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ERIE Auto Insurance Review
ERIE auto insurance earned a spot on our list of the best auto insurance companies for its highly rated customer satisfaction and unique built-in coverages. It offers uncommonly broad coverage for eligible customers. Standard auto insurance policies from ERIE include several unique options like pet coverage, locksmith services, and moving van coverage. All of this additional coverage comes at no additional charge, so keep that in mind when comparing rates with other companies.
ERIE does offer a number of discounts, including bundling and younger-driver discounts. It also offers a unique ERIE Rate Lock option, which allows you to set your premium for three years (with exceptions, and only if you qualify.) However, while ERIE has many attractive features, it has limited availability, serving only 12 states as well as Washington, D.C. If ERIE car insurance is available in your area, you’ll be able to get a quote online, but almost all claims must be made over the phone, and the insurer generally does not perform well for overall digital experience.
ERIE’s tagline, as formatted in its logo, reads, “Above all in SERVICE” — a visual trick that elevates the company’s name above other letters. Play on words aside, this mantra highlights the company’s dedication to its customers.
Is it true?
Yes, as long as “all” means all competitors in available areas.
ERIE certainly has made a name for itself when it comes to excellence in customer service. Standing out even among the largest insurers, ERIE consistently ranks near the top of customer service and claims satisfaction studies, including those from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports. With over 12,000 agents available locally to help, ERIE remains an industry leader in customer service, even though it struggles with the digital experience.
This excellence in service is great if you live in one of the 12 states where ERIE is available, but its claim isn’t relevant for the rest of the country looking for auto insurance. Many of the nation’s other largest insurance companies offer coverage in all, or nearly all, of the 50 states.
- In business since: 1925
- A.M. Best financial strength rating: A+
- Policy types: Auto, Motorcycle, RV, Boat
- Pros: Excellent customer service, broad standard coverage
- Cons: Poor digital experience
Coverage and discount availability may vary by state and eligibility.
Excellent customer service
ERIE has an impressive record when it comes to customer service. In J.D. Power’s 2019 Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Study, ERIE ranked highly for every region in which it was considered. Not only did it earn the top spot for the Mid-Atlantic region, but it also ranked within the top three for both the Southeast and North Central regions. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ national complaint index also shows that ERIE’s customers are satisfied, with ERIE receiving about half of the industry average amount of complaints, even taking its size into account.
Broad standard coverages
There are several perks to choosing ERIE’s coverage, and a few are even automatically included in a standard policy. For example, pet coverage, locksmith services, and protection for personal items are all included in standard policy, up to set limits. Customers can qualify to have their first accident forgiven after remaining a customer for three years. These coverage options may be available through other providers, but they are rarely ever included without an extra fee.
Even more extra coverages are included if you choose to carry comprehensive coverage. This includes locksmith services and glass repair, which waives your deductible for repairs on your windshield or windows. ERIE also covers additional or replacement vehicles automatically, although this is more common among car insurance providers. This coverage will protect you for a few days; just make sure you notify your insurer as quickly as possible to update your policy.
The moment you purchase a new car, the value of your vehicle begins depreciating. The value of your car can drop faster than you can pay down the balance on your car, leaving you upside down on the value of the car vs. what you owe on the loan.
Gap coverage can protect you if you total your car and you owe more on it than it’s worth. Drivers don’t always know what the value of their car actually is, but your car may actually be valued at less than what you owe on the loan. That can cause you to end up getting less from insurance than you’d expect if your car is totaled, but gap coverage will cover what you owe for the rest of your loan or lease, minus the deductible, if your car is destroyed in an accident.
Gap coverage isn’t required, but you may still want to obtain it for your protection. If you total your car, the insurance company will only cover up to the value of your car in its pre-accident condition. If you put a ton of miles on your vehicle or if you had other issues that lowered the value of your vehicle, this can be a handy way to avoid getting stuck with the rest of the loan balance after an accident.
