Erie 2019 Auto Insurance Review: Rates, Claims Satisfaction, and Coverage

BravoDollar Editor rating:

Summary:

Erie insurance, the 11th largest insurer in the U.S., is a regional insurance company found in 12 states as well as Washington D.C. They offer a full breadth of coverage options, award-winning ranking in claims satisfaction, competitive premiums, and a large network of 12,000 independent agents. If you do live in a state where Erie auto insurance is available, you should consider them.

Pros:

  • Offers customers very good rates that typically beats other competitors by 20 – 40%.
  • Provides a significant number of coverage options that match or exceed other nationwide companies.
  • Offers a Rate Lock program which fixes your premium unless you make changes to your policy like adding or removing a vehicle or driver or if you move.

Cons:

  • Erie is not a nationwide insurance company and has a coverage area that is limited to twelve states and Washington D.C.
  • Customers and policyholders cannot purchase insurance or file claims through their website or an app.

Erie has one of the highest levels of customer satisfaction in the industry and offers a wide array of coverage options and discounts to its customers.  This regional insurance company, however, is only available in twelve states which include: Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin as well as Washington D.C.  However, in these states, Erie’s prices tend to be lower than other insurance companies. Because of its prices and coverage options, Erie is an excellent choice for people who reside in the states it serves.

Erie Rate Lock is a significant feature that Erie offers which differs from other insurance companies. Rate Lock guarantees that the policyholder’s rate will not increase unless the policyholder changes drivers, vehicles, or location.  Thus, many Erie policyholders are not subject to unexpected rate increases which is a primary complaint about many insurance companies.  Furthermore, Erie offers First Accident Forgiveness and Diminishing Deductible which help their policyholders save money with their already low premiums.

In addition to traditional vehicles, Erie insures motorcycles, recreational vehicles, boats, ATVs, golf carts. and more.  Moreover, the company offers a full range of homeowners insurance, life insurance, identity theft recovery insurance, and business insurance.  They offer multiple policy discounts averaging 20% making Erie is an excellent choice for consumers who want to take care of all their insurance needs from one company.

The Value Equation ($)

Erie is an auto insurance company which stands out as a great value due to its offerings and prices compared to competitors.  Like other insurance companies, Erie insurance premium prices depend on your age, location, type of vehicle, driving record, and coverage choices among other things. With these factors taken into consideration, Erie tends to be cheaper than other auto insurance competitors in most categories.

To get a quote from Erie, you can start by filling out some information on their website form, but to complete the purchase, your quote will be sent to a nearby agent that you get paired with.

Here is a glimpse of how Erie’s average premiums compare to 2 other large national providers.

Erie consistently offers a low premium price in comparison to large competitors like State Farm and GEICO, the largest and second largest insurance provider in the US.  Yet, Erie still offers a full breath of coverage and has a high claims satisfaction rating.

 State FarmErieGEICO
18 year old, no accident$5,820$2,240$3,500
30 year old, no accident$1,328$1,108$1,110
Drivers with DUI$3,849$1,165$2,551
Drivers with 1 at-fault accident $2,845$893$1,850

Discounts

Erie offers its customers several discounts many of which are the traditional discounts available from automobile insurance companies.  They fall into these categories:

  • Vehicle Discounts – discounts for safety features such as anti-lock brakes, airbags, anti-theft devices
  • Policy Discounts – pay in full discount, multiple vehicle discounts, multi-policy discount
  • Driver History and Education Discounts – discounts for defensive drivers, good drivers, and those who have received driver training
  • Reduced Usage Discount – if you do not plan to drive your car for 90 consecutive days
  • Young Drivers Discount – for unmarried drivers under the age of 21

Like other insurance companies, the discounts that you qualify for with Erie are mostly determined when you obtain the policy; however, you can add discounts later to save on your rate.  Discounts are determined by a variety of personal factors such as age and driving record. You must remain qualified for the discounts throughout the life of the policy to keep receiving the discount.

