May 27, 2022

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Erie Auto Insurance Review 2021

Pros Explained

  • Multiple support options: When you need help with your policy, Erie offers online and phone support, in addition to local agents. 
  • Several bonus services: Your Erie insurance policy could include several things, such as Erie Auto Plus and Erie Rate Lock.
  • Straightforward website: Erie offers a well-organized and transparent website that makes it easy to find what you need with little trouble.


Cons Explained

  • Limited service area: Erie is only available in 12 states and the District of Columbia.
  • No mobile app: Unlike other popular car insurance companies, Erie does not have a mobile app available. 
  • No online claims: You must contact your local agent or Erie by phone to file a claim.


Introduction

Erie Insurance is long-established within the insurance industry, having been established in 1925. It offers all of the standard types of auto insurance coverage, but a standout feature is the number of additional perks available for your policy. With great customer satisfaction and financial scores, it lacks some of the chat and mobile tools of other companies, but there is still 24/7 support when you need it. 


Company Overview

Founded in 1925, Erie Insurance was created by Henry Orth Hirt and Oliver Grover Crawford, who were employees at the Pennsylvania Indemnity Exchange (PIE). Unhappy with their employee conditions, the pair decided instead to create their own company with just $31,000 to get them started. Today, Erie is a FORTUNE® 500 company that is home to more than 20 field offices and over 13,000 independent Erie agents with 6 million policies in force.

Erie services the District of Columbia and 12 states, including:

  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

A local agent is available to help in its current markets. 

Some programs and discounts are not available in all states.


Types of Coverage

Erie offers a wide selection of products beyond auto insurance. There is standard car insurance but also motorcycles, snowmobiles, RVs, and ATVs. 

Several types of car insurance coverage are available. 

Comprehensive Coverage

The comprehensive coverage in your policy provides financial support when your car experiences non-collision damages. This includes natural events like fire, theft, and vandalism.

Erie’s comprehensive coverage also includes windshield and glass repair, with at-home service available for most glass damage. There are additional incentives like a waived deductible when you opt to repair windshield damages instead of replacing it. Up to $75 is also included for locksmith services when you lock yourself out of your car.

Collision Coverage

Your policy’s collision coverage offers support for collision-related damages when you are in a collision with another vehicle or object.

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

Bodily injury liability coverage provides reimbursement for various damages when you are found at fault for an accident. This includes things like medical expenses and lost wages.

Property Damage Liability

When you are found at fault, you are also responsible for damages to personal property. Property damage liability reimburses damage to one’s vehicle or property. Property damage liability includes coverage of up to $350 for clothing, luggage, and other personal belongings.

Personal Injury Protection

Personal injury protection, or PIP, coverage protects the passengers in your vehicle who may be injured due to your accident. 

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage protects if you are in an accident with a driver that either does not have enough or any insurance coverage.   

It is required for drivers in some states. 

Pet Insurance

Erie has pet insurance available to protect your pets. If your pet is in the car during an accident, Erie offers up to $500 per pet or $1,000 total toward vet treatment expenses. 


Other Coverage

Erie Auto Plus

Erie’s Auto Plus program features several exclusive upgrades to improve your car insurance coverage.

  • Diminishing deductible: Your deductible is reduced for each year you do not file a claim, up to $500. New York policyholders have minimum deductibles of $50 for comprehensive coverage and $100 for collision.
  • Waived deductible: In some cases, Erie may waive the deductible altogether. 
  • Transportation expenses: Erie pays for transportation expenses for up to ten additional days when your vehicle is totaled and a settlement has been offered. This benefit is not available in Kentucky.
  • Increased policy limits: Auto Plus includes higher coverage limits for necessities like personal belongings, emergency travel costs, sound equipment, and non-owned trailers.
  • Death benefit: An added death benefit equals $10,000 when you or a relative experience fatal bodily injuries from an auto accident.

Erie Auto Plus costs no more than $35 each year.

Erie Rate Lock

Erie Rate Lock is an option you can choose for your Erie car insurance policy. This helps you avoid higher rates or additional penalties when you have a minor accident. Erie will not penalize you when you file a small claim for a fender bender or other minor damages. There is First Accident Forgiveness, plus the Safe Driver Discount, which offers additional savings when you are claims-free for five years. 

Erie RateProtect is provided by Erie Insurance Company of New York.

Rideshare Insurance

You will likely need car insurance if you drive for Uber, Lyft, or another ridesharing service. Erie has rideshare insurance available that you can add to your policy. Restrictions may apply to some states.

Roadside Assistance

Anything can happen out on the open road, so Erie’s roadside assistance offers additional protection in case you need help on the road, such as a tow or help with a flat tire. Limitations apply to North Carolina and Virginia policyholders. 

New Car Protection

New Car Protection skips the normal depreciation that reduces the value of your vehicle over time. Should your car become totaled, this coverage will ensure that you receive true replacement value. Both comprehensive and collision coverage must be included with your policy, and qualifying vehicles must be less than two years old. This benefit is not available in New York or North Carolina. 

Motorcycle Insurance

You can add Erie’s motorcycle insurance to your auto insurance policy if you also have a motorcycle. In addition to coverage for your motorcycle, coverage includes up to $3,000 toward gear, safety riding apparel, and accessories. Coverage is not available in all states.

Rental Car Expense Coverage

If you have an accident, rental car expense coverage will provide reimbursement for 

You can choose from five different classes for your rental car, with insurance coverage automatically included when you rent or borrow a vehicle. 

