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

Looking for car insurance and wondering if Erie or Southern is the right company for you? If so, you're probably wondering which carrier has the cheapest rates or the biggest discounts. Luckily, we've done the heavy lifting for you and compared the two companies to help you find the best deal on your next insurance policy.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • Looking at the national averages for car insurance, Erie offers significantly cheaper premiums than Southern
  • Erie has more affordable prices for drivers with a DUI charge on their record
  • Erie tends to be a much less expensive option for policyholders who may not have much of a commute

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

So, you're thinking about 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've maybe even narrowed your search down to Erie or Southern for your next policy, but which carrier will offer you more affordable premiums?

Erie Southern

Looking at the national average rates for both companies, Erie is quite a bit cheaper than Southern, with prices averaging $153 per month compared to $322 with Southern.

Even so, Erie may not be the lowest or best option for every single driver out there. After all, insurance carriers can offer drastically different rates to each driver depending on rating factors like your driving record, where you call home, your credit score, or even your age (among other things), so rates could differ drastically from person to person.

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

Erie or Southern: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Erie Southern

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

There's a lot more that goes into your car insurance payment than just where you live. Keep reading to learn more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Erie Southern
18-year-old drivers$315$707
25-year-old drivers$142$269

Teen drivers will almost always have the most expensive insurance rates of any other group of drivers. It's because young, inexperienced 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 prices. As you can see above, teens who use Erie save nearly $400 a month compared to those who use Southern.

But with both companies, you'll see your premiums decrease significantly by the time drivers turn 25. Southern offers the steepest drop, with 25-year-olds paying less than a third of what 18-year-old drivers are charged. That being said, Erie still has the most affordable prices at $142 per month.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Erie Southern
65+-year-old drivers$116$254

When it comes to auto insurance, patience and experience pay off, with drivers around retirement age paying some of the cheapest rates you can find.

So, which carrier offers the best prices to retired drivers? Erie gets the edge, with premiums for drivers 65 and older almost 55% less expensive than the national average for Southern.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Erie Southern

Married policyholders tend to get slightly more affordable insurance rates than single policyholders. That's normally because married couples tend to own and insure more than one car, which can often earn you a discount.

When it comes to relationship status, Erie is the clear winner for single drivers, with prices about $205 per month cheaper than Southern, on average. The advantage for married drivers with Erie is also obvious, where drivers save more than 50% a month.

Erie vs. Southern: Average Rates by Gender

Erie Southern

Did you know men tend to pay more for auto insurance than women? This is because men are more likely to get tickets and get into collisions, which increases the chances of an insurance claim.

Generally, men see rates around 7% per month higher with Erie, while with Southern, the difference is closer to 11% a month.

Looking at the data for each company specifically, Erie comes out as the lowest option for both genders, with average premiums 54% less for men and 52% cheaper for women.

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

Erie Southern
State Minimum*$91$192
Full Coverage**$215$452

*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.

Car insurance isn't the easiest topic to understand. Everyone needs auto insurance, but there are so many different terms and limits that it can be hard to find the right policy.

The two 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 an accident) and full coverage (which includes comprehensive and collision coverages that protect your own vehicle, in addition to liability).

If you're looking for state minimum liability insurance, Erie generally offers significantly more affordable prices of $91 compared to Southern's $192. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, Erie again has the edge, with policies about $250 per month cheaper than Southern, on average.

Is Erie or Southern Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

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

You'll probably end up paying more with tickets and accidents on your record, but which of these two carriers offers the most affordable premiums to drivers with less-than-ideal driving records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Erie Southern
Clean Record$119$216
1 Speeding Ticket$137$233

Erie policyholders can expect their rates to go up an average of $18 a month if they get a ticket, while Southern typically raises premiums around $17 per month, on average.

That being said, Erie tends to offer the best prices for both drivers who have a recent speeding ticket and those with clean records. Drivers with a clean record can save about $97 a month and drivers with a ticket can save around $96 per month with Erie Insurance.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Erie Southern
Clean Record$119$216
1 At-Fault Accident$157$293

After an accident, drivers who have their insurance through Erie can expect to see about an $38 -- or around 24% -- increase in their car insurance rates. Drivers who use Southern for their auto insurance will see a monthly bill about $77 (or 26%) more expensive after reporting a collision to their insurance carrier.

Overall, Erie offers the lowest prices for drivers with an at-fault accident on their records, with monthly rates averaging $157 compared to Southern Insurance Company of Virginia's $293.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Erie Southern
Clean Record$119$216
1 DUI$198$548

If you get a DUI charge on your record, it's probably going to cost you more than a simple speeding ticket or even an accident. Southern drivers usually see a 61% climb in their car insurance premiums after a DUI charge, while Erie will usually raise prices by around 40%.

