Shelter Insurance is a mutual insurance company that was founded in 1946 and operates out of Columbia, Missouri. This highly-rated, award-winning insurance company offers a wealth of insurance products across the states of Colorado, Iowa, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Louisiana.
In this Shelter Insurance review, we’ll look at insurance policies, coverage options, customer satisfaction, liability cover, and more, before seeing how Shelter compares to other leading insurance companies.
Shelter Car Insurance Coverage Options
Shelter is a leading auto insurance company in Missouri and other serviced states. It isn’t always the cheapest (more on that below) but it does provide a wealth of coverage options, including:
Liability coverage is the most basic, bare-bones insurance type and one that is required in most states. Liability insurance covers bodily insurance (per person and per accident) and property damage. It essentially covers you for the damage you do to another driver and their property during a car accident.
An optional form of auto insurance that covers you for damage done to your own vehicle, regardless of who was at fault. If you have collision coverage on your auto policy, you will get a payout when you hit a guardrail, wall, tree or building.
However, it’s one of the most expensive add-ons and a lot of the damage you do to your own vehicle may not be severe enough to warrant paying the deductible.
With comprehensive coverage, you will be covered for many of the things that collision insurance doesn’t cover. For instance, it provides protection against vandalism and damage from extreme weather events. It also covers you in the event of an animal collision, which is surprisingly not covered by collision insurance.
Personal Injury Protection
With PIP insurance, you will be covered for some of the personal losses you incur due to an injury sustained in a car accident. For instance, if you’re hit by another driver and suffer severe injuries that cause you to miss work, PIP will pay for the money you lose. It will also cover the money needed to cover traveling for doctor and hospital appointments, as well as childcare costs.
By adding medical payments cover onto your policy you will be protected against hefty medical bills resulting from a car accident. This option is required in just a few states but the coverage limits are often set very low.
Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorists are a growing problem on America’s roads. If you’re hit by one of these drivers and don’t have collision insurance, you could be left severely out of pocket. But not if you have underinsured/uninsured motorist insurance.
This coverage option will protect you against bodily injury and property damage resulting from an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Shelter car insurance policies offer optional roadside assistance cover, which gives you up to $100 per claim and covers you for expenses accrued when you are stranded by the roadside.
Roadside assistance is an emergency service designed to help you get back on the road or to tow your car to a nearby garage. It includes everything from lost key replacement to fuel delivery and tire changes.
Rental Car Reimbursement
If your car is stolen or damaged so badly that it needs to spend several days or weeks in a repair shop, rental car reimbursement can help you to stay on the road. It will cover you for the money you spend on rental cars, which means you won’t miss a single important car journey.
Your coverage will be limited to a specific time period and you will not be covered for rentals that extend beyond this period.
A form of life insurance that covers you for accidental deaths, such as car accidents. If you die in an accident, for example, your spouse or family members will receive a payout. There are many more restrictions than you get with term life insurance policies, but the premiums are also much lower.
Disability Income Coverage
PIP can cover you if you suffer serious bodily injuries and miss work as a result, but what happens if you’re forced to miss up to a year of work? That’s where Disability Income Coverage comes in. With Shelter, you will be paid a sum of money every week for up to a year.
If you bought your car on finance and wreck it soon after, the insurance payout may not be enough to cover the losses due to the interest payments and the rapid deprecation that new cars experience. With GAP insurance, you will be covered for that extra amount. As a result, this type of car insurance is often required by auto loan companies.
New Car Replacement
If you have a car that is less than a year old and has fewer than 15,000 miles on the clock, you can apply for the new car replacement program, which gives you a like-for-like replacement. This is an essential addition for anyone driving an expensive new vehicle as the losses could be catastrophic without it.
Other Shelter Insurance Options
Shelter offers multiple additional insurance options, many of which can be bought along with your car insurance, allowing you to save money with a multi-policy discount.
As with Shelter car insurance, we recommend comparing rates to other insurance companies, making sure you’re getting the best coverage for the lowest rates. There are a huge number of insurance companies in the United States offering the same coverage options found at Shelter, and many of them are cheaper:
A homeowners policy from Shelter will protect your property and everything in it. You can get cover for the dwelling, personal property, medical payments, personal liability, living expenses, and more.
Shelter also offers additional coverage options pertaining to electronics, sewer damage, earthquake damage, loss of farming equipment, and more.
If you rent your home, you won’t need property insurance, but you still need to protect your personal property and that’s where renter’s insurance comes. If your flat/house is burgled and you lose expensive items, including heirlooms, jewelry, artwork, and electronics, you will be covered.
