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Erie Insurance Review 2021

The company is popular with consumers but operates in only 12 states and Washington, D.C.
May 25, 2021
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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Erie insurance reviews and ratings

  • Customer satisfaction ratings are typically better than average.
  • Has fewer customer complaints than expected, relative to its size, for home and life insurance.
  • You can lock in your auto insurance rate, so your premium won’t change unless you make major policy adjustments.

Erie Insurance is a strong choice for insurance. The Erie, Pennsylvania, insurer operates in 12 states and Washington, D.C., and makes most customers happy: Erie gets generally high marks for satisfaction in J.D. Power ratings.

Erie pros and cons

ProsCons
Low customer complaints for home and life insurance.Not available in most states.
Many perks and coverage options.
Option to lock in your auto insurance rate.

Erie auto insurance

4.5 NerdWallet rating

Erie auto insurance earned 4.5 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account pricing and discounts, ease of filing a claim, website transparency, financial strength, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and more.

Based on these star ratings, Erie is among NerdWallet’s best car insurance companies for 2021.

» MORE: Car insurance quotes: What you need to know

Common types of car insurance coverage

When you’re shopping for car insurance, it’s important to understand what car insurance coverage you want and what you’re required to buy. Most states require car insurance to drive a vehicle, although minimum coverage requirements vary from state to state. This generally includes liability insurance and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

If you want extra protection, you may be interested in full coverage insurance. Full coverage isn’t a specific policy you can buy, but rather a combination of coverage types like liability, collision and comprehensive insurance.

Check out the most common types of car insurance coverage below to see how they work:

Coverage typeWhat it pays forRequired?
Bodily injury and property damage liabilityCosts for injuries, deaths or property damage from an accident you caused.Typically required.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverageMedical and property damage costs after an accident with a driver who has insufficient insurance or none at all.Often required.
Collision coverageRepair expenses from traffic-related accidents, regardless of who's at fault.A car loan or lease may require it.
Comprehensive coverageRepair costs from events outside of your control — including weather events, hitting an animal while driving, theft and vandalism.A car loan or lease may require it.

Auto insurance policies from Erie Insurance include extras that may not be available in every state, such as:

  • Accident forgiveness, which prevents you from facing a surcharge after your first at-fault accident once you’ve been an Erie customer for three years.
  • Pet injury coverage: Up to $500 each for veterinary care for pets injured in your vehicle in an accident, up to $1,000.

If you buy comprehensive auto insurance, Erie throws in more perks:

  • Glass repair with no deductible, and a new set of wiper blades if your windshield is replaced.
  • Locksmith service of up to $75 if you lock your keys in your car.
  • Personal items coverage of up to $350 for clothing, luggage and other belongings inside an insured vehicle. Auto policies typically don’t cover personal items in the car. This extra is also available with Erie’s collision insurance.

Erie’s Auto Plus package, for $30 a year (or $25 in North Carolina), adds an assortment of benefits, some of which vary by state:

  • Diminishing deductible, which reduces your deductible by $100 for every consecutive year you don’t file a claim, up to $500.
  • Extra days of rental car coverage after an accident.
  • Higher limits for some coverage, including locksmith costs and personal items.
  • Waived deductible on your auto policy if an accident involves your home and it’s also insured with Erie. For example, if you hit your garage door with your car, only your homeowners deductible would apply.
  • A death benefit of $10,000 per person if someone dies from a covered accident.

Erie also offers additional auto insurance options like:

  • Rate lock, which lets you lock in your auto insurance rates until you add or remove drivers, add or remove vehicles, or move. In New York, where rate lock isn’t available, Erie offers accident forgiveness without a three-year wait.
  • New car protection: If you have a car up to 24 months old and it’s totaled, Erie will replace it with a new car of the current model year, but this isn’t available in every state.
  • Better car protection: If your car is at least 24 months old and is totaled, this coverage will pay for a car of the same make and model two years newer, or it will pay off the auto loan if there is one. This coverage isn’t available in every state.
  • Generous rental car coverage and options: Most auto insurers offer rental car coverage at an extra cost, so you have a way to get around if your car is in the shop for covered damage. Erie includes the basic coverage free in its comprehensive coverage, but you can pay for upgraded rental options, such as a luxury car or SUV instead of a sedan.
  • Rideshare coverage: If you drive for a service like Uber or Lyft, the companies’ policies cover you while you’re carrying passengers or en route to pick them up, but not while you’re waiting for ride requests. Erie’s rideshare insurance for drivers covers that gap.

