Erie Auto Insurance Review 2022

Jun 2, 2022

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Our Take

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

The company is popular with consumers but operates in only 12 states and Washington, D.C.

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Erie Auto Insurance
NAIC complaints
More than expected
Ease of use
Above average
Discounts
Average set of discounts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Low customer complaints for home and life insurance.
  • Many perks and coverage options.
  • Option to lock in your auto insurance rate.

Cons

  • Not available in most states.

Full Review

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 auto 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 in order to drive a vehicle. Although minimum coverage requirements vary from state to state, they generally include liability insurance and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

If you want extra protection, you may be interested in full coverage insurance. Full coverage isn’t a specific policy type; it's 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 type

What it pays for

Required?

Bodily injury and property damage liability

Costs for injuries, deaths or property damage from an accident you caused.

Typically required.

Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage

Medical and property damage costs after an accident with a driver who has insufficient insurance or none at all.

Often required.

Collision coverage

Repair expenses from traffic-related accidents, regardless of who's at fault.

A car loan or lease may require it.

Comprehensive coverage

Repair 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: 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.

  • Rate lock: Lets you lock in your auto insurance rates until you add or remove drivers, add or remove vehicles, change where you generally park your car or move. Limited to three years in Virginia.

  • Diminishing deductible: Reduces your deductible by $100 for every consecutive year you don’t file a claim, up to $500.

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 $35 a year or less, adds an assortment of benefits, some of which vary by state:

  • 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 for certain instances.

  • A death benefit of $10,000 per person if someone dies from a covered accident.

Erie also offers additional auto insurance options like:

  • New car replacement: 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, minus the deductible. This isn’t available in every state.

  • Better car replacement: 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, minus the deductible. This coverage isn’t available in every state.

  • Gap insurance: If your car is totaled, this coverage will pay off your auto loan.

  • 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.

You can also buy an auto security package from Erie that includes new car replacement, better car replacement and gap insurance.

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.

  • Not having any auto insurance claims.

  • Being unmarried and living with your parents if you’re under 21.

Pricing based on tracked driving habits

Erie’s YourTurn app tracks driving habits like braking, accelerating, speeding and phone use while driving. Although you won’t receive a car insurance discount, you’ll get rewards in the app based on how safely you drive. These rewards can be redeemed for gift cards or charity donations. Not available in all states.

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Auto insurance buying guide

Before you compare car insurance companies, you’ll need to collect some basic information. This includes the driving history of everyone who will be on the policy, as well as facts about your car, such as safety features and annual mileage driven. You’ll also want to determine 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 make your decision based on price alone. Look at how many consumer complaints each company has, as a high number of complaints could be a red flag about the quality of service you'll 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 offers highly rated homeowners insurance with a variety of coverage options. To learn more, read our Erie home insurance review.

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 10, 15, 20 and 30 years. Up to $500,000 of coverage is available without a medical exam and has a quicker approval process.

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.

Complaints and customer satisfaction

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

2021 J.D. Power study

Erie ranking

Auto Insurance Shopping

No. 3 out of 12 companies.

Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction

No. 2 out of 18 companies.

Home Insurance

No. 3 out of 21 companies.

Property Insurance Claims

No. 17 out of 19 companies.

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.

Other insurance from Erie

Erie offers other insurance such as:

  • Renters, condo and mobile home insurance.

  • Motorcycle insurance.

  • Umbrella insurance.

  • Classic car insurance.

  • Insurance for snowmobiles, mopeds, golf carts and all-terrain vehicles and recreational vehicles.

  • Boat insurance.

  • Identity theft recovery and fraud reimbursement.

  • Business insurance.

  • Medicare supplement insurance.

Erie also offers retirement planning products like annuities and traditional and Roth individual retirement accounts. (Annuities from Erie aren’t available in New York).

Compare to other insurers

Erie

The Hanover

Safeco

Star rating

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

NAIC complaints

More than expected.

Far fewer than expected.

Fewer than expected.

J.D. Power Rankings

  • Shopping: #3 out of 12.

  • Claims: #2 out of 18.

N/A.

  • Shopping: #7 out of 12.

  • Claims: #12 out of 18.

Discounts

Average set of discounts.

Average set of discounts.

Very few discounts.

Ease of use

Above average.

Average.

Above average.

Read our detailed reviews

Methodology

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.

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.

Frequently asked questions