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

Wondering if Erie or Sentry is the best insurance carrier for you, your vehicle, and your wallet? We've broken down all the prices and discounts for both companies to help you make a more informed decision. Read on to learn more.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • In general, Erie offers significantly less expensive rates than Sentry
  • Erie offers more affordable premiums for policyholders who live in urban areas
  • Sentry tends to be a much cheaper option for drivers with a DUI

Erie or Sentry: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

Are you considering a new insurance policy? With so many ads from all sorts of companies offering big savings, you're probably wondering exactly how much you might be able to save.

You've maybe even narrowed your search down to Erie or Sentry, but which one will offer you more affordable rates?

Erie Sentry

Looking at the national average rates for both carriers, Erie is around $42 a month less expensive than Sentry.

Even so, that doesn't necessarily mean Erie will be the cheaper option for every single driver. After all, auto insurance companies can offer drastically different rates to every driver depending on rating factors like where you call home, your driving record, your age, or even your credit score (among other things). So, at the end of the day, prices from each company will differ quite a bit from person to person.

Wanting to know if Erie or Sentry is really the right carrier for you? Keep on reading to see how average premiums can change based on all of the factors we've mentioned above.

Erie vs. Sentry: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Erie Sentry

Erie and Sentry only compete against each other in one states, with Erie offering more affordable prices to the average driver in all of them. Wisconsin has the most noticable difference, where Erie rates are $82 cheaper than insurance premiums at Sentry.

That being said, there are plenty of other factors that go into your car insurance bill than just where you live. Read on to learn more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Erie Sentry
18-year-old drivers$315$397
25-year-old drivers$142$186

Young drivers -- especially teens -- generally pay a lot for auto insurance compared to older drivers. The reason is that teen drivers are statistically much more likely to get into accidents since they have less experience on the roads.

However, that doesn't mean that teen drivers have to just accept sky-high car insurance rates. Just look at the table above -- where 18-year-old drivers who have Erie for their insurance pay over 20% less than those who use Sentry. It's worth noting that Erie offers auto insurance in 11 different states compared to Sentry's two, which can skew the average prices a bit, but the difference here is still considerable.

But both carriers will reduce premiums by the time drivers turn 25. For example, average prices for Erie policyholders decrease about $150 and Sentry's rates drop more than $200 over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Erie Sentry
65+-year-old drivers$116$148

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

So, which company offers the best rates to retired drivers? Erie gets the edge, with premiums for drivers 65 and older over 20% more affordable than the national average for Sentry.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Erie Sentry

Married policyholders tend to get slightly less expensive auto insurance rates than single policyholders. That's because policies for married drivers usually cover several vehicles, which many companies will give you a discount for.

For single drivers, the difference in average premiums between these two carriers is significant, with Erie prices coming in at a quarter less than Sentry's. For married couples, the advantage is clear again - Erie has the edge when it comes to average premiums.

Erie or Sentry: Average Rates by Gender

Erie Sentry

Because women are less likely to get tickets and get into collisions, they have a lower chance of filing a claim with insurance. So, women tend to get cheaper rates than men.

Women typically pay around 7% per month less than men with Erie, and almost 10% less with Sentry when compared to their male counterparts.

Looking at overall affordability, Erie comes out as the cheapest option for both genders. On average, women save about $38 a month and men save about $47 with Erie compared to the average Sentry policyholder.

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Erie vs. Sentry: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Erie Sentry
State Minimum*$91$104
Full Coverage**$215$286

*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.

Insurance can be a complicated subject for most people. There are multiple different coverages that account for several different things. Some protect you and your car, while others only provide coverage for other people's property and health if you cause a collision.

That being said, most policies that drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability coverage (which covers the other party's property damage and injuries if you cause an accident) and full coverage (which includes collision and comprehensive coverages that protect your own car, alongside liability coverage).

Looking specifically at state minimum limits for liability insurance, Erie has the edge, with average monthly prices coming in at $91. If you want a full coverage policy with the same state minimum limits, Erie again has the edge, with policies averaging around $215 per month to Sentry's $286.

Is Erie or Sentry Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

It's no secret -- drivers with good records end up getting the best deals on their car insurance. But that's not to say you can't save money if you don't have the best driving record, either.

You'll probably end up paying more with speeding tickets and collisions on your record, but which of these two companies offers the lowest rates to drivers with less-than-perfect records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Erie Sentry
Clean Record$119$178
1 Speeding Ticket$137$203

Policyholders who use Erie for their auto insurance can usually expect their monthly bill to go up about 13% after getting a speeding ticket. Sentry policyholders can expect a less drastic increase of around 12%.

However, Erie tends to offer the best prices for both drivers who have a recent ticket and those with clean records. With Erie Insurance, drivers with a clean record can save about $59 a month and drivers with a speeding ticket can save around $66 per month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Erie Sentry
Clean Record$119$178
1 At-Fault Accident$157$221

After an accident, drivers who have their car insurance through Erie can expect to see about an $38 -- or around 24% -- rise in their auto insurance prices. Drivers who use Sentry for their insurance will see a monthly bill about $43 (or 19%) more expensive after reporting a collision to their auto insurance carrier.

At the end of the day, the more affordable rates come from Erie, with average premiums coming in at $157 compared to Sentry Insurance's $221.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Erie Sentry
Clean Record$119$178
1 DUI$198$178

If you get a DUI charge on your record, it's probably going to cost you more than a simple ticket or even an accident. Erie drivers usually see a 40% climb in their insurance rates after a DUI charge, while Sentry will typically increase premiums by around 0%.

