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All Posts in Category: Erie Insurance Company

Hurricane-Insurance

Hurricane Florence – Be Prepared

Hurricane Florence has the potential to bring heavy rains and high winds to coastal areas starting Thursday evening, with the chance of inland flooding for North Carolina and Virginia. Both states have declared a state of emergency.

If you experience a loss covered by your policy and need to file a claim, Erie Insurance and your Agent are here to help.

We encourage you to stay off the roads during heavy rains and follow these tips to reduce damage and stay safe during the storm:

• Bring in garbage cans, lawn furniture, bikes, toys, hanging plants and lawn decorations. If possible, remove the swings on your child’s swing set to prevent unnecessary damage.
• Move furnishings and valuables to the highest point in your house.
• Keep a supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy in case of loss of power. Avoid open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light.
• If you lose power, turn off all major appliances to avoid a power surge when the power is turned back on.
• Do not drive or walk through standing water. Water can be deeper than it appears, and two feet of water can sweep away most cars and six inches of moving water can sweep you away when walking.

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Find more helpful tips on erieinsurance.com:

What to do Before, During and After the Storm

Preparing for a Flood and Lessening Water Damage

How Named Storms Affect Your Insurance Coverage

Video: What We Learned from Hurricane Katrina and Affected Cars

*Note: New insurance and certain changes to existing insurance may not be available when there is a known threat of severe weather or in the immediate aftermath of a severe weather event. Talk to your Agent.
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Should you experience damage from a storm that is covered by your insurance policy and wish to file a claim, please contact your ERIE Agent. For claims service during evenings and weekends, call (800) 367-3743.

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Insurance-Adjuster

What is an Insurance Adjuster?

Most of us know what an insurance company is. But just what is an insurance adjuster?

Sometimes it’s not clear who adjusters are and how they’re trained for the job. (After all, how many colleges offer “insurance adjusting” as a major?)

To get some answers, we went behind the scenes with Chad Smith, a property claims specialist at Erie Insurance who handles large losses. Read on to learn more about him and all the important ways he helps Customers in their time of need.

In your own words, what is an insurance adjuster?
To me, an insurance adjuster is someone who has a great deal of responsibility and accountability. An adjuster owes that not just to the company he or she represents, but to the customers who’ve experienced a loss.

At Erie Insurance, adjusters are the ambassadors of the company. People don’t really see how an insurance company works until they have a loss, and we represent that.

What kind of background do you need to become an adjuster?
More often than not, you need to have a college degree. I have a business degree, but insurance adjusters can pursue other fields as well. I would also recommend adding computer and math classes to your coursework.

How did you become an adjuster?
ERIE hired me as an adjuster shortly after graduating from college. I went through a few months of training that included both classroom and field training. I was tested on information and then spent some time out in the field with seasoned adjusters and appraisers to learn about what they did first hand. Because I work directly for an insurance company, I don’t need a license to be an adjuster. However, the rules vary by state.

What kind of skills do you need as an adjuster?
Being people-oriented is a must. You need to be able to empathize with the Customer by putting yourself in their shoes. Honesty and integrity are essential in establishing trust.

Because of the way the field is evolving, you need to be really comfortable with technology or be willing to learn it. To grow as a professional adjuster, you have to move beyond in-house training and pursue professional insurance designations like the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Associate in Claims (AIC).

What is a normal day like?
There really is no normal day. And that’s one reason why I love my job!

In order to handle it, you have to structure your days to a certain degree, but also maintain flexibility. I might plan to make calls all morning—but if I get an urgent claim, I need to reorder my day. I’m always busy.

What hours do you work?
I usually start early and end late. Sometimes I work weekends. I enjoy a lot of freedom with this position—and I’m available almost 24/7 because that’s how you provide great service. You can’t be stuck in the traditional nine-to-five, Monday through Friday mindset as an adjuster.

What’s the most memorable claim experience you’ve had?
Over the years, I’ve had many. One that stands out is working during the 2011 tornado catastrophes in North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee. ERIE was the first insurance company on the scene. There was a lot of damage, but I was able to respond quickly and help Customers affected by the tornadoes. The fast response was made possible by the way ERIE set up its catastrophe team units. Some people I spoke to said neighbors with other carriers hadn’t even heard from their adjusters yet. It was extremely gratifying to help ERIE’s Customers when they really needed it.

