AutoInsurance.com
December 13, 2022

Erie Auto Insurance Review

Learn what Erie has to offer.

Erie is a nearly 100-year-old insurance company based in and named after Erie, Pennsylvania. In addition to a variety of property, business, and personal insurance policies, Erie offers car insurance, which it sells online and over the phone. Though Erie is a regional company that only sells insurance in 12 states and Washington, D.C., it has risen to become the nation’s 13th-largest auto insurance provider. Keep reading to learn more about Erie’s coverages, discounts, and other important information.

Key Takeaways 

Who It’s Best For

  • Drivers looking for reasonably-priced full-coverage insurance
  • Drivers who travel with pets, since Erie offers pet injury coverage as part of all its auto insurance policies
  • Drivers in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C.

Who It’s Not Best For

  • Drivers outside of the coverage areas
  • Drivers who want to pay bills through their insurance company’s mobile app, as users of Erie’s mobile app report difficulty with its payment functions

Pros and Cons of Erie Auto Insurance

Pros

  • Great value: Erie’s average annual cost of $1,084 is only
    $14 more than the national average and comes with built-in benefits like locksmith reimbursement and travel expense coverage.

  • Stable premiums: Erie’s rate lock feature promises that your premiums won’t change after a claim, charging more only if you add a vehicle or driver to your policy or if you move to a higher-risk area.

Cons

  • Negative customer reviews: Erie has a Better Business Bureau customer review rating of only 1.15 stars averaged from 60 reviews, with customers expressing dissatisfaction with customer service and slow insurance claims processes. Take this with a grain of salt, since J.D. Power ranks Erie as the top insurance company for customer satisfaction in the Mid-Atlantic and North Central regions.

What Does Erie Cover?

Erie Insurance offers the following coverages:

  • Bodily injury and property damage liability insurance: Bodily injury liability coverage, which is legally required in most states, covers medical care in the case of an accident that you caused. If someone other than you or your passengers is injured, bodily injury insurance will pay for their medical bills, medications, and lost wages. Similarly, property damage coverage pays to repair other people’s property after an accident, such as their cars and fences.
  • Collision insurance: While liability insurance takes care of other people, you’ll want more expansive forms of insurance to pay for your own needs. Collision insurance pays to repair or replace your vehicle after an accident you caused.
  • Comprehensive coverage: Collisions aren’t the only kind of incident that can cause expensive damage to a vehicle. Comprehensive coverage covers your damages that are not from a collision, including theft, vandalism, weather damage, and falling objects.
  • Medical payments coverage: Even with collision insurance and comprehensive coverage protecting your vehicle, you’ll want to protect yourself and your passengers. Medical payments coverage pays for your medical care if you are injured in an accident, as well as medical care for your passengers.
  • Personal injury protection: Personal injury protection (PIP) is like a supercharged version of medical payments coverage. It covers medical expenses for you and your passengers in the event of an accident, no matter who’s at fault.

    PIP goes beyond medical care to cover other needs, including childcare, lost wages, funeral expenses, and survivor’s benefits. PIP even follows you when you’re not in your car. For example, if a car hits you while you’re out walking, PIP benefits can still apply.

  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage: Uninsured motorist coverage protects you if an unidentified hit-and-run driver or someone who does not have liability insurance injures you or damages your vehicle. Underinsured motorist coverage pays when the other person doesn’t have enough coverage to cover the entire cost of your injury or property damage claim.
  • Locksmith service reimbursement: With comprehensive and/or collision insurance through Erie, the company will reimburse you up to $75 toward the cost of locksmith services if you are locked out of your cart.
  • New car replacement: Also known as lease and loan insurance or gap insurance, new car replacement makes up the difference between the assessed value of a stolen or totaled car and what you still owe on it. Cars start losing value as soon as you drive off the lot, meaning that the assessed value of your vehicle might be significantly less than the balance you still owe for it. Without gap insurance, you might end up owing money on your auto loan for a car that’s totaled or missing.
  • Rental car expense coverage: Rental car expense coverage, also known as rental car reimbursement, pays for car rental costs while your vehicle is undergoing repairs under a covered claim. Erie offers six classes of rental car options and allows you to switch between compact cars and larger vehicles. See the chart below for more information on these classes.
Class Description Example makes and models
1 Compact sedan that seats up to four Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris
2 Traditional sedan that seats up to five Chrysler 200, Ford Fusion, Chevy Impala
3 Small SUV or pickup truck that seats up to five Ford Escape, Chevy Silverado
4 Minivan or midsize SUVs that seat up to six Chrysler Town & Country, Jeep Grand Cherokee
5 Luxury sedan or SUV that seats up to seven Cadillac DTS, Chevy Tahoe
6 Vehicle specially equipped to be operated or accessible by an individual with a disability Not provided
  • Roadside assistance: Erie’s 24/7 roadside assistance service includes help with lockouts, flat tires, mechanical breakdowns, dead batteries, and gasoline delivery. It also covers the cost of pulling your car out of the ditch or snow if you end up within 10 feet of the highway, and towing to the nearest service garage plus 20 miles.
  • Death benefit: In case the worst happens, Erie’s death benefit provides $10,000 for you or a relative who dies due to injuries from an accident.

