Shelter Insurance Review & Complaints: Auto, Home, Life & Business Insurance

Shelter Insurance writes auto, home, life, and business insurance policies with an A+ rating from both A.M. Best and the Better Business Bureau. Our Shelter Insurance review reveals that the company does not make it easy to find a Shelter Insurance quote online but will provide decent coverage to those looking for one-stop insurance shopping.

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

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Written by Eric Stauffer
Founder & Former Insurance Agent Eric Stauffer

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 1, 2022

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Shelter Insurance

Financial Strength

Missouri-born Shelter Insurance traces its roots back through a hundred-year old farmer’s association, while moving into the modern age with an updated name and approach. With a broad range of insurance products for both individuals and businesses, and an expansion that continues into more operating territories, Shelter is a growing force in the industry.

What is Shelter Insurance?

In 1946 the Missouri Farmer’s Association (now MFA Corporation), which traces its roots back to 1914, launched the MFA Mutual Insurance Company. The goal was to provide its members with access to the insurance they needed at premiums they could afford. The company grew quickly, and, in less than a decade, was the largest casualty insurer in the state.

Throughout the company’s history, it expanded its product offerings as well as operating territory, moving into several other states. In 1981, MFA Mutual Insurance split from MFA Corporation and rebranded, becoming Shelter Insurance Companies. The group today writes personal insurance including the following: auto insurance, home insurance, life insurance, farm insurance, and business insurance.

Shelter Insurance is available in 18 states and is sold through more than 1,300 agents.

Areas of operation include: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

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What insurance products are offered?

For customers in its operating area, each Shelter agent is a one-stop-shop for basic personal insurance needs and various other additional products, including a range of farm insurance products and business insurance.

Does the company sell auto insurance?

Shelter’s auto insurance program offers all the basics including liability, collision, and comprehensive, as well as common options such as roadside assistance and rental reimbursement.

They also offer more unusual personal auto policy options, such as:

  • Gap Coverage
  • Accidental Death
  • Disability Income
  • Loss of Use

Shelter’s discount list is quite long, offering common personal auto policy discounts such as safe driver and good student. The company also offers bundling discounts for both auto/home as well as for having a life insurance policy with Shelter, or even a military discount. Some discounts do vary by state.

Motorcycle Insurance

Shelter also offers motorcycle coverage, along with options similar to those available through their auto program. Additional coverage options that are specific to motorcycles include riding equipment and customization coverage.

Other Vehicles

Shelter offers specialty policies for a range of other types of vehicles such as RVs, boats, and ATVs. These policies are designed specifically for the needs of each type of specialty vehicle.

Does the company sell home insurance?

Shelter has a comprehensive home insurance program that will cover nearly any type of home with a variety of policy types.

The following home insurance policies are available:

  • Standard Homeowners – covering the structure, personal property, and liability
  • Dwelling Fire – a policy that offers structure and liability coverage but less for personal property; these policies are aimed at non owner-occupied homes or homes that don’t meet standard requirements
  • Mobile Home – which meets the specific needs of mobile home owners
  • Apartment Building – coverage designed for the owners of multi-unit apartment buildings with many tenants
  • Renter’s Insurance – which covers the personal property and liability risks of tenants, may be required by the rental company depending on where you live

In addition to these policies, Shelter offers high-value item policies that will cover valuables such as jewelry and other properly not covered under the contents portion of any homeowners policy.

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What about Shelter Life Insurance Company?

Shelter has both a term life policy and permanent life policy options, as well as a Junior Special policy. This allows parents to set up a life insurance policy and make life policy claims for a child to carry over into adulthood, at an affordable rate.

What about business insurance protection?

Shelter writes small business policies that include:

  • Business Owner’s package policies
  • Business Auto
  • Commercial Fire
  • General Liability

Can you get farm insurance?

With its roots in farm insurance, it is not surprising Shelter has a comprehensive list of farm insurance options, including:

  • Farm Owner’s Insurance
  • Farm Liability
  • Farm Property
  • Farm Equipment Coverage
  • Livestock Insurance

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What additional products are offered?

Rounding out Shelter’s offerings, a few additional products are available, such as umbrella insurance and flood insurance.

What are Shelter Insurance prices and premiums?

Shelter does offer an online quoting process. However, the system requires a great deal of personal information, which does not make for a fast or easy quoting experience. It also makes it difficult to obtain a sample quote. Since policies are sold through agents, this type of online quoting is generally intended to get the customer to an agent who can close the sale.

As an agent-driven insurance company, Shelter will have commissions as part of the cost of their products. That generally makes it hard to compete with direct-buy companies. Shelter does have a good list of discounts available for their auto insurance, which may help to bring rates down.

Shelter does not appear to have a high-risk or non-standard auto program, and their rates are likely to be competitive mainly for those who are low-risk, with good driving records, as well as those who plan to take out multiple policies.

What driver discounts does Shelter Insurance offer?

  • Safe driver discount: If you haven’t had an accident or violation within the last three years, you might be eligible for a discount.
  • Good student discount: Students who get good grades may qualify for a discount. Students must qualify for this discount by turning 19 and remaining unmarried and under 25. However, the discount can be renewed every year the student remains a full-time college student.
  • Safe driving course discount: If you’re the primary driver of a vehicle, and you take an accident prevention course, you may be eligible for a discount from Shelter. Remember that Shelter may require that the course be taken periodically to remain eligible for the discounts.

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How are claims handled?

Shelter offers online claims reporting for most of their products, with the exception of glass-only, life, and third-party claims. Their Shelter Customer Account Specialist allows claims to be reported both when logged into the customer portal and without signing in.

There is also a toll-free number through which claims can be reported for all policy types. Claims offices are located in each of the states. Shelter serves to handle claims more locally, allowing them to provide quality service to each policy owner if they need to file a claim.

The Shelter website does not offer much in the way of claims information, especially the claims process itself, but it is likely to be a standard procedure with an adjuster assigned, investigating, and determining benefits.

The website does offer more comprehensive information regarding storm and catastrophe claims, what to expect, and what to do in the event of a major natural disaster.

What do consumer research and complaints say?

Shelter Insurance has been an accredited company on the Better Business Bureau website since 2000. The website lists an A+ rating, with only one complaint listed in the last three years, This complaint has been closed within the last 12 months. For a company serving fourteen states with so many products, one complaint is really low.

There are 114 complaints against Shelter on, most of them revolving around claims that were denied or not covered as expected, lack of communication from representatives, and poor customer service. There are a number of complaints directed at agents, which does not necessarily reflect the company as a whole.

Overall, the number and type of complaints do not raise a major red flag. In addition to there not being many complaints, there are also no major issues known in terms of the company’s reputation.

What is the financial strength of the company?

Rating Company Grade Financial Outlook
AM Best A Stable
Fitch N/A N/A

According to AM Best, Shelter earned an A+ rating, which means it has a strong financial position. It also shows that the insurance company has enough funds to pay claims after a covered loss and has no risk of going bankrupt or closing down.

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What is the bottom line?

Shelter is a fast-growing company that offers a widerange of products likely to meet the needs of most people in search of one-stop insurance shopping. They are worth a look for those who live in one of the states they cover, given their long history, although they may not be the least expensive option for anyone who has tickets or accidents, or for those who do not qualify for many of the discounts. Shelter will most likely appeal to those who seek a regional insurer with a strong financial backbone and who want to insure multiple lines of business in one place.

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