6.9 / 10

Erie Homeowners Insurance Review

Erie is a solid property insurer that offers comprehensive coverage at affordable rates, backed up by high customer satisfaction. Just know you’ll be doing most of your policy management over the phone.

Tim Torres

Tim Torres

Published May 19, 2020

Methodology
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Erie

OVERALL

6.9

THE GOOD

    Industry best financial ratings

    Comprehensive base policy with guaranteed replacement cost

THE BAD

    No online application or claims

    Only available in 12 states

THE BOTTOM LINE

Erie is a solid property insurer that offers comprehensive coverage at affordable rates, backed up by high customer satisfaction as evidenced by its second-place ranking in J.D. Power’s 2019 Home Insurance Study. However, you’ll only be able to apply for Erie insurance if you live in one of 12 states. And you can only apply and handle claims over the phone, not online.

Cost

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6.5

Confidence

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9.5

Customer Satisfac...

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7.6

Policy Options

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6.8

Customer Experience

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4.3

ERIE COMPANY SPOTLIGHT

5 out of 5

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J.D. Power Rating

A trusted customer satisfaction and product quality research agency

A+

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BBB Rating

A nonprofit organization focusing on marketplace trust and product quality

A+

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A.M. Best Rating

100-year-old U.S. credit rating agency focused on the insurance industry

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The Bottom Line

If you get insured through Erie, you can expect comprehensive protection with a base policy that includes guaranteed replacement cost, a dwelling coverage enhancement that ensures a full rebuild of your home regardless of the cost. Rates are only slightly above average, and both industry and customer satisfaction ratings are high. If you want a robust policy with the option to bake in more coverage, including identity theft and water damage, Erie is able to accommodate your needs. Just know you’ll be doing most of your policy management over the phone.

The Details


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The Good

Industry best financial ratings. Sure, only one credit rating firm has rated Erie, but A.M. Best, which focuses specifically on the insurance industry, gives the carrier a solid A+. That means Erie is able to meet the financial demands of customers.

Comprehensive base policy with guaranteed replacement cost. Though it varies by state and the specific policy, Erie’s base coverage includes a good number of features, including theft and personal property protection, money for pet and jewelry replacement, and a 100 percent guaranteed replacement cost that will cover all the repair expenses if your home is demolished.

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The Bad

No online application or claims. To apply for home insurance with Erie, you need to request a quote through a local agent, who calls or emails you an estimate. There’s no online quote tool either, so you can’t get a quick estimate of how much your policy will cost. Erie also doesn’t have an online claims service—you need to call in to report a loss.

Only available in 12 states. Hopefully you live in one of these states. If you don’t, you’ll have to continue searching for a homeowners insurance provider.

The Breakdown

Cost

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6.5

There’s a laundry list of factors that go into calculating your homeowners insurance premiums. Insurance companies consider your financial information (credit score and insurance claims history), the home’s location (climate, geography, property crime frequency, distance from a fire station), the home’s characteristics (its age and rebuild cost), and policy characteristics (coverage amounts, type of coverages, and policy deductible amount).

The amount you pay for Erie homeowners insurance will vary based on the above factors.

Unfortunately for shoppers, Erie has no online quote tool available, which makes it difficult to quickly compare potential prices. To get a quote, you need to contact a licensed insurance agent, or call Erie’s customer service who will then connect you with an agent.

After a few rounds of phone tag, we were able to gather a sample quote of $1,910 per year based on $250,000 of coverage for a 2,000-square-foot, single-family home in suburban New York.

That’s slightly above the $1,713 average cost for homeowners insurance. But, consider that Erie received a perfect score from J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Home Insurance Study, which means that survey respondents were satisfied with the prices of Erie policies.

Rates current as of May 2020. The above numbers are based on a sample profile. Rates will vary for each applicant based on location, specific details and risks related to the home, and other factors.

Discounts

Here are some (but not all) of the discounts offered by Erie. Keep in mind that some discounts aren’t available in every state.

  • Advanced quote discount. A discount if you get an Erie quote at least a week before your current policy expires.
  • Alarm systems and safety devices discount - Lowers your premiums if your home has smoke alarms, a burglar alarm system, or an automatic sprinkler in the home.
  • Multi-policy discount. Bundle your home insurance with an auto or life insurance policy to save on premiums. The discount will vary based on the policy and the state you live in, but you can save somewhere between 16 and 25 percent.

Confidence

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9.5

Erie started in 1925 and has over 5.8 million auto, business, and home policies in force, which makes it the 12 largest auto insurer and the 9th largest home insurer in the U.S. It’s also a Fortune 500 company. But insurance companies are only as good as their ability to fulfill the financial obligations to its customers.

How does Erie do in that department? To find that out, we turn to independent organizations that monitor insurance companies. Only one credit rating agency has reviewed Erie, though it is a solid score.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Year founded: 1925
  • A.M. Best: A+
  • Moody’s: N/A
  • Standard & Poor’s: N/A

Credit rating firm A.M. Best, which specializes specifically in the insurance industry, gives Erie an A+. That’s a “superior” rating that means Erie has the financial strength to meet customer needs.

