because of that, drivers with good credit will often be rewarded with more affordable prices.

So, which carrier offers the lowest rates for policyholders with good, average, or poor credit?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Esurance Shelter
Excellent Credit Score$214$164
Good Credit Score$266$187

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Esurance Shelter
Fair Credit Score$305$221
Poor Credit Score$424$261

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

Esurance Shelter
6,000 Annual Miles$298$203
12,000 Annual Miles$299$214

How much you drive can have a substantial impact on how much car insurance carriers will charge for coverage. Generally, the more milage you drive, the more you can expect to pay for auto insurance.

For both remote workers and those taking short commutes, Shelter tends to be the less expensive option. Esurance's average premiums for drivers with 6,000 annual miles come in more than 30% more expensive than Shelter. Those who drive 12,000 miles annually can expect to pay just under 30% more with Esurance over Shelter.

Esurance or Shelter: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where your home is can have a pretty big impact on your monthly insurance bill. Usually, if you live in an urban area with more cars on the road, you'll pay a little more for auto insurance, while the opposite is true for people in rural areas.

Esurance Shelter
Urban Areas$396$235
Suburban Areas$288$187
Rural Areas$211$203

When comparing these two companies side-by-side, Shelter normally comes out as the cheapest option for drivers in every type of area, no matter if it's urban, suburban, or rural.

For drivers in urban ZIP codes, Shelter Insurance's average rates are about 41% less than Esurance. People who live in suburban areas pay around 35% less with Shelter compared to Esurance. Those in rural areas can expect to save about 4% with Shelter compared to Esurance.

Esurance vs. Shelter Discounts

No matter why you might be in the market for a new insurance policy, you're always going to want to save as much money as you can. That's where car insurance discounts comes into play.

But where do you even start? With so many discounts out there, it may seem hard to find all the of the ones you're eligible for.

Luckily, we did the hard work for you and broke down all of the different discounts offered by both Esurance and Shelter so that you can find the one that has the most discounts and, therefore, the largest savings.

Esurance Shelter
ABS Discount 
Advance Quote Discount
Agency Transfer Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Defensive Driver Discount
Driver Training Discount 
DRL Discount 
Education Discount 
Good Driving Discount
Good Payer Discount 
Good Student Discount
Group Discount 
Homeowner Discount 
Mature Driver Discount 
Military Discount 
Multi-Car Discount
Multi-Policy Discount
Online Quote Discount 
Paid In Full Discount
Paperless Discount 

Esurance knocks Shelter out of the park when it comes to the sheer number of discounts available, offering 14 more discounts than Shelter.

There are a couple discounts both carriers offer, but Esurance also offers discounts for ABS, agency transfer, DRL, and more.

On the other hand, Shelter has a proprietary discount of their own -- a driver training discounts.

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Final Thoughts: Is Esurance or Shelter Best for You?

So, we've broken down the average premiums for many of the factors auto insurance companies look at, and walked through the different discounts each carrier offers, too. But, when it comes down to it, is Esurance or Shelter the best fit for you?

Shelter might be best for you if....

  • You've received a ticket for speeding recently and don't want to see your prices rise.
  • You're looking for the best premiums on liability only coverage.
  • You have a short drive to work everyday.

Esurance might be best for you if...

  • You care about discounts (Esurance offers the most).

Hopefully, this guide helps you get a better idea of the difference between Esurance 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 several carriers, not just Esurance 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 the top auto insurance companies in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Esurance vs. Shelter FAQs

Is Esurance or Shelter cheaper?

Shelter is the cheaper of the two carriers when looking at national average prices, with policies averaging $208 per month with Shelter and $299 for Esurance. However, that doesn't mean Shelter will be the lowest company for each driver, since there are multiple different variables that are considered when it comes to your car insurance cost.

Who is better, Esurance or Shelter?

Unfortunately, the only answer we can give you is "it depends.". One carrier is not necessarily "better" for every policyholder -- it all boils down to your unique insurance profile.

Why do Esurance and Shelter offer me different rates?

Car insurance companies use several different factors when determining the rates they charge. Things like your driving record, age, gender, where you park your vehicle, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be taken into consideration. Both Esurance and Shelter calculate premiums differently, so it's likely they'll offer different prices. The best way to determine which company is the most affordable for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a bunch of different carriers.

How do I know if Esurance 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 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 quotes from dozens of your local top auto insurance carriers for free. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the lowest premium. And maybe you'll find that the best company for you isn't Esurance or Shelter 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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