What’s the most gratifying part of your job?
Knowing in my heart that I did the best I could for ERIE and for the Customer on every claim that I handle. I remember one claim we had to deny; even still, the Customer sent me a card thanking me for how polite and helpful I’d been during the process. Everyone should receive the same level of service, regardless of the outcome.

https://www.erieinsurance.com/blog/what-is-an-insurance-adjuster

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Auto-Insurance

9 Things You Should Never Do to Your Car

You probably rely on your car every day to get you where you need to go. But how well can your car rely on you?

There are some things you should never do to your car. Are you guilty of any of them? Check out the list below to find out—and learn what you can do to give your car the care it needs.

9 things to never do to your car

  1. Put off the recommended maintenance. There’s a reason the car manufacturer gives you that little book when you buy a car. It contains important maintenance guidelines for the age and mileage of your car. By following what it says, you can keep your car running smoothly and safely—and save on having to pay for big repairs later on.
  2. Ignore any warning lights. Most cars come with a check engine light and other warning lights. If any warning light goes off, it’s time to take your car to a qualified mechanic ASAP.
  3. Never change the air filter. A fresh air filter keeps your engine running smoothly and improves your car’s fuel efficiency. Most manufacturers suggest you replace your filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. (Err on the lower side if you drive in dusty conditions or in stop-and-go circumstances.)
  4. Never check your tires’ air levels. Not having the right tire pressure makes for unsafe driving and reduced fuel efficiency. Most vehicles list tire pressure requirements on the driver side door post so you know how much air to give your tires.
  5. Have an unqualified person work on your car. Take the time to find a qualified car mechanic. (Keep in mind that you could qualify as “unqualified” if a repair is beyond your skill level.) Check out our article on how to handle an auto repair for helpful tips on finding a qualified mechanic.
  6. Rev the engine during the winter. Doing this doesn’t warm up the car—in fact, it can cause damage since the oil hasn’t yet worked its way through the engine.
  7. Leave keys in the ignition of an unattended car. This is one of the easiest ways to tempt car thieves—especially during the winter.
  8. Run your gas tank down to empty. Doing so cuts the life of the fuel pump—and puts you at risk of running out before you get to a station.
  9. Rarely wash your car. A thorough wash helps preserve the exterior of your car. That can ultimately help your car retain its resale value. A good wash is especially important during winter, when road salt does a number on cars.

Another way to protect your set of wheels is by having the right auto insurance. Contact an insurance professional like an Erie Insurance agent for helping finding the right coverage at the right price.

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Insurance Audit

Why Is My Business Being Audited?

Erie Insurance’s priority is always to do right by you, our valued Customers. Although an insurance audit may seem like bad news, the truth is that it may not be as troublesome as you may think. In fact, it could be beneficial to your business.

If you have workers’ compensation and/or general liability coverage for your business, it’s likely that your insurer will conduct an audit. This common practice helps ensure that the insurance company doesn’t overcharge or undercharge your business for coverage. In the end, you’ll be reassured that your coverage is up to date and you’re paying the proper amount.

The good that comes from an insurance audit

When you purchase your policy, the initial premium charged for workers’ compensation and general liability coverage is estimated using different rating bases as well as the proper classifications and rates that apply to the business and the work during the policy term. Premiums for workers’ compensation insurance are estimated based on payroll. Premiums for general liability insurance are calculated based on different variables, such as payroll, receipts, sales, units and the like.

Throughout your policy term, your sales, payroll and other variables will fluctuate. The audit takes place at the end of the policy period to collect the updated information and calculate your final premium.

For example, if business is better than you expected and you have hired more employees than you planned, your payroll will be higher and you will potentially have a greater exposure for someone to file a workers’ compensation claim. It’s a smart move to reconcile any differences.

There are three basic types of audits:

  • Questionnaire audit: You will be mailed a letter that provides a website address and a password that allows you to sign on and complete a questionnaire.
  • Telephone audit: An auditor will contact you by phone and interview you to complete the audit. You will initially receive a letter with a date and a two-hour window when the auditor will call you.
  • Physical audit: An auditor will meet with you in person to complete the audit information.

What happens if my estimates are not accurate?

Estimates should be as close as possible to the actual amount of payroll and sales incurred during the policy period. If the estimate is too high, you’ll receive a refund, usually a credit to your current policy. If it is too low, you’ll receive a bill for the additional premium for the audit period and the current year.

