What’s Better for Auto Insurance – Erie or GEICO?

Last Updated on July 4, 2020

Erie and GEICO are two of the biggest car insurance companies in the United States. Although GEICO has a much larger customer base than Erie, Erie is a popular choice in certain states.

GEICO and Erie offer similar car insurance pricing in many states, yet there are significant differences between the two companies.

Today, we’re highlighting some of the biggest and most important differences between Erie and GEICO – including which company is better for car insurance.

Erie vs. GEICO: Pricing

Erie vs GEICOGEICO is known as one of the most affordable car insurance companies in the country. GEICO is one of America’s largest insurance companies, which makes it easy for the company to undercut smaller, regional insurance providers. In many states, GEICO is the cheapest car insurance policy for the average driver.

Although GEICO undercuts most of its competitors, Erie is one of the few insurers that frequently beats GEICO for pricing. In states where Erie does business, Erie frequently offers lower rates than GEICO. Many customers save hundreds of dollars per year by switching from GEICO to Erie.

Pricing varies widely between drivers and states. However, here are some of the price differences between Erie and GEICO:

  • GEICO tends to be cheaper for drivers with poor credit scores (below 600), while Erie offers significant savings to drivers with average to high credit scores
  • A driver with an exceptional credit score (800+) pays around $700 per year with Erie, compared to over $1,000 with GEICO
  • Erie is less harsh towards drivers with a history of at-fault accidents and other driving incidents; your GEICO insurance rates may double after a single at-fault accident, for example, while Erie only raises rates by 20% to 30%
  • Drivers of all ages pay lower rates with Erie; teen drivers can save over $1,200 per year by switching to Erie over GEICO, for example, while drivers in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s also pay lower rates with Erie

Overall, Erie is the cheaper car insurance company for most drivers in most situations – assuming Erie is available in your state. Although GEICO has a reputation for offering affordable car insurance, Erie offers consistently lower insurance premiums in most states.

Erie vs. GEICO: Customer Satisfaction

Price isn’t everything. A single bad insurance claim can negate savings. How do Erie and GEICO compare for customer satisfaction? Does one company have a better claims satisfaction rating than the other?

Despite offering cheap insurance prices in most states, Erie is also one of the top-ranked insurance companies in the country for customer satisfaction. J.D. Power recently ranked Erie as America’s #1 car insurance company for claims satisfaction, for example. That means customers tended to be satisfied with the speed of their insurance claims, the amount they received for those claims, and other aspects of the claim handling process.

Erie also ranked near the top of the list for home insurance, and many home insurance customers were happy with the way Erie handled their claim.

J.D. Power has given GEICO average to strong ratings in recent years for claims satisfaction and customer service. GEICO has similar ratings to other nationwide insurance companies like Allstate and State Farm: it’s ranked near the middle of the pack in most areas. Some customers have a positive claims experience, while others do not.

Despite the average overall ratings, J.D. Power ranked GEICO as the best car insurance company in several regions in the 2020 rankings. J.D. Power picked GEICO as the highest-ranked auto insurance brand in the North Central and Northwest subregions, for example. GEICO was also #2 overall in the Central region, #4 overall in the mid-Atlantic region, and #2 overall in New York, among other impressive ratings.

Erie vs. GEICO: Other Differences

Erie and GEICO differentiate themselves from each other with discounts, insurance products, and other factors.

Availability

The biggest difference between Erie and GEICO is availability. GEICO is available in all 50 states, while Erie is only available in 12 states.

Erie is currently available in 12 states and the District of Columbia, including Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C.

Insurance Products

Erie and GEICO offer a nearly-identical selection of other insurance products, including everything from home and condo insurance to travel trailer insurance.

Both Erie and GEICO offer boat, condo, life, homeowners, travel trailer, renters, RV, motorcycle, and mobile home insurance, for example.

For auto insurance, Erie and GEICO offer the usual standard auto insurance coverage as well as some useful policy add-ons.

Here is an overview of the auto insurance coverage types offered by both Erie and GEICO:

Coverage TypeErieGEICO
Standard Coverage Types
Liability Coverage
Collision Coverage
Comprehensive Coverage
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Medical Payments Coverage
Coverage Add-Ons
Accident Forgiveness
Comprehensive Claim Forgiveness
Diminishing Deductible
Gap Coverage
Glass Coverage
Incident Forgiveness
Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
New Car Protection
No Fault Coverage
Pet Coverage
Rental Car Reimbursement
Rental Reimbursement
Rideshare Coverage
Roadside Assistance
SR-22 Insurance
Umbrella Insurance

Roadside Assistance

GEICO lets you request roadside assistance through the GEICO mobile app. GEICO’s Emergency Roadside Service covers you if you need towing, lockout service, gas delivery, battery jumpstart, or flat tire changes.

