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Erie renters insurance is available through independent agents in 12 states and Washington, D.C. Although the company’s geographical reach is limited, its policies are worth considering if you’re eligible.
Erie offers a variety of ways to customize and save on your policy, and it draws fewer consumer complaints than expected for a company of its size. But Erie’s website lacks features that some other insurance companies have, such as online quotes and claim filing.
Best for: Renters who want solid coverage and good service, and who don't mind speaking with an agent to get it.
Erie renters insurance pros and cons
Offers plenty of coverage options.
No online quotes or claim filing.
Received fewer consumer complaints than expected for a company of its size.
Available in 12 states and Washington, D.C., only.
Rates may be more expensive than average in some states.
How Erie renters insurance rates
Erie renters insurance earned 4.5 out of 5 stars for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The renters insurance scoring formula takes into account policy coverage options and discounts, ease of filing a claim, website transparency, the financial strength of the company, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and more.
Based on these ratings, Erie is among NerdWallet’s Best Renters Insurance Companies for 2022.
Erie insurance is available in 12 states and Washington, D.C.
» MORE: The best cheap renters insurance
Erie renters insurance coverage
Landlords sometimes require tenants to purchase a policy with a minimum amount of renters liability insurance, but otherwise, the coverage you choose is generally up to you. Below are the four types of coverage included in most standard renters policies:
Type of coverage
What it does
Covers your clothing, furniture, electronics and other belongings.
Pays for hotel stays, restaurant meals or other expenses if you have to live elsewhere while your home undergoes covered repairs.
Pays out if you're responsible for injuries to other people or damage to their property.
Covers injuries to other people in your home, regardless of fault.
For more details, see What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
In addition to the basics listed above, Erie also includes coverage for food that spoils during a power outage and some limited coverage for boats and trailers. (Those with larger watercraft may want to buy a separate boat insurance policy.)
You may be able to customize your policy with the following coverage options, depending on where you live:
Sewer and drain backup, which pays for damage if water backs up into your home.
Home-sharing, which covers liability, theft and damage to your belongings if you rent out your space on a site like Airbnb or Vrbo.
Identity recovery, which provides assistance if you’re a victim of identity theft.
Scheduled personal property, which offers additional coverage for valuables like jewelry or sports equipment.
Replacement cost loss settlement, which ensures that after filing a claim, you’ll be paid enough to buy new replacements for your damaged belongings. (Without this endorsement, the payout for older items might be reduced due to depreciation.)
In most of the states it serves, Erie also offers bundles that include some of the options above plus higher coverage limits.
Erie renters insurance rates
Erie renters insurance costs $150 a year on average, according to NerdWallet’s rate analysis. Although that’s cheaper than the national average of $168, Erie was more expensive than average in many of the states where we evaluated its rates.
You can save money on Erie renters insurance by:
Having an alarm or sprinkler system in your home.
Getting a quote more than a week before you want your renters policy to take effect.
Buying more than one Erie policy.
Being at least 45 years old.
Discount availability varies by state.
Erie received fewer than the expected number of home insurance complaints to state regulators relative to its size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (NAIC home insurance complaints also cover other home policy types, including mobile home, renters and condo insurance.)
Website: Erie’s website doesn’t have many bells and whistles, but you can use it to make payments, find an agent and track claims. However, you can’t get a quote or file a new claim online.
App: On the Erie mobile app, you can read policy documents, pay bills, check the status of a claim and find your agent’s contact details.
Renters insurance buying guide
Before you compare renters insurance companies, gather key information such as the address of the rental and any safety and security features the unit has.
You should also figure out how much coverage you need. Take a quick inventory of your belongings: How much would it cost you to replace them? Include all furniture, electronic devices, clothing, jewelry and household items. This total is the minimum amount of personal property insurance you should have.
Your liability limit should be high enough to cover your net worth, while your deductible should be an amount you’d feel comfortable paying in an emergency.
When evaluating renters insurance quotes, make sure each rate estimate includes the same coverage limits and deductibles so you know you’re getting a fair comparison. While it’s tempting to buy the cheapest policy, you may also want to read reviews of your preferred company to make sure it offers good customer service.
How to file a renters insurance claim
File as soon as it’s safe. The sooner you report a theft or damage to your home, the sooner your insurer can assign an adjuster and start working on paying out your claim. Some companies let you file claims online or through their app, while in other cases you may have to call your agent or insurer instead. Have your policy number handy.
Document the damage. Bolster your claim by taking photos or video of all damage. If something was stolen, report it to the police before you contact your insurance company. Your insurer may ask for a copy of their report.
Prevent further damage. After you’ve taken pictures of everything broken or destroyed, take steps to prevent additional damage, such as putting a tarp over a broken window to protect your belongings inside. Keep receipts for any supplies you buy, as your insurer may reimburse you later.
» MORE: Erie home insurance review
Other renters insurance companies to consider
Not ready to make a decision? You may be interested in these other renters insurance companies:
Renters insurance ratings methodology
NerdWallet’s renters insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, consumer complaints, coverage options, discounts, online experience and more. Our “ease of use” category looks at factors such as website transparency and how easy it is to file a claim. These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.
Insurer complaints methodology
NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.
To find the national cost of renters insurance, NerdWallet averaged rates for 30-year-old men and women for multiple insurance companies in every ZIP code across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Sample tenants were nonsmokers with good credit and no recent claims, living in a two-bedroom apartment. They had a $500 deductible and the following coverage limits:
$30,000 in personal property coverage.
$100,000 in liability coverage.
$10,000 in additional living expenses coverage.
$1,000 in medical payments coverage.
We then compared the insurer's rates to the average rate for all companies in states where it offers policies and where its rates were available from Quadrant Information Services.
These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.