Erie auto insurance is a coverage provider that you may find helpful, as reflected by its excellent customer satisfaction rating. The company offers many options compared to most typical car insurance companies, such as pet injury coverage, first accident forgiveness, and more.
That said, Erie may not be an option for everyone. Notably, it has a very limited footprint, being available in only 12 states. It also lacks some of the digital features that other companies are well-known for. Let’s explore whether Erie can be a good auto insurance company for you.
Erie auto insurance: Is it worth it?
|Our verdict: If you happen to live in Erie's service area, you may enjoy working with this insurance provider. Erie has exceptional customer satisfaction ratings and an extensive range of consumer-friendly perks and features.|
What is Erie Insurance?
Erie Insurance is an insurance company that was founded in 1925 by H.O. Hirt and O.G. Crawford in Pennsylvania. From the start, the company’s mission was to provide policyholders with near-perfect protection and near-perfect customer service at an affordable price.
Nearly 100 years later, Erie Insurance is a Fortune 500 company. It has earned an AM Best rating of A+, which is a testament to its financial strength. It’s ranked first place in the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Auto Insurance Study for customer satisfaction in the Mid-Atlantic region. The company employs more than 5,000 people and has over 5 million policies in force.
|Types of coverage||
|Where you can use it||
|Availability||12 states and Washington, D.C.
(Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin)
What insurance does Erie offer?
The biggest downside of Erie Auto Insurance is that it's not available in most states. It's only available in 12 states centered in the Midwest and the Midatlantic, so if you live in the Western, Southern, or North Atlantic region, you're out of luck.
That said, if you do happen to live in Erie's coverage area, you can select from a plethora of insurance options. The specifics vary depending on which state you live in.
Essential coverage options
- Liability insurance for bodily injury: This insurance helps pay for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages in case you accidentally hit someone else. It doesn't generally cover you or any passengers in your own car.
- Liability protection for property damage: This protection helps pay for any damage that you cause, such as fixing someone's car that you rear-ended, replacing the fence and mailbox that you grazed, etc.
- Personal injury protection (PIP): This protection helps pay the medical bills for anyone injured in your own car, including yourself, which typically isn't covered by bodily injury liability coverage.
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance: This protection helps to pay your own repair or medical bills in case the other person in the crash doesn't have coverage or doesn't have enough to pay for your full damages.
- Pet insurance: A standard part of all Erie policies is pet injury coverage, which helps pay the vet bills if your pets are injured while riding in your car.
Erie auto insurance gives you additional levels of coverage for your vehicle to help repair or replace it. These coverage options include:
- Collision insurance: This insurance is optional at the state level but is often required by most lenders if you're financing your car. It helps pay to get your own car fixed if you're involved in a car crash.
- Comprehensive coverage: This insurance is generally required if you're financing a car. It helps pay for any other non-car-crash damage to your own vehicle, such as wildfires, windstorms, theft, etc.
- New car replacement: This optional coverage helps replace your car with a brand-new car from the current model year if your new car (less than two years old) was totaled.
- Better car replacement: This optional coverage boosts the payout to help cover the cost of a car that's two model years newer than your totaled car.
- Lease loan protection: This protection helps cover the difference between your remaining lease or loan amount and your car's actual value in case you total it before you pay it off or exit the lease. Only cars that are over two years old are eligible.
- First accident forgiveness: If you go for three years or more without filing a claim with Erie, you won't see a rate bump when you file your first claim.
Erie offers these additional coverages that may prove helpful in certain situations:
- Auto plus: This protection package offers a $10,000 death benefit, a shrinking or even waived deductible in some cases, additional transportation coverage, and more.
- Travel expenses: If your car breaks down while traveling and you have comprehensive or collision coverage, you're automatically covered for lodging, meals, or other travel expenses.
- Rideshare coverage: This coverage helps protect you as a rideshare driver for the entire rideshare experience, even when you currently have a client in your car.
- Roadside assistance: This assistance covers minor roadside emergencies like pulling your car from a ditch or towing you to the nearest repair shop.
- Rental car reimbursement: This coverage helps cover the cost of a rental car if your main car is disabled or is in the shop.
- Rate lock: This optional coverage lets you lock in your rate so you don’t have to pay more in the following years. Your rate can only change if you add or remove cars or drivers or if you move to a new address.
More insurance products
Aside from auto insurance policies, Erie also offers several other insurance products. Bundling some of these policies with your auto insurance can qualify you for discounts.
Erie auto insurance: How cheap is it?
One of the main parts of figuring out how to get car insurance is finding the right price point. Each company bases its pricing on a range of different factors, and the cheapest option for one person can be an expensive option for another.
That said, certain factors affect car insurance rates that you can control. Here are some of the car insurance discounts you can get to reduce your premiums and the things to keep in mind while considering your quote.
How to find discounts
Erie Insurance offers several discounts you might qualify for to help maximize savings. Here are the discounts available:
- Multi-policy discounts: If you have a car insurance policy and a life or home insurance policy with Erie Insurance, you may qualify for a discount. You may also qualify for a discount if you have multiple cars on one policy. Multi-policy discounts could save you 16% to 20%, depending on where you live.
