Liberty Mutual’s origin goes back to a 1911 state law in Massachusetts that required employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance. The company was originally called the Massachusetts Employees’ Insurance Association to help meet that requirement. In 1914, they began offering auto insurance, and in 1917, the name was changed to Liberty Mutual Insurance Company.
Over the decades, the company has continued to grow, offering a wider range of products and services. They now offer everything from auto and homeowners insurance to workers’ comp and commercial insurance. Liberty Mutual has acquired a number of smaller companies, including Safeco Corp. and Wausau Insurance. Through local insurance companies owned or affiliated with Liberty Mutual, the company offers policies in many countries, including but not limited to Brazil, India, Russia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.
Liberty Mutual is the third largest insurance company in the United States, with net premiums totaling over $21 million. Currently, Liberty Mutual stands at #76 on the Fortune 500 list, with annual revenue over $38.5 billion.
Liberty Mutual has had a long, stable history for over 100 years, so potential customers are not getting a fly-by-night operation, and the company offers a variety of insurance policies to meet the varying needs of different consumers. Some highlights of their auto insurance coverage include a teen driver discount, unlimited rental coverage, and their exclusive Better Car Replacement program.
- Bodily Injury Liability provides protection in the event that the policyholder causes an accident where another individual(s) is injured.
- Property Damage Liability covers damages to another individual’s property should the policyholder be at-fault.
- Medical Payments Coverage provides payment to certain medical expenses should the policyholder or other passengers be injured in an accident.
- Collision Coverage is optional, covering damage to the vehicle caused by a collision with another vehicle.
- Comprehensive coverage is also optional and covers damages specifically to the vehicle caused by such events as a natural disaster, theft, etc.
- New Car Replacement covers a brand new vehicle should it become totaled within the first 15,000 miles, paying the total amount of a replacement – not just the depreciated value.
- Better Car Replacement covers a totaled vehicle, replacing it with a one model year newer and has 15,000 fewer miles.
- Unlimited Rental Coverage pays for the cost of a rental for as long as it takes to fix the car.
- Roadside Assistance coverage is an available option, which gives towing and basic roadside assistance coverage.
- Teachers Auto Insurance provides additional coverage to educators, protecting the vehicle as well as any educational materials inside the vehicle – regardless of whether the policyholder owns them or the educational establishment.
Better Car Replacement coverage means if your car is totaled in an accident, Liberty Mutual will not just replace the car but provide enough money to purchase a car of the same model that is one year newer with 15,000 fewer miles on the odometer. This ensures that policyholders wind up with a better car, which is a great feature and one that is fairly unique to Liberty Mutual.
In case of an accident, customers can file a claim over the phone, online or through their mobile phone for maximum convenience. Once the claim has been filed, it is possible to track it online. In fact, customers can send photos and documents, find appraisal information, and do many other things online through their personal account.
In order to fairly compare coverages, the Review Team standardized their quote requests to receive an estimate for a driver 27 years of age, financing a 2011 Toyota Camry, as it’s the best-selling car according to Time.com, and discovered that the monthly premium would equal roughly $126.83. With each add-on option above the state standard limit, there will be a slight increase in the monthly premium. This is but an estimate and prices vary with each state, driver and their vehicle type.
Liberty Mutual is available to residents of all 50 states.
Liberty Mutual offers a good number of discounts, including some that are rare or unique to this company. Examples of this include a new graduate discount, which encourages students to complete their education, a newly married discount, a new move discount and a newly retired discount. Although they don’t have the widest number of discounts compared to other major auto insurance companies, they do have an impressive array of them.
- Multi-policy – Bundling with Auto, Home and/or Life
- Exclusive Group Savings – For members of over 14,000 employers and groups
- Preferred Payment – Added discount for paying in full
- New Customer – Switching from another provider
- Vehicle Safety Features – Anti-theft devices, adaptive cruise control and more
- Hybrid Vehicle – When minimizing carbon footprints
- Multi-car – Protects more than a single vehicle
- Teen Drivers – For parents with new drivers in the home
- Good Student – Discounts for students 25 or younger achieving at least a “B” average
- New Graduate – For those who have earned their degrees
- Newly Married – Discounts for newlyweds
- New Move – Special savings for immediately updating your new address
- Newly Retired – Special discounts for those who’ve earned it by working until retirement
Liberty Mutual’s policy rates are competitive, which is to say they are perfectly acceptable and comparable to many of their competitors. Coupled with the range of discounts, consumers should be able to get an affordable premium that meets all of their needs. Also, the company 100% guarantees any repairs done to your vehicle at one of their Guaranteed Repair Network locations. Repairs can be tracked online, and policyholders receive priority status for all repair work.
Liberty Mutual offers a free app for iPhones and Android phones that gives access to many of these same features. In case of an accident, the claim can be filed, pictures of damage taken and uploaded, location of the accident mapped on GPS, and a voice message created to store key information all through the mobile app. It is user friendly with a simple layout. Also, Liberty Mutual has a reputation for processing claims fairly quickly, and the addition of a convenient app only makes the process that much faster.
Claims may be filed over the phone, online or with the mobile app. Tracking is available through the mobile app.
Liberty Mutual has been offering an insurance product for automobiles since 1914.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating
The Better Business Bureau gives Liberty Mutual an impressive A+ rating based on the length of time the company has been in operation, the relatively low number of complaints, and the company’s willingness to resolve all complaints.
Though Liberty Mutual offers an extensive range of products and coverage types, there are some specialty insurance types that they do not seem to offer. Examples of this would include recreational vehicle coverage, farm insurance, fifth-wheel trailer coverage and wedding insurance. Consumers looking for these and similar kinds of coverage will have to look elsewhere.
Also, it should be pointed out that policy rates are not particularly impressive. They are comparable to other insurance companies but by no means among the lowest. There are definitely more affordable rates out there, so consumers who are chiefly interested in saving money will want to look elsewhere.
Rates seem to have gone up substantially compared to other companies. In fact, Liberty Mutual seems to raise their insurance rates fairly constantly, and the raises in cost are not small. Though the company was praised for offering a wide number of discounts, this is somewhat negated by the constant rate increases. There are plenty of insurance companies who offer fewer discounts but cheaper rates for across-the-board savings.
There are many complaints about Liberty Mutual not providing 24-hour customer support. Online and mobile phone options can be accessed at any time, so customers can acquire emergency assistance or file a claim at any time. However, actually talking directly to an agent or claims representative seems to be a challenge during off hours. Customer service does not seem to be as good as other places, and complaints are widespread.
Though Liberty Mutual seems committed to resolving complaints filed at the BBB, there are hundreds and hundreds of complaints across dozens of websites from frustrated customers who found it difficult to speak directly to the company to resolve complaints. With a company known for raising rates and changing policy features from year to year, this is particularly problematic.
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