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

So, you're in the market for a new insurance policy. You may have even narrowed down your search to Erie and Nationwide. But which of these two companies is the best one for you? Read on to find which company has the best prices and biggest discounts.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • In general, Erie offers more affordable premiums than Nationwide
  • Erie tends to be a much cheaper option for residents of urban areas
  • Nationwide offers more discounts than Erie Insurance

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

So, you're thinking about switching your auto insurance. With so many ads from all sorts of companies offering huge discounts, you're probably wondering exactly how much you might be able to save.

You might have narrowed your search down to Erie or Nationwide as potential options, but which carrier will offer you less expensive rates?

Erie Nationwide

As you can see, Erie is about $17 per month more affordable than Nationwide when looking at the national average rates for car insurance.

That being said, that doesn't necessarily mean Erie will be the less expensive option for every driver. After all, insurance companies can offer drastically different rates to each driver depending on rating factors like your age, your credit score, your driving record, or even where you call home (among other things), so prices could change drastically from person to person.

Luckily, we've broken down average premiums from both Erie and Nationwide by several different rate factors, so read on to find out which carrier is the best for you.

Erie or Nationwide: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Erie Nationwide

Erie and Nationwide compete against each other in nine states, with Erie offering cheaper rates to the average driver in all of them. District of Columbia has the most noticable difference, where Erie premiums are over 70% less expensive than auto insurance rates at Nationwide.

That being said, there's a lot more that goes into your car insurance payment than just your home state. Keep reading to find out more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Erie Nationwide
18-year-old drivers$315$380
25-year-old drivers$142$148

You might already know that teen drivers typically pay a lot more for insurance than any other group of drivers. The reason is that 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.

However, that doesn't mean that teen drivers have to just accept sky-high auto insurance prices. As you can see above, teens who use Erie save $65 a month compared to those who use Nationwide.

Even so, with both carriers, you'll see your rates decrease significantly by the time you turn 25. Nationwide offers the steepest decrease, with 25-year-olds paying less than a third of what 18-year-old drivers are charged. That being said, Erie still has the lowest prices at $142 a month.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Erie Nationwide
65+-year-old drivers$116$125

Once you approach retirement age, you'll normally enjoy the cheapest car insurance premiums you can find. You've been on the road for years, and all that experience pays off when it comes to your monthly prices for insurance.

But who has the best premiums for retired drivers between Erie and Nationwide? Erie gets the slight edge, with rates for drivers 65 and older $9 more affordable than the national average for Nationwide.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Erie Nationwide

You may not be aware, but auto insurance premiums tend to be more expensive for those who are single than they are for married policyholders. That's because policies for married couples generally cover more than one car, which lots of companies will offer you a discount for.

When it comes to relationship status, Erie is the clear winner for single policyholders, with rates around $25 per month cheaper than Nationwide, on average. It's not quite so glaring for married drivers, where drivers who use Erie save about 6% a month.

Erie vs. Nationwide: Average Rates by Gender

Erie Nationwide

Did you know women tend to pay less for car insurance than men? This is because men are statistically more likely than women to get into an accident or get pulled over for speeding, which leads to increased risk for insurers and, therefore, higher prices.

On average, men see premiums around 7% per month higher with Erie, and about 7% more with Nationwide.

Looking at overall affordability, Erie offers the most affordable average prices for both men and women. On average, male drivers save about $18 a month and women save around $17 with Erie compared to the average Nationwide policyholder.

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Erie or Nationwide: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Erie Nationwide
State Minimum*$91$112
Full Coverage**$215$229

*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.

Auto insurance can be a complicated subject for most people. Everyone needs car insurance, but there are so many different limits and terms that it can be hard to find the right policy.

But the most common policies that many drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability only (which provides bodily injury and property damage coverage for other drivers and their passengers if you cause a collision) and full coverage (which includes two additional coverages -- comprehensive and collision -- in addition to what you get with a liability policy).

If you're looking for state minimum liability limits, Erie usually offers more affordable rates of $91 compared to Nationwide's $112. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, Erie again has the edge, with policies about $15 per month less expensive than Nationwide, on average.

Is Erie or Nationwide Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

It's no big secret that drivers who are accident-free get better deals on their insurance. But even if you have a spotty record, you can still find plenty of ways to save some cash on your monthly bill.

At-fault accidents and tickets will most likely raise your prices, but is Erie or Nationwide cheaper for drivers with spotty records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Erie Nationwide
Clean Record$119$125
1 Speeding Ticket$137$149

Erie policyholders can expect their premiums to go up an average of $18 a month if they get a ticket, while Nationwide typically raises rates around $24 per month, on average.

Even so, Erie has less expensive premiums for drivers in both categories, offering prices that are 5% and 8% more affordable, respectively, compared to Nationwide.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Erie Nationwide
Clean Record$119$125
1 At-Fault Accident$157$178

After an accident, drivers who have their car insurance through Erie can expect to see about an $38 -- or around 24% -- increase in their insurance rates. Drivers who use Nationwide for their auto insurance will see a monthly bill about $53 (or 30%) more expensive after reporting an accident to their insurance company.

Overall, Erie offers the cheapest prices for drivers with an at-fault accident on their records, with monthly premiums averaging $157 compared to Nationwide's $178.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Erie Nationwide
Clean Record$119$125
1 DUI$198$230

If you get a DUI charge on your record, it's probably going to cost you more than a simple speeding ticket or even a collision. On average, Nationwide will increase your rates around 46% after a DUI, while Erie's average prices rise by just under 40%.

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How does Credit Score Impact Erie and Nationwide Rates?

