Erie Insurance Exchange has rolled down lots of different insurance roads since its founding as a Pennsylvania auto insurer. As a subscriber-owned insurer, Erie Insurance Exchange offers personal auto, property, and life insurance through Erie Family Life Insurance, the publicly-traded Erie Indemnity, and other operating subsidiaries. Known collectively as Erie Insurance Group, the companies also offer commercial coverage (including auto, liability, and workers' compensation) for smaller businesses. Doing business across Pennsylvania and in about 10 other eastern and Midwestern states and in Canada, Erie Insurance Exchange sells its products through thousands of independent agencies.
Erie Insurance Exchange and its subsidiaries share a headquarters location in Erie, Pennsylvania; the group also has about 24 field offices located in some 11 US states including Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, as well as in Washington, DC.
Erie Insurance Exchange has more than 4.6 million property/casualty policyholders -- including auto, homeowners, and commercial customers -- and some 32,000 life, annuity, and disability insurance customers. Personal insurance policies account for more than 70% of the property/casualty group operations and primarily consist of auto and homeowners policies. The commercial division accounts for more than 25% of property/casualty premiums, with core product lines including multi-peril, auto, and workers compensation policies. Key industries served by the division include communications, consumer goods and services, materials manufacturing, and energy.
The company's structure is somewhat convoluted -- technically the policyholders own Erie Insurance Exchange, but unlike a mutual insurer, the company doesn't return a portion of profits to policyholders. Erie Indemnity and its subsidiaries and affiliates operate Erie Insurance Exchange and also operate collectively with Erie Insurance Exchange under the name Erie Insurance Group. Erie Indemnity is the managing attorney-in-fact for the subscribers (policyholders) at the Erie Insurance Exchange, which owns all property and casualty and life insurance operations.
Sales and Marketing
Erie Insurance Exchange sells its products through a network of some 2,200 independent agencies in the US and Canada.
Since its formation, the company has slowly but steadily expanded its territory; however, for the most part, it elects to concentrate on strengthening its presence in areas it already serves. It has done this, in part, by expanding its product offerings to include a wide variety of insurance products. Along with the standard property and casualty lines, the company also provides renters insurance and boat coverage, as well as life and retirement services including investment advice, retirement accounts, and annuities.
By spreading its operations across multiple product categories, Erie Insurance Exchange is able to balance risks and pricing factors while aiming for long-term underwriting profits. The company uses a localized business model for marketing and claims service operations, but utilizes a centralized administrative, underwriting, data management, and investment structure to keep operating costs down. Erie Insurance Exchange also seeks to maintain lead-provider relationships with its agents to maximize underwriting opportunities.
Erie Insurance Exchange was formed in 1925 as a Pennsylvania auto insurer.