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

Want to know if Safe Auto or Shelter is the better choice for auto insurance? You're probably wondering which company offers the best premiums or the most discounts. Check out our latest guide below to find out which of these two companies is the best for you.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • In general, Shelter offers slightly more affordable rates than Safe Auto
  • Safe Auto offers less expensive average prices for residents of rural areas
  • Shelter tends to be a much cheaper option for drivers who have received a ticket within the last few years

Safe Auto 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 big discounts. But exactly how much can you save by switching?

You might have narrowed your search down to Safe Auto or Shelter, but between the two, which company will offer you more affordable rates?

Safe Auto Shelter

As you can see, Shelter is about $15 per month less expensive than Safe Auto when looking at the national average rates for car insurance.

But that doesn't mean Shelter will necessarily be more affordable than Safe Auto for each driver. Insurance companies vary their premiums depending on things like how old you are, how good your credit score is, where you live, how clean your driving record is, and a ton of other factors, so prices could differ drastically from person to person.

So, if you want to find out which of Safe Auto 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.

Safe Auto or Shelter: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Safe Auto Shelter

Safe Auto and Shelter compete against each other in five states, with Safe Auto offering less expensive premiums to the average driver in all of them. Missouri has the most noticable difference, where Shelter prices are over 40% cheaper than car insurance rates at Safe Auto.

There's a lot more that goes into your insurance cost than just where you call home. Read on to find out more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Safe Auto Shelter
18-year-old drivers$443$444
25-year-old drivers$211$197

Teen drivers will almost always have the most expensive auto insurance premiums of any group on the road. It's typically 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.

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 Safe Auto for their car insurance pay $1 less than those who use Shelter.

That being said, both carriers will reduce premiums once you turn 25. For example, average prices for Safe Auto policyholders drop more than 50% and Shelter's rates decrease over 55% over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Safe Auto Shelter
65+-year-old drivers$179$141

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

But who has the best rates for retired drivers between Safe Auto and Shelter? Shelter gets the edge, with prices for drivers 65 and older $38 more affordable than the national average for Safe Auto.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Safe Auto Shelter

You may not be aware, but insurance rates tend to be cheaper for married drivers than they are for single drivers. That's because policies for married couples generally cover multiple cars, which a lot of companies will offer you a discount for.

If you're in the market for car insurance, Shelter tends to have the lowest average prices regardless of if you're married or single, with prices around 6% less expensive for single policyholders and nearly 10% cheaper for married policyholders.

Safe Auto vs. Shelter: Average Rates by Gender

Safe Auto Shelter

Men are statistically more likely than women to get into accidents and file an insurance claim, which means they'll usually end up paying more for insurance than women.

On average, men see premiums about 7% a month higher with Safe Auto, and more than 10% with Shelter.

When it comes to the most affordable rates for each gender, Shelter comes out on top for both men and women. On average, women save about $18 per month and men save around $10 with Shelter compared to the average Safe Auto policyholder.

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Safe Auto or Shelter: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Safe Auto Shelter
State Minimum*$126$129
Full Coverage**$320$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 a range of different coverages that account for a bunch of different things. Some protect you and your vehicle, while others only provide coverage for other people's property and health if you cause an accident.

Even so, most policies end up falling into two different types of coverage -- liability only (which provides property damage and bodily injury coverage for other drivers if you cause a collision) and full coverage (which includes comprehensive and collision coverages that protect your own vehicle, in addition to liability coverage).

In this case, Safe Auto offers the lowest average premiums for state minimum limits for liability insurance, while Shelter has the edge for full coverage policies with similar coverage limits. Drivers looking for basic state minimum coverage can save around $3 with Safe Auto, while full coverage comes out to be about $30 less expensive with Shelter Insurance.

Is Safe Auto 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.

You'll probably end up paying more with collisions and tickets on your record, but which of these two carriers offers the most affordable prices to drivers with spotty records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Safe Auto Shelter
Clean Record$180$142
1 Speeding Ticket$220$181

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

However, Shelter is usually the more affordable option for both drivers who have clean records and those with a recent speeding ticket -- their rates are around 21% cheaper for drivers with clean records and 18% more affordable for those with a ticket.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Safe Auto Shelter
Clean Record$180$142
1 At-Fault Accident$246$234

After an accident, drivers who have their car insurance through Safe Auto can expect to see about an $66 -- or around 27% -- increase in their auto insurance premiums. Drivers who use Shelter for their car insurance will see a monthly bill about $92 (or 39%) more expensive after reporting an accident to their insurance company.

Overall, the less expensive prices come from Shelter, with monthly rates averaging $234 compared to Safe Auto's $246.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Safe Auto Shelter
Clean Record$180$142
1 DUI$245$277

If you get a DUI charge, you can expect some pretty significant increases in your monthly auto insurance bill -- normally a lot more than a collision or ticket. For example, Shelter increases average premiums by just under $150 a month -- that's just under a 50% increase.

If you have a DUI on your record and are looking for more affordable rates, Safe Auto tends to be the much cheaper option with average prices of $245 a month compared to $277 from Shelter.

