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Erie car insurance review Oct 2020

Last updated:  

Try a local insurer focused on customer satisfaction and peace of mind.

finder.com's rating: 4.5 / 5

★★★★★

  • Get a quote if you want great customer service from your local agent.
  • Pick something else if you want the cheapest rates.
  • Drivers in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast save with plenty of discounts.

optional

Roadside assistance

Yes

New car protection

Accident forgiveness

Details

States served District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Roadside assistance Optional
Accident forgiveness Yes
New car protection Yes
Pay schedule monthly
Claims methods phone, in-person
Rideshare coverage Yes
SR-22 support No info available

Pros

  • Rate lock
  • Accident forgiveness
  • Vanishing deductible
  • Online bill pay

Cons

  • Doesn’t accept online claims
  • Limited availability in only 12 states
  • Average customer loyalty
Anti-theft device discount Yes
Bundling discount Yes
Defensive driving discount Yes
Good student discount Yes
Loyalty discount Yes
Homeowner discount Yes
Military discount No
Safety device discount Yes
Special employment discount No
Usage-based discount Yes

Expert review

Roslyn McKenna

Review by


Roslyn McKenna is an insurance publisher for Finder, where she's driven to help people get a great deal on insurance to protect their families and finances. Roslyn earned a BA in writing and communications from Maryville College and has written professionally for more than a decade, showing up on Bankrate, MSN and Reader's Digest.

Expert review

Erie has a reputation for outstanding customer service and has received J.D Power’s highest customer satisfaction ranking for the past five years and running. It’s commitment to affordable auto insurance begins with its generous discounts and is reinforced by the ERIE Rate Lock Program, which helps customers stay in control of their rates.

Between high customer satisfaction and an arsenal of great perks, Erie has quickly become one of the best regional car insurance providers. This insurer works best if you live in the Northeast and are willing to fork out a bit extra for a highly rated provider. However, you do have cheaper options out there too.

Best of 2020
Finder experts pick Erie as a 2020 best brand for car insurance.

Where is Erie car insurance available?

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

What car insurance coverage does Erie offer?

  • Collision and comprehensive damage. Pays for damages to your car caused by other cars or objects, fire, flooding, hail, theft or vandalism.
  • Liability protection. Pays for third-party property and bodily damages that result from an accident you’ve caused.
  • Personal injury protection. Covers the cost of doctors, hospitalization and even funerals if you or a passenger is injured or killed in a car accident, no matter who is at fault.
  • Uninsured motorists coverage. Pays for damages or injuries to you and your passengers resulting from a hit-and-run accident or an uninsured driver, including medical expenses and lost wages.
  • Underinsured motorists coverage. Bridges the gap between someone else’s policy limits and the actual cost of your medical expenses after an accident.

What extras and add-ons does Erie offer?

Besides the great coverage and excellent customer service, there are a number of perks and policy add-ons to help sweeten the deal.

  • First accident forgiveness. No extra fees on your first at-fault accident after you have been a customer for three years. Only applies once for all drivers on your policy.
  • Diminishing deductible. Deductible is reduced by $100 for every consecutive claims-free policy year, up to a maximum of $500.
  • Locksmith services. If you get locked out of your vehicle, Erie can send a locksmith to help.
  • New car protection. If your new vehicle is less than two years old and considered total loss after an accident, it will be replaced with a new vehicle of the latest model year.
  • Personal item coverage. Additional coverage for personal items inside your vehicle.
  • Pet coverage. Get up to $500 for veterinary care for each pet injured or killed in your vehicle in a car accident, up to $1,000 total. Not available in North Carolina.
  • Rate lock. Your rates will only change if you add or remove a vehicle or a driver or move — even if you make a claim.
  • Rental car coverage. Covers the cost of a rental car while your car is in the shop for repairs.
  • Roadside assistance. Towing and roadside assistance if your car breaks down on the road.

What discounts can I get with Erie?

Erie Insurance strives to provide affordable auto insurance coverage through its massive network of independent agents. To do so, it offers a huge number of discounts that can help keep your premiums low.

  • Multipolicy. Save between 16% and 25% if you bundle Erie life or home insurance with your auto policy.
  • Paid in full. Receive a discount for paying your premiums in a single, lump-sum payment instead of in monthly installments.
  • Safety features. Get discounted rates when insuring vehicles with safety features such as antilock brakes, antitheft devices and airbags.
  • Storage. Also called laid-up coverage or short-term insurance — get a discount if your car will be in storage and won’t be driven for at least 90 days during your policy.
  • Student away from home. Get a discount when your young driver goes off to college but leaves the car at home.
  • Young driver. You may qualify for one or more of the several discounts Erie offers young drivers. Driver training, credits towards an Erie insurance policy and a discount just for being unwed, young and living at home are all available.

