Erie Homeowners Insurance Review | The Simple Dollar

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Erie Homeowners Insurance Review | The Simple Dollar


For every homeowner, insuring their most valuable asset is the biggest priority. As a leading home insurance provider, Erie Insurance policies are designed to cover all kinds of damages that might befall a property. Established in 1925 by H.O. Hirt and O.G. Crawford, the Pennsylvania-based company was initially an automotive insurer that later branched out to life, home and business insurance as well as retirement, medicare and identity theft coverage. As opposed to most major insurance companies, Erie chooses to give the attention-seeking commercials a miss and remains understated with a market share of 1.7 percent and outstanding service to customers.

For this Erie home insurance review, we compared the company’s coverage, discounts, support, accessibility, customer satisfaction and support using the SimpleScore methodology to find out if it offers competitive and comprehensive policies for homeowners across twelve states and Washington, D.C.

Best for affordability — Erie

With exceptional customer service and best-in-market prices, Erie truly remains ‘above all in service’.

SimpleScore

3 / 5.0

SimpleScore Erie Insurance 3
  • High customer service ratings
  • Flexible coverage options
  • Robust website
  • No nationwide availability
  • Limited online tools

America’s top-rated home insurance

  • Policies starting at just $25/month
  • Sign up in seconds, claims paid in minutes
  • Zero hassle, zero paperwork

What we like about Erie

As one of the top ten insurance companies in the U.S., Erie has much to like about its policies.  

High customer service ratings 

For the last several years, Erie has retained its position as the insurance company with the most excellent customer service. Policyholders have widely commended the ease of doing business with the company, right from requesting quotes to filing claims.

Flexible coverage options

Erie offers all standard coverage options to homeowners with the choice of having extras added to your package. It also has packages that can be customized according to individual requirements.

Robust website

The company website provides users with information on home safety, house hunting, disaster preparedness and insurance shopping. It is also easy to find out from the website how Erie home insurance policies compare to the competition.

Who should get this policy

Erie home insurance is good for everyone, but those on a tight budget will benefit the most from the high quality of service at an affordable cost.

[Read: Best Flood Insurance Companies for 2021]

Things to consider

As with every insurance company, there may be certain reasons why it might not be right for you.

No nationwide availability

Erie Insurance only operates in 13 states around the U.S., including:

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Washington, D.C.

People outside of these territories will not be able to enjoy Erie’s pocket-friendly rates and diverse coverage options, and it’s one of the company’s biggest downsides.

Limited online tools

Requesting quotes and filing claims cannot be done online. For both of these processes, you must get in touch with a local agent or contact Erie’s 24/7 helpline. 

Who shouldn’t get this policy

Erie insurance is out of reach for those who do not live in its areas of operation. It might also be slightly inconvenient for those who depend on online tools for quick and easy services.

What we analyzed

To measure how Erie stacks up against its biggest contenders, our team analyzed the discounts, coverage, customer satisfaction, support and accessibility offered by this insurer.

Discounts

Erie home insurance has limited discounts on policies, but they may still save on premiums. The home insurance discounts offered by Erie are:

  • Multi-policy discount: For those who purchase life, auto and home insurance policies through the company
  • Safety features discount: For homes equipped with fire and burglar alarms and sprinkler systems
  • Advance quote discount: For those who get a quote between a week and two months of their policy renewal date.

Coverage

Besides the standard structure, liability and personal property coverages, Erie home insurance policies also have the option to include add-ons for an extra cost. The additional coverages are part of ErieSecure packages and the more you pay, the greater the choices.

  • Guaranteed replacement cost: Pays for the cost of rebuilding if your home is damaged
  • Identity recovery and fraud reimbursement: Recovers expenses associated with a case of identity theft
  • Coverage for Valuables: Covers against theft or damage of valuables such as cash, jewelry, art and silverware
  • Coverage for Hard-to-Replace Items: Protects important documents such as bills, deeds, passports and the like
  • Animal coverage: Insures pets such as fish and birds
  • Flood and earthquake insurance: Coverage against flood damage is provided in partnership with American Bankers and the National Flood Insurance Program. Also available is coverage against property damage in an earthquake.

[Read: Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost: What’s the Difference?]

Customer Satisfaction

Erie insurance has never faltered in customer satisfaction ratings over the decades. In J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. home insurance customer satisfaction survey, Erie gets second place with a score of 838 out of 1000 points. This equates to a five-star rating. The Better Business Bureau gives Erie insurance an A+, while the company’s complaint index is below average at 0.26, according to the NAIC (# 26271).

The company is also in superior financial health, based on the rating of A+ by AM Best, the largest independent financial agency. This means that the insurer is capable of meeting the needs of policyholders.

