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ByJulian Dossett

Julian is a tech and finance writer, covering stories from artificial intelligence to cryptocurrency. He lives with his wife in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

ERIE Renters Insurance Review

The Pennsylvania-based ERIE has been around since 1925 and offers a wide range of insurance. According to its company website, ERIE currently has more than 5.8 million policies in circulation. ERIE’s insurance should cover everything most renters need, and its strong reliability and customer service has earned top marks with the Better Business Bureau and A.M. Best.

Aside from its small service area — just 12 states — ERIE's biggest drawback is that it's a little old-school, in that it doesn’t offer many online options and does not have a mobile app for policyholders. This means you’ll need to contact your ERIE agent or call the customer care number with your policy questions. However, if you live within its service area and you don't mind that slight inconvenience, it's still worth pulling a quote from the company.

Pros
Cons
Industry veteran
Good reputation
Can bundle with other policies
Not available in many states
Limited online capabilities
Policies only available through independent agents

The Renters Insurance Factors We Analyzed

Customer experience

After 95 years of operation, ERIE continues to feature a reliable customer service experience. In 2017 and 2018, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners counted far fewer complaints than average for an insurance company of its size.

ERIE scored seventh place in J.D. Power’s U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Study for 2019, with most of its points lost in the categories of "estimation process," "repair process," and "settlement." However, it came in fifth place for overall satisfaction with renters insurance, specifically, in a separate J.D. Power study. The company scored perfect marks for the categories of “price” and “interaction,” which speaks to ERIE’s affordability and the abilities of its independent agents.

The categories that ERIE lost points in were “policy offerings” and “billing process and policy information.” These scores make perfect sense, because ERIE is only available in 12 states, and the company does not have much in terms of an online presence for policyholders. ERIE does allow customers to request a personal quote online, but most interactions will need to go through one of the many independent agents that ERIE uses. According to its company website, ERIE works with over 12,400 independent insurance agents. And by all accounts, these independent agents do a good job handling policies and responses.

Coverage information

For policyholders with renters insurance, ERIE offers coverage for personal property, loss-of-use, personal liability, and guest medical. In addition, the company will pay for a renter’s living expenses in the event of a fire or another similar covered loss. These expenses include hotel, meals, temporary rental, and more.

It's important to note that Erie's coverage is available in only 12 states — Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin — as well as the District of Columbia.

Deals, discounts, and add-ons

If your initial premium comes out high, ERIE advertises a few easy ways to lower your monthly cost. One of the most straightforward ways to save money on renters insurance with ERIE is to bundle the renters insurance with another type of insurance provided by the company, like auto or life. ERIE also offers discounts to renters who live in properties that have installed alarm systems and sprinklers.

ERIE Renters Insurance Overview: Financial Strength, Availability, and History

In the states where it operates, ERIE enjoys a long-standing reputation of reliable policies. Both A.M. Best and the Better Business Bureau have awarded ERIE Insurance with an A+ rating.

  • In business since: 1925
  • S&P Global financial strength rating: N/A
  • Moody’s financial strength rating: N/A
  • A.M. Best financial strength rating: A+ (Superior)
  • States served: 12 plus Washington, D.C.

The Competition

 
A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating
J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Renters Insurance Study Score
NAIC Customer Complaints
ERIE
A+
3/5
Fewer complaints than average
USAA
A++
5/5
Fewer complaints than average
State Farm
A++
5/5
Fewer complaints than average
American Family
A
5/5
Fewer complaints than average
Allstate
A+
2/5
Fewer complaints than average
Nationwide
A+
2/5
Fewer complaints than average
Farmers
A
2/5
Fewer complaints than average

Information accurate as of January 15, 2020.

The Bottom Line

Over the many decades of the company’s existence, ERIE has established itself as one of the go-to options for insurance — and renters insurance is no exception. The renters insurance that ERIE offers covers everything that the average renter needs. However, people with many luxury items in their apartment or other special circumstances may need to look elsewhere.

There is no getting around the limitations of ERIE’s area of coverage. If a potential customer doesn’t live in one of the 12 states where ERIE operates, then they are probably out of luck. The lack of online tools and mobile app available for policyholders might also turn people away. Regardless, it's always worth getting a few quotes from different companies before purchasing a policy, and ERIE is worthy of inclusion if you live within its coverage area.

ERIE Renters Insurance FAQ

How much does renters insurance cost from ERIE?

There are many factors that go into calculating the cost of renters insurance. The cost also varies by state, so the price will be different for people living in different areas of coverage, as well.

On ERIE’s company website, it lists the average policy at $184 per year, which works out to a little over $15 per month. ERIE cites the National Association of Insurance Commissioner for this data. The average policy cost is for liability coverage ranging from $30,000 to $50,000 with a deductible between $500 and $1,000.

What is typically covered under ERIE renters insurance?

ERIE’s renters insurance offers liability protection that covers injuries to people who are accidentally harmed on your property and extends coverage to guests who are accidentally harmed while visiting your home. Its renters insurance even extends liability and personal property coverage outside of the home and provides coverage anywhere in the world.

Under ERIE’s renters insurance, living expenses, such as lodging and food, are covered in the event of a covered loss and you need somewhere else to live. Individual policies will determine exactly what is covered in these areas.

Can you cancel ERIE renters insurance?

Yes, ERIE allows policyholders to cancel their renters insurance. There are usually no fees for early cancellation, but they can occur in some instances. All cancellations must be done through one of the independent agents associated with ERIE.

Can people outside of ERIE’s coverage area sign up for renters insurance?

Unless the rental property is located in one of the 12 states that ERIE serves (or in Washington, D.C.), it is not possible to purchase renters insurance from the company.

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