Claims Satisfaction

Just as the price is important when shopping for auto insurance, the claims process that the company utilizes is equally important.   According to the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, Erie’s claims satisfaction rating is among the highest in the industry.

How easy is it to file a claim with Erie?

Unlike with most auto insurance companies nowadays, you cannot file a claim with Erie online or through a mobile device.  However, Erie does offer 24/7 support for its customers who need to file a claim.

How easy is it to file a claim with Erie?

  • Call your Erie agent.
  • Call Erie at 800-367-3743

What is the average consumer experience and satisfaction with Erie?

Each year, J.D. Power surveys an estimated 10,000 auto insurance customers who have filed a claim in the past six months.  J.D. Power then ranks insurance providers on a 1000-point scale based on the results of the survey. Erie ranked right behind USAA as the second highest in customer auto claims satisfaction with 891/1000.  The top two largest insurance companies, State Farm and GEICO, scored 864/1000 and 857/1000 respectively. The only complaint that is typically raised about Erie is that it is only available in a limited service area.

Coverage Options

Although Erie Insurance is a regional insurance company, it is still known for the breadth of its coverage options which rival those of the largest insurance companies.  The chart below compares Erie to the top 2 largest insurance providers in the US.

FeaturesState FarmErieGEICO
Liability
Physical Damage
Collision
Comprehensive
Medical Payment Coverage
Uninsured Motorist
Roadside Assistance
Rideshare (Uber/Lyft)
Rental Reimbursement✔ Also includes up to $500 in travel expense coverage
Gap InsuranceOnly for State Farm Bank financed vehiclesX
Rate LockXX

Other Insurance

Erie offers more than the traditional car, truck, and SUV auto insurance.  In addition to these vehicles, Erie insures motorcycles, recreational vehicles, boats, ATVs, golf carts, snowmobiles and more. Thus, you can get all your vehicles, both on road and off-road, insured by Erie.

Erie Insurance also offers a wide selection of property insurance which includes homeowners insurance, condo insurance, mobile home insurance, flood insurance, and personal valuables insurance.  Apartment dweller can obtain renters insurance through Erie as well.

Erie offers life insurance options in addition to Personal Catastrophe Liability Insurance, and Medicare Supplements.  Furthermore, Erie also offers financial products for you to plan for your retirement. Moreover, it offers Identity Theft Recovery Coverage, a type of coverage that may not be offered by all the large insurance companies, but you may need at some point in your life.

Erie also offers a large selection of business insurance to business owners.  In addition to offering insurance geared toward a variety of different types of businesses, it offers key person life, group life, workers compensation and more.  Furthermore, a business owner can obtain business data breach insurance, employment practices liability insurance, insure their business automobiles and property as well as obtain business umbrella insurance.

Website Experience

Unlike many other large insurance companies nowadays, Erie’s website does not allow its shoppers and customers to purchase insurance online or complete the filing of a claim without talking to an agent. Thus, Erie gives the consumer more personalized service.  Yet, its website is not as comprehensive as those of its competitors. This is Erie’s one shortcoming. For example, instead of listing all its coverage options clearly on the website, consumers not ready to obtain a quote must go to one of the blog articles to find all of Erie’s coverage options.  Furthermore, Erie does not have a downloadable app. However, you can still make a payment through the website.

The Bottom Line

  • Erie Insurance is known for its excellent customer service and claims satisfaction, receiving the second highest score by J.D. Power’s 2018 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Survey.
  • One primary complaint that consumers have with auto insurance companies is that they experience rate increases.  Erie has Rate Lock which guarantees that its customers will not experience a rate increase unless they add a driver, change vehicles, or move.
  • Erie’s rates tend to beat other insurers in its state by 20 – 40% making it an excellent choice for those who want to save on their premium.
  • Erie, however, is not a good choice for people who want to handle all their auto insurance needs online or through an app without having to interact with an agent.
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on google
Google+
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

No comment yet, add your voice below!


Leave a Reply