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

Looking for car insurance and wondering if Shelter or The General is the right company for you? If so, you're probably wondering which carrier has the lowest prices or the biggest discounts. Luckily, we've done the heavy lifting for you and compared the two companies to help you find the best deal on your next car insurance policy.
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Quick Facts

  • In general, Shelter offers more affordable premiums than The General
  • Shelter offers cheaper average rates for drivers who have an at-fault accident on their record
  • The General tends to be a much less expensive option for drivers with a DUI charge on their record

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

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

You might have narrowed it down to Shelter or The General for your next policy, but which carrier will offer you cheaper premiums?

Shelter The General

Looking at nationwide averages, The General is about $33 more per month than Shelter.

However, that doesn't mean Shelter will necessarily be more affordable than The General for every driver. After all, auto insurance companies can offer drastically different rates to each driver depending on rating factors like your age, your credit score, where you call home, or even your driving record (among other things), so rates could vary drastically from person to person.

Luckily, we've broken down average prices from both Shelter and The General by a range of different rate factors, so read on to find out which company is the best for you.

Shelter or The General: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Shelter The General

Shelter and The General 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 over 70% more affordable than insurance premiums at The General.

There's a lot more that goes into your auto insurance bill than just the state you live in. Continue reading to learn more about how other factors will affect your rates.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Shelter The General
18-year-old drivers$444$446
25-year-old drivers$197$244

You might already know that teen drivers usually pay a lot more for car insurance than any group out there on the road. 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 rates, 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 auto insurance pay $2 less than those who use The General.

Even so, both carriers will decrease prices by the time you turn 25. For example, average premiums for Shelter policyholders reduce more than 55% and The General's rates lower over 45% over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Shelter The General
65+-year-old drivers$141$195

Drivers around retirement age generally enjoy some of the cheapest car insurance premiums you'll ever see. After all, they've likely been driving for quite some time, which normally lowers their chances of accidents and other infractions that can increase prices.

So, which carrier offers the best premiums to retired drivers? Shelter gets the edge here, with average rates coming in at around $141 a month compared to The General's $195.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Shelter The General

Did you know that insurance prices are typically more expensive for single drivers than they are for married drivers? This usually boils down to married policyholders having more than one car on their policy -- something several car insurance companies will reward with discounts.

When it comes to relationship status, Shelter is the clear winner for single policyholders, with rates about $35 a month less expensive than The General, on average. The advantage for married couples with Shelter is also obvious, where drivers save around $30 per month.

Shelter vs. The General: Average Rates by Gender

Shelter The General

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

On average, men see premiums more than 10% a month higher with Shelter, and over 10% with The General.

When it comes to the most affordable prices for each gender, Shelter comes out as the cheapest option for both genders, with average premiums $36 less for men and $29 cheaper for women.

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Shelter or The General: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Shelter The General
State Minimum*$129$154
Full Coverage**$288$329

*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 auto insurance can be a complicated subject for most people. There are a bunch of different coverages that account for several different things. Some protect you and your vehicle, while others only provide coverage for other people's property and health if you cause a collision.

The two most common policies that many drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability only (which covers the other party's property damage and injuries if you cause an accident) and full coverage (which includes comprehensive and collision coverages that protect your own vehicle, in addition to what you get with liability).

If you're looking for state minimum liability insurance, Shelter usually offers cheaper prices of $129 compared to The General's $154. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, Shelter again has the edge, with policies about $40 per month more affordable than The General, on average.

Is Shelter or The General Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

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

Tickets and collisions will most likely raise your premiums, but is Shelter or The General cheaper for drivers with less-than-perfect records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Shelter The General
Clean Record$142$192
1 Speeding Ticket$181$240

Shelter policyholders can expect their rates to go up an average of $39 a month if they get a ticket, while The General typically raises prices around $48 per month, on average.

But Shelter tends to offer the best prices for both drivers who have a recent speeding ticket and those with clean records, offering premiums that are $50 and $59 less expensive, respectively, compared to The General.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Shelter The General
Clean Record$142$192
1 At-Fault Accident$234$279

Both companies will raise rates pretty significantly if you get into an at-fault collision with Shelter raising by over $90. The General has a less extreme increase, but you can still expect to pay more than $85 more than you were prior to your first accident.

Overall, the more affordable prices come from Shelter, with monthly rates averaging $234 compared to The General's $279.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Shelter The General
Clean Record$142$192
1 DUI$277$254

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. For example, Shelter increases average prices 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 premiums, The General tends to be the much cheaper option with average prices of $254 per month compared to $277 from Shelter.

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How does Credit Score Impact Shelter and The General Rates?

Did you know that many insurance carriers take your credit score into account when calculating rates? This isn't always the case (for example, California and Massachusetts are two states that ban the practice entirely), but it does affect quite a few drivers out there.

