Erie Homeowners Insurance Review: Best for Customizing Policies
While some homeowners insurance companies offer cookie-cutter policies, Erie has a number of customization options. Depending on your situation and your home, you can add protection for water backup/sump overflow, identity theft recovery and utility service lines.
Its policies include coverage for additional possessions, including animals, cash, precious metals and hard-to-replace items like your passports or the deed to your home.
With these options in mind, and despite its limited availability, Erie is our choice for the best homeowners insurance company for customization.
- Erie Homeowners Insurance Pros and Cons
- Erie Homeowners Insurance
- Cost of Erie Homeowners Insurance
- Customer Satisfaction
- Erie Homeowners Insurance FAQ
Erie Homeowners Insurance Pros and Cons
- Offers multiple riders and optional add-ons
- Generous bundling discounts
- Guaranteed replacement cost coverage included on base policies
- Online quotes not available
- Only available in select states
- Limited information online
- Offers multiple riders and optional add-ons: Erie Insurance’s customizing options include adding coverage for water backup/sump overflow, extended personal liability, identity recovery and service line protection. The company also offers flood insurance and coverage for personal valuables, such as collector items, antiques and golf equipment.
- Generous bundling discounts: You can reduce your premiums by taking advantage of Erie’s discount programs. Discounts for bundling your homeowners insurance policy with other Erie products, such as car insurance can be as high as 25% — higher than the multi-policy discount other companies offer. Other discount programs include an advanced quote discount and fire or burglary alert system credits.
- Guaranteed replacement cost coverage included on base policies: In most homeowners insurance policies, the base policy covers the actual cost of your items, meaning their current depreciated value. But with Erie, base policies include guaranteed replacement cost coverage, reducing out-of-pocket costs if your home needs substantial repairs.
- Online quotes not available: With more people relying on technology to handle their insurance needs, it’s surprising that Erie doesn’t offer online quotes. Nor does it allow customers to buy policies online. Instead, customers have to contact a local Erie agent to discuss their options and get a rate quote.
- Only available in select states: Whereas many major homeowners insurance companies are available nationwide, Erie is offered in only about a quarter of states. Erie homeowners insurance is issued to residents of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. If you live in another state, you’re ineligible for coverage, and will have to work with another insurer.
- Limited information online: Erie has very limited information about its policies on its website. Instead, it encourages consumers to contact an agent for details about coverage options and deductibles. That drawback can make it difficult to compare Erie to other insurers without meeting with an agent.
Erie Homeowners Insurance
Erie sells homeowners insurance in select states. Its policies cover the following:
- Structures: Structure coverage pays for repairs to the home for damages incurred during a fire or storm. You can also get coverage for additional structures on your property, such as a fence or gazebo.
- Personal Property: Personal property insurance protects the items that are inside your home, such as your furniture, clothing, or electronics.
- Liability: Liability coverage helps cover your legal expenses if someone is hurt or their property is damaged while at your home. Liability coverage can help pay for things like injuries if someone falls on an icy sidewalk or is bitten by your dog.
Additional Coverage Available
With Erie, you can add additional coverage to your policy. Depending on your home and its location, you may need to add one or more of the following protections:
- Water backup/sump overflow: This option covers damage caused by backup through sewers, drains and sump pumps.
- Identity theft: Dealing with identity theft can be expensive. Identity recovery coverage helps cover expenses like lost wages or legal fees.
- Extended personal liability: You may find that you need additional personal liability coverage for your peace of mind. For example, if you often have guests in your home, additional personal liability protection can be important.
- Service line protection: Service line protection covers damages to underground service and utility lines, such as gas lines, from your home to the curb.
- Flood insurance: Most homeowners insurance policies don’t include flood insurance. Instead, you have to add a rider or purchase a separate policy. If you live in an area prone to flooding, adding a flood insurance policy to your coverage is essential.
- Personal valuables: While homeowners insurance covers personal property, there are limits to its reimbursement amounts. If you have valuables beyond those limits — such as sports equipment, coin collections, jewelry or artwork — you may want to purchase additional personal valuable protection.
Erie only sells homeowners insurance in 12 states (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin) and the District of Columbia.
Erie is a reputable insurer. It was launched in 1925, and today is a Fortune 500 company with over 6,000 employees. As of 2022, it has six million insurance policies in force.
Despite being a regional insurance company that issues homeowners insurance in just a few states, it’s the 12th largest home insurer in the U.S. based on direct premiums written.
Erie has over 13,000 agents available for in-person or phone consultations and insurance assistance.