Financial analysis firms Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, have not scored Erie yet.

Customer Satisfaction

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7.6

Though there’s only one rating from an independent financial agency, there are many customer ratings outlets that have something to say about Erie. And they’re all pretty positive!

Here’s what customers and customer rating agencies think of Erie:

  • BBB: A+
  • Consumers Advocate: 4.1 / 5
  • Consumer Affairs: 3.9 / 5
  • J.D. Power: 5 / 5
  • Trustpilot: 3.7 / 5
  • NAIC complaint index: 0.26

The Better Business Bureau grades companies based on factors such as truth in advertising and customer complaints. They get an A+. There is a 2-star customer review rating, but it’s based on a low number of reviews. There are few complaints as well.

Consumers Advocate, a third-party review site that focuses on company reputation, coverage options, customer service, and stability, gives Erie a 4.1 out of 5, based on a review from 2017.

Consumer Affairs is a site where customers can directory rate companies and write reviews. Based on 125 ratings, Erie gets a respectable 3.9 out of 5.

J.D. Power ranks insurance companies based on their clarity of billing, policy information, and pricing. According to J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S home insurance customer satisfaction survey, Erie ranks second overall with a score of 838 based on a 1000-point scale, which translates to a perfect 5 out of 5 Power Circle rating. The only company that ranks above Erie is Amica Mutual.

Another customer review site, Trustpilot, gives Erie a 3.7 out 5.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) tracks complaints submitted to state insurance departments. Based on their complaint index, Erie’s homeowners insurance has a rating of 0.26. A score of 1 represents the baseline average, and a zero means there weren’t enough customer complaints to count. Erie has barely received complaints.

Policy Options

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6.8

Erie’s base policy includes all of your standard homeowners insurance coverages, plus a number of comprehensive policy components that distinguish them from the competition, including a 100 percent guaranteed replacement cost coverage if your home is fully damaged or destroyed.

Here’s what you can expect from a basic Erie policy:

  • Guaranteed replacement cost. Erie will pay for the repair or complete rebuild of your home, down to your favorite kitchen countertops. Not available in every state, and repair amounts of up to $5,000 must be reported within three months.
  • Cash and precious metals. This protects your loose dollar bills, silver, and gold for up to $500.
  • Hard-to-replace items. This covers other valuable items such as bills, deeds, and passports.
  • Jewelry and other valuables. Coverage for your expensive antiques, art, jewelry, precious stones, and even firearms.
  • Personal property coverage. Extensive coverage of personal property and belongings for protection against fire, theft and other losses.
  • Pets. Your precious critters, including birds and fish, are covered to up to $500.
  • Theft. This covers burglary and even includes “mysterious disappearance” coverage if you misplace something and can’t find it. Finally, justice for your long-lost GameCube.

The above policy options will vary based on where you live and other factors. For a personalized look at your coverage options, you should speak to a licensed home insurance agent.

Coverage endorsements

  • Identity theft coverage. This covers the costs of recovering your identity after cases of identity theft or fraud.
  • Personal liability. If someone gets hurt, or if a visitor’s property is damaged, while on your property, this will pay for medical and legal expenses.
  • Sewer or drain backup coverage. Covers your stuff if it’s damaged by water backups and sump pump overflows.
  • Service line coverage. Coverage for damage to underground service and utility lines from your house to the curb

For more information about what homeowners insurance can cover, refer to our comprehensive homeowners insurance explainer.

Customer Experience

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4.3

Despite only being available in 12 states, not having any digital tools available, no online quote or application process, and claims filing only through the phone, Erie Insurance has received a respectable 5 out of 5 from J.D. Power’s 2019 homeowners insurance survey. Clearly, they’re doing something right.

State availability

Erie can be found through over 12,400 independent insurance agents in 12 states, including Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, as well as Washington, D.C.

Digital tools

Pretty much everything, including applications and claims, is done over the phone. There is no mobile app or online application or online quote tool.

The application

Erie doesn’t have an option to apply online. To apply or receive an estimation you have to get in contact with a local insurance agent. You can also call Erie customer service, which will ask for your basic information such as name and zip code, then connect you with nearby agents. It took us about 20 minutes to receive an estimation on a property.

Ease of claims

Erie doesn’t have the easiest claims filing process. To start a claim filing, you need to call an Erie agent. There’s no mobile app or online portal where you can submit claims. You can, however, check on how Erie is handling your claims on their website, or over the phone.

Additional claims service

  • Catastrophe team. Erie’s team of coordinators that helps with disaster claims.

Payment methods

  • Electronic funds transfer (EFT) from checking or savings accounts
  • Over the phone or by mail
  • American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa credit and debit cards
  • Autopay feature from a checking or savings account or credit card

Policygenius offers insurance policies from many of the nation's top insurers, who pay us a commission for our services. However, all editorial choices are made independently.

About the author

Reviews Expert

Tim Torres

Reviews Expert

Tim Torres is the reviews editor at Policygenius. His work has appeared in Computer Shopper, Tom's Guide, and numerous other outlets over the last ten years.

Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.

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