With more than half of American households owning a pet, Erie knows how to protect its drivers and their pets. If you have a pet that is injured in an accident, Erie will help cover the vet costs by reimbursing you up to $500 per pet, with a maximum limit of $1,000.
Pet coverage can be added to any full coverage plan. You would benefit from pet coverage if you own a pet and also travel in a vehicle with your pet on a regular basis.
Auto Plus package
Erie Insurance also offers an Auto Plus package, which covers you with a list of additional benefits for just $30 more per year. Erie Auto Plus includes but is not limited to the following:
- Vanishing deductible
- Death benefit of $10,000
- Extra transportation expense coverage
- Waived deductible depending on circumstance
- Increased limits for some coverages
ERIE currently only offers auto insurance in Washington, D.C., and the following 12 states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. If you live elsewhere, we recommend starting with quotes from Amica, Geico, or Esurance.
Disappointing digital experience
If you’re looking for a modern experience at the touch of your finger, ERIE is not going to be the insurer to deliver. Despite its high scores in J.D. Power customer satisfaction studies, ERIE Insurance ranked second-to-last in J.D. Power’s 2019 Digital Experience Study. There is an option to file your auto glass claim online, but every other type of claim must be handled either by calling your ERIE agent or by calling an ERIE help line, available 24/7. ERIE does have award-winning claims satisfaction, but if the lack of an online or mobile process is a deal breaker for you, ERIE probably won’t be a good fit.
*Customer complaints are registered by the NAIC and measured relative to the company’s market share.
ERIE vs. Amica
Amica and ERIE are two of the highest-rated insurance companies when it comes to customer service and claims satisfaction. A large difference between these two, however, is availability. While ERIE is only available in part of the country, Amica is available in all states except Hawaii. So, if you are excited about ERIE’s reputation for customer service and claims satisfaction but don’t fall within an eligible area, Amica is a good alternative.
ERIE vs. Geico
Geico is the second-largest auto insurance company in the U.S., holds an impressive financial strength rating of A++ from A.M. Best, and serves all 50 states. While ERIE does outperform in customer satisfaction, Geico holds its own when it comes to digital satisfaction. Geico ranked No. 1 in J.D. Power’s 2019 digital experience survey — the same study where ERIE landed second-to-last. It would be worthwhile to compare quotes to see if Geico would be a good fit for your budget and coverage needs.
ERIE vs. Esurance
When comparing Esurance and ERIE coverage, you first need to know whether you are eligible for either coverage. Esurance is available in 43 states, far broader than ERIE’s 12. If you are able to choose between the two companies for your auto insurance, you will want to compare quotes, look at available coverage, and consider how much you value DIY digital experience.
Esurance has made its online quote, policy management, and claims process user-friendly with online tools and resources, while ERIE scores poorly for digital experience and largely doesn’t allow claims to be made online. If overall customer service is important to you, however, ERIE may prove worth a phone call. Esurance has more customer complaints than average, and it scores well below the industry average for claims satisfaction with J.D. Power. ERIE, on the other hand, is known for its stellar reputation for service.
ERIE Auto Insurance FAQ
Can I file a claim online?
You can file an auto glass claim online with ERIE, but for any other claims you need to make a call. You can either call your ERIE agent directly or call the 24/7 support line at (800) 367-3743.
Can I get an ERIE quote online?
Yes! You can get an auto insurance quote on ERIE’s website.
Does ERIE have a mobile app?
We weren’t able to find a current app available. This could help explain why ERIE scored among the lowest for digital experience in a 2019 J.D. Power study, but it didn’t seem to harm ERIE’s excellent customer service or claims satisfaction scores.
The Bottom Line
If you are searching for car insurance in one of the 12 states where ERIE is available, we recommend requesting a quote. ERIE’s reputation for high-quality customer service has been proven in multiple studies by industry leaders. That said, while it does have some online tools and resources available, ERIE’s overall digital experience is lacking, a downside that you’ll have to weigh against your own priorities.