Erie vs. First Chicago: Which Company is the Best Fit for You?

If you're in the market for a new auto insurance policy, you might be wondering how First Chicago and Erie compare when it comes to the cheapest prices and biggest discounts. To find out which of these companies is the best fit for you and your wallet, check out our newest guide below.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • Based on national averages for car insurance, Erie offers slightly more affordable rates than First Chicago
  • Erie offers cheaper average premiums for residents of urban areas
  • First Chicago has less expensive prices for policyholders who live in the suburbs

Erie vs. First Chicago: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

So, you're considering switching your auto insurance. After all, you've seen ads from all sorts of companies offering big discounts. But exactly how much can you save by switching?

You might have narrowed it down to Erie or First Chicago as potential options, but which carrier has cheaper rates for insurance?

Erie First Chicago

Looking at nationwide averages, Erie is about $3 per month more affordable than First Chicago.

Even so, Erie may not be the lowest or best option for each driver out there. Car insurance companies use a ton of complex algorithms to calculate premiums, so depending on how clean your driving record is or how old you are (among numerous other factors), you could see wildly different rates from the ones above.

So, if you want to find out which of Erie or First Chicago is really the best for you, keep reading to see average prices for each company broken down by many different rate factors.

Erie or First Chicago: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Erie First Chicago

Erie and First Chicago only compete against each other in Illinois, where Erie offers the cheaper average premiums. For Illinois residents, Erie offers auto insurance for $122 a month on average. First Chicago's average rates come out to be over 20% more expensive, at $156 per month.

That being said, there's a lot more that goes into your insurance payment than just where you live. Read on to learn more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Erie First Chicago
18-year-old drivers$315$349
25-year-old drivers$142$141

You might already know that teen drivers usually pay a lot more for auto insurance than any other group of drivers. That's because young, inexperienced drivers are statistically much more likely to get into an accident that results in an auto insurance claim, making them much riskier to insure.

But still, even with seemingly sky-high premiums, teen drivers can still find ways to save money. For example, 18-year-old drivers pay an average of nearly $35 less a month by choosing Erie over First Chicago. It's worth noting that Erie offers car insurance in 11 different states compared to First Chicago's one, which can skew the average prices a bit, but the difference here is still considerable.

But with both carriers, you'll see your premiums lower significantly by the time you turn 25. For example, average rates for Erie policyholders decrease more than $150 and First Chicago's prices reduce around $200 over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Erie First Chicago
65+-year-old drivers$116$114

Once you approach retirement age, you'll normally enjoy the most affordable insurance rates you'll ever find. You've been on the road for years, and all that experience pays off when it comes to your monthly premiums for auto insurance.

So, which carrier offers the best prices to retired drivers? First Chicago gets the slight edge here, with average premiums coming in at about $114 monthly compared to Erie's $116. That being said, that difference is less than 5%, which means it ultimately will come down to other factors, such as where you live or your credit score.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Erie First Chicago

Did you know that car insurance rates are typically less expensive for married couples than they are for those who are single? This usually boils down to married policyholders having multiple cars on their policy -- something quite a few insurance companies will reward with discounts.

When it comes to relationship status, Erie is the winner for single drivers, with prices around $7 per month more affordable than First Chicago, on average.

Erie vs. First Chicago: Average Rates by Gender

Erie First Chicago

Men are statistically more likely than women to get pulled over for speeding or get into an accident, which means they'll generally end up paying more for car insurance than women.

Women usually pay about 7% a month less than men with Erie, and around 7% less with First Chicago.

When it comes to the lowest premiums for each gender, Erie offers the cheapest average rates for both men and women. On average, male drivers save about $4 per month and women save about $3 with Erie compared to the average First Chicago policyholder.

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Erie or First Chicago: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Erie First Chicago
State Minimum*$91$73
Full Coverage**$215$240

*State minimum value indicates liability-only policies at each state's minimum bodily injury and property damage (BI/PD) limits

**Full coverage indicates state minimum BI/PD limits with collision and comprehensive coverages added to policy.

It's no secret that auto insurance can be pretty complicated. Everyone needs insurance, but there are so many different terms and coverages that it can be hard to find the right policy.

