Liberty Mutual is more than 100 years old, with origins dating to 1912, when it was formed in response to a state law requiring employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance to its employees. Massachusetts Employees’ Insurance Association, as it was then known, began as a mutual company, meaning that it was owned by its customers rather than stockholders. The company’s first auto insurance policy was issued at its first branch office in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1914. It became Liberty Mutual Insurance Company in 1917.
Liberty Mutual started advertising in 1919, and in 1930, the company got even more visibility by providing safety literature for high school driving courses, which the company says was a precursor to its current-day teen driving safety program. In 1936, the company opened a new home office in Boston, and in 1937, it was operating in 48 states. In the early 1950s, the Liberty Mutual Research Institute paired up with the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory to develop safer cars. This partnership resulted in some innovations that are still in use in new cars today.
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How We Created This Liberty Mutual Car Insurance Review
This car insurance review is based on a U.S. News & World Report survey of 2,799 consumers who filed a car insurance claim in the last five years. Respondents provided this data based on their experience with their car insurance company.
U.S. News also worked with Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average insurance rates in all 50 states from the 10 largest national car insurance companies. The rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 17, 25, 35, and 60. Vehicles used include the 2018 Honda Civic, 2018 Toyota RAV4, 2018 Ford F-150, 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150, with annual mileage of 6,000 and 12,000. Three car insurance coverage levels were used, as were credit tiers of good, fair, and poor. Clean driving records and records with one accident, one speeding violation, and one DUI were also used in the calculations. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only. Individual rates will differ.
Liberty Mutual car insurance rates are not currently available.
Liberty Mutual Rating and Review
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Survey respondents were most satisfied with Liberty Mutual for how easy it was to file a claim, with just over 55 percent saying they were completely satisfied. After making the claim, however, customers said the process broke down. Several respondents said that it was hard to get an agent on the phone, agents didn't return calls or messages, and the claims process simply took too long. Other customers mentioned that Liberty Mutual was not aggressive enough about pursuing other insurance companies for settlements.
One respondent summed it up by saying, “Very poor claim handling process, very robotic, not customer focused.”
More than 53 percent of customers reported being completely satisfied with the customer service from Liberty Mutual. However, on every other attribute we measured, at least 50 percent of respondents reported being less than totally satisfied. Nearly 20 percent of respondents were dissatisfied with communication about claim status, and just over 20 percent were dissatisfied with how claims were resolved. That dissatisfaction showed when we asked how likely people were to recommend Liberty Mutual or renew their policy.
Nearly 30 percent of respondents reported that they were unlikely or very unlikely to recommend Liberty Mutual to someone shopping for car insurance, and just over 26 percent said they are either unlikely or very unlikely to renew their insurance with Liberty Mutual. As you can see from the responses below, several of the survey respondents have already switched away from Liberty Mutual. Others are staying with them, but reluctantly.
“My premiums increased far too much over the last four years,” said one respondent. Another decided to leave the insurer, saying, “They were going to raise my premiums a significant amount. So we switched to State Farm.”
“Expensive premiums. Already went switched to another company,” said one unhappy customer. “I switched to Allstate," said another. "They were the insurance company of the driver that ran the red light. And they were awesome!”
Liberty Mutual Car Insurance Costs
Liberty Mutual car insurance rates are not currently available.
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Liberty Mutual Auto Insurance vs. Geico Auto Insurance
Geico takes the fourth spot in our rankings of major insurance companies and outscores Liberty Mutual by a healthy margin on every survey question.
Liberty Mutual Auto Insurance vs. State Farm Auto Insurance
State Farm is our third-ranked auto insurance company, and its $3,260 average rate is among the lowest in the study. Only Geico and USAA are less expensive.
Types of Coverage From Liberty Mutual Car Insurance
Let’s look at some of the different coverage types available from Liberty Mutual. Note that not all these coverage options are available in all states, and if you have a lease or a loan on your car, the finance company may require specific types of coverage.
Liberty Mutual’s standard car insurance policy includes bodily injury liability and property damage, which cover any injuries or damage as a result of an accident you cause. The standard coverage also includes medical payments, which kick in if you or your passengers are injured in an accident. Liberty Mutual backs these standard features with 24-hour customer service, a 12-month rate guarantee, and a lifetime repair guarantee.
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Several add-on options are available. Enrolling in the Liberty Mutual Deductible Fund will help you reduce or eliminate your deductible. Accident Forgiveness coverage will keep your rates from going up after your first accident. The Lifetime Repair Guarantee coverage means that Liberty Mutual will back your car’s repairs as long as they were performed by an approved repair facility. You can opt to ensure that your new car is replaced with another new car or a car that is a model year newer. Rental Car Reimbursement coverage ensures that you’ll have a car to drive while yours is being repaired.
Liberty Mutual Car Insurance Complaints
Complaints from current and former Liberty Mutual customers tend to focus on cost, communication and customer service during the claims process, and the claims process itself. The quotes below were provided by survey respondents to clarify their responses to the survey questions or provide additional information. Some participants in the study noted that they have since switched from Liberty Mutual to a rival company.
“Expensive and reluctant to pay a claim.”
“My premiums increased far too much over the last four years.”
“[A] Liberty Mutual insured [customer] ran into the back of our car. Service and handling of our claim has been poor. Accident occurred November 2017 and still remains unresolved.”