Sentry has the overall most affordable prices for drivers with a DUI on their records at $178 monthly, but it's worth noting that Erie's average rates come from 11 states compared to just two for Sentry, so the data may be skewed slightly.

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How does Credit Score Impact Erie and Sentry Rates?

You may not have known, but your credit score can come into play when carriers determine your monthly bill. Certain states and companies do not allow for credit score to be used as an insurance factor, but it will come into play for lots of drivers.

The reasoning car 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 less expensive rates.

So, which company offers the cheapest prices for drivers with poor, average, or good credit?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Erie Sentry
Excellent Credit Score$91$172
Good Credit Score$111$185

If you have a solid credit score, Erie will normally reward you the most. For policyholders with "excellent" credit scores, Erie comes in more than 47.09 cheaper. Drivers with "good" credit scores usually save about 40% with Erie compared to average premiums from Sentry.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Erie Sentry
Fair Credit Score$150$198
Poor Credit Score$258$225

If you have bad credit, it can be somewhat of a toss-up as far as which company offers you the best prices. Drivers with "fair" credit pay around 24% less with Erie than Sentry, but those whose credit is considered "poor" have it flipped -- saving about 13% a month with Sentry.

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

Erie Sentry
6,000 Annual Miles$147$195
12,000 Annual Miles$158$195

Did you know that the amount of time you spend in your car have a large impact on your monthly insurance cost? Generally, those who drive fewer miles will end up with less expensive rates since there's less of a chance of causing a collision and filing an insurance claim.

As you can see in the table above, annual mileage doesn't have much of an impact on how much Sentry charges. However, there's a small difference in monthly premiums for Erie, with drivers who put 6,000 miles on their vehicle yearly paying around $11 less every month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles annually. Still, for drivers in both categories, Erie is the cheaper carrier.

Erie or Sentry: 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 substantial impact as well. Normally, drivers who live in less densely populated rural areas will pay quite a bit less than urban policyholders since there are a lot fewer cars on the roads where they live.

Erie Sentry
Urban Areas$194$224
Suburban Areas$145$218
Rural Areas$115$143

Erie tends to offer the cheapest premiums for drivers in every type of area, no matter if it's urban, suburban, or rural.

Those in rural areas can expect to pay about $115 per month with Erie and $143 with Sentry. People in suburban areas pay around $145 with Erie compared to Sentry's $218 a month. In urban areas, Erie's average rates are about $194 while Sentry offers prices around $224.

Erie vs. Sentry Discounts

You want to save as much money as you can, right? The best way to do that is by taking advantage of as many auto insurance discounts as possible.

The challenging part is finding all of the discounts you can take advantage of, since it can feel sometimes like every carrier has different discounts and each one is advertised differently.

Luckily, we did the hard work for you and looked at all of the different discounts Erie and Sentry offer their customers so that you can find the company that has the most discounts and, therefore, the largest savings.

Erie Sentry
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 
Homeowner 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 
teenSMART Discount 

Erie blows Sentry away when it comes to the sheer amount of discounts available, offering 16 more discounts than Sentry.

A couple of those are overlapping for things like advance quote discounts, discounts for insuring multiple cars with the same company, and paid in full discounts. Erie also offers discounts for ABS, anti-theft, COVID-19 relief, and more.

On the other hand, Sentry has a proprietary discount of their own -- a homeowner discounts.

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Final Thoughts: Is Erie or Sentry Best for You?

You've seen the effect certain variables have on your car insurance and the different discounts companies offer. But, at the end of the day, which insurance company is the best carrier for you and your specific driver profile?

Erie might be best for you if....

  • You've received a ticket for speeding recently and don't want to see your premiums increase.
  • You're looking for discounts -- Erie has the most.
  • You want to save money while purchasing auto insurance for a teenager.

Sentry might be best for you if...

  • You live in one of the following states: Washington and Wisconsin.
  • Your driving record includes a DUI charge.

Hopefully, this guide has ben a valuable resource as you compare Erie and Sentry. We also hope we've given you the information you need to make the best decision about your 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 car insurance -- comparing quotes from a handful of carriers, not just Erie and Sentry. Luckily, sites like make it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your ZIP code below and get multiple quotes from some of the best insurance companies in your area, all for free.

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Erie vs. Sentry FAQs

Is Erie or Sentry cheaper?

Erie is the more affordable of the two carriers when looking at national average prices, with policies averaging $153 per month with Erie and $195 for Sentry. But that doesn't mean Erie will be the most affordable carrier for each policyholder, since there are lots of different factors (things like gender, age, driving record, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, Erie or Sentry?

Sadly, the answer truly is "it depends.". No single company is "better" for every policyholder -- it all comes down to what your unique auto insurance profile looks like. For example, Erie is cheaper for drivers with excellent credit, while Sentry offers more affordable rates for drivers with a recent DUI.

Why do Erie and Sentry offer me different rates?

Insurance companies use a lot of different variables when determining the premiums they charge. Things like where you park your vehicle, age, where you live, gender, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be used. Both Erie and Sentry calculate rates using different factors, so it's likely they'll offer different prices. The best way to determine which carrier is the lowest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a variety of different carriers.

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

The only way to find the car insurance company that's right for you is by getting quotes from several companies and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, makes it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your area information and you'll get quotes from dozens of your local top auto insurance carriers for free. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the most affordable rate. And maybe you'll find that the best carrier for you isn't Erie or Sentry at all, but another you hadn't even thought of!


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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