You may not realized it, but your credit score can come into play when carriers calculate your monthly bill. This isn't always the case (Hawaii, for example, has banned the use of credit score as a rating factor) but it does affect quite a few drivers out there.

The reasoning auto insurance companies use is that policyholders with good credit will be more likely to pay their bills on time; so they'll reward them with cheaper premiums, while those with poor credit will normally be forced to pay more.

Looking at Erie and Nationwide specifically, which company has the most affordable rates for drivers at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Erie Nationwide
Excellent Credit Score$91$133
Good Credit Score$111$153

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Erie Nationwide
Fair Credit Score$150$179
Poor Credit Score$258$215

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

Erie Nationwide
6,000 Annual Miles$147$170
12,000 Annual Miles$158$171

The amount of time you spend behind the wheel of your car plays a big role in your monthly prices. That's because the more miles you put on your vehicle each year, the more likely you are to get into an accident and cause an insurance claim.

For both drivers who put 6,000 miles on their vehicles every year, as well as those who average twice that figure, Erie offers cheaper premiums than Nationwide. Nationwide's average rates for drivers with 6,000 annual miles come in nearly 15% more expensive than Erie. Those who drive 12,000 miles annually can expect to pay just under 10% more with Nationwide over Erie.

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

We've already mentioned how your home state can play a role in how much you pay for car insurance, but the type of area you live in can have a large impact as well. Generally, policyholders who live in heavily-populated urban areas will pay quite a bit more than rural drivers because there are a lot more cars on the road in those areas, which increases the chances of an accident.

Erie Nationwide
Urban Areas$194$199
Suburban Areas$145$159
Rural Areas$115$151

Erie boasts the most affordable average prices for drivers in all areas, regardless of if they're urban, suburban, or rural.

For policyholders in urban ZIP codes, Erie offers rates about $194 monthly compared to Nationwide's $199. People who live in suburban ZIP codes can expect to pay around $145 a month for Erie and $159 for Nationwide. Lastly, those in rural areas tend to get the lowest prices from both carriers, with average monthly premiums coming in at $115 and $151 for Erie and Nationwide respectively.

Erie vs. Nationwide Discounts

Regardless of why you might be in the market for a new auto insurance policy, you're always going to want to save as much money as possible. That's where car insurance discounts comes into play.

But where do you even start? With so many discounts out there, it may seem difficult to find all the of the ones you can take advantage of.

In the section below, we've compared all of the different discounts offered by Erie and Nationwide so that you can find the one that has the most discounts and, therefore, the biggest savings.

Erie Nationwide
ABS Discount 
Advance Quote Discount
Agency Transfer Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Covid-19 Relief Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount
Driver Training Discount
DRL Discount 
EFT Discount 
Employee Discount 
Farm Discount 
Good Driving Discount
Good Student Discount 
Group Discount 
Homeowner Discount 
Intra-Agency Transfer Discount 
Life Policy Discount 
Mature Driver Discount 
Multi-Car Discount 

Overall, Nationwide has a slight advantage when it comes to total number of discounts. Erie offers a grand total of 21 discounts, while Nationwide has 22.

A couple of those are overlapping for things like discounts for being a defensive driver, distant student discounts, and multi-policy discounts. Nationwide also offers agency transfer discounts, EFT discounts, employee discounts, and more that Erie does not.

On the flip side, Erie has a couple unique discounts of its own -- ABS discounts, COVID-19 relief discount, DRL discounts, and more.

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Final Thoughts: Is Erie or Nationwide Best for You?

So, you've seen how different factors can affect your insurance prices. We've shown you all the discounts each company offers, too. But, when it comes down to it, which carrier is the right carrier for you and your specific needs?

Erie might be best for you if....

  • You don't have any speeding tickets, DUIs, or at-fault collisions on your record.
  • Your credit score is high.
  • Your neighborhood is in a rural area.

Nationwide might be best for you if...

  • You are considering moving to another state -- undefined is only available in.
  • You're looking for the company with the most discounts.

We hope this guide has ben a valuable resource as you compare Erie and Nationwide and that you can now make a more informed decision when it comes to your auto insurance.

But, at the end of the day, there's only one way to know for sure that you're getting the best possible deal on insurance -- comparing quotes from a handful of companies, not just Erie and Nationwide. Luckily, makes it easy for you to do just that. Simply enter your ZIP codes below and get free quotes from dozens of top car insurance carriers in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Erie vs. Nationwide FAQs

Is Erie or Nationwide cheaper?

Looking just at the national average premiums, Erie is the less expensive of the two companies, offering average rates of $153 per month compared to $170 for Nationwide. However, Erie won't necessarily be the cheapest carrier for each policyholder, since there are a variety of different variables that are considered when it comes to your insurance cost.

Who is better, Erie or Nationwide?

Unfortunately, the real answer is "it depends.". One company is not "better" for every driver -- it all boils down to your unique auto insurance profile. For example, Erie offers more affordable rates for drivers with an at-fault collision on their record, while Nationwide is cheaper for drivers who have less-than-stellar credit scores.

Why do Erie and Nationwide offer me different rates?

Car insurance carriers take a look at many different factors when calculating the premiums they charge policyholders. Things such as gender, where you live, your driving record, age, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be taken into consideration. Both Erie and Nationwide calculate rates using different variables, so each one will most likely offer different prices. The only real way to see which carrier is the lowest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a range of different companies.

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

The only way to find the auto insurance company that's right for you is by getting quotes from multiple carriers and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, does all the hard work for you. Just enter your information once and you'll get free quotes from dozens of the best insurance companies in your area. That way, you can guarantee you're getting the cheapest price. And who knows, the best carrier for you might not be Erie or Nationwide 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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