Erie includes pet injury insurance, travel and expense coverage, and personal belongings coverage with all of its auto insurance policies automatically. Read on to learn more about these included perks:

  • Pet injury coverage: This insurance kicks in if your pet is hurt in a covered accident while riding in your car. Erie helps cover the cost of veterinary treatment by reimbursing you up to $500 per pet (or up to $1,000 total for two pets).
  • Travel and transportation expense coverage: If your vehicle is disabled or totaled while traveling, Erie will pay for up to 10 additional days of transportation expenses, including meals and lodging.
  • Personal belongings: If personal belongings in your car are damaged during a covered accident, Erie will give you up to $350 toward items that other forms of insurance don’t cover.

What Will My Auto Insurance Rate Be?

Our market analysis finds that the average annual cost of Erie car insurance is $1,084 per year. Compared to the national average price of car insurance, which is $1,070.47, Erie offers a lot of coverage options for a reasonable price. Get a quote to compare Erie’s pricing to other car insurance companies.

CheckKEEP IN MIND:

Your personal rate will depend on data like your driving history, age, gender, credit score, car type, and home address. Learn more about the average price of car insurance so you know what to expect.

Discounts

  • Annual payment plan discount: Qualify for this discount by paying for your annual premium upfront in a lump sum rather than in installments over the course of the year.
  • Car safety equipment discounts: You can save on your insurance premium if your car is equipped with safety equipment such as factory-installed airbags, passive restraints like seat belts, anti-theft devices, and anti-lock brakes.
  • Multicar discount: Erie offers discounts for individuals or households who insure multiple vehicles under the same Erie policy.
  • Multipolicy discount: Bundle your car insurance with Erie home insurance, renters insurance, and/or life insurance to save up to 20 percent on both policies.1
  • Reduced usage discount: If you’re not using your car for at least 90 consecutive days during the policy period, you could be eligible for a discount on your annual premium. This is also known as a vehicle storage discount.
  • Young drivers discount: Erie offers this discount to unmarried drivers under the age of 21 who reside with their parents. Young, unmarried drivers can also earn credits toward their own future insurance policies for consecutive years spent insured under another Erie auto policy (such as that of a parent or guardian).
  • College student discount: For families with children attending college away from home, Erie offers a discount during the time the children are away and not driving a covered vehicle.
  • First-accident forgiveness: Erie’s first-accident forgiveness policy means that after you’ve been an Erie customer for three or more years without a collision, you won’t be surcharged the first time you’re at fault in an accident.
  • Diminishing deductible: For each consecutive policy year in which you don’t file a claim, your deductible will be reduced by $100 for up to a maximum total amount of $500.
  • Rate lock: Erie advertises stable insurance rates thanks to its rate lock feature. Your rates won’t increase if you file a claim, rising only if you add another vehicle or driver to your policy, move to a higher-risk area, or add coverages.
  • Windshield repair: If you have comprehensive coverage and choose to repair a damaged windshield rather than replace it, Erie will waive the deductible for that coverage.
  • YourTurn bonuses: Erie’s YourTurn app measures criteria like speeding, hard braking, and a driver’s phone usage. Drivers who sign up for YourTurn monitoring and improve their driving safety scores can earn rewards of up to $10 every two weeks. Drivers can instantly spend, save, or donate each reward.

Availability

As of December 2022, Erie sells auto insurance policies in the following states:

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Washington, D.C.

Light BulbDID YOU KNOW?

Along with New Hampshire, Virginia is one of two U.S. states that does not legally require drivers to have car insurance. Instead, drivers in Virginia can pay a $500 uninsured motorist fee to the state DMV.2

Erie Customer Service

Here’s how to get in touch with roadside assistance:

  • Call 800-367-3743 toll-free, 24/7.

There are several ways to contact Erie’s customer care:

  • Find a local Erie agent: https://www.erieinsurance.com/find-an-insurance-agent
  • Phone: Call (800) 458-0811 toll-free Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. or Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. Erie customer care is closed on the following holidays:
    • New Year’s Day
    • Memorial Day
    • Independence Day
    • Labor Day
    • Thanksgiving Day
    • Christmas Day
  • Email: https://www.erieinsurance.com/contact-erie/customer-care
  • Live chat: Chat with a customer care agent through your online account from Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.
  • Mailing address:
    • Erie Insurance Group
    • 100 Erie Insurance Place
    • Erie, PA 16530-1104

Claims:

  • Call 800-367-3743 toll-free, 24/7.

