Frustrating Settlement Call with an Erie Insurance Adjuster

I just hung up with an adjuster from Erie after a settlement call. В It is difficult to settle a personal injury claim with an adjuster who does notВ — or pretends not to — understand the law.

One thing I can say about Erie is that the Erie adjusters – particularly in larger cases – are pretty sophisticated. Agree or disagree with them, they are usually very sharp. Their defense lawyers – Erie relies on Rollins Smalkin a lot in the Baltimore area and McCarthy Wilson throughout much of the rest of Maryland – are very competent and generally easy to deal with on personal injury claims. So when I see an Erie defendant, I expect a worthy but reasonable adversary.

The call was for settlement on an uninsured auto accident case. The client lost $48,000 in wages and $71,000 in medical bills. The Erie adjuster does not question the legitimacy of the wages or the medical care rendered. Instead, she wanted to know whether my client had been paid for the lost wages and the amount of his medical liens. She called these “the big unanswered questions in the case.”

I explained that none of these issues were relevant at trial under Maryland’s collateral source rule.  The Erie adjuster responded that she thought that we were not talking about trial value, more so, about settlement. Somehow, I thought these two things were related.

I think the adjuster in this case (who I know pretty well) knew full well what the Maryland law is. В She just chooses to ignore it. В Adjusters want to do the whole “I know what the law says, but let’s be honest and practical here” routine. В Well, let’s be practical here. В Let’s throw in the attorneys’ fees that my client cannot claim as losses, although we know it is a part of the calculus. В Let’s also throw in that your offer is clearly not justice. В There is no way the adjuster would take the $225,000 she offered in this case as “equal justice” for what my client endured, if she was given the choice between that money and the accident and injuries and suffering that ensured.

2015 Update:В SettlingВ Injury Claims with Erie Insurance in Maryland

Battling with Erie in Accident Cases

Erie generally writes larger insurance policies than the average insurance company. В So, all things being equal, Erie is a good draw in serious injury and wrongful death cases for that reason alone.

I prefer dealing with Erie verses over dealing with the players with larger market share in Maryland. В Erie is preferable to State Farm, Allstate, GEICO and Progressive. В So, relatively speaking, they are easier to deal with on insurance claims.

My big problem with Erie is that most of their reasonableness does not come until AFTERВ a lawsuit is filed. В Many of their adjusters, like the one discussed above, have very pie in the sky view about how these cases should be valued; that a Maryland jury simply would not share. В I have filed suits in a lot of Erie cases, where the client’s demands increase as time goes on.

One young woman who was very badly injured from the negligence of an Erie insured told me she would be happy with $300,000 which would pay her medical bills and allow her to finish school. В I told my client point blank that the trial value of the case was much higher. В If I remember correctly, Erie offered $75,000. В We filed suit and pursued litigation. В My client’s demands changed dramatically, because she resented having her life examined with a fine toothed comb, as Erie’s defense lawyer was doing. В Ultimately the case settled for $750,000.

[Funny footnote to this case. My client admitted that she tried white water rafting but her injuries made it impossible. В The lawyer came to the mediation with a video. В Oh no. В That can’t be good. В They have my client running the Baltimore Marathon, right? В Nope. В Just a picture of the rapids, that actually looked so tame, I thought I should give it a try with my young kids.]

This summarizes the problem with Erie. В They do not try many cases, because they have good senior claims adjuster who understand how personal injury accident claims in Maryland should be valued. В But it takes too long to get to these people and it creates work for everyone, because Erie’s low pre-suit offers often makes clients file suit who would rather not.

It is worth noting that this commentary applies to dealing with Erie when you are suing or bringing a claim against their insureds in a car or truck accident case. By many accounts, Erie is much easier to deal with when you are making a first part home insurance claim or other claim that is not a motor tort.

  • Erie insurance claims: Get our inside view on how this insurance company works and how to use their tactics against them
  • Sample settlement and verdicts against Erie in Maryland that our law firm and other firms have earned against this insurance company

Hiring a Lawyer for Your Erie Insurance Accident Claim in Maryland

We have earned million for our clients in settlements and verdicts against this insurance company. В If you have been severely injured in a car or truck accident, contact us for a free consultation at 800-553-8082 or online here.


Erie Insurance Accident Claims and Settlements

The purpose of this page is to give both attorneys and motor vehicle crash victims our thoughts on Erie Insurance Exchange and how to deal with them. Understanding who you are facing is a key in maximizing the value of any personal injury case.

