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

Want to know if Sentry or State Auto is the better choice for auto insurance? You're probably wondering which carrier offers the best rates 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, Sentry offers significantly cheaper premiums than State Auto
  • Sentry tends to be a much more affordable option for policyholders who are looking to purchase insurance with a spouse
  • State Auto may help you save more money -- they offer more discounts than Sentry Insurance

Sentry or State Auto: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

So, you're thinking about switching to a new insurance policy. After all, you've seen ads from all sorts of companies offering sizable savings. But exactly how much can you save by switching?

You might have narrowed your search down to Sentry or State Auto, but between the two, which carrier will offer you less expensive prices?

Sentry State Auto

Looking at the national average rates for both carriers, Sentry is around $64 a month more affordable than State Auto.

But that doesn't mean Sentry will necessarily be cheaper than State Auto for every driver. Insurance companies vary their rates depending on things like how good your credit score is, where you live, how clean your driving record is, how old you are, and tons of other factors, so premiums will vary quite a bit from person to person.

So, if you want to find out which of Sentry or State Auto is really the best for you, keep reading to see average prices for each company broken down by a bunch of different rate factors.

Sentry vs. State Auto: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Sentry State Auto

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

There's a lot more that goes into your car insurance payment than just your home state. Read on to find out more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Sentry State Auto
18-year-old drivers$397$733
25-year-old drivers$186$197

You might already know that teen drivers typically pay a lot more for insurance than any group on the road. It's generally because teen drivers are statistically much more likely to cause collisions and other accidents that will result in an insurance claim.

Even so, that doesn't mean teen drivers can't still save money on their auto insurance. For example, 18-year-old drivers pay an average of almost 45% less per month by choosing Sentry over State Auto.

However, both carriers will reduce premiums once you turn 25. For example, average prices for Sentry policyholders drop nearly 55% and State Auto's rates lower almost 75% over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Sentry State Auto
65+-year-old drivers$148$167

Once you approach retirement age, you'll usually enjoy the cheapest insurance premiums out there. You've been on the road for years, and all that experience pays off when it comes to your monthly rates for car insurance.

So, which carrier offers the best prices to retired drivers? Sentry gets the edge, with rates for drivers 65 and older $19 less expensive than the national average for State Auto.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Sentry State Auto

Married drivers tend to get slightly cheaper auto insurance premiums than single drivers. That's normally because married couples tend to own and insure multiple vehicles, which can often earn you a discount.

For single policyholders, the difference in average prices between these two companies is significant, with Sentry premiums coming in at a third less than State Auto's. But for married policyholders, that advantage is much less clear - Sentry offers the lowest average prices.

Sentry or State Auto: Average Rates by Gender

Sentry State Auto

Men are statistically more likely than women to get into a collision or get pulled over for speeding, which means they'll typically end up paying more for car insurance than women.

On average, women see rates about $20 a month more affordable with Sentry, and around $24 less with State Auto.

Looking at overall affordability, Sentry comes out on top for both men and women, with average prices $66 less for men and $62 cheaper for women.

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Sentry vs. State Auto: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Sentry State Auto
State Minimum*$104$149
Full Coverage**$286$369

*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 insurance can be a complicated subject for most people. There are lots of different coverages that account for many 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.

That being said, most policies that drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability coverage (which provides property damage and bodily injury coverage for other drivers and passengers if you cause a collision) and full coverage (which generally refers to having collision and comprehensive coverages in addition to liability coverage).

Looking specifically at state minimum liability insurance, Sentry has the significant edge, with average monthly rates coming in at $104. If you want a full coverage policy with the same state minimum limits, Sentry again has the edge, with policies averaging about $286 per month to State Auto's $369.

Is Sentry or State Auto Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

You've probably seen plenty of commercials from car insurance carriers offering great premiums for good drivers, but that doesn't mean people with less-than-perfect driving records can't save money, too.

It's no secret secret that speeding tickets and collisions lead to higher prices, but which company -- Sentry or State Auto -- has the most affordable rates for drivers with spotty records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Sentry State Auto
Clean Record$178$170
1 Speeding Ticket$203$218

Policyholders who use Sentry for their auto insurance can usually expect their monthly bill to go up around 12% after getting a speeding ticket. State Auto policyholders can expect a bit more drastic of an increase of about 22%.

If you have gotten a ticket, Sentry tends to offer the best premiums at around 7% cheaper, while State Auto has the edge for drivers with a clean record.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Sentry State Auto
Clean Record$178$170
1 At-Fault Accident$221$269

After an accident, drivers who have their insurance through Sentry can expect to see about an $43 -- or around 19% -- rise in their auto insurance rates. Drivers who use State Auto for their insurance will see a monthly bill about $99 (or 37%) more expensive after reporting an accident to their car insurance carrier.

At the end of the day, drivers who use Sentry end up with the cheaper prices after an accident, with average prices coming in at $221 compared to State Auto Insurance's $269.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Sentry State Auto
Clean Record$178$170
1 DUI$178$380

If you get a DUI charge, you can expect some pretty significant increases in your monthly insurance bill -- normally a lot more than a collision or speeding ticket. For example, State Auto increases average premiums by more than $200 a month -- that's more than a 55% increase.