Connect with Erie on social media:

  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/erieinsurance
  • Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/erie_insurance/
  • Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/erie-insurance-group/
  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/erie_insurance
  • YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ErieInsurance

Mobile Apps and Online Features

Erie offers a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices. The app allows users to view, download, and share policy documents and ID cards, make payments, view claims, and chat with customer service.

The Erie Insurance Mobile app has 3.2 out of five stars in the Google Play store, averaged from 221 reviews, and an Apple App Store rating of three out of 5 stars, averaged from 124 ratings. Negative reviews of both apps mention issues with making payments and saving payment methods in the app, as well as difficulty copying and pasting information into the app.

Third-Party Ratings

  • AM Best: AM Best is a credit rating agency specializing in the insurance industry, assessing the financial strength of different insurance companies. In addition to indicating the overall health of the business, an insurer’s financial strength is important to its customers because it translates to the company’s ability to pay out claims. AM Best gives Erie an A+ rating and a designation of “superior”, with an “excellent” long-term financial outlook.3
  • Better Business Bureau: The Better Business Bureau (BBB) rates Erie at an A+, though it has not yet accredited the business. The customer reviews section of the BBB site lists Erie’s star rating as 1.15 out of five possible stars, averaged from 60 reviews. Keep in mind that this is a small sample size and that these reviews include Erie homeowners and other non-auto insurance customers. Negative customer complaints mention unprofessional customer service agents and difficulty coordinating between the insurance company and repair garages.4
  • J.D. Power: J.D. Power is a consumer research, data, and analytics firm which conducts an annual auto insurance satisfaction study to evaluate customers’ satisfaction with their insurance providers. The firm’s 2022 study ranked Erie as its top scorer in two regions: the Mid-Atlantic and North Central U.S. This makes Erie the top-scoring company for customer satisfaction in the North Central region for two years in a row.5

Company History

Founded in 1925 as the Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance is named after the location of its founding and headquarters: Erie, Pennsylvania. H.O. Hirt and O.G. Crawford, two colleagues at a local insurance company, decided to create an insurance business of their own. One of the company’s first auto insurance policies was for H.O. Hirt’s own car.

Erie first expanded outside Pennsylvania in 1953 when it opened an office in Maryland. The company has continued expanding since, most recently adding Kentucky to its covered states in 2014. Today, Erie is the 13th-largest auto insurer in the U.S. and has sold more than six million insurance policies throughout its more than 90 years in business. The company has more than 6,000 employees and sells its insurance through more than 13,000 licensed agents.

Other Insurance Erie Provides

The company offers the following types of vehicle insurance:

Erie offers these types of home and property insurance:

  • Condo
  • Floor
  • Homeowners
  • Mobile home
  • Personal valuables
  • Renters

The provider’s life, health, and lifestyle insurance policies are as follows:

  • Identity theft recovery
  • Life
  • Long-term care
  • Medicare supplement
  • Personal umbrella
  • Retirement

Erie also offers several types of business insurance:

  • Business
  • Business auto
  • Risk control
  • Workers compensation

The company’s industry packages are listed below:

  • Auto services
  • Breweries, wineries, and distilleries
  • Contractors
  • Landlords and property owners
  • Manufacturers
  • Offices and professional services
  • Religious organizations
  • Restaurants
  • Retailers
  • Technology
  • Veterinarians and pet care
  • Wholesalers and distributors

Cancellation Policy

To cancel your auto insurance policy, contact your local Erie insurance agent or call customer care toll-free at 800-458-0811.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Erie insurance good?

Yes, Erie’s car insurance is a good deal, offering a wide variety of coverage for a reasonable price. Its average annual cost of $1,084 is only $14 more than the national average and comes with automatic benefits like rate lock and first accident forgiveness, as well as personal item and pet injury coverage.

Does Erie insurance cover a new car automatically?

Yes, if you have Erie insurance and trade in your old car for a new one, your insurance will roll over to the new vehicle automatically. If you buy an additional car, the new car will receive the broadest coverage on any vehicle on your Erie policy for your household. You will then have seven days from the date of purchase to formally add the new vehicle to your policy.

Does Erie cover borrowed cars?

Yes, Erie car insurance covers borrowed cars as well as trailers and moving vans used for personal purposes.

Citations

  1. Bundle Insurance and Save Money. Erie Insurance. (2022).
    https://www.erieinsurance.com/auto-insurance/insurance-bundle

  2. Insurance Requirements. Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. (2022).
    https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/vehicles/#insurance.asp/

  3. AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Members of Erie Insurance Group and Erie Family Life Insurance Company. AM Best. (2021, Jul 28).
    https://news.ambest.com/PressContent.aspx?altsrc=2&refnum=30991

  4. Erie Insurance Group. Better Business Bureau. (2022).
    https://www.bbb.org/us/pa/erie/profile/insurance-companies/erie-insurance-group-0141

  5. Usage-Based Auto Insurance Takes Center Stage as Satisfaction Flatlines, J.D. Power Finds. J.D. Power. (2022, Jun 13).
    https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2022-us-auto-insurance-study