ERIE Earns Top Ranking in J.D. Power Study

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

The J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study SM provides an in-depth look at the 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.

Related: Is ERIE auto insurance right for you? Find out.

For ERIE, it’s the sixth year in a row in the study’s top spot. 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 reps and website.

Related: 6 Reasons You’ll Love Having an Independent Insurance Agent

  • 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.

The study methodology
The study is based on responses from more than 15,000 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 in April, July and October 2017 and January 2018.

Why Your Kids Should Play Outside This Winter

You’ve just weathered your way through another winter snowstorm. But just because school is canceled or the roads are bad doesn’t mean your family needs to be cooped up inside all day. 

In fact, playing outside is the perfect way to make the most of your next snow day. And despite what you may think… there are several reasons why it’s actually better for your kids than staying inside.
 

STAY HEALTHY

We all know winter weather can be harsh. As temperatures drop and the snow piles up, it’s tempting to let your kids spend the day playing video games or watching TV.  But making a habit of keeping your kids inside has been proven to affect a child’s weight and mood – not to mention the potential of causing a case of cabin fever

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends children get 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily. And that number isn’t limited to the season. 

You probably have fond memories of sledding and snowball fights from your own childhood. But the benefits of playing outside don’t stop there. If you’re wondering how it makes a difference, here are some health benefits of getting outside on a winter day: 

  • Fresh air: The idea that cold air causes flu and colds isn’t true. In fact, staying indoors is more likely to expose kids to germs and bacteria. A short walk outside or a visit to your local playground can give families some fresh air — and maybe even improve your immune system.

  • Vitamin D: Sunshine does more than warm you up. It can actually improve your health. Spending just 10 minutes in the sunshine will give your child their daily dose of vitamin D, which helps improve their mood and overall health.

  • Muscle and bone strengthening: We all know exercise makes you stronger – but this is especially important for your child’s growing body. According to the CDC, regular exercise helps kids develop lifelong healthy habits and prevents serious health conditions like heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

  • Boosting creativity: While kids are outside getting the physical benefits of fresh air and sunshine… their minds are being exercised, too. Imaginative play can help develop their creativity and problem-solving skills. The snow can turn parks, backyards and playgrounds into completely different worlds! Ice and snow present just enough challenges to help kids maneuver and expand their minds.

PLAY IT SAFE

Cold weather doesn’t mean you need to stay indoors. But it does mean you need to be prepared.

Before you step out the door, dress your child in multiple layers – more than an adult would wear. Cover them up from head to toe with hats, scarves, gloves and anything else that will warm them up. 

Wondering how cold is too cold? The best measure for when to stay inside is wind chill. If the wind chill drops below 32 degrees, be sure to take frequent breaks to warm up. And keep an eye out for shivering, drowsiness, numbness and other signs of frostbite or hypothermia

Use good common sense. The closer you move toward single digit wind chills, the more you may want to consider staying indoors.

KEEP MOVING

Once you get moving, your body will actually start warming itself. Keep your kids active and convince them to get in the snow with fun ideas like:

  • Snowball fights
  • Sledding
  • Ice skating
  • Making snow sculptures
  • Playing summer sports with a winter twist
  • Hide and seek
  • Snow angels
  • Shoveling snow 

Want in on the fun? Get ideas for kids and grown-ups alike in our list of 12 ways to stay active this winter. 

While you’re out playing in the snow with your family, don’t forget to enjoy the time you’re spending with each other. 

At Erie Insurance, we know living well means feeling confident and calm. When the investments you’ve made in your home and the things you value most are protected, you can relax and enjoy more of what makes you and your family happy.
 Want to talk to somebody who’s committed to helping you protect what you value most? Call your local Erie insurance agent. They can answer questions on what yourhome insurance will cover and help you find a policy that’s right for you.

Term vs. Whole Life Insurance: Which Do You Need?

Life is always changing – which is why it’s important to review your insurance needs and make sure your coverage is keeping up with your life. Whether you’re entering adulthood or nearing retirement, you may have a need for life insurance… but understanding which policy is best for you can be confusing. Let’s talk term and whole life insurance to help you find which benefits you the most, at any stage of life.