To get started, you can receive a free estimate via Erie’s online quote tool. 


Discounts

Erie Insurance offers several ways for drivers to save on car insurance. 

Erie Insurance offers eight car insurance discounts to help you save.

Vehicle Discounts

  • Vehicle storage: You can save when you store your vehicle for more than 90 days. This discount is not available in Kentucky. 
  • Safety savings: Erie will discount your car insurance when your vehicle has factory-installed airbags, anti-theft devices, and anti-lock brakes.
  • Upfront payment: When you pay your policy in full, you could receive an extra discount.

Bundle Discount

  • Multi-policy discount: Erie rewards you for multiple policies, offering savings of up to 25% when you bundle auto insurance with home, renters, condo, or life insurance.

Teen and Young Driver Discounts

  • Youthful Driver Discount: If you live with your parents and are unmarried, you can earn an extra discount on your car insurance. 
  • Youthful Driver Longevity Discount: Young, unmarried drivers may receive credit when their parents or guardians have an Erie insurance policy.
  • College student discount: Erie offers an extra discount to young adults that leave their cars at home while away at school.
  • Driving Training Discount: Young drivers under 21 can save when completing an approved driver training course. This is not available in Kentucky and North Carolina. 

As teen and young drivers grow older, rates tend to increase each year without traffic violations or incidents, with rates further decreasing by age 24.  


Payment Options

Erie Insurance accepts auto insurance payments via phone or mail, and there is also a convenient online Payment Center.  

Payment method Contact  Availability 
Phone Customer Care
(800) 458-0811, option 4
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. ET
Saturday, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET
Online  Payment Center  24/7 
Mail  Erie Insurance Group
100 Erie Insurance Place
Erie, PA 16530 
– 

Payments may be made using several different schedules, with your choice of annual, quarterly, monthly, or 9-month payments. Erie accepts payments via a checking or savings account, debit card, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express. There may be some restrictions for credit card payments based on your payment plans. 

Automatic payments are an option, as well. You can use your checking or savings account to set up automatic payments for auto, home, boat, and personal catastrophe liability policies. With Erie’s Account Billing feature, you can bundle multiple Erie insurance policies on a single billing statement to simplify your monthly payments.


Loss Ratio

A company’s loss ratio is a good indicator of how fairly it prices its insurance products. 

Erie Insurance has a loss ratio of about 71.86 percent, which is much higher than competitors like Allstate and Progressive. However, Erie’s loss ratio is lower than other companies, like USAA and Auto Club.  


Other Features

Erie offers 24/7 phone, and online claims support through its Support Center, plus access to a local agent. Erie offers separate departments to assist with various issues, such as windshield and auto glass claims, roadside assistance, and workers’ compensation claims. Meanwhile, Erie’s Customer Care can help with questions involving billing, payments, and policy details.  


Customer Service

There are several ways to contact Erie for support.

Contact Contact information  Availability 
Mailing Address  Erie Insurance Group  100 Erie Insurance Place  Erie, PA 16530-1104
Erie Office Locations  ERIE office locations and phone numbers  – 
Customer Care  (800) 458-0811 General email  Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET Closed on holidays 
Billing  (800) 458-0811, select option 4 for billing  – 
Windshield and Auto Glass Repairs (via ERIEGlass)  (800) 552-3743  –  
Emergency Roadside Service (via Agero)  800-FOR-ERIE (800-367-3743)  24/7


Customer Satisfaction 

Erie boasts high customer satisfaction with over 90% customer retention from one year to the next. In J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, Erie Insurance is the highest-rated in the North Central region, giving Erie Insurance a score of 857/1000. It is second-highest within the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions. In J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, Erie receives a score of 882/1000, the third-highest score among midsize insurers.

Satisfaction Ratings

Also important is the AM Best rating, which rates companies based on financial strength. Erie’s parent group, Erie Insurance Exchange, earns an A+ (Superior) score, signifying strong financial health and reliable claims processing. 

Complaint Index

Erie’s customer satisfaction scores have been decreasing over the last few years, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The NAIC tracks the number of customer complaints a company receives each year. While the average industry score is 1.00, Erie has increased its complaint index from 1.11 in 2020 to 0.61 in 2018. 


Account Management

Erie’s online resources allow for easy claims tracking. There are also professional recommendations for your repairs, along with contact information for specific claims support. However, no online chat or mobile app is available.


How Erie Insurance Compares to Other Auto Insurance Companies

At an average premium of $1,082 per year, it is one of the more affordable insurance companies in 2021 for car insurance. Overall, Erie Insurance rates better than some of the best car insurance companies like Alfa Insurance, Farmers Insurance, and The Hanover. However, it still has some work to top other companies like USAA and New Jersey Manufacturers Group. 


Final Verdict

Erie Insurance can be a great choice when you want multi-faceted car insurance that pays attention to the extras, like pet insurance and locksmith services. Its NAIC customer complaint index is about average, but it still holds strong scores from J.D. Power and AM Best for financial strength and customer satisfaction. However, it is not an option for everyone, with a service area limited to just 12 states and the District of Columbia.


Methodology 

All of our reviews of auto insurance companies are based on extensive research and analysis of each company’s coverage, customer service, pricing, years in business, accreditation, and more. To rate Erie Insurance and other providers, we developed an auto insurance review methodology that compares the auto insurance coverage types, additional features, discounts, account management, and reported customer experiences to help us provide insights into things like customer service and the strength of each company’s offerings. 


Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .

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