Erie Insurance: 6 things to know about the top-rated insurance company

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erie insurance sign on office
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Erie Insurance may not be a household name around the US, but this insurance company is one that you should take a look at if you’re thinking about shopping around for home or auto insurance.

Money expert Clark Howard looks to the annual insurance company rankings from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports when it comes to recommending where people look to buy their insurance and Erie fares extremely well in both of those surveys.

RELATED: When should you file a claim on your homeowners insurance?

Erie Insurance: Here’s what you need to know

The company was founded in 1925 and today offers a full spectrum of auto, home, business and life insurance. Here’s what you to know about this nearly-100-year-old insurer…

1. Erie Insurance serves 12 states

The company serves customers in a dozen states and the District of Columbia:

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • District of Columbia

In fact, Erie had nearly 6 million policies in force for auto, home and business insurance at last count.

2. Erie Insurance is a regional insurer with a solid business reputation

Based in Erie, Pennsylvania, the company is actually the 9th largest homeowners insurer and 11th largest automobile insurer in the United States based on direct premiums written, according to the company’s factsheet.

In addition, the property/casualty side of the company has an A+ rating from A.M. Best, the industry’s leading rating agency. Meanwhile, the life insurance part of Erie is rated A. (Editor’s note: A++ is the highest rating available from A.M. Best.)

3. The company is routinely named one of the top insurers in the country

Both Consumer Reports and J.D. Power conduct extensive overviews of the auto and home insurance industry and customer satisfaction after a claim is made.

And when it comes to auto and home insurance, both sources agree: Erie is a Top 5 insurer or better versus all the other national players.

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Have a look at some of the impressive marks it gets:

Home insurance

  • #3 best homeowners insurance company according to Consumer Reports
  • #5 best homeowners insurance company according to J.D. Power

Auto insurance

  • #1 best homeowners insurance company according to J.D. Power
  • #1 for Mid-Atlantic region of the country and #4 for North Central region, according to J.D. Power
  • #5 best homeowners insurance company according to Consumer Reports

Check out the full lists of the best auto insurance companies and the best home insurance companies.

4. Erie Insurance has a new policy for Airbnb hosts

Thinking about renting out your home on Airbnb or a similar home-sharing site? Erie has a new insurance product with you in mind.

Their peer-to-peer house sharing policy costs an average of $40 to $60 extra per year. It is intended to step in with liability coverage because not all home-sharing sites offer protection for hosts.

With this policy, you’ll be protected “up to the liability limit for certain coverages on the homeowners policy, which typically ranges from $100,000 to $1 million,” the company notes.

The house-sharing insurance is available in all the states Erie does business in except North Carolina and Viriginia.

5. The company is testing pay-per-mile auto insurance

Erie CEO Tim NeCastro revealed the company is testing telematics for pricing private passenger auto insurance with 3,000 customers in two states — Ohio and West Virginia.

“We’re very pleased with the response and with the experience and we’re looking to expand that program in 2019,” he said during a recent earnings calls. “We plan to be in two more states this summer and then deploy additional territories later in 2019.”

6. The home sensor pilot program has already saved customers big bucks

NeCastro also said Erie has expanded a test of home sensor pilots to 2,000+ households.

“One customer in Ohio, for instance, reported that his sensor detected a refrigerator leak just two days after installation and helped them avoid a costly loss,” the CEO noted.

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“Another customer in Pennsylvania credited the sensor for [alerting] him [to a] water leak in his basement and allowing him to take steps to prevent damages. Examples like these reflect the improved proactive experience customers can have with Erie, while also saving us and them the cost of the claim.”

Final thought

Erie Insurance has a great reputation for customer service and does a good job integrating technology into the insurance experience. You may want to look into them if you’re ready to shop your coverage around and you live in their service area.

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