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

Want to know if Erie or Sterling is the better choice for car insurance? You're probably wondering which carrier offers the best rates or the most discounts. Check out our latest guide below to find out which of these two companies is the best for you.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • In general, Erie offers significantly cheaper prices than Sterling
  • Erie offers more affordable average premiums for policyholders who have a short commute
  • Sterling has cheaper rates in NY

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

Are you considering a new insurance policy? You've probably seen commercials and billboards from companies offering hefty savings, but exactly how much money can you save by switching?

You might be considering Erie or Sterling as potential options, but between the two, which carrier will save you the most?

Erie Sterling

As you can see, Sterling has average rates that are around 50% a month more expensive than those from Erie when looking at the national average rates for insurance.

But that doesn't mean Erie will necessarily be more affordable than Sterling for every driver. Auto insurance carriers vary their prices depending on things like where you live, how clean your driving record is, how old you are, how good your credit score is, and a variety of other factors, so premiums will change quite a bit from person to person.

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

Erie vs. Sterling: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Erie Sterling

Erie and Sterling only compete against each other in New York, where Sterling offers the cheaper average premiums. Sterling drivers tend to pay about $97 per month less on average compared to drivers who use Erie for their car insurance.

But there's more to calculating insurance rates than just the state you live in. Keep reading to find out more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Erie Sterling
18-year-old drivers$315$539
25-year-old drivers$142$284

Young drivers -- especially teens -- generally pay a lot for auto insurance compared to older drivers. It's normally because teen drivers are statistically much more likely to get into accidents since they have less experience on the roads.

But still, even with seemingly sky-high premiums, teen drivers can still find ways to save money. Just look at the table above -- where 18-year-old drivers who have Erie for their car insurance pay over 40% less than those who use Sterling. It's worth noting that Erie offers insurance in 11 different states compared to Sterling's one, which can skew the average rates a bit, but the difference here is still considerable.

However, both companies will offer you dramatically lower prices once you turn 25. For example, average rates for Erie policyholders drop almost 55% and Sterling's premiums lower more than 45% over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Erie Sterling
65+-year-old drivers$116$227

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

But who has the best rates for retired drivers between Erie and Sterling? Erie gets the edge, with prices for drivers 65 and older $111 less expensive than the national average for Sterling.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Erie Sterling

Married drivers tend to get slightly cheaper insurance premiums than single policyholders. This usually boils down to married policyholders having more than one vehicle on their policy -- something lots of auto insurance carriers will reward with discounts.

For those who are single, the difference in average prices between these two companies is significant, with Erie rates coming in at about half of Sterling's. For married couples, the advantage is clear again - Erie has the edge when it comes to average premiums.

Erie or Sterling: Average Rates by Gender

Erie Sterling

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

Usually, men see rates around $10 a month higher with Erie, but with Sterling, the difference is closer to $25 per month.

Looking at overall affordability, Erie comes out on top for both men and women. On average, women save about $142 a month and men save about $156 with Erie compared to the average Sterling policyholder.

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

Erie Sterling
State Minimum*$91$150
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.

For most people, car insurance isn't the easiest topic to understand. There are lots of different coverages that account for many 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.

Even so, most policies that drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability coverage (which provides property damage and bodily injury coverage for other drivers if you cause an accident) and full coverage (which includes collision and comprehensive coverages that protect your own car, alongside liability).

Looking specifically at state minimum liability limits, Erie has the significant edge, with average monthly premiums 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 Sterling's $452.

Is Erie or Sterling Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

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

Speeding tickets and at-fault collisions will most likely raise your prices, but is Erie or Sterling less expensive for drivers with spotty records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Erie Sterling
Clean Record$119$247
1 Speeding Ticket$137$247

Policyholders with Sterling car insurance policies don't report seeing their rates increase after getting a ticket, but Erie policyholders can expect to see their monthly bill increase by about $20.

That being said, Erie is usually the more affordable option for drivers both with clean records and with a speeding ticket. Drivers with a clean record can save around 52% a month with Erie Insurance, and the same can be said for those with a ticket, too.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Erie Sterling
Clean Record$119$247
1 At-Fault Accident$157$289

After an accident, drivers who have their insurance through Erie can expect to see about an $38 -- or around 24% -- rise in their car insurance prices. Drivers who use Sterling for their auto insurance will see a monthly bill about $42 (or 15%) more expensive after reporting a collision to their insurance carrier.