With a minimum liability of $1 million, umbrella insurance will step in and provide cover above and beyond what you are offered elsewhere. If you have a lot of personal assets and are worried about being sued above what your liability insurance can pay, this is the policy for you.
A business insurance policy from Shelter will protect your business against property loss, equipment damage, liability claims, and more. This is essential for all businesses and at Shelter you can choose a range of customization options to make sure the policy is perfectly suited to your needs.
Your home insurance policy doesn’t cover you for flood damage and this is true whether you’re with Shelter or not. However, you can add flood insurance to your Shelter insurance policy, with the rates dependent on where you live and how common floods are in your area.
In addition to accidental death cover, Shelter also has term life and whole life insurance policies. These provide payouts to your loved ones in the event of your death.
Your age, activity, medical history, and health will dictate the size of your insurance premiums and your death benefit.
Shelter Car Insurance Cost
We ran some car insurance quotes and found that Shelter was consistently more expensive than providers like GEICO, Allstate, State Farm, and Progressive. In fact, when comparing quotes for young drivers, Shelter car insurance premiums were more than double those offered by GEICO and were also substantially higher than other major carriers.
In many states, including Kentucky and Louisiana, Shelter ranked as one of the most expensive providers. The rates were a little more promising in Missouri, but you’ll probably still get better offers elsewhere.
Regardless of what you think about Shelter Insurance and whether or not you have had good experiences with them in the past, we recommend getting quotes from other providers first.
Of course, it isn’t all about price, but it takes some incredibly impressive customer support and benefits for a $3,000 policy to take precedent over one that costs $1,500 or less, and we’re not convinced Shelter has that level of support or those benefits.
Bottom Line: Shelter Insurance Review
Shelter is a dedicated, capable, and financially strong insurance provider that offers extensive coverage for both drivers and homeowners. It has good reviews from policyholders, has high ratings from AM Best, JD Power and the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and there are very few complaints when compared to other providers.
Shelter serves a number of states and if you reside in one of these, it’s worth getting a quote. Just don’t forget to check other providers and don’t assume Shelter will offer the best rates. In our experience, it’s more likely to be one of the most expensive providers in your state, but you won’t know until you check.
Visit www.ShelterInsurance.com to learn more and to discuss an auto policy and/or home insurance policy with one of their representatives.
Shelter Insurance Review: Car, Home, and More is a post from Pocket Your Dollars.
A lapse in coverage increases your risk and your rates. It may be harder to find suitable and affordableÂ car insuranceÂ and may mean that you need to make some sacrifices in order to keep thoseÂ insurance premiumsÂ at an affordable level. But it’s not a complete disaster and is far from the worst thing you can have on your record.
What is a Gap in Coverage?
A lapse or gap in coverage is a period in which you were not insured. You owned a car during this period but you didn’t meet the state minimum insurance requirements.
In some cases, a gap in coverage can be the result of negligence on your part. You may have allowed yourÂ insurance policyÂ to lapse without purchasing a new one or it may have been canceled because you failed to meet your payment obligations.
A lapse inÂ autoÂ insuranceÂ coverageÂ can also occur when you are deployed, sent to prison or because you simply didn’t drive during that period.Â
If you fall into the first group, your insurer will notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), telling them that yourÂ carÂ insuranceÂ policyÂ has lapsed and you are no longer insured. This will expose you to fines and a host of other problems (see our guide on the penalties imposed on uninsured drivers).
As for members of the military, they can suspend theirÂ carÂ insuranceÂ coverageÂ when they are on active duty, thus avoiding anyÂ rate increasesÂ and other problems. The same applies to students studying abroad, although in their case, they will need to contact their DMV first.
What Happens Following aÂ Car InsuranceÂ Lapse?