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How does Credit Score Impact Safe Auto and Shelter Rates?

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

The reasoning insurance companies use is that drivers with bad credit will be less likely to pay their bills on time; so typically, they'll be asked to pay more, while those with good credit will be rewarded with less expensive premiums.

So, which carrier offers the best prices for policyholders with poor, average, or good credit?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Safe Auto Shelter
Excellent Credit Score$187$164
Good Credit Score$222$187

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Safe Auto Shelter
Fair Credit Score$230$221
Poor Credit Score$252$261

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

Safe Auto Shelter
6,000 Annual Miles$223$203
12,000 Annual Miles$223$214

How much you drive can have a substantial impact on your monthly premiums. Generally, those who drive fewer miles will end up with more affordable rates 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 Safe Auto charges. However, there's a small difference in monthly premiums for Shelter, with drivers who put 6,000 miles on their car annually paying around $11 less each month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles yearly. Still, Shelter is the less expensive option for drivers in both categories.

Safe Auto 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 auto insurance, but the type of area you live in can have a considerable impact as well. Normally, drivers who live in heavily-populated urban areas will pay quite a bit more than rural policyholders because there are a lot more vehicles on the road in those areas, which increases the chances of an accident.

Safe Auto Shelter
Urban Areas$271$235
Suburban Areas$200$187
Rural Areas$197$203

Shelter typically comes out as the cheaper option for drivers in urban and suburban areas, while Safe Auto wins in rural areas.

If you live in a rural area, you can expect to save about 3% with Safe Auto compared to Shelter. Drivers in suburban ZIP codes pay around 7% less with Shelter compared to Safe Auto. In urban areas, Shelter Insurance's average rates are about 13% less than Safe Auto.

Safe Auto vs. Shelter Discounts

You want to save as much money as possible, right? The best way to do that is by utilizing as many car insurance discounts as you can.

The difficult part is finding all of the discounts you're eligible for, since it can feel sometimes like every company has different discounts and each one is advertised differently.

Below, we've broken down all of the different discounts offered by both Safe Auto and Shelter so that you can see which one offers the most discounts and see which ones you might be able to take advantage of.

Safe Auto Shelter
Advance Quote Discount 
Agency Transfer Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Claim Free Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Driver Training Discount
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount 
Homeowner Discount 
Military Discount 
Multi-Car Discount
Multi-Policy Discount 
Non-Owner Discount 
Occupation Discount 
Paid In Full Discount
Passive Restraint Discount
Renewal Discount 
Vin Etching Discount 

Looking at the total number of discounts, Safe Auto comes out ahead with 14 discounts to Shelter's 10.

There are a couple discounts both carriers offer, but Safe Auto also offers agency transfer discounts, claim free discounts, homeowner discounts, and more that Shelter does not.

On the flip side, Shelter has a couple unique discounts of its own -- advance quote discounts, discounts for being a good driver, discounts for being a good student, and more.

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Final Thoughts: Is Safe Auto or Shelter Best for You?

So, you've seen how different factors can affect your auto insurance prices. We've shown you all the discounts each carrier offers, too. That's all well and good, but when it comes down to it, which insurance company is the best company for you and your specific profile and needs?

Shelter might be best for you if....

  • You're single and purchasing car insurance by yourself.
  • Your neighborhood is in a city.
  • You and your spouse are buying insurance together.

Safe Auto might be best for you if...

  • You have a DUI charge on your record.
  • You want basic car insurance coverage at the state minimum limits.
  • You're buying auto insurance for a teen and looking for a wallet-friendly option.

We hope this guide helps you get a better idea of the difference between Safe Auto 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 best way to make sure you're getting the best deal on your car insurance policy is to compare quotes from a handful of companies, not just Safe Auto and Shelter. Luckily, does all the hard work for you. Simply enter your ZIP codes below and get free quotes from dozens of top auto insurance carriers in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Safe Auto vs. Shelter FAQs

Is Safe Auto or Shelter cheaper?

Looking just at the national average rates, Shelter is the more affordable of the two companies, offering average rates of $208 per month compared to $223 for Safe Auto. Even so, Shelter won't necessarily be the cheapest carrier for every driver, since there are lots of different variables that are considered when it comes to your insurance bill.

Who is better, Safe Auto or Shelter?

Unfortunately, the only answer we can give you is "it depends.". One company is not necessarily "better" for each driver -- it all boils down to your unique car insurance profile. For example, Shelter offers cheaper premiums for drivers with an at-fault accident on their record, while Safe Auto is less expensive for drivers who have less-than-stellar credit scores.

Why do Safe Auto and Shelter offer me different rates?

Auto insurance carriers take a look at many different factors when calculating the prices they charge policyholders. Variables like where you call home, where you park your car, age, gender, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all come into play. Both Safe Auto and Shelter calculate rates differently, 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 several different companies.

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

The only way to find the insurance company that's right for you is by getting quotes from several carriers and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, sites like do all the hard work for you. Just enter your information once 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 cheapest rate. And who knows, the best carrier for you might not be Safe Auto 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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