DEALING WITH ERIE INSURANCE ON ACCIDENT CLAIMS
Erie Insurance Auto Accident Claims
On this page we will look at what to expect when handling an auto accident claim with Erie Insurance Group. Erie is a regional insurance company that operates in 12 states including Maryland and Washington, DC. The company is based in the town of Erie, Pennsylvania, where it takes its name from, and it offers a full slate of insurance products (home, auto, life, etc.). Erie is currently the 5th largest personal auto insurance carrier in Maryland, with 8% of the state’s market share.
Erie is has a very traditional insurance company business model. Erie operates entirely through local Erie insurance agents and does offer direct to consumer insurance. In Maryland, Erie tends to write large insurance policies with higher policy limits compared to other companies.
Scouting Report on Erie Insurance Claims
Unlike most other insurance companies we deal with, Erie actually makes reasonable pre-lawsuit settlement offers on regular basis. This does NOT mean that every settlement offer you get from an Erie claims adjuster fair. They will still try to bait claimants with lowball offers. The difference is Erie is not as aggressively committed to lowballing and they occasionally make decent offers right from the start.
In some cases, Erie will make a decent pre-litigation settlement offer. But more often than not you need to file suit to get Erie to open up. Erie pays outside counsel by the hour, so the longer a case in litigation drags out the more it costs them. For this reason, Erie has a VERY strong preference to settle claims soon after a lawsuit is filed. They will usually make a very good offer right at the start of litigation.
Unlike other, larger auto insurance companies, Erie does not have in-house attorneys to handle claims in litigation. In Maryland, Erie uses outside defense counsel to defend their claims. These lawyers bill by the hour, which makes Erie much more sensitive to mounting litigation costs compared to insurance companies who handle litigation in-house. This makes Erie a more reasonable and pragmatic defendant.
In contrast to other insurance companies, the claims adjusters at Erie seem to have a great deal of autonomy and the ability to make independent decisions. This is good for claimants because it allows individual adjusters the freedom to be reasonable when appropriate. However, it also allows for significant inconsistencies between adjusters in terms of policies and valuations.
Erie Insurance Settlements & Verdicts
YEAR / STATE
CASE / INJURY SUMMARY
2019 – Maryland
Soft tissue injurie to driver and passenger in hit-and-run accident that Erie refuses to cover.
$53,905 – Verdict
2018 – Maryland
Pedestrian suffers back moderate back and neck injuries and brings UIM claim against Erie.
$52,060 – Verdict
Can I Trust Erie to be Fair with Me in Putting a Settlement Valuing My Case?
No, you can’t trust Erie to be fair with you in putting a settlement value on your case? But that is lens to use in looking at your settlement. Erie is not breaching any trust when they pay you less than fair value. Erie’s job is to protect its insured and to make as much money as it possibly can. Which invariably means paying as little as possible in accident settlements.
Your accident is emotional to you because you have lived through it. For Erie, it is just a business transaction where it tries to get the best deal as it can.
How Do You Get a Fair Settlement from Erie in a Car Accident Case?
You get a fair settlement from Erie by hiring the best accident lawyer that you can who you are convinced will work the hardest to get you as much money as possible for the harms you have suffered.