- Vehicle storage discount: If you put your car away in storage for 90 consecutive days or more, you may qualify for a usage discount.
- Safety savings discount: Having safety features — such as factory-installed airbags, anti-lock brakes, or anti-theft devices — could qualify you for safety savings.
- Lump-sum payment discount: You may qualify for a discount if you pay the annual premium all at once instead of in installments.
- Young driver discounts: Erie may offer a 5% to 20% discount when you add youth drivers who live with you to the policy. Conditions apply.
- College credit discount: If a driver under 21 is at college and not driving, you may be able to qualify for a discount while they’re away.
Besides the discounts above, Erie Insurance offers other opportunities to save money on car insurance. For example, the Diminishing Deductible option under the Erie Auto Plus Endorsement may reduce your deductible by $100 each year you don’t file a claim (up to a $500 limit). Erie Insurance also offers First Accident Forgiveness, which keeps your auto insurance rate the same after your first at-fault accident if you’ve been a customer for three or more years.
How to maximize savings
In addition to discounts, there are many levers you can adjust to save money on car insurance and make your coverage more affordable:
- Build your credit: Like most car insurance companies, Erie considers your credit score when setting your rate. Check your credit report in advance for any errors you can dispute, and pay attention to long-term credit-boosting habits.
- Drive safely and drive less: The cleaner your driving record or the less you drive your car around, the cheaper your rates can be. This also saves money on car wear and tear, fuel costs, and potential repairs.
- Get state-minimum coverage: Most states require a certain minimum amount of coverage. This will generally be your cheapest option, but it's also a good idea to weigh that against the possibility of needing extra coverage too. Minimum coverage can leave you financially liable if you get in an accident.
- Consider optional coverage carefully: Erie offers a lot of nice bells and whistles for its policies, but if you're on a budget, pay particular attention to whether you need them.
- Repair your windshield instead of replacing it: If you purchase comprehensive insurance and sustain damage to your windshield, Erie will waive the deductible if you opt to repair your windshield instead of replacing the whole thing entirely.
- Choose a higher deductible you can afford: The higher the deductible, the lower the premium, but you don't want to choose too high of a deductible in the event you need to file a claim. There's no point in having car insurance if it doesn’t protect you financially.
How to get an insurance quote from Erie
The only way to find out if Erie offers the best car insurance for your situation is to get a quote and compare it to offers from other companies.
If you choose to get a quote online, simply follow these steps:
- Enter your personal details: Enter your name, date of birth, and address.
- Enter your vehicle's information: Such as the make, model, and year of your car.
- Enter in driver information: Enter the driver’s age when they got their license, any accident history, insurance claims, and so on.
- Enter your contact information: Including your email address, phone number, and preferred name. You'll also need to state whether you currently have auto insurance coverage, whether you'd like to bundle any of Erie's other abundant options for insurance policies, and when you'd like your coverage to begin.
- Adjust your coverage options and get your quote: Change your coverage to view how much different levels of it may cost. When you're happy with your quote, you can submit it to your local independent agent to finalize your policy.
FAQs about Erie auto insurance
Is Erie auto insurance legit?
Erie Insurance is a legitimate company that’s been in business for the past 96 years. It gets an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and AM Best. It consistently ranks as one of the top 10 auto insurance companies in J.D. Power’s annual U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.
What states does Erie do business in?
Erie Insurance has limited availability. Currently, it serves Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C.
Is Erie auto insurance better than State Farm?
Erie Insurance and State Farm have some similarities. Ultimately, which one is better will depend on the rate quote you receive when shopping around for coverage as well as the coverage options. Both companies may offer rate discounts for driving cars with safety features, taking out multiple policies, and more.
Both companies also offer online quote forms. One key difference is that Erie Insurance services 12 states and D.C., whereas State Farm does business throughout the U.S.
Read our State Farm auto insurance review.
How do customers feel about Erie auto insurance?
Erie Insurance has almost half the industry-average score on the customer complaint index from the National Association Of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). It also has the highest customer satisfaction rating among auto insurers in the Mid-Atlantic and North Central regions, according to a 2022 study by consumer research J.D. Powers.
When shopping around for new car insurance, there are many insurers and coverage options to choose from. Erie Insurance offers full coverage insurance options and is worth considering if you live in a state the company serves. Erie Insurance has several discounts and other perks, such as first-time accident forgiveness and a reduction in your deductible for the years you don’t file a claim.
The best car insurance policy for you depends on where you can get the best coverage at the best rate given your location, driving record, the type of car you have, and how often you drive. Consider comparing quotes from Erie Insurance with other insurance providers before choosing your next policy.
FinanceBuzz researches a number of factors in each auto insurance provider to create our reviews. These factors include cost and discounts, complaints and customer satisfaction, coverage, and ease of use. We also gather information from sources such as J.D. Power, AM Best, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), and the Better Business Bureau to ensure we provide the most useful information to our readers.