With the average home recently valued at $331,533 in the United States, you want to make sure you select the right homeowners insurance company. One of the most important factors to consider is the insurer’s financial stability and ability to pay out claims.
A useful resource for finding that information is a credit rating agency like AM Best or Demotech. They evaluate companies and issue Financial Strength Ratings based on their findings.
In 2021, AM Best affirmed Erie Insurance Company’s A+ (Superior) rating, the second-highest possible. Such a high rating means AM Best believes Erie is in a superior financial position and able to handle its obligations even if there are market changes.
Erie is a top-ranked homeowners insurance company. In the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Homeowner Insurance Study, Erie was ranked third out of 21 insurers. The study evaluated and ranked companies based on their product options, pricing, communication and claims processes.
Erie is currently facing a lawsuit filed by three independent insurance agencies based in Maryland. The agencies allege that Erie engaged in discriminatory practices against low-income and minority groups, refusing to underwrite policies for members of those groups.
This isn’t the first time Erie has dealt with those types of allegations. In a 2009 federal lawsuit, Erie agreed to pay a $225,000 settlement to the Fair Housing Council of Central New York after officials alleged discrimination against Black customers.
Regulatory and class-action lawsuits are common problems for large insurance companies, but it’s worth keeping those events in mind when selecting an insurer and reviewing policy documents.
Cost of Erie Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners insurance premiums and coverages can vary by company, so it’s important to shop around and compare quotes from multiple companies.
Unfortunately, Erie doesn’t offer online quotes, so we were unable to get quotes for a sample property. To get details about rates, you have to contact a local agent to discuss your needs.
Unlike other companies, Erie doesn’t offer a digital buying experience. Instead, customers have to work with insurance agents to get information about its policies and purchase coverage.
Erie doesn’t have the same features that other companies offer, such as robust portals and online claim forms. But it does have 24/7 customer support via phone.
You can reach customer support by calling 800-367-3743. Or, you can use the locator tool to find an agent near you.
Erie offers 24/7 support. You can file a claim through an agent or over the phone if you need to speak to someone right away. Through the customer portal, you can manage your policy and make payments online.
Generally, Erie has a good reputation for customer support. It received fewer complaints for its homeowners insurance segment than is expected for a company of its size, and negative customer reviews tend to be about other parts of its business.
When it comes to customer reviews, experiences with Erie are mixed. On one hand, it got high marks in the most recent JD Power study, which was based in part on customer scores. But on TrustPilot, Erie’s TrustScore is 2.7 out of five, putting it in the “poor” category according to TrustPilot’s scale. However, that rating is based on just a handful of customer reviews, and the negative reviews typically concerned auto insurance claims rather than homeowners insurance policies.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) collects complaints submitted by consumers about insurance companies. Comparing the number of complaints a company received to the total number of complaints received in that segment for all insurers, the NAIC calculates a company’s complaint ratio.
The industry standard is 1.0. A company with a ratio below 1.0 received fewer complaints than is typical for a company of its size. If a company’s ratio is over 1.0, the NAIC saw more complaints than expected.
Erie’s complaint ratios are better than the industry standard. Erie’s homeowners insurance policies are underwritten by four different companies; all four had ratios below 1.0 for their homeowners insurance segments:
- Erie Insurance Company: 0.30
- Erie Insurance Property and Casualty Company: 0.97
- Erie Insurance Exchange: 0.63
- Erie Insurance Company of New York: 0.0
Erie Homeowners Insurance FAQ
How long has Erie Insurance been in business?
Does Erie cover mobile homes?
How long does it take for Erie to send a settlement check?
How We Evaluated Erie Homeowners Insurance
To evaluate Erie and other homeowners insurance companies, we looked at the following factors:
- Coverage options
- Optional coverage
- Policy exclusions
- Third-party ratings
- Financial stability
- Customer service
Summary of Money’s Erie Homeowners Insurance Review
Erie is a regional insurance company that only sells homeowners insurance in 12 states. Despite its small footprint, Erie is highly regarded as a top insurer. It has high ratings for financial stability, and was in the top three in J.D. Power’s homeowner insurance study.
Although Erie has limited availability, eligible customers may find it an excellent choice because of the customization options it offers. You can add additional features, such as flood insurance or identity theft coverage, to protect your home and belongings.
And, Erie’s basic homeowners insurance policy includes guaranteed replacement cost coverage so you don’t have to worry about covering the gap between your property’s depreciated value and the real cost of repairing or replacing it. The company also offers unusually deep discounts for bundling your home insurance with its other coverage types.
If you don’t live in a state where Erie operates — or you are looking for a company that offers online quotes and applications — check out our other picks for the best homeowners insurance companies of 2022.