Liberty Mutual Summary
Liberty Mutual Group is a Boston-based collection of insurance companies offering commercial, personal, international and global insurance products. Each business unit is comprised of a number of subsidiaries; in total, Liberty Mutual owns 16 subsidiaries, including Peerless Insurance.
Liberty Mutual began as MEIA, the Massachusetts Employees Insurance Association, in 1912 in response to statewide demands for worker’s compensation insurance. By 1914, the company began offering auto insurance under the name of Massachusetts Mutual Company; the name was changed to Liberty Mutual in 1917. The company was restructured as a mutual in 2002.
Currently, Liberty Mutual is the third-largest provider of property and casualty insurance in the U.S., and products are sold through local companies in several countries including China, India, Ireland, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom.
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Liberty Mutual offers insurance for cars and motorcycles. A number of coverage options are available for both types of policy, enabling customers to personalize their coverage to suit their needs. Liability-only policies are available for bodily injury and property damage, with limits that can be chosen to suit the driver’s budget and legal requirements in that state. Collision, comprehensive, medical payments coverage and uninsured motorist can be added to create full-coverage.
Customers can take advantage of several benefits, including accident forgiveness and new-car replacement coverage, which will replace a new car with a vehicle of the same year, make and model if it’s totaled within its first 12 months. Unlike many other insurers, Liberty Mutual also offers unlimited rental coverage for the duration of a vehicle’s repairs. In order to take advantage of this, the insured must use a Liberty Mutual-approved repair facility and obtain a rental through the insurance company. These approved facilities also include a lifetime repair guarantee.
Discount opportunities include:
- Customers with multiple policies
- Members who drive hybrid vehicles
- Vehicles with safety features
- Students with grades above a B average
Additionally, many colleges, associations and employers that are affiliated with Liberty Mutual can receive discounts. You can search to see whether you qualify for these by using the Affinity Portal located on Liberty Mutual’s website.
Liberty Mutual offers a variety of property insurance products, including homeowners, renters, condominium and umbrella personal liability policies.
Most of these property insurance policies cover personal belongings that are damaged in covered accidents. Homeowners insurance can cover your belongings, the home itself and any other structures on the property, including fences and sheds.
Different coverages can be purchased to protect against certain perils. Common perils include fire, hail, vandalism and freezing damage; other perils can be added on a case-by-case basis depending on your policy needs and the options in your state. Valuable personal property, like jewelry or antiques, must be insured separately through special Scheduled Personal Property plans, which can be added to the homeowners policy.
- Home Protector Plus – Offers additional protection, including enhanced personal property coverage and alternate living expenses while a home is being repaired. Under this plan, personal property will be covered at its replacement value, not a depreciated figure.
As with car insurance, discounts are offered to policyholders with multiple products through Liberty Mutual and to those affiliated with any college, employer or association in Liberty Mutual’s Affinity program. A few other discounts are homeowners-specific, including discounts for protective devices like smoke and burglar alarms and discounts for newly purchased and renovated homes.
Liberty Mutual sells life insurance policies through its subsidiary Liberty Life Assurance Company, headquartered in Boston. It offers both term and permanent life insurance products as well as retirement investments.
- Term Life Insurance – Sold in terms of 10, 20 and 30 years. During the term, you are fully covered. At the end of the term, you must purchase new insurance or convert the policy to a permanent life plan. The policy accrues no cash value and cannot be borrowed against, but it is generally more affordable than other types of life insurance.
Liberty Mutual offers two types of permanent life insurance:
- Whole Life Insurance – Provides level premiums throughout the life of the policy.
- Universal Life Insurance – Offers flexible payments that can be varied throughout the insured’s life.
Both types of policies last as long as the insured pays the premiums, and both have an investment component and cash value that can be used as an asset for borrowing.
Aside from personal insurance, Liberty Mutual also offers a variety of business insurance products to companies of all sizes. These include commercial auto, assigned risk, general liability, worker’s compensation and specialty insurance products for a number of industries. In addition, the company sells employee benefits packages, which include group life, disability and leave of absence administration.
Liberty Mutual also offers financial tools for retirement. Their primary financial products are annuities, which are special investments that allow individuals to save up for retirement throughout their working lives, then receive a guaranteed income for a specified amount of time.
Liberty Mutual Price (Rates)
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Home and auto insurance claims can be filed online through the Claims Center tab of the Liberty Mutual website. Once reported, the claim will be transferred to a handler who will be your primary point of contact throughout the claim. This handler will investigate the loss, arrange any necessary inspections and explain the payment process to you. At any time, you can check the status of your claim online through the website by inputting your policy information.
Other types of claims must be filed over the phone:
Life Insurance – 1-800-451-7065
Other Insurance – 1-866-219-7100
Consumer Research and Complaints
In the J.D. Power 2011 Insurance Shopping Study, Liberty Mutual ranked fifth overall. It earned 851 out of 900 points and a four-star rating. In the 2012 Customer Satisfaction Study, it ranked three stars out of five, with 770 points out of a possible 900.
The most recent J.D. Powers study, the 2013 Auto Insurance Purchase Experience survey, ranks Liberty Mutual at four out of five stars overall. It earned a five-star rating in policy offerings and local agent quality, with four stars for price and three stars for call center representatives and insurer website.
Liberty Mutual has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 1931 and has an A+ rating on the site. The company lists 1246 complaints in the last three years, with 435 having been closed in the previous 12 months. The vast majority of these are listed as problems with the product or service.
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Liberty Mutual is a top choice for both auto and home insurance. They consistently score high on customer satisfaction surveys, they have a very robust claims process, and their rates are nearly 25% below the average according to our tests. Anyone looking for a single policy or multiple lines should consider Liberty Mutual.
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About the Author
I am a former insurance agent turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.