Overview States erie insurance writes in

Erie Insurance has been selling car insurance for 85 years. It is a regional company in approximately ten states, but it has a lot of the car insurance market share in Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. Bucking the current trend, Erie is trying to keep its insurance agents as a big part of its business although its web presence is increasing. Erie's customers - as opposed to those making a claim against Erie - are apparently happy, based on anecdotal evidence and the JD Power study of insurance companies in the Mid-Atlantic.

Settlement with Erie in Car Accident Cases

This insurance company is certainly not the worst draw for victims in personal injury auto accident cases. First, more than the usual suspects, this insurer writes larger insurance policies, at least in Maryland. As a result of so many insurance companies competing for business (because people are price shopping more than ever on the Internet), insurance companies are writing smaller insurance policies in exchange for lower premiums. Thankfully for everyone, Erie still seems to write pretty decent sized policies.

States erie insurance writes in

Like most insurance companies, this insurer will dramatically increase its settlement offer after a lawsuit has been filed. This applies in particular in Baltimore City or Prince George's County, Maryland's best two jurisdictions for victims. This insurer is often motivated to settle after a lawsuit is filed because it cares, more than most insurance companies it seems, about its litigation costs.

This company relies on Rollins Smalkin in the Baltimore area and McCarthy Wilson throughout much of the rest of Maryland and, more frequently of late, also in Baltimore. (Apparently, McCarthy Wilson has opened a Baltimore office.) These are in-house company employee lawyers. They bill by the hour. Unlike State Farm or Allstate, this insurer keeps this in mind when a lawsuit is filed.

How Does Erie Value Injury Claims for Settlement Purposes?

Erie uses a computer-based program, Colossus, to assist in placing an amount of money on an accident claim to compensate the victim. The computer tries to do what computers cannot be trained to do: evaluate how much someone has suffered and had to endure as a direct result of the crash. This is another reason lawsuits are usually the best path against this insurer. To its credit, Erie looks at claims with a different and less computer-driven eye after a lawsuit it filed.

  • Example settlements and verdicts our firm and others have had with Erie
Who Are the Lawyers Who Defend Lawsuits Against Erie?

As explained above, Erie does not have in-house counsel, at least not in Maryland or Washington, D.C. The company pays lawyers by the hour (or sometimes by flat fee) to defend cases in Maryland.

Is This a Good Insurance Company to Bring a Claim Against?

Erie is not a bad insurance company to have as an adversary compared to many other insurance companies. Of course, we are talking about insurance companies here: the bar is pretty low.

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This insurer certainly has its fair share of ridiculous coverage denials. Our lawyers currently have in suit many cases against this insurance company where their pretrial offers are south of ridiculous. Some of these adjusters clearly have no sympathy for the pain, suffering, and agony of strangers.

The good news? Erie puts more money on the table after suit is filed. Our law firm has had cases against this insurer where the settlement offer increased exponentially after we filed a lawsuit. It is fair to say that this insurer - even more than most - takes off the rose colored glasses when punches start getting thrown.

Still, Erie will sometimes surprise us with a reasonable settlement offer before a lawsuit is filed. The take-home message: you just don't know in any given case that Erie you will get. It is like a box of chocolates about which Forest Gump spoke. You never know what you will get.

What Should You Call Erie When File an Uninsured Motorist Claim?

Erie's attorneys have told us that "Erie Insurance Group" is a trade name and that they should be sued as "Erie Insurance Exchange." You cannot go wrong suing both and figuring it out later. When you sue Erie in Maryland, you serve:

Therese M. Goldsmith

Maryland Insurance Commission

200 St. Paul Place

Baltimore, Maryland 21202

Our Lawyers Can Help You with Your Accident Claim Against Erie

We have handled hundreds of traffic collision tort cases involving this insurance company and have defeated Erie at trial when their offers have been unreasonable. If you have been seriously hurt in a car accident, and you have a question about your claim or wish to file a lawsuit, call us at 800-553-8082 or get a free on-line claim evaluation and consultation.

Get Information That Will Help You

  • Help me find the value of my case.
    • Is there a formula?
  • Handling personal injuries without a lawyer
  • I'm a lawyer, and I need help (samples of everything and anything a car accident lawyer needs to handle an auto accident suit)
  • Good tips for auto accident property damage claims
  • Tell the insurance company what you want: sample demand letter
  • Not everyone loves them: complaints against this insurer (that you should take take with a few grains of salt. people don't write love letters to insurance companies)


    Top 10 Car Insurance Companies in USA

    States erie insurance writes inWhere is my car? My car got stolen! I had a bad accident! These are the sentences which we hear in many cases and feel bad about it. The best way to avoid huge financial losses in such situations is to get a Car insurance to cover such kind of losses and tensions. When it comes to car insurance, the very first thing which we need to search out is which car insurance companies are the best and the most reliable one in our area or the country we live in. when it comes to selection of a car insurance companies, many aspects should be taken into consideration for the selection because it really is important to be insured by a trust worthy and reliable company which really provides the things which it quotes. Moreover, the major things which should be kept in mind while selecting a car insurance companies are types of coverage, deductions policies, limits and exclusions. We got a request from one of our regular readers recently and she wants to know about the Top 10 car insurance companies of USA (United States of America) While making this list we have kept several factors in mind before finalizing the rankings.