Erie’s auto insurance discounts

Depending on where you live, you may be eligible for discounts for:

  • Insuring more than one vehicle.
  • Having Erie home or life insurance in addition to auto coverage.
  • Storing your vehicle for at least 90 consecutive days.
  • Having safety features like air bags, anti-theft devices and anti-lock brakes.
  • Paying your full premium upfront.
  • For drivers under 21: completing a driver training course, being unmarried and living with parents, or being unmarried and having been insured several years on another Erie auto policy, such as a parent’s.

» MORE: Compare car insurance rates

Auto insurance buying guide

Before you compare car insurance companies, you’ll need to collect basic information, such as the driving history of everyone on the policy and facts about your car, including safety features and annual mileage driven. You’ll also want to understand which types of coverage you need. For example, do you want only the bare minimum insurance that your state requires, or do you need more extensive coverage, such as gap insurance or rideshare coverage? Check that each company you’re considering has the options you want.

When comparing rates among insurers, make sure each is offering the same coverage limits and deductibles. You may not want to decide based on price alone. Look at how many consumer complaints each company has, as high numbers can be a red flag about the quality of service you might receive.

Depending on which company you choose, you may be able to buy insurance online, over the phone or through an agent. For more guidance, see how to get car insurance.

Erie homeowners insurance

Erie’s homeowners insurance offers the usual features, plus some nice perks:

  • Guaranteed replacement cost ensures your home will be covered in full if it’s destroyed or damaged, with no “wear and tear” taken into account. This isn’t available in all states.
  • Animals are covered up to $500.
  • Theft or loss of your belongings is covered with Erie’s base homeowner policy, unlike many competitors’.

You can also add customized options to your policy, such as:

  • Coverage for hard-to-replace items, such as deeds and passports.
  • Jewelry, art and high-end valuables coverage.
  • Identity theft recovery.
  • Water backup and sump overflow coverage.
  • Coverage for underground utility lines and pipes.

Erie’s home insurance discounts

Depending on where you live, you may qualify for discounts for:

  • Having smoke alarms, burglar alarms or automatic sprinklers.
  • Getting a home insurance quote at least a week before your policy renews.
  • Having Erie life insurance in addition to home and auto coverage.

» MORE: Home insurance quotes: What you need to know

Erie life insurance

Erie’s life insurance choices include term, whole and universal policies, though none is available in New York. Term life insurance is available for terms of 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 years. Up to $90,000 of coverage is available without a medical exam; you’ll get an answer within 15 minutes when you apply.

Some of Erie’s whole life insurance policies allow you to add an accelerated death benefit, which can help pay for long-term care if you’re critically ill or can no longer care for yourself.

» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes

Erie complaints and customer satisfaction

Erie had fewer than the expected number of complaints to state regulators relative to its size for home and life insurance, but more than the expected number for auto insurance, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Erie’s homeowners and auto insurance ratings are better than average in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction studies.

2020 J.D. Power StudyErie ranks...
Auto Insurance ShoppingBetter than average
Auto Insurance Claims SatisfactionBetter than average
Home InsuranceBetter than average
Property Insurance ClaimsBetter than average

More about Erie

Website: Erie’s website is handy. You can get an auto quote, find an agent, pay your bill, access your account, file a claim and locate a repair shop.

Mobile app: Erie has a smartphone app for managing your policy.

Retirement planning and other insurance: Erie’s retirement planning products include annuities and traditional and Roth individual retirement accounts. (Annuities from Erie aren’t available in New York.)

Other types of insurance from Erie include:
Renters, condo and mobile home insurance.
Umbrella insurance.
Insurance for classic cars, all-terrain vehicles and recreational vehicles.
Boat insurance.
Identity theft recovery and fraud reimbursement.
Business insurance.
Medicare supplement insurance.

Auto insurance ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s auto 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 and discounts. Our “ease of use” category looks at factors such as website transparency and how easy it is to file a claim. Using our editorial discretion, we also consider customer satisfaction surveys. 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.

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