At the end of the day, the cheaper premiums come from Erie, with average rates coming in at $157 compared to Sterling Insurance's $289.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Erie Sterling
Clean Record$119$247
1 DUI$198$423

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. Sterling drivers usually see a 42% increase in their car insurance prices after a DUI charge, while Erie will typically climb premiums by around 40%.

Erie has the overall most affordable rates 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 Sterling, so the data may be skewed slightly.

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How does Credit Score Impact Erie and Sterling Rates?

You may not realized it, but your credit score can be used as one of the variables to determine your monthly insurance prices. This isn't true for everyone (California, for example, has banned the use of credit score as an insurance factor) but it does affect many 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 usually, they'll be asked to pay more, while those with good credit will be rewarded with less expensive premiums.

So, which company offers the best rates for drivers with good, average, or poor credit?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Erie Sterling
Excellent Credit Score$91$223
Good Credit Score$111$268

If you have solid credit, Erie will normally reward you the most. For policyholders with "excellent" credit scores, Erie comes in nearly 59.19 more affordable. Drivers with "good" credit scores typically save about 59% with Erie compared to average prices from Sterling.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Erie Sterling
Fair Credit Score$150$298
Poor Credit Score$258$417

Erie typically offers lower premiums than Sterling when it comes to drivers with a below average credit score. Drivers with "fair" credit pay around 50% per month less with Erie compared to Sterling, and those with "poor" scores generally save an average of about 38% a month.

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

Erie Sterling
6,000 Annual Miles$147$301
12,000 Annual Miles$158$301

How much you drive can have a large impact on your monthly prices. Usually, the more milage you drive, the more you can expect to pay for insurance.

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

Erie or Sterling: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where your home is can have a considerable impact on your monthly car insurance bill. 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 Sterling
Urban Areas$194$438
Suburban Areas$145$256
Rural Areas$115$210

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

Those in rural areas can expect to pay about $115 monthly with Erie and $210 with Sterling. People in suburban areas pay a monthly rate of around $145 with Erie compared to $256 with Sterling. For drivers in urban ZIP codes, Erie's average prices are about $194 while Sterling offers rates around $438.

Erie vs. Sterling Discounts

No matter 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 you can. That's where car insurance discounts comes into play.

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

Luckily, we did the hard work for you and looked at all of the different discounts Erie and Sterling 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 Sterling
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 
teenSMART Discount 

Erie blows Sterling away when it comes to the sheer amount of discounts available, offering 13 more discounts than Sterling.

There are a couple discounts both companies offer, but Erie also offers discounts for advance quote, COVID-19 relief, distant student, and more.

On the other hand, Sterling has a proprietary discount of their own -- a good student discounts.

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Final Thoughts: Is Erie or Sterling Best for You?

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

Erie might be best for you if....

  • You've received a ticket for speeding recently and don't want to see your premiums climb.
  • You live in an urban area.
  • You live in an suburban area.

Sterling might be best for you if...

  • You like the personalized touch of a small, local carrier.

Hopefully, this guide helps you get a better idea of the difference between Erie and Sterling. 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 several companies, not just Erie and Sterling. Luckily, makes it easy for you to do just that. Simply enter your ZIP codes below and get free quotes from dozens of top insurance carriers in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Erie vs. Sterling FAQs

Is Erie or Sterling cheaper?

Erie is the less expensive of the two companies when looking at national average prices, with policies averaging $153 a month with Erie and $301 for Sterling. However, that doesn't mean Erie will be the most affordable company for everyone, since there are a bunch of different variables that are considered when it comes to your auto insurance cost.

Who is better, Erie or Sterling?

Unfortunately, the answer truly is "it depends.". Neither carrier is necessarily "better" for everyone -- it all depends on what your unique car insurance profile looks like.

Why do Erie and Sterling offer me different rates?

Insurance carriers use several different factors when determining the rates they charge. Variables like your driving record, age, gender, where you live, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all come into play. Both Erie and Sterling calculate prices using different factors, so it's likely they'll offer different premiums. The best way to determine which company is the lowest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from multiple different companies.

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

The only way to find the auto insurance carrier that's right for you is by getting quotes from a handful of carriers 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 quotes from dozens of your local top car insurance companies for free. That way, you can guarantee you're getting the best premium. And maybe you'll find that the best company for you isn't Erie or Sterling 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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