Liberty Mutual Review
You might recognize Liberty Mutual for its witty “Only Pay for What You Need” media campaigns, where “customers” stand in front of the Statue of Liberty and proudly tout how Liberty Mutual allows them to tailor (mainly car insurance) coverage plans to — you guessed it — just what they need. We’ve spent many, many hours poring over online quotes and discount offerings, and we have to say that Liberty Mutual does offer an appealing lineup of coverages and discounts to suit your lifestyle and home.
But this doesn’t mean that all savings will apply to you. Whether you actually qualify for certain discounts depends on where you live, your state’s laws and regulations, specific coverages, and, of course, your home. Liberty Mutual even says so in the fine print at the bottom of its homeowners page.
Choosing the right homeowners insurance company requires a bit of extra legwork, especially when taking a holistic view of a company and its policies. Plus, if you haven’t chosen a homeowners insurance provider yet, chances are high you’re not homing in on one provider only — you’ll want to pull several quotes from different providers to make sure you’re getting all the coverage you need at a rate that suits your budget. We did some of the work for you by putting Liberty Mutual under the microscope to help you decide whether it’s the right fit.
For Liberty Mutual, it’s all about savings. The company contends to offer a range of discounts for everyone and an ability to customize coverage to unique needs. The company also proudly shares that it’s the third-largest home insurance provider in the nation, so it’s natural to assume that people like the service. According to a survey used in Liberty Mutual commercials and at the bottom of some online advertisements, a select range of new customers from 2016 to 2017 reported combined average savings of $782 when they switched to Liberty Mutual. Duly noted.
Is it true?
While third-party, 2017 revenue data from the Insurance Information Institute (III) corroborates Liberty Mutual’s claim that it’s the third-largest home insurance provider in the nation, we can’t say definitively that you’ll see such massive savings simply by switching to Liberty Mutual. In fact, the company brings in a very average three out of five stars in overall satisfaction from J.D. Power’s 2018 Home Insurance Survey and one of the lowest scores in terms of price. This means the majority of respondents weren’t as pleased with the outcome of their premium cost for the amount of coverage they were getting. How much you can save and the types of coverage for which you qualify truly depend on a matrix of highly personal factors.
Just because it’s one of the largest providers doesn’t automatically mean it’ll be one of the best — or most reliable — providers for you. However, there are some pretty obvious perks to doing business with such a well-known company. Among these is Liberty Mutual’s hearty suite of customer support options, like live chat, 24/7 claims assistance, and emergency services.
But will Liberty Mutual really let you customize your insurance to only what you need? Technically, we can’t answer that, because it all depends on your personal circumstances. This is where you’ll need to talk to your local provider to get an accurate read on what exactly Liberty Mutual can offer you. We will commend Liberty Mutual for offering all of the baseline coverages and some pretty unique discounts and endorsements you probably won’t find with other insurers — like inflation protection.
Comparatively, Liberty Mutual doesn’t fare as well as some other contenders in the financial stability and claims satisfaction arenas. But scores and surveys aside, it’s important to shop around — and with its coverage options and endorsements, Liberty Mutual is still well worth a look.
Those looking for unique ways to save, inflation guards, and a variety of coverage options
Reputable claims-handling and stellar financial stability ratings
|In business since||1912|
|J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Home Insurance Study score||787/1,000|
|A.M. Best financial strength rating||A|
|S&P Global financial strength rating||A|
|Moody’s financial strength rating||A2|
|Standout features||Inflation protection
Total replacement cost coverage
24/7 claims availability
Plenty of discounts
Liberty Mutual shines for its range of unique discounts. It’s only one of two companies on our list of the best homeowners insurance providers — along with The Hartford — that may give you a discount if you insure your home for 100% of its value. Depending on where you live, you can also save by buying a new home or renovating your existing one, outfitting your home with security features like smart locks, setting up autopay, and more.
Unique coverages and endorsement options
Liberty Mutual also stands out for its unique coverages, including its inflation protection endorsement. This means that every year your policy is renewed, Liberty Mutual will automatically take inflation into account so that you don’t lose any coverage for increased prices on, say, higher building or labor costs from one year to the next.