(Full Erie Article)

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Hurricane-Insurance

How Named Storms Affect Your Insurance Coverage

Hurricane season is here and it’s been an active one so far. Here are a few things to know about hurricanes, named storms and how any strong storms can affect your insurance coverage.

A storm is called a hurricane when it forms over the Atlantic and the eastern and central Pacific Oceans; a cyclone when it forms over the southern Pacific and Indian Oceans; and a typhoon when it forms over the western Pacific Ocean.

Today, the NWS maintains six lists of names that rotate every six years. The only exceptions are the 77 names of the most damaging hurricanes the World Meteorological Organization retired out of respect to victims and survivors.

A few years ago, The Weather Channel (TWC)—a private cable and satellite television network that’s completely separate from the NWS—announced that it would start naming winter storms. When asked why, they cited many of the same reasons behind naming hurricanes—namely, an easier and more effective way to raise awareness and communicate updates about a storm.

Many named-storm deductible clauses work by requiring a deductible that’s a certain percentage of a home’s value—anywhere from one to 10 percent—instead of a fixed dollar amount. That means instead of paying a $500 or $1,000 deductible, a house that’s insured for the U.S. average of $161,100 would shell out $16,100 if their named-storm deductible was 10 percent.

With ERIE, you don’t have to worry about a named-storm deductible.

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JD Power Insurance Survey

ERIE Ranked Highest in J.D. Power Insurance Study

Thousands of people recently shared their experiences about shopping for auto insurance in a new national study and Erie Insurance was awarded “Highest Satisfaction with the Auto Insurers Shopping Experience.”

The J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Insurance Shopping StudySM, now in its 11th year, provides an in-depth look at the entire auto insurance policy selection process. It explores why customers shop, their attitudes toward and perceptions of auto insurance brands and how they make their final purchase decision. Satisfaction is measured on three factors (in order of importance):

  • Price—How customers rate their new auto insurance provider on the price of the policy given the level of coverage.
  • Distribution channel—How customers rate their experience interacting with their new auto provider’s agent, call center rep and website.
  • Policy offerings—How customers rate the variety of coverage options, the degree to which their needs are met and the ease of obtaining a new policy.

For the fifth consecutive year, Erie Insurance ranked the highest in the study, with a score of 879 out of 1,000.

The study methodology and other findings

The study is based on responses from more than 16,400 shoppers who requested an auto insurance quote from at least one of the top 25 insurers that have the largest market share in the United States. Customers were surveyed from April 2016 to January 2017.

The study also revealed that shoppers are increasingly reliant on agent recommendations when considering and quoting insurers, compared to 2015 (with 9- and 10-percentage point increases, respectively). Another critical driver of satisfaction is communication. Companies like ERIE that ranked the highest in the study help:

  • Ensure the customer completely understands the coverage.
  • Provide guidance and/or tools for selecting the right coverage.
  • Make certain customers understand their premium calculations.

Are you shopping for insurance?

When you’re shopping for insurance, J.D. Power offers the following tips:

  • Look for an agent with a reputation for integrity and trustworthiness, who can give you thorough advice on the pluses and minuses of various insurers and their products.
  • Compare the terms of various policies and assess how those policies might be affected by factors such as current events, driver performance and acquisition of new vehicles.
  • Be sure you’re well covered in areas where you most need coveragesuch as personal liability (when you hurt other people or their property).

Who Is Erie Insurance?

ERIE has been protecting families and businesses for more than 90 years. The company’s employees and agents follow the Golden Rule—treat others as you would want to be treated.

“As you can see from this study, our prices, products and service often outshine the competition,” says Doug Smith, executive vice president, sales and products, at Erie Insurance. “When you work with an experienced ERIE agent from your neighborhood, you’ll get coverage that exactly fits your life and never pay more than you should. When something bad happens, we’ll make sure you’re back on your way, right away. We’ve built our reputation for being Above all in Service®.”

In the past year, ERIE has made improvements to the auto insurance quote tool on its website. Shortly after the J.D. Power survey closed in January, ERIE launched a refreshed website. For more information, get in touch with a local ERIE agent.

 

Erie Insurance received the highest numerical score in the J.D. Power 2013–2017 U.S. Insurance Shopping Studies (tied in 2016). The 2017 study is based on 16,424 total responses evaluating 21 providers and measures the experiences and perceptions of customers surveyed between April 2016 and January 2017. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com for more information.

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