    A ranking scale from 0 to 100 (lowest to highest) has been developed for the convenience of clearly showing where a company stands according to its level of service and overall customer satisfaction. Other factors which are critical in ranking the Top 10 Car Insurance Companies are openness and clarity of their policies, ease of paying, payment options, importance given to all types of customers and finally, promptness in fulfilling their part of the contract in case of a car accident. We have also brought you the car insurance companies ratings of each and every company listed below by users’ point of view.

    So enjoy the list and don’t forget to share it with your friends.

    Progressive Insurance Company was started by 2 recently graduated friends who thought that this would be a good business for them to make a professional and financially established career. The name of this company truly reflects the reputation and goals of this company which has kept on growing at a fast pace since its inception. Various businesses related ideas were included in the business which became the major source of its growth. These ideas were new and unique at that time like drive in claim service, toll free number to compare rates, payment of policy in short installments and much more. According to its clients, almost 42 % of the total insurers were perfectly satisfied by the services provided by Progressive Insurance Company.

    Billing and Payment = 3/5

    Policy Offering = 3/5

    Contacting the Insurer = 3/5

    Overall Satisfaction = 3/5

    Alfa Insurance was basically the Alabama Farmer’s Federation which was later renamed Alfa Insurance agency in 1946. No one thought at that time that a small farmers’ federation would skyrocket in such a way that today it is has more than 1 million insurance clients all over the United States! Apart from this fact, Alfa Insurance also made a name in the health and life Insurance sector. Currently, Alfa Insurance Company provides more than 1 Billon Dollar gross premiums to its clients every year and the existing clients love to carry on with the company instead of moving their policies to their competitors as compared to other best car insurance companies.

    Billing and Payment = 3/5

    Policy Offering = 3/5

    Contacting the Insurer = 3/5

    Overall Satisfaction = 3/5

    American Family Insurance is an almost 80 years old firm with the purpose of insuring farmers who drove to other cities and towns regularly. However, the company did not achieve their desired goals in this field and decided to expand their Insurance plans to other fields like health, home, life, retirement, business, farm and Ranch Insurance services as well. The massive increase gave American Family Insurance a great boom to cream the barrier and high light their name in the crowd of Insurance providers in the neighboring states. The best thing which became the major cause of expansion was their relaxation in terms of plans provided to farmers. According to the clients point of view it clears that almost 40 % of the total insurers were totally satisfied by the services provided by American Family Insurance.

    Billing and Payment = 3/5

    Policy Offering = 3/5

    Contacting the Insurer = 3/5

    Overall Satisfaction = 3/5

    State Auto Insurance Company was founded in 1921 by Robert Pein. Robert Pein himself was using the insurance services of a company but was severely disappointed by the quality of services which he received. It was then that he decided to establish a insurance company with the aim that no other person would face the hurdles which he faced while claiming the insurance of his/her vehicle. The reason of success of State Auto Insurance Company was the well known and adequately trained agents who took the company to the highest ranks. Other than having polite and skilled agents, the company also fulfilled its promises to the clients and is still doing so even today which is the pride of State Auto Company. There are countless car insurance companies in the world now days but according to clients, almost 70 % of the total insurers were thoroughly satisfied by the services provided by State Auto Insurance Company.

    Billing and Payment = 3/5

    Policy Offering = 3/5

    Contacting the Insurer = 4/5

    Overall Satisfaction = 3/5

    GEICO is basically an abbreviation which stands for Government Employment Insurance Company. GEICO was founded in 1936 with the plan of insuring government employees and their families but later on, with the passage of time, started insuring the non government employed people as well. Today, it is counted in one of the best car insurance companies all over United States. GEICO is also popular for its Life Insurance plans. GEICO improved its services and technology with the passage of time. A lot of money was spent on the advertising as well which gave GEICO a new boom and created its awareness among people. The success rate of GEICO can easily be understood by the fact that last year it generated more than 2 billion dollar as gross premiums. A survey of its clients clearly shows that almost 62 % of the total insurers were entirely satisfied by the services provided by State GEICO.