TERM LIFE INSURANCE

Term life insurance provides coverage for a specific number of years and you select the “term”. It’s an easy, more affordable option if you’re not looking for lifelong coverage. But, if you should change your mind, during your policy term you usually have the option to renew it or perhaps convert it into a permanent life plan.

At Erie Insurance, we offer two term life insurance plans including an easy-to-purchase option and level term insurance. An ERIE agent can help you decide which option is best for your situation.

Some general things to know about term life insurance:

  • You have the option of choosing how long and how much
  • Plans usually come in 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 year packages
  • It is often more affordable than other life insurance options
  • Some policies come with an option to convert to permanent
  • It only pays if you perish during the period of the policy

When would I need term life insurance?

In your 20s: There are reasons to consider life insurance protection at a young age. Your rates will be less expensive because insurers price policies based on risk and young people have a far lower mortality rate than older groups. College and credit card debt could be one expense you want to cover. According to Debt.org, the average student debt is over $37,000.  A term policy can help relieve the burden of college loan payments away from your co-signer or family.

In your 30s and 40s: A new house, spouse and growing family are just a few reasons to consider a term life policy. While the best approach is often a blend of term and whole life insurance – that provides lifelong coverage and builds cash value – term policies can help cover the basic expenses if the unexpected does occur.

Whether you’re a fresh-out-of-college grad, a home owner, newly married or just had your first child, here are a few reasons why you might need a term life policy:

  • Funeral costs – From funeral planning to cemetery arrangements and proper permits, a funeral can cost up to $8,755. A term life insurance plan helps cover those costs so your family and loved ones don’t have to.
  • Income protection – Consider how much money your family would need without your paycheck in the picture. A term policy can help cover rent, utilities, groceries, car payments or childcare expenses so your family can maintain their lifestyle to the comfort they are used to.
  • Mortgage protection – Having life insurance in place can allow your family’s story to continue in the home they know and love.
  • Child starter plan – Purchasing life insurance when your children are young means they’ll be able to have life insurance when they need it most – even if there are health problems that run in your family. Once in place, their rate won’t go up and they’ll also have the option to exchange their term policy into a permanent cash value policy later in life.

WHOLE LIFE INSURANCE

Whole Life Insurance, also called permanent life insurance, is designed to last your lifetime. That means your family and beneficiaries are covered for the duration of your life*.  In addition to providing financial protection, whole life policies build cash value which allows you an opportunity to build your wealth.

Some things to know about whole life insurance:

  • Provides coverage for your entire life
  • Accumulates cash value
  • Premiums and coverage are guaranteed to remain the same for your lifetime

When would I need whole life insurance?

In your 30s and 40s: While a term life plan can be a great to start for life insurance protection, the best approach is often a blend of term and permanent life insurance that provides lifelong coverage and builds cash value. Whole life insurance can be used to cover the same expenses as term – like funeral costs, income replacement and mortgage protection, for example. Your ERIE agent can guide you in deciding when to choose whole life instead of term and how much to purchase.

50s and up: At this stage of life, you may have entered the “sandwich generation” meaning you might care for elderly parents while financially supporting college students or young-adult children. Inadequate protection could put both groups of family members at risk. At the same time, retirement savings might not stretch as far as expected after factoring in taxes, inflation and less-than-stellar investment returns. With a whole life policy you can borrow against your policy cash value as well as use it to supplement your income during your retirement years. Talk to an Erie Insurance agent about how whole life fits into your overall financial plan. 

No better time than now
Learn more about the life coverage that fits best with your life by talking with a professional, like an Erie Insurance agent. Together you can find the policy that provides peace of mind and the perfect protection for you, and your family.

*The guaranteed death benefit can expire if no premiums are paid following initial premium, or if subsequent premiums are insufficient or if account value is reduced by withdrawal or loan.

Insure your LOVE. Life Insurance for Stay-at-Home Parents

Life insurance isn’t for the people who die. It’s for the people who live.

If you never thought a stay-at-home parent needed life insurance, you might want to think again.