However, most policies end up falling into two different types of coverage -- liability only (which covers the other party's injuries and property damage if you cause a collision) and full coverage (which includes comprehensive and collision coverages that protect your own vehicle, in addition to what you get with a liability policy).

In this case, First Chicago offers the most affordable average prices for state minimum liability limits, while Erie has the edge for full coverage policies with similar coverage limits. Drivers looking for basic state minimum coverage can save around $20 with First Chicago Insurance, while full coverage comes out to be around $25 cheaper with Erie Insurance.

Is Erie or First Chicago Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

You've probably seen plenty of commercials from auto insurance carriers offering great rates for good drivers, but that doesn't mean people with less-than-perfect driving records can't save money, too.

You'll probably end up paying more with at-fault accidents and tickets on your record, but which of these two companies offers the cheapest premiums to drivers with spotty records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Erie First Chicago
Clean Record$119$109
1 Speeding Ticket$137$144

Erie policyholders can expect their prices to go up an average of $18 a month if they get a ticket, while First Chicago typically raises premiums about $35 per month, on average.

If you have a clean record, First Chicago tends to offer the best rates at around 8% less expensive, while Erie has the edge for drivers with a speeding ticket.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Erie First Chicago
Clean Record$119$109
1 At-Fault Accident$157$146

Erie policyholders who get in an accident can expect to see their prices increase by just under $40, while those who have insurance through First Chicago will see about a $35 increase.

Overall, First Chicago offers the lowest premiums for drivers with an at-fault accident on their records, with monthly rates averaging $146 compared to Erie Insurance's $157.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Erie First Chicago
Clean Record$119$109
1 DUI$198$225

On average, a DUI offense is going to cost you much more than a single collision or ticket when it comes to your car insurance bill. For example, First Chicago increases average prices by over $100 a month -- that's over a 50% increase.

Erie has the overall most affordable premiums for drivers with a DUI on their records at $198 per month, but it's worth noting that Erie's average rates come from 11 states compared to just one for First Chicago, so the data may be skewed slightly.

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How does Credit Score Impact Erie and First Chicago Rates?

Did you know that many insurance carriers take your credit score into account when calculating prices? Certain states and companies do not allow for credit score to be used as a rating factor, but it does affect a lot of drivers out there.

The reasoning auto insurance carriers use is that policyholders with bad credit will be less likely to pay their bills on time; so generally, they'll be asked to pay more, while those with good credit will be rewarded with more affordable rates.

Looking specifically at First Chicago and Erie, which one has the best prices for drivers at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Erie First Chicago
Excellent Credit Score$91$132
Good Credit Score$111$139

If you have a solid credit score, you'll usually find a better deal with Erie. Policyholders with "excellent" credit can save more than 30% compared to First Chicago, and those with "good" scores can also expect to see savings -- around $28 or 20% cheaper each month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Erie First Chicago
Fair Credit Score$150$155
Poor Credit Score$258$199

If you have bad credit, it can be somewhat of a toss-up as far as which company offers you the best rates. Drivers with "fair" credit pay about $5 less with Erie than First Chicago, but those whose credit is considered "poor" have it flipped -- saving around $59 per month with First Chicago.

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Is Erie or First Chicago Better for Drivers who Work from Home or Have Short Commutes?

Erie First Chicago
6,000 Annual Miles$147$156
12,000 Annual Miles$158$156

Did you know that the amount of time you spend in your car have a pretty big impact on your monthly car insurance bill? Normally, the more miles you drive, the more you can expect to pay for coverage.

As you can see in the table above, annual mileage doesn't have much of an impact on how much First Chicago charges. However, there's a small difference in monthly premiums for Erie, with policyholders who drive 6,000 miles every year paying about $11 less each month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles annually.

Erie vs. First Chicago: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where your home is can play a big role in how much you pay for insurance. Usually, if you live in an urban area with more cars on the road, you'll pay a little more for auto insurance, while the opposite is true for people in rural areas.

Erie First Chicago
Urban Areas$194$196
Suburban Areas$145$128
Rural Areas$115$145

Looking at these companies side-by-side, Erie boasts the lowest average prices in rural and urban areas, while First Chicago wins in suburban areas.