Many states require you to have continuous insurance, which means yourÂ autoÂ insuranceÂ policyÂ has not lapsed for anyÂ period of time. As soon as it lapses, your license and registration may be revoked, and you will need to pay a fee to have these reinstated. These fees, as they apply in each state, are listed below, but it’s worth noting that you may also be hit with additional court fees and fines if you are found to beÂ driving without insurance:
- Alabama: Insurance Lapse Fee = $200 (first offense); $400 (second offense)
- Alaska: Insurance Lapse Fee = $100
- Arizona: Insurance Lapse Fee = $50
- Arkansas: Insurance Lapse Fee = $50
- California: Insurance Lapse Fee = $14
- Colorado: Insurance Lapse Fee = $40
- Connecticut: Insurance Lapse Fee = $200
- Delaware: Insurance Lapse Fee = $100 + $5 a day
- D.C.: Insurance Lapse Fee = $150 + $7 a day
- Florida: Insurance Lapse Fee = $150 (first offense); $250 (second offense); $500 (third offense)
- Georgia: Insurance Lapse Fee = $25
- Hawaii: Insurance Lapse Fee = $20+
- Idaho: Insurance Lapse Fee = $85
- Illinois: Insurance Lapse Fee = $100
- Indiana: Insurance Lapse Fee = $150 (first offense); $225 (second offense); $300 (third offense)
- Iowa: Insurance Lapse Fee = N/A
- Kansas: Insurance Lapse Fee = $100 (first offense); $300 (second offense)
- Kentucky: Insurance Lapse Fee = $40
- Louisiana: Insurance Lapse Fee = $125 to $525 (depending on length of gap)
- Maine: Insurance Lapse Fee = Up to $115
- Maryland: Insurance Lapse Fee = $150 + $7 per day
- Massachusetts: Insurance Lapse Fee = $500
- Michigan: Insurance Lapse Fee = $75
- Minnesota: Insurance Lapse Fee = $30
- Mississippi: Insurance Lapse Fee = $30
- Missouri: Insurance Lapse Fee = $20 (first offense); $200 (second offense); $400 (third offense)
- Montana: Insurance Lapse Fee = N/A
- Nebraska: Insurance Lapse Fee = $500
- Nevada: Insurance Lapse Fee = $251 to $1,000 (depending on length of gap)
- New Hampshire: Insurance Lapse Fee = N/A
- New Jersey: Insurance Lapse Fee = $100
- New Mexico: Insurance Lapse Fee = $30
- New York: Insurance Lapse Fee = $8 to $12 per day
- North Carolina: Insurance Lapse Fee = $50 (first offense); $100 (second offense); $150 (third offense)
- North Dakota: Insurance Lapse Fee = N/A
- Ohio: Insurance Lapse Fee = $160 (first offense); $360 (second offense); $660 (third offense)
- Oklahoma: Insurance Lapse Fee = $400
- Oregon: Insurance Lapse Fee = $75
- Pennsylvania: Insurance Lapse Fee = $88
- Rhode Island: Insurance Lapse Fee = $30 to $50
- South Carolina: Insurance Lapse Fee = $550 + $5 per day
- South Dakota: Insurance Lapse Fee = $78 to $228
- Tennessee: Insurance Lapse Fee = $115
- Texas: Insurance Lapse Fee = $100
- Utah: Insurance Lapse Fee = $100
- Vermont: Insurance Lapse Fee = $71
- Virginia: Insurance Lapse Fee = $145
- Washington: Insurance Lapse Fee = $75
- West Virginia: Insurance Lapse Fee = $100
- Wisconsin: Insurance Lapse Fee = $60
- Wyoming: Insurance Lapse Fee = $50
Will MyÂ CarÂ InsuranceÂ RatesÂ Increase Following a Gap in Coverage?
In addition to the fines mentioned above, you can expect yourÂ autoÂ insuranceÂ quotesÂ to be a little higher than before, although this all depends on how long the gap in coverage was.
If it was less than 4 weeks, theÂ rate increaseÂ may amount to a few extra dollars a month. If it was longer than 4 weeks, you could find yourself paying 20% to 50% more, depending on your chosenÂ carÂ insuranceÂ company.Â
The exact rate of increase will depend on the state,Â high-riskÂ status,Â driving record,Â car insuranceÂ discounts, and age of the driver. Insurance is all about measuring risk and probable claims, and anÂ insurance companyÂ will look at everything fromÂ marital statusÂ toÂ DUIÂ convictions when measuring your risk and underwriting yourÂ new policy.
Bottom Line: Getting CheapÂ CarÂ InsuranceÂ QuotesÂ After a Lapse
In our research, we found that Progressive,Â Esurance,Â andÂ State FarmÂ offeredÂ lower ratesÂ thanÂ GEICO, even thoughÂ GEICOÂ typically tops the charts when it comes toÂ insurance costs. You should also get much lowerÂ autoÂ insuranceÂ ratesÂ with providers like USAA, providing you qualify.
To save even more, maintain a highÂ credit score, aim for thoseÂ good driverÂ discounts, and try to secureÂ bundlingÂ discounts, which are provided when you combine multiple different insurance products, such as homeowners insurance andÂ car insurance.
The car you drive is also key. AÂ new carÂ will generally lead to muchÂ higher ratesÂ than a car that is a few years old, as it will be more expensive to repair and replace.
However, a car that is a few decades old will cost more to insurance than one that is a few years old, as it may lack the safety features and anti-theft features needed to keep rates low.
How Gaps in Coverage Affect Auto Insurance Rates is a post from Pocket Your Dollars.