“I had to replace a windshield chipped by a stone. They raised my rates significantly. I took my business elsewhere. I get a laugh when I watch their ad on TV for ‘accident forgiveness.’”
“I was in an accident June 27th. My car was totaled, the fault was not mine. I was very disappointed with the follow through to go after the other insurance company. I left a message for my agent and he did not call me back.”
“We had a long wait for our car to be repaired, which was brought on by the insurance company.”
“Accident not my fault and instead of telling me to file my claim with the other person's insurance company, they went ahead and filed it telling me they'd get back repayment from the other insurance company. Six months later, I'm out my $500 deductible and the case is closed because the other insurance company didn't pay. Terrible service and because of that, I switched to Geico.”
Liberty Mutual Car Insurance Discounts
One of the most common ways to save money on a car insurance policy is through bundling, also known as a multipolicy discount. Like most companies, Liberty Mutual offers car insurance discounts to customers who bundle a home (or condo or renters) policy with auto insurance. Liberty Mutual also offers certain billing discounts. For example, you could save by opting in to automatic billing or by paying your premium in full instead of in installments. You can also save money with a multi-car discount. If your household has more than one vehicle, consider putting them all on the same policy to save some money.
Some cars will qualify for specific discounts based on the type of car or any special equipment that is installed. Hybrid cars qualify for an alternative energy discount, and cars with safety features such as anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, adaptive headlights, rearview cameras, and anti-theft devices qualify for a vehicle safety features discount. Ask your insurance agent if there are any additional features that will qualify your car for one of these discounts.
Students under the age of 26 who maintain a B average or better qualify for a good student discount. And, if you have recently moved, you may get a discount with Liberty Mutual just for updating the address on your policy.
Other Types of Policies From Liberty Mutual
Though Liberty Mutual got its start as an auto insurance company, it has expanded considerably over the last hundred years. Liberty Mutual’s available policies and products extend to other types of vehicles, as well as other types of insurance.
If you have a motorcycle, Liberty Mutual’s coverage options include better bike replacement, new bike replacement, and coverage for accessories or upgrades installed on the bike. Discounts for safety training and experienced riders are available too. Liberty Mutual also provides customized insurance policies for boats, yachts, and jet skis, with discounts available for safety training and experience.
Whether you own a home, own a condo, or rent, Liberty Mutual offers coverage suitable for your needs. Homeowners insurance policies cover your dwelling, personal possessions, liability, and additional living expenses related to a disaster that forces you to leave your home. Condo insurance covers your possessions inside the unit, liability, and common areas of the condo development. Renters can get a policy that covers personal property, liability, and additional living expenses and medical payments related to accidents on the property. Additional coverage can be added for expensive personal items like jewelry and computers.
For extra coverage, consider a personal umbrella insurance policy. An umbrella policy provides extra liability coverage in case of an auto accident or an incident in your home or on your property. A single umbrella insurance policy extends to all your other policies with Liberty Mutual and provides extra coverage if an incident exhausts your liability limits with your other policies. This policy must be bundled with an auto insurance policy with a minimum liability limit.
Although Liberty Mutual is planning to consolidate its life insurance business (see the next section for more details), as of this writing, term life insurance and permanent life insurance products are still offered on Liberty Mutual’s website, along with annuities.
Liberty Mutual Financial Fitness
Liberty Mutual had a couple of rough quarters in 2017 and 2018, due to unprecedented payouts as a result of natural disasters. In January of 2018, Liberty Mutual announced plans to sell off its life insurance division and restructure its consumer and commercial insurance businesses. The company’s earnings report for the second quarter of 2018, which was published in August 2018, cited net income of $981 million over the three-month period ending June 30, and net income of $1.629 billion for the six-month period ending June 30. However, net losses for the three-month period were $59 million, as compared to the $18 million lost in the same period for 2017.
As of June 30, 2018, Liberty Mutual had total equity of $20.880 billion, an increase of $192 million over the previous six-month period. Total debt was $8.271 billion, down $54 million from the previous six-month period.
Liberty Mutual is taking steps to get back on track following recent loses. Customers and potential customers should not be concerned about Liberty Mutual’s ability to pay out claims.
Other Insurance Brands Related to Liberty Mutual
Liberty Mutual has several subsidiaries. Under the Liberty Mutual Group umbrella, the main corporate structure includes Liberty Mutual Holding Company Inc., LMHC Massachusetts Holding Inc., and Liberty Mutual Group Inc., which is then split into the following entities: Liberty Corporate Services LLC, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company, and Employers Insurance Company of Wausau.
Other affiliated companies include Safeco, Ironshore, Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management, Liberty Mutual Personal Insurance, Liberty General Insurance, Liberty International Underwriters, Ohio Casualty, Helmsman Management Services, Liberty Citystate Holdings Pte Ltd, St. James Insurance Company Ltd., and Wausau Insurance.
Contact Liberty Mutual
You can contact Liberty Mutual at www.libertymutual.com/customer-service/contact-us. The company can be emailed through their web portal, tweeted at @AskLiberty, or reached by telephone. The customer service number is 1-800-290-8711. For claims, use 1-800-225-2467. For 24-hour roadside assistance, call 1-800-426-9898.