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100 Erie Insurance Place • Erie, PA • 16530 • 814-451-5000 • www.erieinsurance.com
   
 
 

Erie Insurance is a true hometown success story. Since its beginning in 1925, the company has grown to become the only Fortune 500 company headquartered in Erie County. Through the years, the property/casualty insurer has lived out its motto of being Above all in Service? by doing right by its customers, agents, employees and the communities in which it operates.

Then and Now

ERIE got its modest start when founders H.O. Hirt and O.G. Crawford scrawled out a business plan on a 10-cent tablet. To guide their fledgling enterprise, the founders looked to a timeless maxim: the Golden Rule to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

ERIE grew from a strictly auto insurer to eventually offer home, business and life coverage. Today, the insurer operates in 11 states and the District of Columbia, provides employment for more than 4,500 individuals and has 4.6 million policies in force. The face of the company is its independent agency force at more than 2,100 agencies who work one-on-one with customers to help them get the right coverage at the right price.

Over the years, the company has won dozens of awards for its customer service, claims handling and financial performance from respected authorities like J.D. Power and Associates, Ward Group and A.M. Best.

Investing in Erie

ERIE made its first investment in downtown Erie with the purchase of the Adams Building on the southeast corner of E. 6th and French streets in 1938. Space was already at a premium by the late 1940s, necessitating the construction of a 50,000 sq. ft. home office building across the street.

The Independence Hall-inspired building, whose cupola serves as the company’s logo, reached full capacity just 15 years later. ERIE responded by making additions to it and by breaking ground on two new buildings.

The company also enacted a long-range master plan for the development of a six-block area surrounding its campus. Those investments helped kick off a period of renewal in the city’s downtown; today, Erie Insurance occupies eight city blocks and serves as an anchor of a vibrant business district.

The company continues to expand in order to accommodate Erie County’s second largest workforce and to support the continued vitality of the city. In 2013, the company repurchased the Adams Building with the goal of ­turning it into a corporate heritage center. Other construction includes a 1,000-car parking garage and a new ­Technical Learning Center.

Just a stone’s throw away from both structures is the Erie Insurance Arena, a state-of-the-art entertainment venue for which ERIE provided financial support for its renovation. Other projects undertaken by the company include restoring and repurposing historic buildings.

A Tradition of Giving Back

A commitment to giving back to the community is deeply ingrained in the DNA of Erie Insurance. From food pantries to the local United Way to the Erie Philharmonic, ERIE and its Employees donate time and money to organizations serving a diverse range of needs. It is not usual to see ERIE Employees at Habitat for Humanity worksites, organizing walk-a-thons and blood drives, or mentoring at-risk students.

The company also matches Employee donations dollar-for-dollar and organizes a variety of ways in which to volunteer throughout the year. ERIE also plays a key role in a local nonprofit devoted to revitalizing the historic area adjacent to the Home Office.

Going Forward

The insurer continues to evolve to meet 21st century business needs. That foresight and responsiveness is paying off: Over the past few years, ERIE has expanded its product lines, added to its workforce and independent agency force, and grown its market share.

With plans for the future and a firm grasp on its founding principle, ERIE remains poised to grow and give back for many years to come.

 
 
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