Erie renters insurance covers your possessions and includes liability coverage.The company’s reliability and customer service has earned top marks with the Better Business Bureau and largely positive Erie renters insurance reviews, allowing it to rank among the best rental insurance companies.
Erie Insurance is based in Pennsylvania offers a wide range of insurance, from auto to business and renters. The company has almost 6 million policies sold by over 12,000 independent agents.
Erie Renters Insurance Overview
While Erie Insurance has positive ratings from major companies like J.D. Powers, customer reviews are mixed. For instance, customer reviews on BBB are under 2 stars with a few dozen reviews, despite their high rating. Overall, people seem to deem the company prompt and courteous enough, though many customers have issues filing claims.
- Industry veteran: he company has expanded from auto insurance over the years into a wide array of insurance policies with a growing number of experienced agents.
- Good reputation: Erie has mostly positive customer reviews, and the practice of dealing with an assigned agent can help customers build a report with the company.
- Can bundle with other policies Customers are able to save money by bundling their renters insurance with auto insurance, life insurance, and other available policies.
- Not available in many states: One of the chief drawbacks of Erie Insurance is that it is not available in most states, making it impossible at times to transfer a policy to a new home.
- Limited online capabilities: The company still operates on an agent basis, and everything from getting a quote to filing a claim still requires contacting the agent. This leads to delays.
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. Customers can also expect the underwriting process to inform their quote, based on factors like the total value of a home’s property and the type of property.
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.
For policyholders with renters insurance, Erie offers a standard coverage for personal property, loss-of-use, personal liability, and guest medical. The policies may also cover damage to another person’s property while they are in a covered home. 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 and Washington D.C.:
- New York
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
Erie’s renters insurance biggest drawback is that it’s a little old-school, in that it doesn’t offer many online options and the mobile app for policyholders doesn’t offer anything for renters insurance users. This means that for faster service you still need to call your Erie agent or contact the customer care number with your policy questions.
J.D. Power reports that “overall satisfaction decreases by 85 points and customers become 13.5 times more likely to shop for a new policy” when claims are cumbersome and/or premiums increase. Given the old-school claims policy at Erie, some customers may be frustrated with the process when compared to other companies that allow customers to submit their own photos and claim materials online.
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 is to bundle the renters insurance with another type of policy provided by the company, like auto or life. Erie also offers discounts to renters who live in properties that have installed features like home automation, alarm systems and sprinklers that mitigate the risk of serious loss. As with most of their policies, however, the only way to discover these discounts is to contact your local agent to see what might be available to you.
We evaluated Erie’s renters insurance based on its customer rating and experience, financial stability, and coverage to determine the best companies. To compare insurance companies across the board, we then calculated a Reviews.com score based on the following:
- Customer Ratings– Customer ratings are an indication of satisfaction with the process of filing a claim. We measured this using J.D. Power Homeowners Satisfaction ratings.
- Coverage– As there isn’t one company to fit everyone’s needs, we evaluated companies by the amount of coverage options available and add-ons available.
- Confidence– It is extremely important for insurance companies to fulfill customers’ claims. Companies with sound financial strength will not have issues paying out claims, regardless of the amount. However, companies with weak financial strength might not be able to pay out claims. We measured this using AM Best.
- Customer Experience– The amount of complaints a company receives is an indicator of the overall customer experience as it expresses dissatisfaction. We have based this measure on the NAIC National Complaint Index.
|Company||Reviews.com Score||AM Best Financial Strength Rating||J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Index(On a 1,000-point scale)||NAIC Customer Complaints|
|Erie Renters Insurance||4.25||A+||865||Fewer complaints than average|
|State Farm||3.75||A++||836||Fewer complaints than average|
|Geico||2.75||A++||Not Ranked||Fewer complaints than average|
|American Family||3.75||A||840||Fewer complaints than average|
|Allstate||4||A+||841||Fewer complaints than average|
|Nationwide||3.75||A+||831||Fewer complaints than average|
|Farmers||3.5||A||839||Fewer complaints than average|
*All information accurate as of 9/29/20.
Erie vs. State Farm
State Farm has a few advantages over Erie right off the bat. First, they have nationwide coverage, making it easier to remain loyal to the company over the years if customers move out west. The company also has more advanced technology, like robust website functionality, for its users.
Meanwhile, Erie is considerably more affordable than State Farm and was included in our list of the best cheap homeowners insurance. Other considerations include that State Farm will cover some things (like water beds and utility line) that Erie does not.
Erie vs. Geico
Like State Farm, Geico also has a national advantage that Erie just can’t compete with. Although Geico covers all states through a network of partners, so your renters insurance won’t be directly with Geico so the customer experience and coverages may vary depending on who provides coverage. Erie, on the other hand, underwrites its own policies, so the process will be consistent.
Geico also has online estimates and very low rates for basic coverage, which can be appealing to renters who are very budget conscious (including students) and don’t like to call an agent to find out more about signing up.
Like Erie, Geico Insurance offers bundles if you buy auto insurance at the same time. However, you may have to call an agent to learn more about combining coverage. Both companies have excellent ratings from the AM Financial Strength Rating and are good options for people who only need limited, affordable coverage. Customers who want a more customized experience and assigned agent will want to stick with Erie.
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 the company operates, then they are probably out of luck. The lack of online tools and the lack of a mobile app for renters insurance 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
In addition to Erie renters insurance, customers can get auto insurance, life insurance, business insurance, boat insurance, flood insurance, and more. Bundling more than one policy may result in savings.
The company operates in:
- Washington D.C.
- New York
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
ERIE renters insurance covers:
- Living expenses after a covered loss
- Liability protection for the damage of others’ property and for people who are injured in your home
- Protection for your property when you travel with it
- Belongings in your home not covered by your landlord’s policy