Pros and cons of Erie car insurance

Pros

  • Rate lock. Lock in a rate for your policy that’s good until you add or remove drivers, change vehicles or move to another address.
  • Accident forgiveness. Once you’re an Erie customer for three years, your first accident has no impact on your monthly insurance bill.
  • Vanishing deductible. The longer you go without an accident, the smaller your deductible when you do need to file a claim.
  • Online bill pay. Take care of your payments through your online account.

Cons

  • Doesn’t accept online claims. To file a claim with Erie, you need to call or visit a field office. This can be a headache if you’re used to having digital options.
  • Limited availability. Erie offers insurance to residents of 12 northeastern states and Washington D.C. If you live outside this area, you’ll need to look for another provider.
  • Lacking customer loyalty. Erie can refuse to renew your insurance policy if it determines you’re filing excessive claims, even if you’re up to date on your premiums.

Compare alternatives to Erie

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How to apply for Erie car insurance

While it’s easy to get a quote for Erie car insurance online, it’s unclear whether you can obtain coverage online. This insurer requires claims to be filed via phone or your Erie agent, so you might need to apply for coverage through these methods as well.

To get a quote, simply head online and follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Erie website
  2. Fill in your ZIP in the quote box and hit enter
  3. Follow the prompts, entering the requested information
  4. Submit your information to receive a quote

What info do I need to apply?

  • Personal information, including your full name, birthdate and address
  • Contact information, including your email address and phone number
  • Vehicle information, including the make, model, year, VIN and annual mileage
  • Driver information

Once you obtain a quote, you can submit your quote to a local agent. Your agent will reach out to you in the following days to discuss your quote and set up coverage.

Erie car insurance reviews and complaints

Erie consistently receives high scores for customer service and satisfaction from J.D. Power. In fact, it was top-rated every year between 2013 and 2019.

As of October 2020, Erie isn’t accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but it is rated A+ by the agency for its attention to customer complaints. Its average customer rating with BBB is less than 2 out of 5 stars, with only 46 reviews. But its overall complaints are low for its size.

Case study: Roslyn’s experience

profile pic

Roslyn McKenna

Car insurance Publisher

I joined my husband’s car insurance policy with Erie after we got married. We paid $1,244 a year for 100/300/100 coverage with collision and comprehensive on a 2016 Ford C-Max and a 2011 Toyota Prius in Tennessee. Unfortunately, we had to switch insurers when we moved outside Erie’s 12 supported states, which is one drawback of using a local insurer.

Erie offers excellent customer service and coverage transparency. Your local agent is easy to reach, knows who you are and can help you with any questions or concerns about your policy. We also saved money by bundling our car and home insurance policies under the same insurer.

How to contact Erie

You can get ahold of an Erie agent or a member of the customer care team in one of a few ways:

Agents: Search for your local agent online or call 800-458-0811.

Customer care: By phone at 800-458-0811, email using its online form or visit an office

By mail: Erie Insurance Group, 100 Erie Insurance Place, Erie, PA 16530-1104

Erie’s cancellation policy

Frequently asked questions about Erie car insurance

Car insurance ratings

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2 Comments

  1. Default Gravatar
    John
    April 15, 2018

    If my son drives in OH but does not own a vehicle, what is the right insurance for him to get? Is the SR22 what he should have?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Joshua
      April 15, 2018

      Hi John,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder.

      If your son needs to drive but he doesn’t own a vehicle, then the right insurance for him should be a non-owner auto insurance policy. However, only a few car insurance companies provide this type of insurance policy.

      Typically a non-owner auto insurance policy only provides liability coverage, not optional coverage like damage to the car, rental reimbursement or medical expenses.

      But on the plus side, this type of insurance usually costs significantly less than a typical insurance policy because they’re under the assumption that the driver is driving less, and thus less likely to have a wreck.

      You may learn more about this topic by reading our article entitled “Can I insure a car that’s not registered to me?

      Regarding the SR22, it is a document confirming to your state that you meet its minimum car insurance coverage requirements. In Ohio, an SR-22 is also sometimes called an SR-22 bond or certificate of financial responsibility. Your son needs a SR-22 if he is:

      – Involved in an accident that results in death, injury or damages of more than $400 and isn’t covered by the state’s minimum liability insurance.
      – Caught driving without insurance or are unable to show proof of his insurance to the authorities.
      – Found guilty of a DUI, DWI or other major traffic violation.

      Please read this guide to learn more about SR-22 in Ohio.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

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