Shelter Insurance Homeowner's Policy Review

Company Overview

Happy father and daughter on porch. Getty Images/Paul Bradbury

One of the biggest investments you will ever make is your home. In the event of an unexpected loss, you need a homeowner’s insurance company you can depend on the restore your home and its contents to their previous condition. One company that deserves consideration for your homeowner’s insurance needs is Shelter Insurance.

Shelter Insurance was founded in 1946 under the name of MFA Insurance Companies.

In the beginning, the company only offered auto policies to residents of Missouri. From these small beginnings, the company grew to be one of the most successful regional property and casualty insurance companies in the United States. In 1981, the name was changed to Shelter Insurance. This was taken from the insurance company’s famous slogan, “M.F.A. is your Shield of Shelter.”

The headquarters of Shelter Insurance is located in Columbia, Missouri. States of operation include: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Shelter Insurance writes the following types of insurance policies: apartment owners, automobile, boat owners, business, commercial fire, dwelling, farm fire, farm liability, farm owners, general liability, homeowners, inland marine, life and personal umbrella. Shelter Insurance opened an international reinsurance operation in 1986.

The other Shelter Insurance Companies are Shelter Mutual Insurance, Shelter General Insurance and Shelter Life Insurance. There are around 2,000 employees of Shelter Insurance nationwide with 1,400 Shelter Insurance agents.

Financial Strength and Customer Satisfaction

Customers who choose Shelter Insurance for the homeowner’s insurance needs can feel good about the company’s financial standing.

In 2008, Shelter Insurance was named as one of the top 50 performing P&C companies by “The Ward Group.” The company has an A (Excellent) rating from A.M. Best.

Shelter Insurance has been a Better Business Bureau accredited business since 2000. The company has an A+ rating with the BBB. The J.D. Power & Associates Power rating for Shelter Insurance is 4 out of 5 with the customer service rating also listed as 4 out of 5.

Homeowner's Policy

The Shelter homeowner’s policy will pay for restoration costs. This means that damaged items in your home will be replaced with new materials. The policy has a good selection of coverage options and generous homeowner’s insurance discounts.

Types of Coverage

  • Dwelling: You have coverage for your residence and attached buildings as well as coverage for damages to heating systems, cooling systems, construction materials, outdoor antennas or reception dishes, water softeners and water heating systems.
     
  • Other Structures: Other structures coverage will pay for damages from a covered loss to buildings permanent attached to the premises such as sheds or fences.
     
  • Personal Property: Personal property coverage pays for damages to the contents of your home or other structures. If you own another home that is not your primary residence, you have coverage for contents at a reduced amount. There is limited coverage for money, securities, jewelry, silverware and on- or off-premises business property. If you want to make sure you have enough coverage for your personal property, you can purchase a personal articles insurance policy.
     
  • Additional Living Expenses: If you cannot move back into your home because of damages caused by a covered loss, you have additional living expenses to pay for the costs of living away from home.
     
  • Personal Liability: Personal liability homeowner’s coverage pays for property damage or bodily injury to others that occurs on your property.
     
  • Medical Payments: This portion of the homeowner’s policy is to pay for medical expenses is someone is injured on your property. This coverage does not apply to yourself or members of your family.
     
  • Other Coverage: You also have debris removal, emergency removal of property, necessary repairs after loss, fire department charges and limited coverage for losses to trees, shrubs, plants or lawn damage.
     
  • Additional Coverage Options: If you have the need for additional coverage you can add the following options to your homeowner’s insurance policy: business located on your property, farming, sewer damage, personal computer damage, earthquake damage, additional premises, docks and piers and liability related to watercraft activities. Your Shelter Insurance agent will have more information about the specific details of additional coverage available.

Discounts

The homeowner’s policy comes with many discounts including discounts for alarm systems, dead-bolt locks, claims-free discounts, new home discount and heating system discount. There is also a companion policy discount available if you also have your auto insurance with Shelter.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Excellent financial strength rating
  • Strong customer service ratings
  • Better Business Bureau A+ Rating

Cons

  • There have been some customer complaints about the claims handling process, some claiming that the claims payment process was slow.
  • Coverage is only available in 14 states.

Company Contact Information

For more information about a homeowner’s policy or to learn more about the other insurance products available through Shelter Insurance, you can visit the Shelter Insurance website or call 1-800-SHELTER (1-800-743-5837). You can also contact Shelter Insurance by email.