Erie offers 24-hour roadside assistance for an additional annual fee. This roadside assistance covers towing and labor costs for most perils.

Mobile Apps

GEICO has a well-rated mobile app. The company’s mobile app gives you a digital ID card, roadside assistance, and instant live chat with GEICO agents, among other features. Overall, the GEICO app makes it easy to interact with your insurance company, among other features.

Erie has a mobile app called the eSSENTIAL Accessibility App. It lets you access Erie quotes and other information, although there are limited account options. It’s catered mostly to those with physical disabilities who have trouble accessing the Erie website through a smartphone or computer.

Financial Strength

GEICO is one of America’s largest and best-known insurance companies, and the company has a strong financial strength rating from multiple organizations.

GEICO has received an A++ rating from A.M. Best, an Aa1- rating from Moody’s, and an AA+ rating from S&P’s, among other high-quality financial strength ratings.

Erie has received an A+ rating from A.M. Best and an A rating from S&P’s, although the company is not rated with Moody’s.

Discounts

Erie and GEICO offer plenty of similar discounts. The two companies both offer the following discounts:

  • Multi-car / multi-vehicle
  • Bundling
  • Safety device
  • Accident-free / good driver
  • Defensive driving course
  • Good student

GEICO offers several additional discounts, including a college graduate discount and military personnel discount.

Erie does not offer college graduate or military personnel discounts, although the company does offer unique discounts for drivers 55 and older and drivers who pay premiums in full upfront.

Here is an overview of the discounts offered by both Erie and GEICO:

Discount TypeErieGEICO
Accident ForgivenessAmount VariesAmount Varies
Accident Free DiscountNot AvailableAmount Varies
Affinity Membership AlumNot AvailableAmount Varies
Air BagsNot AvailableAmount Varies
Anti-lock Brake Discountup to 5%up to 5%
Anti-Theft Device Discountup to 5%up to 25%
Continuous Coverage DiscountAmount VariesNot Available
Current insurance discountAmount VariesNot Available
Daytime Running Lights DiscountNot Availableup to 3%
Defensive Driver DiscountAmount VariesAmount Varies
Driving training discountAmount VariesAmount Varies
Electronic Stability ControlAmount VariesNot Available
Emergency Deployment DiscountNot Availableup to 25%
Federal Employee DiscountNot Availableup to 25%
Good Credit DiscountAmount VariesNot Available
Good Driver DiscountAmount Variesup to 26%
Good Student DiscountAmount Variesup to 15%
Home Owner DiscountAmount VariesNot Available
Low mileage DiscountAmount VariesNot Available
Military DiscountNot Availableup to 15%
Motor club discountAmount VariesNot Available
Multiple Policy Discountup to 15-30%Amount Varies
Multiple Vehicle Discountup to 15%Amount Varies
No lapse in coverage discountAmount VariesNot Available
Organization DiscountNot AvailableAmount Varies
Paid in full discountAmount VariesNot Available
Passive Restraint DiscountAmount Variesup to 25%
Preferred payment discountAmount VariesNot Available
Prepay Discountup to 15%Amount Varies
Prior carrier discountAmount VariesNot Available
Seat Belt Use DiscountNot Availableup to 15%
Senior Adult DiscountNot AvailableAmount Varies
Starting your auto quote online discountAmount VariesNot Available
Student Away at School DiscountAmount VariesNot Available
teenSMART DiscountAmount Varies
Not Available
Youthful Driver Discountup to 5-20%Not Available

Bonus Coverages

Erie offers several bonus coverages that do not come standard with other insurers. Erie policyholders get accident forgiveness, travel expense coverage, and pet injury coverage, for example. If you buy comprehensive insurance with Erie, you also get glass repair coverage (with no deductible), locksmith service, and personal items coverage.

Erie also offers an Auto Plus package that expands coverage further, adding a diminishing deductible, extra rental car coverage, higher limits, and bigger death benefits, among other bonuses.

GEICO allows drivers to add or remove endorsements to their policy, although Erie bundles everything into neat, convenient packages.

Final Word – Erie vs. GEICO

GEICO is one of America’s best-known insurance companies. The company offers cheap insurance prices across the country while maintaining average claims satisfaction ratings.

Erie is only available in 12 states (and Washington, D.C.), although the company offers cheaper prices than GEICO in those states. Erie also has strong marks for customer service and claims satisfaction. J.D. Power recently ranked Erie #1 overall among major insurance companies.

Overall, GEICO and Erie are two top-rated and competitively-priced insurance companies with a reputation for providing effective car insurance. Compare quotes with both companies today to ensure you get the best coverage.

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