UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Erie Insurance isn’t the biggest or best-known insurance company in the United States, but it’s frequently ranked as one of the best insurance companies in the industry. The Erie, Pennsylvania-based company has sold car insurance policies for nearly 100 years. Today, Erie Insurance is available in 12 states, including Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, as well as Washington, D.C.
Erie Insurance History
Erie Insurance was founded in 1925 by two salesmen from Pennsylvania. The company was initially called the Erie Insurance Exchange. In the 1920s, Erie Insurance sold annual insurance premiums for $34.
During the early days, the company developed the mantra that “The ERIE is Above all in SERvIcE,” with letters capitalized to spell E-R-I-E. Since launch, Erie has emphasized the importance of customer service – a reputation that continues today with Erie’s strong claims satisfaction ratings and top-of-the-class J.D. Power rankings.
Erie disrupted the insurance industry in the 1930s by introducing its Super Standard Auto Policy. That auto policy included extra coverage not seen in other policies during the 1930s, including “Drive Other Car” coverage and waived collision deductibles.
Over the years, Erie also expanded the number of insurance products available. The company began selling fire insurance in 1940, for example, and later added home and business insurance.
Today, Erie continues to be headquartered in Erie, Pennsylvania. It’s a publicly-traded company (NASDAQ: ERIE) that currently sits at number 382 on the Fortune 500 list of the largest companies in America.
Erie Insurance Rankings
Erie is generally one of the top-rated insurance companies in the United States by both customers and ranking agencies. J.D. Power, for example, has repeatedly ranked Erie as one of the best insurance companies in the United States in the following categories:
Insurance Shopping (Auto): The best (Erie ranked first overall)
Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction: The best (Erie ranked first overall)
Home Insurance: About average
Property Insurance Claims: Better than most
Erie is also in a strong financial position. The company has an “A+” or “Superior” rating from A.M. Best, for example, indicating that the company should have no issue paying out claims. Most insurance companies have an A- or A rating, although some insurance companies have an A++ rating.
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Erie had fewer than the median number of complaints to state regulators in 2018 relative to other insurance companies of its size.
What Makes Erie Insurance Unique?
Erie Insurance has several policies and products that distinguish it from the competition, including all of the following:
Different Insurance Policies: Erie offers a wide range of insurance products, including car, home, umbrella, boat, and business insurance, among other products.
Retirement Planning: In addition to selling insurance, Erie also offers retirement planning, including annuities and individual retirement accounts (traditional and Roth).
Well-Rated Home Insurance: Homeowners can bundle policies to save money. Erie’s home insurance is nearly as well-rated as its car insurance. Popular features include guaranteed replacement costs (which means your home will be covered in full if it’s destroyed or damaged, with no ‘wear and tear’ taken into account), animal coverage (if your pets are injured), and standard possession coverage.
Is Erie a Good Insurance Company? Our Review
Erie is indisputably one of the best-rated car insurance companies in the United States. The company ranked first in both categories on the latest J.D. Power rankings, indicating that the company has better claims satisfaction than any other insurance company in the country, based on a survey of more than 14,000 policyholders.
Despite offering strong claims satisfaction and customer service, Erie doesn’t overwhelm customers with high insurance prices. The company’s rates are generally very competitive with other insurance companies.
Many customers also appreciate benefits like RateLock, which lets you lock in your car insurance premiums for life (or at least until you make major changes to your policy). You can lock into the same car insurance premiums until you move, add or remove a vehicle, or add or remove a driver.
The only real ‘catch’ with Erie is that it’s only available in 12 states (and Washington D.C.). For drivers in the Erie coverage area, Erie offers some of the best value car insurance available today.
Erie Auto Insurance Policies and Products
Erie has several car insurance policies and products that make it unique, including all of the following:
RateLock: RateLock is a popular Erie insurance policy that lets you lock in auto insurance rates until you add or remove drivers, add or remove vehicles, or move. In other words, you can pay the same price until you make a significant change to your policy. This is known as “RateProtect” in New York.
Pet Injury Coverage: Get up to $500 in veterinary care for pets injured in your vehicle in an accident, up to $1,000.
New Car Protection: If your car is 24 months old or newer and is totaled in an accident, then Erie will replace it with a new car of the current model year (not available in all states).
Better Car Protection: If your car is 24 months old or older and is totaled, then Erie will pay for a car of the same make and model two years newer, or will pay off your auto loan if you have one (not available in all states).
Great Rental Car Coverage: One reason why Erie has strong claims satisfaction is that the company offers generous rental car coverage. Erie offers basic rental car coverage free, but you can also pay for upgraded rental options like a luxury car or SUV.
Erie is frequently ranked as one of the top car insurance companies in the United States in terms of claims satisfaction, customer service, and other metrics. The company has provided great-value car insurance for nearly 100 years. Today, Erie is available in 12 states and Washington D.C.