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Erie car insurance review 2021

Get top customer service and rates locked in for the long-term, but not always the cheapest rates.

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

  • Rates locked in until you make changes to your policy
  • Free first accident forgiveness after 3 years
  • Vanishing deductible the longer you go without claims
  • Online bill pay

Cons

  • No online signup or claims
  • Limited availability in only 12 states
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
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Review by


Roslyn McKenna is an insurance expert who'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 high customer satisfaction rankings since 2013. Its commitment to affordable auto insurance begins with generous discounts, such as up to 25% for bundling home and auto insurance.

Once you begin your policy, the Erie Rate Lock feature keeps your rate the same year after year, unless you make major changes like adding a car or driver to your policy. So you shouldn’t see rate hikes for no reason.

As with any other insurer, you will find some complaints about the company’s claims process like delayed claims. However, these shouldn’t make or break your decision about the company. Erie doesn’t see many complaints considering its business size, and other customers report years of satisfaction while staying with the company.

Between high customer satisfaction and an arsenal of great perks, Erie has quickly become one of the best regional car insurance companies. This insurer works best if you live in one of the states it serves and are willing to fork out a bit extra for a highly rated insurance company.

How to get a free quote 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 your agent 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
  5. Submit your quote to a local agent and wait for your agent to call and confirm coverage.

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

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.

  • Advance quote. For new customers who get a quote 7 to 90 days before signing up. The discount stays on your policy but gradually decreases over a 5-year period. This discount also applies to any vehicle quote including classic cars, motorcycles, mopeds and RVs.
  • Driver training. Get a discount for drivers under 21, drivers over 55 and motorcycle drivers who complete a DMV safe driver class.
  • Farm use. This unique discount lets you save on insurance for a car that’s garaged and used exclusively on your farm.
  • Mature driver. Get a discount if the primary driver on your policy is over 55.
  • Multipolicy. Save between 16% and 25% if you bundle Erie life or home insurance with your auto policy.
  • Multi-vehicle. Receive a discount when you add multiple vehicles to your auto insurance policy with Liberty Mutual. This can also apply if you have approved personal use of a business car.
  • New vehicle. Receive a discount when you add or change a vehicle on your policy.
  • Paid in full. Receive a discount for paying your premiums in a single, lump-sum payment instead of in monthly installments.
  • Prior bodily injury limits. If your previous BIL amount was at least $300,000 per accident, you’ll get a discount whether you’re a new or returning customer.
  • Safe driver. Drivers with clean driving records can receive discounted rates. The discount amount is based on type of violations, policy loyalty and past claims for all drivers on the policy.
  • 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.
  • Young driver loyalty. Keep your policy with Erie for several years and you could get a break on premiums. This is Erie’s way of encouraging families to stick with the same insurer.

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 reimbursement. 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.

Erie car insurance reviews and complaints

Erie consistently receives high scores for customer satisfaction from the J.D. Power auto insurance studies. In fact, Erie was top-rated every year between 2013 and 2019. In 2020, it ranked in the top insurers for claims satisfaction with a score of 880 out of 1,000 points.

Erie isn’t accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) as of April 2021, but it is rated A+ by the agency for its attention to customer complaints. Its average customer rating with BBB is 1.5 out of 5 stars, with more than 50 reviews. Customers complain about a lack of response when working with adjusters, delayed claims or unsatisfactory settlements.

However, many customers file complaints or negative reviews when they’ve had a poor experience. Erie has received a score of 0.76 with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index. The industry average is 1.00, showing that Erie receives a below-average number of complaints for its business size. Customers on forums praise the company for its steep savings compared to other insurers and have had smooth claims experiences with the company.

Our star ratings for Erie, explained

Our car insurance experts rate Erie above average compared to other companies because of Erie’s solid coverage, top customer ratings and strong finances. The company consistently sees high ratings from J.D. Power, Trustpilot and other customer review sites. That coupled with its few complaints prove that it offers some of the best customer service around. We also like that Erie receives an A+ financial rating from AM Best, showing that it can back its claims.

Case study: Roslyn’s experience

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Roslyn McKenna

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.

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What car insurance coverage does Erie offer?

Erie offers the basic coverage that you’d expect from a car insurance company — and then expands with helpful add-ons.

  • 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.
  • Underinsured motorists coverage. Pays for damages or injuries to you and your passengers resulting from a hit-and-run accident or a driver without enough insurance, including medical expenses and lost wages.
  • Collision and comprehensive damage. Pays for damages to your car caused by other cars or objects, fire, flooding, hail, theft or vandalism.

Frequently asked questions about Erie car insurance

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Our insurance team analyzes car insurance providers to help you choose the best car insurance for you.

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2 Comments

    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.

      We have a guide you may want to read as it discuss car insurance SR-22 in Ohio in greater detail.

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

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

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