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Erie auto insurance review for 2021

Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com

    Article Highlights

    Erie Insurance is a midsize, regional insurance carrier, but holds its own compared to the large national insurers when it comes to pricing, coverage and customer satisfaction. Based in Erie, Pennsylvania, the company has provided insurance coverage since 1925. Today, it insures drivers in 12 Midwest and Eastern states and Washington, D.C. Erie auto insurance is best for value-conscious drivers interested in savings but not willing to skimp on coverage.

    Erie Quickpoints

    • Average full coverage premium: $1,141
    • Region offered:  Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin
    • Market share: 1.34%
    • AM Best rating/financial strength profile: A+ (Superior)
    • J.D. Power claims satisfaction rating: 5/5
    • *Specialty coverages: high value, rideshare, electric

    Erie customer satisfaction and complaints

    Erie ranks highly when it comes to customer satisfaction. In J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Auto Insurance Studies by region, Erie ratings earned the company first place for the Mid Atlantic region and second place behind Farm Bureau of Tennessee in the Southeast. When it comes to overall customer satisfaction, Erie comes in second behind the Hartford for mid-size insurers, with a score of 880 out of 1,000.

    Auto insurance reviews from customers tend to rate insurance companies higher based on several factors. Customer service, how an insurance company responds to claims and customer complaints are key factors. These are aspects of a carrier represented in the rankings. Insurance companies who directly sell to and interact with policyholders instead of through a broker or middle man rank higher in customer satisfaction studies. For Erie to rank highly speaks well of its customer service.

    How factors affect Erie’s auto insurance rates

    To best compare car insurance rates, Coverage collected rates for full coverage — which includes comprehensive, liability and collision. An Erie car insurance quote can vary in cost depending on many factors such as location, age, driving history and more. Erie’s full coverage average cost is $1,141 a year. Minimum required liability insurance comes in at $372 annually. Take a look at how average rates can be impacted based on driving record and credit factors:

    Average ratesAccidentSpeeding ticketPoor credit
    $1,141$1,488$1,270$2,190

    How driving record affects Erie car insurance rates 

    Accidents

    Accidents are expensive in claim costs and as it affects insurance rates. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average cost of a claim after an accident in 2019 was $18,417 for bodily injury and $4,525 in property damage. Car insurance companies pass a loss like this back to you in higher premiums. 

    Erie auto insurance policyholders with an accident on record can expect to see premiums higher by almost $350 per year, on average. However, Erie provides First Accident Forgiveness, which may prevent the large increase. The carrier will forgive your first accident if your driving record has been accident-free for at least three years. 

    Speeding ticket

    Insurance companies evaluate a driver’s risk level based on several factors and speeding tickets are an immediate red flag. You may be seen as more willing to take dangerous risks, which could lead to expensive accidents. A single speeding ticket can increase car insurance premiums with Erie more than $100 per year, and will remain on your record with the carrier for up to three years.

    How poor credit affects rates

    In most states, auto insurance companies will check your credit score to determine the cost of your car insurance premiums. If you fall within the carrier’s tier for “poor credit,” you could end up paying more on your car insurance. As with accidents and speeding tickets, an insurer may consider you higher risk to insure if they believe you’re less likely to pay your bills.

    With Erie, rates were more than $1,000 higher for those with poor credit. If you have a low credit score, work on improving it to see savings on your rate. Once the score is improved, you can contact your provider and ask to have your credit reviewed. You may be able to get a reduction on your car insurance premiums on the spot, or when the policy is up for renewal.

    Erie auto insurance discounts

    Erie has the standard variety of auto insurance discounts to help you save on your car coverage. You can save when you bundle your insurance, insure more than one vehicle or choose to go with paperless billing.

    Unique discounts offered by Erie 

    The following discounts set Erie Insurance are unique among many other providers.

    ERIE Rate Lock®  discount

    ERIE Rate Lock freezes your car insurance premiums from year-to-year so you know what to expect. It’s not available in all states, but as long as you don’t add or remove cars or drivers, or move, you’ll know exactly how much your rates will be in the future, even if you file a claim.

    Diminishing deductible

    An insurance deductible is the portion of claim costs you are responsible for before Erie insurance steps in to cover the claim. With Erie’s Diminishing Deductible, $100 is subtracted from your deductible every year you go without a claim.

    Youthful driver discount

    Teenagers are the most expensive age group to insure. They’re inexperienced and prone to accidents. Erie’s Youthful Driver discount can save 5-20% on premiums for young, unmarried adults under 21 years of age on the policy.

    College credit discount

    If your child is away at college and not using the family vehicle, you could earn an extra discount on your car insurance. Instead of removing your college-age child from your insurance policy and having to reinstate them upon return home, the College Credit discount saves you from paying for insurance while they’re not driving.

    Erie auto insurance premium length

    Erie Insurance offers annual premiums. With a 12-month premium, you won’t have to worry about your premiums increasing or losing coverage for a year. The one drawback to the longer renewal term is if you want to switch car insurance companies. You may be subject to an early termination fee if you change providers prior to the end of your 12 month term.

    Erie vs. other insurance companies

    CompanyJ.D. Power Score (Overall)J.D. Power Score (claims satisfaction)AM BestAverage rate full coverage
    Erie8805/5A+ (Superior)$1,141
    AAA8693/5A (Excellent)$1,948
    Allstate8584/5A+ (Superior)$1,896
    American Family8783/5A (Excellent)$1,218
    Amica8615/5A+ (Superior)$1,449
    Auto-Owners8695/5A++ (Superior)$1,308
    Farmers8492/5A- (Excellent)$1,540
    GEICO8754/5A++ (Superior)$1,260
    The Hartford8954/5A- (Excellent)$1,572
    MetLife8612/5A+ (Superior)$1,923

    Erie mobile app and digital experience

    Erie offers a variety of digital tools and options to enhance your mobile policy management experience. These include:

    • Mobile app
    • View claims from app
    • Manage your account from app
    • App bill pay
    • Online quotes
    • File a claim online

    Alternative insurance products offered by Erie

    In addition to auto insurance, Erie offers insurance for home and renters. Discounts for bundling and other features are available for these insurance products. 

    ProductDiscountsJ.D. Power rating
    HomeSmoke alarms
    Security
    Early renewal
    Multi-policy
    5/5
    RentersAuto/renters insurance bundle3/5

    In the spotlight 

    • Erie Insurance reviews are high for customer satisfaction in the coverage area it serves.
    • Erie is the most affordable car insurance provider on our list for full coverage.
    • The provider has a 90% customer-retention rate, which speaks highly of customer loyalty.
    • The ERIE Service Corps encourages employees and agents to volunteer in community programs and fundraise.

    Methodology: 

    Coverage Utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze quoted rates from thousands of zip codes across all 50 states, using Erie’s premiums written. Quoted rates are based around the profiles of a 30-year-male and female with clean driving records, good credit and the following full coverage details:

    • $100k bodily injury liability per person
    • $300k bodily injury liability coverage per crash
    • $100k property damage liability coverage per crash
    • $500 collision coverage deductible
    • $500 comprehensive coverage deductible

    Minimum coverages were applied to match state requirements. Both drivers used a new, financed 2018 Toyota Camry, commuting 5 days a week and driving 12,000 miles per year.

    An accident was defined as an at-fault accident with $3k in property damage. A speeding incident was defined as speeding 16-20 MPH over the limit.

    These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only – your own quotes may be different.

    Cynthia Paez Bowman

    Writer

    Cynthia splits her time between Los Angeles, CA and San Sebastian, Spain. She travels to Africa and the Middle East regularly to consult with women’s NGOs about small business development.

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