But if you end up with a DUI charge and are looking for more affordable rates, Sentry tends to be less expensive for the average driver, with monthly premiums coming in at around $178 to State Auto's $380.

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How does Credit Score Impact Sentry and State Auto Rates?

You may not realized it, but your credit score can come into play when companies determine your monthly bill. This isn't true for everyone (for example, California and Michigan are two states that ban the practice entirely), but it will come into play for several drivers.

The reasoning car insurance carriers use is that policyholders with good credit will be more likely to pay their bills on time; so they'll reward them with cheaper premiums, while those with poor credit will generally be forced to pay more.

So, which company offers the lowest prices for drivers with poor, average, or good credit?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Sentry State Auto
Excellent Credit Score$172$194
Good Credit Score$185$228

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Sentry State Auto
Fair Credit Score$198$262
Poor Credit Score$225$353

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

Sentry State Auto
6,000 Annual Miles$195$259
12,000 Annual Miles$195$259

How much you drive can have a large impact on your monthly rates. Usually, the more milage you put on your car each year, the more you can expect to pay for auto insurance.

In this case, neither Sentry or State Auto report increasing prices for drivers with higher annual mileage figures. That being said, Sentry comes out as the most affordable for drivers at both intervals, whether they put 6,000 or 12,000 miles on their vehicle every year, with average premiums of $195 per month for both.

Sentry or State Auto: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where you live can play a pretty big role in how much you pay for insurance. Typically, policyholders who live in heavily-populated urban areas will pay quite a bit more than rural drivers since there are a lot more cars on the road where they live, which increases the chances of an accident.

Sentry State Auto
Urban Areas$224$317
Suburban Areas$218$236
Rural Areas$143$225

When comparing these two companies side-by-side, Sentry normally comes out as the most affordable option for drivers in all types of areas, no matter if they're urban, suburban, or rural.

For policyholders in urban ZIP codes, Sentry Insurance's average premiums are about 29% less than State Auto Insurance. People who live in suburban areas pay around 8% less with Sentry compared to State Auto. Those in rural areas can expect to save about 36% with Sentry compared to State Auto.

Sentry vs. State Auto Discounts

You want to save as much money as you can, right? 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 difficult to find all the ones you can take advantage of.

Luckily, we did the hard work for you and broke down all of the different discounts offered by both Sentry and State Auto so that you can easily see which company offers the most discounts and see which ones you might be able to take advantage of.

Sentry State Auto
ABS Discount 
Advance Quote Discount
Advantage Program Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount 
Covid-19 Relief Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount 
Driver Training Discount 
Employee Discount 
Gold Plus Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount 
Homeowner Discount 
Mature Driver Discount 
Multi-Car Discount
Multi-Policy Discount 
Paid In Full Discount
Passive Restraint Discount 
State Auto StartUp Discount 

State Auto blows Sentry away when it comes to the sheer amount of discounts available, offering 18 different discounts to Sentry's five.

A couple of those are overlapping for things like advance quote discounts, discounts for insuring multiple cars with the same company, and paid in full discounts. State Auto also offers discounts for ABS, advantage program , anti-theft, and more.

On the other hand, Sentry has a proprietary discount of their own -- a homeowner discounts.

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Final Thoughts: Is Sentry or State Auto Best for You?

So, we've broken down the average prices for many of the variables auto insurance carriers look at, and walked through the different discounts each company offers, too. That's all well and good, but at the end of the day, which carrier is the right one for you and your specific profile and needs?

Sentry might be best for you if....

  • Your driving record includes a DUI charge.
  • You have above-average credit.
  • You don't spend much time in your car.

State Auto might be best for you if...

  • You haven't received any speeding tickets or been in an accident in the last few years.
  • You care about discounts (State Auto offers the most).

Hopefully, this guide has ben a valuable resource as you compare Sentry and State Auto. 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 insurance policy is to compare quotes from several companies, not just Sentry and State Auto. Luckily, sites like do all the hard work for you. Simply enter your ZIP codes below and get multiple quotes from some of the best auto insurance carriers in your area, all for free.

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Sentry vs. State Auto FAQs

Is Sentry or State Auto cheaper?

Sentry is the cheaper of the two companies when looking at national average rates, with policies averaging $195 a month with Sentry and $259 for State Auto. However, that doesn't mean Sentry will be the cheapest company for everyone, since there are several different factors (things like age, driving record, gender, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, Sentry or State Auto?

Sadly, the only answer we can give you is "it depends.". No one carrier is "better" for each policyholder -- it all boils down to your unique car insurance profile.

Why do Sentry and State Auto offer me different rates?

Auto insurance carriers use lots of different variables when determining the premiums they charge. Things like age, your driving record, where you call home, gender, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all come into play. Both Sentry and State Auto calculate prices using different factors, so it's likely they'll offer different premiums. The best way to determine which company is the lowest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a variety of different companies.

How do I know if Sentry or State Auto 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, makes it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your ZIP code and you'll get quotes from dozens of your local top car insurance companies for free. That way, you can guarantee you're getting the best rate. And maybe you'll find that the best company for you isn't Sentry or State Auto 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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