In urban areas, Erie's average rates are around $194 a month compared to First Chicago's $196. People in suburban areas pay a monthly price of about $128 with First Chicago compared to $145 with Erie. Those in rural areas can expect to pay around $115 a month with Erie compared to First Chicago's $145.

Erie vs. First Chicago Discounts

Regardless of why you might be in the market for a new insurance policy, you're always going to want to save as much money as possible, and the best way to do that is by utilizing as many car insurance discounts as you can.

But with what seems like a million different discounts out there, it can be challenging to find all the ones you qualify for or to nail down the company that has the most discounts for your unique driver profile.

In the table below, we've taken a look at all of the different discounts Erie and First Chicago offer their customers so that you can easily see which company offers the most discounts and see which ones you might be able to take advantage of.

Erie First Chicago
ABS Discount
Advance Quote Discount
Anti-Theft Discount
Covid-19 Relief Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount 
Driver Training Discount
DRL Discount 
Farm Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount 
Mature Driver Discount 
Multi-Car Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount
Paid In Full Discount 
Passive Restraint Discount
Pay Plan Discount 
Prior BI limit Discount 
Reduced Usage Discount 
Renewal Discount 

Erie knocks First Chicago out of the park when it comes to the sheer number of discounts available, offering 12 more discounts than First Chicago.

There are a couple discounts both carriers offer, but Erie also offers COVID-19 relief discount, distant student discounts, DRL discounts, and more that First Chicago does not.

On the flip side, First Chicago has a couple unique discounts of its own -- discounts for being a good student and renewal discounts.

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Final Thoughts: Is Erie or First Chicago Best for You?

So, we've broken down the average premiums for many of the variables insurance companies look at, and walked through the different discounts each carrier offers, too. That's all well and good, but at the end of the day, is Erie or First Chicago the best carrier for you and your specific profile and needs?

Erie might be best for you if....

  • You're single and purchasing car insurance by yourself.
  • You're looking for more protection with "full coverage" auto insurance.
  • You're buying insurance for a teen and looking for a wallet-friendly option.

First Chicago might be best for you if...

  • You have an at-fault accident on your record.
  • Your neighborhood is in the suburbs.
  • You have a short commute.

We hope this guide helps you get a good idea of the differences between Erie and First Chicago. We also hope we've given you the information you need to make the best decision about your car insurance.

At the end of the day, the best way to make sure you're getting the best deal on your auto insurance policy is to compare quotes from a handful of carriers, not just Erie and First Chicago. Luckily, does all the hard work for you. Just enter your ZIP code below and get free quotes from dozens of top car insurance companies in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Erie vs. First Chicago FAQs

Is Erie or First Chicago cheaper?

Looking just at the national average rates, Erie is the less expensive of the two carriers, offering average rates of $153 per month compared to $156 for First Chicago. Even so, Erie won't necessarily be the cheapest company for everyone, since there are a variety of different factors that come into play when it comes to your insurance cost.

Who is better, Erie or First Chicago?

Unfortunately, the real answer is "it depends.". One carrier is not necessarily "better" for everyone -- it all depends on what your unique auto insurance profile looks like. For example, Erie offers more affordable prices for single drivers, while First Chicago is less expensive for drivers who have already retired.

Why do Erie and First Chicago offer me different rates?

Car insurance companies take a look at many different variables when determining the premiums they charge policyholders. Factors like where you park your car, age, where you live, gender, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all come into play. Both Erie and First Chicago calculate rates using different variables, so each one will most likely offer different premiums. The only real way to see which company is the most affordable for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a range of different carriers.

How do I know if Erie or First Chicago is right for me?

The only way to find the auto insurance carrier that's right for you is by getting quotes from several companies and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, sites like make it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your information once and you'll get free quotes from dozens of the best insurance carriers in your area. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the lowest rate. And who knows, the best company for you might not be Erie or First Chicago at all!


All of the data referenced in this article has been gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. We analyzed more than 2.5 million rows of carrier-reported data to calculate the average rates referenced above. All rates are based on an insurance profile of a single-vehicle policy for a driver that owns a 2016 Honda Accord. For more information on how we calculate rates, please reference our data methodology.

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