That’s because in addition to being full-time caregivers, stay-at-home parents are often also cooks, housekeepers, tutors, psychologists, chauffeurs, nurses and more. That’s a lot of responsibilities that often demands life insurance protection.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one in five primary caregivers for preschool age children is a man. Recent economic trends that saw big layoffs in traditionally male sectors such as construction, finance and manufacturing only ushered along that trend.

Regardless of whether it’s a mom or a dad, stay-at-home parents add to a family’s bottom line in a big way. According to salary.com, stay-at-home parents work an average of 92 hours per week and contribute a salary of $143,102 to the family.

Another cost stay-at-home parents often assume is caring for elderly relatives as well as young children. Pew Research reports that one in seven adults falls into this “sandwich generation.”

This list makes it easier to see the hole a stay-at-home parent’s premature passing would present. In addition to footing the bill for the mortgage, car and credit card and funding any college and retirement funds, the surviving spouse will likely need to pay for more childcare, buy more prepared meals and hire more household help.

“If there’s no money, there are no options,” says Greg Wieser, business initiatives leader, Strategic Marketing. “A family might have to split up, look at nursing homes if there are elderly relatives in the picture, sell possessions, drastically cut expenses and/or move to a less expensive house in a different school district. These are painful realities to confront during an already trying time.”

Luckily, even a small amount of life insurance can help in these sorts of situations—so no excuses about not being able to buy a big policy.

So now that you know a stay-at-home parent needs coverage, how do you figure out how much is needed for how long? Start simple by considering the four L.I.F.E. questions:

Liabilities. What’s your total debt?
Income. What will your income needs be—and how long do you need that income?
Funeral. Figure $8,000 for a very simple service.
Education. How much do you want to contribute toward your children’s education?

While no policy can replace a parent, it can help your family in a big way if the unthinkable happens. Your ERIE Agent can help you get an accurate picture of your family’s needs and which coverage would work best.

Easy, affordable life insurance for stay-at-home parents
term life policy that provides coverage for a set number of years is usually the best bet for stay-at-home parents. That’s because it’s ideal for handling expenses during the high-cost childrearing years in a more cost-effective way than a whole life policy.

A great term life option for stay-at-home parents is a term life policy from Erie Family Life, a product that lets you easily and affordably get $90,000 worth of term life coverage – without a medical exam.*

Applying for an Erie Family Life term policy is easy. Instead of a physical exam, there’s just a simple application that asks a few medical questions. All told, most people can get approval in as little as 15 minutes.

Connect with an insurance professional like an ERIE Agent to discuss life insurance that fits your needs and budget.

ERIE® life insurance products and services are provided by Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home office: Erie, Pennsylvania) and are not available in New York. Additional terms, conditions, exclusions, licensure and territory information are available at erieinsurance.com/life. The insurance products and rates described in this letter are in effect as of July 2013 and may be changed at any time. Eligibility for insurance coverage will be determined at the time of application, based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

*Issuance of policy is dependent on answers to medical questions.

Life Happens is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping consumers take personal financial responsibility through the ownership of life insurance and related products. Life Happens Pro furthers its mission of educating the public by making its resources customizable and putting them directly into the hands of agents.

Life is Beautiful

Life is Ever-changing

Beauty brightens every season of life…whether you’re just starting out, growing your family or slowing down. Erie Family Life Insurance Company is there to help you secure the future, so you can relax and cherish every moment.

Term Life Insurance

One of the most beautiful things about life is that it’s always changing. Term life insurance can cover those you love through all of the stages. And it may be more affordable than you think. Did you know a healthy 35-year-old man would pay less than $18 a month for a 20-year, $250,000 term policy?

With term life insurance from Erie Family Life, you choose how long your life insurance lasts and how much coverage you want. The way it works is simple, if you should perish during
the term of your policy, it pays the beneficiaries; and if not, you may renew the term policy annually. Your policy also allows you to convert it to a permanent life plan during the term period you selected.

A term life policy from Erie Family Life features:
• Choice of 10-, 15-, 20- or 30-year plans.
• Rates that stay the same for the period of time you select.
• A simple application process.
• The option to convert to permanent insurance.
• Protection backed by a financially secure company.
• Personal service from your own local agent.

 

For more information on term life insurance, click here to download our booklet.