    Billing and Payment = 3/5

    Policy Offering = 4/5

    Contacting the Insurer = 3/5

    Overall Satisfaction = 3/5

    State Farm was founded in 1922 with the aim that farmers who drive much less than the average person and incur fewer damages throughout the year should pay less or get some relaxation in terms on money for their auto insurance. The idea was unique, attractive and reliable for almost all the farmers and word about State Farm Insurance Company spread like wildfire in the neighboring areas and states and very soon all over the United States! As its popularity level increased, the State Farm insurance company started to expand its business on international basis and in 1938 the company started opening its franchises and sub offices in Canada. According to the clients, it is clear that almost 33 % of the total insurers were wholly satisfied by the services provided by State Farm Insurance Company. In our list of 10 best Car Insurance companies State Farms holds the 5th position.

    Billing and Payment = 3/5

    Policy Offering = 3/5

    Contacting the Insurer = 4/5

    Overall Satisfaction = 4/5

    Ameriprise Insurance Company was founded in 1894 with the aim of long term high yield investments. Due to the up to mark services and high profit on investments, the company decided to enter the auto insurance world which was a major step in growth of the Ameriprise company. Basic rules were defined in the formation of the Ameriprise company which it proudly follows till today. It takes cares of and rewards the insurers and its loyal customers by lowering their premiums and increasing discounts on other forms of insurance. These offers are for those who have been using the insurance plans of Ameriprise on long term basis or several years. Currently, Ameriprise is one of the biggest names in the insurance companies all over United States and has more than 2 million clients. If we look at the detailed stats of Best car Insurance companies we can find out that almost 55 % of the total insurers were entirely satisfied by the services provided by State Farm Insurance Company.

    Billing and Payment = 4/5

    Policy Offering = 3/5

    Contacting the Insurer = 3/5

    Overall Satisfaction = 4/5

    Auto Owners Insurance started in a small room at the back of a local bank in 1916 by Vernon Moulton. Auto Owners Insurance was started by the sole investment of Vernon Moulton under strict writing and was basically only for those insuring drivers who had dependable records and steady income. The company kept on growing with a slow and steady pace while strictly following the rules and regulations set by its owner Vernon Moulton. Although the company was a one man show at the start, today it has more than 3,500 employees and is providing its services in more than 20 states of United States! According to the clients, almost 30 % of the insurers were totally satisfied by the services provided by Auto Owners Insurance Company.

    Billing and Payment = 3/5

    Policy Offering = 4/5

    Contacting the Insurer = 4/5

    Overall Satisfaction = 4/5

    Erie Insurance was started in 1925 with the aim of selling only Auto Insurance in only one state of United States which was Pennsylvania. At that time, the rural population of Pennsylvania was at high risk of getting in to car accidents. Moreover, they were also not getting up to mark Insurance plans as compared to other people like those living in urban areas. The affordable and attractive policies of Erie Insurance started to spread quickly all over Pennsylvania and Erie Insurance started selling fire Insurance to home and small business owners as well. The company started to expand and offer other insurance services as well like life, retirement, health, homeowners and business Insurance. According to the clients’ point of view, it was clear that almost 65 % of the insurers were totally satisfied by the services provided by Auto Erie Insurance Company.

    Billing and Payment = 4/5

    Policy Offering = 4/5

    Contacting the Insurer = 5/5

    Overall Satisfaction = 4/5

    Amica Mutual Insurance Company was founded in 1907. Currently, Amica Mutual is providing 3 types of insurances which are auto, home and life insurance. There are only 2 companies in this list which have achieved 5 points in almost all the aspects and reviews by the existing clients and Amica Mutual is one of it. Moreover, Amica Mutual is currently the Award Recipient of 2011 as being the best auto Insurance Company all over the globe. According to the feedback of clients, almost 70 % of the total insurers were totally satisfied by the services provided by Auto Erie Insurance Company and it currently ranks as the best in the list of car insurance companies of United States.


    Merchants Preferred Insurance Services Inc

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Yelp users haven’t asked any questions yet about Merchants Preferred Insurance Services Inc.

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We offer personally-tailored solutions for your commercial and personal insurance needs. We specialize in commercial building and liability coverage, business owner's packages, worker's compensation policies, and commercial umbrella.

Established in 1993.

"I started my career in insurance as a commercial lines agent for Liberty Mutual in 1980. Several years later, I took the opportunity to work as the only female agent for the regional Merchants & Businessmen's Mutual - a great honor for me. And soon our present day Merchants Preferred Insurance Services developed, and we have happily served western Pennsylvania for over 33 years."