Support

Customers can expect to reach one of Erie’s 13,000 agents at any given time over the phone. You can find the nearest agents by using the locator tool on the website. The company does not offer online customer support but has a 24/7 helpline.

Accessibility

Everything from getting a quote to applying for a policy to filing a claim is done over the phone by working with a local agent. The only available online service is bill payment. There is no mobile app for home insurance or online tools that eliminate the need to speak to a human. 

Erie vs. the competition

The home insurance market is crowded. Even though Erie outshines most other companies in terms of customer satisfaction, it has stiff competition in other areas. The following are three major insurers evaluated for discounts, coverage options, accessibility, customer satisfaction and support and compared to Erie Insurance.

Amica Mutual

This lesser-known company has been protecting homes for over a century with hard-to-beat perks.

If there’s an insurer that surpasses Erie in every way, it’s Amica Mutual. Barring Alaska, Florida and Hawaii, it covers every other region in the US and has been voted best home insurance company by J.D. Power for 18 years in a row. Besides home insurance, Amica Mutual also offers auto, life and business insurance, has a streamlined website and mobile app, several online tools, and a multitude of coverage options and discounts.

Read our full Amica Mutual review.

USAA

Covering military families since 1923 with the cheapest rates and comprehensive policies.

The third-largest company for home and auto insurance, USAA ranks high in J.D. Power surveys for exceptional customer satisfaction, some of the cheapest premiums and most extensive coverage options. Policies are available across all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and the mobile app lets you pay bills and view your documents. The only downside for this stellar insurance provider? You must be a member of the military – or have someone in the immediate family who is – to be able to qualify.

Read our full USAA review.

State Farm

Love the catchy State Farm commercials? You’ll love the coverage options more.

With an AM Best rating of A++, the largest insurance company in the US outranks all the others in terms of financial health. State Farm’s prices are higher than Erie’s and it also offers limited discounts on homeowners insurance, but the wide range of coverage options and the ease of digital tools make the customer experience sweet.

Read our full State Farm review

Erie’s rates

The average cost of homeowners insurance is $1,211 but the cost varies significantly based on location, size and age of property, type of coverage and vulnerability to natural disasters. Newly constructed houses often have lower premiums compared to old properties, and having multiple safety features installed also leads to a price cut sometimes. The best way to determine the premium you might have to pay is by getting quotes from insurers and comparing them based on coverage.

Erie insurance does not have an online quotes tool. Prospective customers need to choose their coverage options from the company website and then discuss the rest over the phone with an agent. However, in most surveys, Erie was found to have the most affordable rates for comprehensive home insurance policies.

[Read: How to Find Cheap Homeowners Insurance in 2021]

Erie online and mobile app

To report claims and get a price estimate, customers need to speak to a local Erie agent or call the 24/7 helpline number. Its website is laden with information about the services offered and how Erie is different compared to similar insurance companies. Although the company does have a mobile app, it is solely for auto insurance. 

Erie renters, auto and life insurance

Erie Insurance Company covers all aspects of life with their diverse range of policies. Some of its most popular insurances are:

Renters insurance

Ranked the second-cheapest company for renters insurance, Erie’s policy offers the standard coverage options such as liability and loss of use protection. In addition, your insured belongings are covered against loss, theft and damage when you’re away from home.

Life insurance

Erie has term life insurance for 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 years, as well as whole and universal policies. Applying for a policy is quick and easy and you can get $90,000 worth of coverage without a medical exam.

Auto insurance

Although Erie auto insurance policy is fairly standard, it has some unique features not always available from other insurers. The Rate Lock program is one such option offered by the company, which allows customers to lock the price of premiums and coverage options until a new car is added  or removed from the policy or the place of residence changed. 

Bundling options

Bundling multiple lines of insurance from the same company usually results in a price cut. By purchasing your home and auto insurance policies through Erie, you can save anywhere between 16 and 25 percent, depending on your location.  

[Read: Commercial Home Insurance, Explained]

Erie in the news

  • In October 2020, Newsweek named Erie the best in customer service in the home insurance category. The results were based on an independent survey of over 25,000 customers who used these services or gathered information about them in the last three years.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, Erie Insurance pledged to provide $200 million in dividends to its auto insurance customers, which represents about five percent of their annual premium. “We are fortunate to have built up the financial strength we have over our 95 years that allows us to further support our customers during this challenging time,” said Tim NeCastro, president and CEO of Erie Insurance.
  • In April 2020, Erie Insurance was named one of America’s best employers for 2019. “ERIE is an employer of choice and we take great pride in our employees who continue to deliver on our promise to be Above All in Service for agents and customers,” said Dionne Wallace Oakley, executive vice president for Human Resources and Strategy.

We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the insurers we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.



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