Common Questions, Honest Answers

March 27, 2013

The lowdown on your high-frequency insurance questions.

By: Abby Badach

Have a burning insurance question? If so, chances are the customer advocates in ERIE’s Customer Service department have answered it many times before. Here’s a list of the most common ones they receive via ERIE’s toll-free number and Facebook® page.

I’m buying a car. Do I have coverage?

You’ll have automatic coverage for a newly acquired car if you already have a similar vehicle (in this case, a car) on your policy, ERIE insures all your other cars and the new car you buy is titled to the named insured on your existing policy. This applies whether the car you buy replaces an old car or is an additional vehicle.

However, if you’re adding something different (for instance, a motorcycle when you only insure a car), that might not apply. The takeaway? Always ask your ERIE Agent about coverage before you make a purchase.

My son lives with me and has a driver’s license, but he never drives my car. Do I have to add him to my auto insurance policy?

Technically, yes. Emergencies happen, and it’s hard to guarantee that he’ll never need to drive the car. To keep you and your family protected, all licensed drivers in your household should have their own policy or be added to yours. If you swear that Junior will never drive your car, your Agent or an underwriter may require you to specifically exclude your child from your auto policy. Always check with your ERIE Agent as not all states offer driver exclusion options.

My claim wasn’t covered when my roof sprang a leak. Why?

Since policies differ too much to give a blanket answer, your ERIE Agent should always be the first person you call about these kinds of matters. One thing that’s not covered: routine wear-and-tear. For example, if your roof springs a leak simply because it’s old, you can’t expect your policy to kick in like it would for damage caused by a peril like lightning.

If you do file a valid claim, you’ll be glad to have Guaranteed Replacement Cost. This coverage guarantees that you’ll be able to rebuild your home after a major loss without worrying about depreciation, policy limits or insurance construction costs. ERIE automatically includes it as a part of many of its homeowners policies*—and you can purchase an affordable endorsement for the policies that don’t include it.

Does ERIE offer a good student driver discount?

We don’t have a discount by that name, but we do offer the Youthful Driver Discount that can save eligible licensed drivers ages 20 and under up to 20 percent on their car insurance. Plus, drivers under age 21 who complete an accredited driver’s education course may also be eligible for discounts. Check with your Agent to see if your young driver qualifies.

For extra savings, consider ERIE Rate Lock®**. This policy endorsement freezes your auto premium year after year even if you file a claim. Your rate only changes when you add or remove a vehicle or a driver from your policy or change the location where your car is garaged.

Does ERIE have a diminishing deductible?

Yes, through the ERIE Auto Enhancement Endorsement. For each consecutive policy year in which you don’t file a claim, your deductible will be reduced by $100, up to a maximum amount of $500. Eligibility varies by state, so check with your Agent to see if you qualify.

Can you send me a new insurance card?

We can—but it’s also good to know that you can print out a card simply by logging onto your account at erieinsurance.com.

I turned 24 shortly after my policy went into effect. Can you give me the adult rate?

ERIE offers drivers the lower adult rate at age 24—a nice benefit since many carriers don’t offer it until you turn 29. Unfortunately, your policy is based on your age at the time the policy was written or renewed, so we can’t prorate it during the policy period. But know you’ll get the adult rate at your next renewal!