Erie Car Insurance Company began in 1925 as a car insurer in Erie, Pennsylvania, the company website notes. It has since grown into an insurance group that also offers home insurance, business insurance, life insurance and various annuity products.

The home office is still in Erie, and the company has expanded to include more than 20 other locations in 11 states. Pennsylvania has seven locations throughout the state, and Erie Insurance offices are also in Illinois, Indiana, New York state, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington D.C. The company website says it has more than 4 million policies in circulation throughout its service region.

Erie Car Insurance Options

Standard car insurance options are available through Erie Car Insurance, including property damage, medical bills, collision and comprehensive coverage, coverage for uninsured motorists and underinsured motorists, and liability coverage. The company also offers options not normally found with the typical car insurance package.

The company website boasts more than 30 additional policy options, some of which can be included with the standard car insurance policy at no additional charge. If you opt for comprehensive coverage on your standard car insurance policy, for instance, your transportation expenses after an accident are covered, the company website notes.

The coverage applies immediately following an accident that renders your vehicle inoperable or, if operable, for the time the vehicle is at the repair shop. Reimbursements may be possible for rental car payments, bus fare, or taxi fare. Limitations apply to specific states.

If you opted for your car insurance policy to cover personal damage, Erie gives you the included extras of coverage for travel costs, personal property, and locksmith services. Travel covers lodging and meals you have to pay for if you are unable to drive to your final location. Personal property coverage reimburses you for loss of clothes, suitcases, or other personal property that was inside the insured vehicle. Limitations apply in specific states.

Locksmith coverage reimburses you if you have to call a locksmith to retrieve your keys from inside the locked vehicle. Limitations once again apply in specific states.

Other extras Erie provides at no additional charge include waiving deductibles in certain circumstances. Your comprehensive deductible may be waived if you repair a damaged windshield instead of replace it. Your collision deductable may be waived if you are in an accident with another car that is also insured by Erie. Erie’s website also notes it will “pay reasonable expenses” if other people involved or their animals need first aid care.

In addition to the extras included at no extra charge from Erie, the company also offers endorsements to amend your policy. These do come at an extra cost, but they can also be tailored to your specific needs. These include road service that covers towing and labor at a breakdown site and death or disability coverage if the insured dies or is disabled due to a car accident. You can also increase your transportation expenses limits to go beyond those included at no additional charge.

All of the extras and endorsements may vary depending on where you purchase your car insurance. Each state has its own set of laws.

Erie Car Insurance Company offers the standard range of discounts common to most car insurance policies. Discounts include a possible rate reduction for taking driving training courses for certain age groups as well as college student discounts.

Erie Marketing

Service is big on Erie’s list of priorities, the company website notes, and it even created a kitschy way to incorporate the company name into the word “service.” If you capitalize the E, R, I, E in “service” you find Erie nestled inside. Although the letter play may be creative, it does not necessarily translate well on a computer screen, with the website sERvIcE appearing more as if someone did not properly proof the page rather than a catchy way to promote service.

Erie Insurance Notable Nods

J.D. Power and Associates ranks Erie Car Insurance with a solid four out of five for overall customer satisfaction in 2011. That gives the company a status of “better than most” when compared to other car insurance carriers. Erie ranked a solid five out of five for the ease and ability of contacting the insurer and pricing and a four out of five for policy offerings and billing and payment. The high ranking puts Erie Insurance in the league with 40 insurance companies designated as J.D. Power and Associates Customer Service Champions for 2011.

The Erie website adds a few other notable notes. The insurance group also earned the highest award in the insurance shopping category from J.D. Power and Associates in 2010. Another nod came from the Ward’s 50 Group, a group that analyzes industry financial performances. Erie Insurance made the cut as a top performer over the five-year period ending with 2009.

Another notable achievement for Erie Insurance was ranking at No. 461 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies in 2011. The ranking was based on Erie’s total revenue and was 23 slots higher than it had been in 2010, according to the Erie website.

A.M. Best gave Erie Insurance Group an A+ for financial stability. It also ranked the group as the 19th largest insurer for property and casualty coverage in the nation.