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

You've probably seen ads offering big savings on insurance, but are Mercury or Shelter right for you? Which carrier offers the cheapest prices, or the most discounts? Read on to see how Mercury 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 more affordable premiums than Mercury
  • Mercury may help you save more money -- they offer more discounts than Shelter Insurance
  • Shelter offers less expensive average rates for policyholders who live in urban areas

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

So, you're thinking about switching to a new insurance policy. With so many ads from all sorts of companies offering huge savings, you're probably wondering exactly how much you might be able to save.

You've maybe even narrowed your search down to Mercury or Shelter for your next policy, but which company will save you the most?

Mercury Shelter

Looking at the national average rates for both carriers, Mercury has average rates that are around 30% a month more expensive than those from Shelter.

But Shelter may not be the lowest or best option for each driver out there. Car insurance companies vary their prices depending on things like how old you are, how clean your driving record is, where you live, how good your credit score is, and tons of other factors, so rates will differ quite a bit from person to person.

Luckily, we've broken down average premiums from both Mercury and Shelter by a variety of different rate factors, so read on to find out which carrier is the best for you.

Mercury vs. Shelter: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Mercury Shelter

Mercury and Shelter only compete against each other in one states, with Shelter offering more affordable rates to the average driver in all of them. Oklahoma has the most noticable difference, where Shelter premiums are $45 less expensive than auto insurance prices at Mercury.

That being said, there's a lot more that goes into your car insurance cost than just your home state. Read on to find out more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Mercury Shelter
18-year-old drivers$729$444
25-year-old drivers$230$197

You might already know that teen drivers generally pay a lot more for insurance than any other group of drivers out there on the road. Normally, that's because teen 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 premiums, teen drivers can still find ways to save money. As you can see above, teens who use Shelter save almost 40% per month compared to those who use Mercury.

However, both carriers will offer you dramatically lower rates by the time you turn 25. Shelter offers the steepest drop, with 25-year-olds paying less than half what 18-year-old drivers are charged. Mercury's average prices decrease nearly 70% during that same period.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Mercury Shelter
65+-year-old drivers$219$141

Drivers around retirement age usually enjoy some of the most affordable auto insurance rates you can find. After all, they've likely been driving for quite some time, which typically reduces their chances of collisions and other infractions that can raise premiums.

But who has the best prices for retired drivers between Mercury and Shelter? Shelter gets the edge, with premiums for drivers 65 and older $78 cheaper than the national average for Mercury.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Mercury Shelter

You may not be aware, but car insurance prices tend to be less expensive for married policyholders than they are for those who are single. That's normally because married couples tend to own and insure several vehicles, which can often earn you a discount.

For single drivers, the difference in average rates between these two companies is significant, with Shelter prices coming in at a third less than Mercury's. The advantage is also clear for married drivers - Shelter offers the lowest average premiums.

Mercury or Shelter: Average Rates by Gender

Mercury Shelter

Men are statistically more likely than women to cause a collision and get into accidents, which means they'll typically end up paying more for insurance than women.

Normally, women see rates about 5% a month less with Mercury, but with Shelter, the difference is closer to 11% per month.

Looking at the data for each company specifically, Shelter comes out as the most affordable option for both genders, with average premiums 27% less for men and 32% cheaper for women.

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

Mercury Shelter
State Minimum*$184$129
Full Coverage**$406$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 so many different limits and coverages that it can make it pretty confusing to find the right policy for you.

The two most common policies end up falling into two different types of coverage -- liability coverage (that covers bodily injury and property damage for other drivers and their passengers if you cause a collision) and full coverage (which includes collision and comprehensive coverages that protect your own car, in addition to liability).

Looking specifically at state minimum limits for liability insurance, 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 a month to Mercury's $406.

Is Mercury 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.

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

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Mercury Shelter
Clean Record$237$142
1 Speeding Ticket$294$181

Policyholders who use Mercury for their auto insurance can usually expect their monthly bill to go up about 19% after getting a speeding ticket. Shelter policyholders can expect a bit more drastic of an increase of around 22%.

That being said, Shelter has cheaper rates for drivers in both categories, offering prices that are $95 and $113 more affordable, respectively, compared to Mercury Insurance.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Mercury Shelter
Clean Record$237$142
1 At-Fault Accident$346$234

Mercury drivers who get in an accident can expect to see their rates increase by over 30%, 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 Mercury Insurance's $346.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Mercury Shelter
Clean Record$237$142
1 DUI$303$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 raise your premiums around 49% after a DUI, while Mercury's average prices rise by more than 20%.