Auto insurance companies argue that someone with bad credit is less likely to pay their bills on time, which makes them riskier to insure. Because of that, policyholders with bad credit will often be forced to pay more.

Looking at Shelter and The General specifically, which company has the lowest premiums for drivers at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Shelter The General
Excellent Credit Score$164$176
Good Credit Score$187$217

If you have solid credit, you'll usually find a better deal with Shelter. Policyholders with "excellent" credit can save 7% compared to The General, and those with "good" scores can also expect to see savings -- about $30 or 14% less expensive every month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Shelter The General
Fair Credit Score$221$246
Poor Credit Score$261$325

Shelter typically offers lower prices than The General when it comes to drivers with bad credit. Drivers with "fair" credit pay around $25 per month less with Shelter compared to The General, and those with "poor" scores generally save an average of about $64 monthly.

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

Shelter The General
6,000 Annual Miles$203$241
12,000 Annual Miles$214$241

The amount of time you spend behind the wheel of your car plays a big role in your monthly premiums. That's because the fewer miles you put on your car, the less likely you are to get into an accident and cause an insurance claim.

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

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

Where your home is can have a substantial impact on your monthly car insurance payment. Usually, drivers who live in less densely populated rural areas will pay quite a bit less than urban policyholders because there are a lot fewer vehicles on the roads in those areas.

Shelter The General
Urban Areas$235$310
Suburban Areas$187$225
Rural Areas$203$189

Shelter boasts the lowest average rates in urban and suburban areas, while The General wins in rural areas.

If you live in a rural area, you can expect to save about 7% with The General compared to Shelter. Drivers in suburban ZIP codes pay around 17% less with Shelter compared to The General. In urban areas, Shelter Insurance's average prices are about 24% less than The General.

Shelter vs. The General Discounts

Regardless of why you might be in the market for a new auto insurance policy, you're always going to want to save as much money as possible, and the best way to do that is by utilizing as many insurance discounts as you can.

But with what seems like a million different discounts out there, it can be hard to nail down the carrier that has the most discounts for your unique driver profile and to find all the discounts you're eligible for.

In the section below, we've taken a look at all of the different discounts Shelter and The General offer their customers so that you can see which one offers the most discounts and see which ones you might be able to take advantage of.

Shelter The General
Advance Quote Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Driver Training Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount 
Group Discount 
Homeowner Discount 
Liability Only Discount 
Multi-Car Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount 
Paid In Full Discount
Passive Restraint Discount 
Star Level Discount 

Looking at the total number of discounts, Shelter has the advantage when it comes to total number of discounts. The General offers a grand total of six discounts, while Shelter has 10.

There are a couple discounts both carriers offer, but Shelter also offers advance quote discounts, anti-theft discounts, driver training discounts, and more that The General does not.

On the flip side, The General has a couple unique discounts of its own -- group discounts, discounts for being a homeowner, liability only discounts, and more.

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Final Thoughts: Is Shelter or The General Best for You?

So, you've seen how different variables can affect your auto insurance rates. We've shown you all the discounts each company offers, too. That's all well and good, but when it comes down to it, is Shelter or The General 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 climb.
  • You've started working from home and don't have much of a commute.

The General might be best for you if...

  • You have a DUI charge on your record.
  • You live in a rural area.

We hope this guide helps you get a good idea of the differences between Shelter and The General. 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 sure-fire way to make sure you're getting the best deal on your insurance policy is to compare quotes from several companies, not just Shelter and The General. Luckily, sites like make it easy for you to do just that. Simply enter your ZIP codes below and get multiple free quotes from some of the best car insurance carriers in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Shelter vs. The General FAQs

Is Shelter or The General cheaper?

Looking just at the national average premiums, Shelter is the less expensive of the two companies, offering average rates of $208 a month compared to $241 for The General. That being said, Shelter won't necessarily be the most affordable carrier for each driver, since there are lots of different factors that are considered when it comes to your auto insurance cost.

Who is better, Shelter or The General?

Unfortunately, the only answer we can give you is "it depends.". One company is not necessarily "better" for everyone -- it all depends on what your unique insurance profile looks like. For example, The General offers more affordable rates for drivers with a recent DUI, while Shelter is less expensive for drivers with excellent credit.

Why do Shelter and The General offer me different rates?

Auto insurance carriers take a look at a lot of different variables when determining the prices they charge drivers. Factors like gender, where you park your car, age, your driving record, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be used. Both Shelter and The General calculate premiums differently, so each one will most likely offer different rates. The only real way to see which carrier is the cheapest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a variety of different companies.

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

The only way to find the insurance company that's right for you is by getting quotes from a handful of carriers and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, does all the hard work for you. Just enter your information once and you'll get free quotes from dozens of the best car insurance companies in your area. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the lowest rate. And who knows, the best carrier for you might not be Shelter or The General 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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