If you have a DUI on your record and are looking for more affordable rates, Erie tends to be the much less expensive option with average premiums of $198 a month compared to $548 from Southern.

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How does Credit Score Impact Erie and Southern Rates?

You may not realized it, but your credit score can be used as one of the factors to calculate your monthly auto insurance prices. This isn't always the case (Hawaii, for example, has banned the use of credit score as a rating factor) but it might come into play for many drivers.

The reasoning 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 typically be forced to pay more.

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

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Erie Southern
Excellent Credit Score$91$219
Good Credit Score$111$261

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Erie Southern
Fair Credit Score$150$329
Poor Credit Score$258$480

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

Erie Southern
6,000 Annual Miles$147$307
12,000 Annual Miles$158$337

How much you drive can have a considerable impact on how much auto insurance carriers will charge for coverage. Usually, those who drive fewer miles will end up with more affordable rates since there's less of a chance of getting into a collision and causing an insurance claim.

For both drivers who put 6,000 miles on their vehicles yearly, as well as those who average twice that figure, Erie offers less expensive prices than Southern. Erie's average premiums for drivers with 6,000 annual miles come in about $160 cheaper than Southern. Those who drive 12,000 miles every year can expect to pay around $179 less with Erie over Southern.

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

Where you park your car can play a large role in how much you pay for insurance. Generally, if you live in a rural area with fewer cars on the road, you'll pay a little less for car insurance, while the opposite is true for people in urban areas.

Erie Southern
Urban Areas$194$390
Suburban Areas$145$279
Rural Areas$115$298

Erie boasts the cheapest average rates for drivers in all types of areas, no matter if they're urban, suburban, or rural.

In urban areas, Erie Insurance's average premiums are about $196 less than Southern Insurance Company of Virginia. Drivers in suburban ZIP codes pay around $134 less with Erie compared to Southern. If you live in a rural area, you can expect to save about $183 with Erie compared to Southern.

Erie vs. Southern 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 taking advantage of as many auto insurance discounts as you can.

But where do you even start? With what seems like a million different discounts out there, it may be challenging to find all the ones you qualify for.

In the table below, we've taken a look at all of the different discounts Erie and Southern offer their customers so that you can find the one that has the most discounts and, therefore, the biggest savings.

Erie Southern
ABS Discount
Advance Quote Discount
Anti-Theft Discount
Covid-19 Relief Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount 
Driver Training Discount
DRL Discount 
Experienced Operator Discount 
Family Discount 
Farm Discount 
Good Driving Discount
Good Student Discount 
Group Discount 
Homeowner Discount 
Hybrid Vehicle Discount 
Marital Status Discount 
Mature Driver Discount 
Multi-Car Discount
Multi-Policy Discount

Overall, Erie comes out ahead with 21 discounts to Southern's 20.

A couple of those are overlapping for things like advance quote discounts, discounts for being a defensive driver, discounts for getting driver training, and multi-policy discounts. Erie also offers COVID-19 relief discount, distant student discounts, DRL discounts, and more that Southern does not.

On the flip side, Southern has a couple unique discounts of its own -- experienced operator discounts, family discounts, discounts for being a good student, and more.

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Final Thoughts: Is Erie or Southern Best for You?

You've seen the role certain variables have on your car insurance and the different discounts companies offer. That's all well and good, but when it comes down to it, which insurance carrier is the right company for you, your vehicle, and your wallet?

Erie might be best for you if....

  • You're single and purchasing auto insurance by yourself.
  • Your home is located in the suburbs.
  • You are over 65 years old and want to save some money on your car insurance.

Southern might be best for you if...

  • You have a more unique driver profile than those we mentioned above.

We hope this guide has ben a valuable resource as you compare Erie and Southern and that you can now make a more informed decision when it comes to your 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 several carriers, not just Erie and Southern. Luckily, makes it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your ZIP code below and get multiple free quotes from some of the best insurance companies in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Erie vs. Southern FAQs

Is Erie or Southern cheaper?

Looking just at the national average rates, Erie is the less expensive of the two carriers, offering average rates of $153 a month compared to $322 for Southern. But Erie won't necessarily be the most affordable company for each policyholder, since there are a bunch of different factors (things like age, gender, driving record, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, Erie or Southern?

Sadly, the real answer is "it depends.". One carrier is not "better" for every driver -- it all depends on what your unique car insurance profile looks like.

Why do Erie and Southern offer me different rates?

Insurance companies take a look at several different variables when calculating the prices they charge policyholders. Factors like gender, where you live, age, your driving record, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be used. Both Erie and Southern calculate premiums differently, so each one will most likely offer different prices. The only real way to see which company is the lowest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from multiple different carriers.

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

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