But if you end up with a DUI charge and are looking for more affordable premiums, Shelter tends to be cheaper for the average driver, with monthly premiums coming in at about $277 to Mercury's $303.

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How does Credit Score Impact Mercury and Shelter Rates?

Did you know many insurance companies take your credit score into account when determining rates? This isn't true for everyone (Michigan, for example, has banned the use of credit score as a car insurance factor) but it does affect quite a few policyholders out there.

Auto insurance carriers 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 less expensive prices.

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

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Mercury Shelter
Excellent Credit Score$223$164
Good Credit Score$266$187

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Mercury Shelter
Fair Credit Score$302$221
Poor Credit Score$406$261

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

Mercury Shelter
6,000 Annual Miles$295$203
12,000 Annual Miles$295$214

Did you know that the amount of time you spend in your car have a pretty big impact on your monthly premiums? That's because the fewer miles you put on your vehicle, the less likely you are to be in an accident and file an insurance claim.

As you can see in the table above, annual mileage doesn't have much of an impact on how much Mercury charges. However, there's a small difference in monthly rates for Shelter, with policyholders who drive the least paying around $11 less every month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles annually. Still, for drivers in both categories, Shelter is the more affordable carrier.

Mercury or 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 large impact as well. Generally, drivers who live in less densely populated rural areas will pay quite a bit less than urban policyholders because of the small number of cars that are on the roads where they live.

Mercury Shelter
Urban Areas$401$235
Suburban Areas$275$187
Rural Areas$209$203

When comparing these two companies side-by-side, Shelter typically comes out as the most affordable 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 prices are about 41% less than Mercury Insurance. People who live in suburban areas pay around 32% less with Shelter compared to Mercury. Those in rural areas can expect to save about 3% with Shelter compared to Mercury.

Mercury 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, and the best way to do that is by taking advantage of as many car insurance discounts as possible.

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

Luckily, we did the hard work for you and looked at all of the different discounts Mercury and Shelter offer their customers so that you can see which company offers the most discounts and see which ones you might be able to take advantage of.

Mercury Shelter
ABS Discount 
Advance Quote Discount
Anti-Theft Discount
Continuous Insurance Discount 
Covid-19 Relief Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount 
Driver Training Discount 
DRL Discount 
E-Signature Discount 
Electric Vehicle Discount 
Employee Discount 
Good Driving Discount
Good Payer Discount 
Good Student Discount
Group Discount 
Homeowner Discount 
Mature Driver Discount 
Minor Child Discount 
Mobile Home Policy Discount 

Mercury knocks Shelter out of the park when it comes to the sheer number of discounts available, offering 27 different discounts to Shelter's 10.

Both carriers offer quite a few of the same discounts -- like advance quote discounts, discounts for being a defensive driver, discounts for being a good student, and paid in full discounts -- but Mercury also offers discounts for ABS, continuous insurance, COVID-19 relief, 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 Mercury or Shelter Best for You?

You've seen the role certain variables have on your auto insurance and the different discounts companies offer. That's all well and good, but when it comes down to it, which insurance carrier is the best fit for you?

Shelter might be best for you if....

  • You've been pulled over for speeding recently.
  • You live in an suburban area.
  • You're of retirement age and want to take advantage of lower premiums.

Mercury might be best for you if...

  • You're looking for discounts -- Mercury has the most.

Hopefully, this guide has ben a valuable resource as you compare Mercury and Shelter and that it aids in making a more informed 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 carriers, not just Mercury and Shelter. Luckily, sites like make it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your ZIP code below and get free quotes from dozens of top insurance companies in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Mercury vs. Shelter FAQs

Is Mercury or Shelter cheaper?

Shelter is the cheaper of the two carriers when looking at national average rates, with policies averaging $208 per month with Shelter and $295 for Mercury. Even so, that doesn't mean Shelter will be the lowest company for each driver, since there are a bunch of different factors (things like age, gender, driving record, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, Mercury or Shelter?

Sadly, the only answer we can give you is "it depends.". No one carrier is "better" for every policyholder -- it all depends on the makeup of your unique auto insurance profile.

Why do Mercury and Shelter offer me different rates?

Car insurance companies use lots of different variables when calculating the prices they charge. Things such as age, gender, your driving record, where you live, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be taken into consideration. Both Mercury and Shelter calculate rates differently, so it's likely they'll offer different premiums. The best way to determine which company is the cheapest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from multiple different carriers.

How do I know if Mercury 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, does all the hard work for you. Just enter your ZIP code and you'll get quotes from dozens of your local top car insurance carriers for free. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the best price. And maybe you'll find that the best company for you isn't Mercury 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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