Along with covering personal belongings and other physical structures (like a she shed), Liberty Mutual will also cover extra living expenses in the event of a total loss on your home. So if you’re misplaced while your home undergoes damage repairs, Liberty Mutual has you covered.
Helpful customer resources
It’s difficult to estimate how much you could end up paying in premiums, especially if you want an estimate without having to go through the online quote process just yet. Liberty Mutual offers a handy premium calculator to help you estimate what you could end up paying.
It also provides a roadside assistance-like program for homes as part of the claims process. If your home needs immediate repairs, Liberty Mutual will connect you with a nearby emergency service company — an especially helpful feature if you don’t have time to do the research on your own.
Lower financial strength scores
Liberty Mutual’s financial strength ratings aren’t necessarily poor, but they’re also not anything to write home about. They actually fall on the lower end when compared to some of the other contenders in our homeowners insurance company roundup. For context, an “A” from A.M. Best essentially means that Liberty Mutual is known for paying out its claims with little to no difficulty, but it doesn’t imply the same consistency and confidence that State Farm’s A++ brings to the table, for example.
Claims process reputation
In terms of an easy, painless claims process, Liberty Mutual doesn’t have the best reputation. Based on the latest Consumer Reports reader scores, customers were less satisfied with aspects of Liberty Mutual’s claims process — including ease of reaching an agent and timely and fair payouts — than with other companies. J.D. Power also gives it a three out of five for overall claims experience, which is a pretty average score.
The choice is yours in deciding how heavily to weigh this particular factor, but it is something to keep in mind: Disasters strike, and you’ll want a provider that will make the claims process as simple as possible.
Liberty Mutual vs. State Farm
State Farm is ranked the No. 1 provider by market share based on 2018 revenue data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners — so, technically, these two companies comprise a good majority of the home insurance market share in the U.S.
But the devil is in the details. Liberty Mutual falls on the higher-average side with an A — which should still give you a moderate amount of confidence in its financial status. State Farm’s A++ from A.M. Best, however, may give you a little more confidence in times of economic crisis.
State Farm’s add-on coverages and discounts are decidedly “boilerplate.” In terms of coverage, both State Farm and Liberty Mutual will provide you with a standard HO-3 policy, but Liberty Mutual offers a better variety when it comes to finding unique ways to save money and insure your home. If you want any endorsements for unique situations like inflation protection or discounts for home businesses, start with Liberty Mutual.
Liberty Mutual vs. Allstate
It’s worth checking with local branches of Liberty Mutual and Allstate to really crunch numbers and make comparisons, but from our view, these two go neck-and-neck when it comes to unique endorsements and discounts. While Liberty Mutual offers coverage for personal belongings or property, Allstate dives more specifically into coverage for water damage, personal sports equipment, yard and garden tools, and electronic data recovery (which could cover the cost of losing your phone and all of its photos), among others. (Again, these options depend on where you live, so check the coverage and savings offered in your area.)
Allstate also upholds higher financial strength and customer satisfaction ratings than Liberty Mutual, but the real kicker lies in the company’s online resources. Allstate does an outstanding job of helping you analyze your home’s particular risk factors in a clear, simple way with the Common and Costly Claims Tool, where you can check to see what types of claims have dominated your area. The GoodHome report tool also pulls (somewhat eerily) accurate information on your home’s value, as well as data from Google Maps to help you mitigate risks specific to your area.
Liberty Mutual vs. USAA
USAA is clearly a much stronger contender than Liberty Mutual in terms of customer satisfaction and financial stability, but it won’t give you the same variety when it comes to endorsements and discounts. In fact, USAA actually scaled back its endorsement options to remove “outdated” and “rarely requested” coverages to focus on core options. USAA is also only offered to members of the military and their families, which significantly limits the pool of applicants. However, if you do fall under USAA’s eligibility requirements, we highly recommend pulling a quote.
Liberty Mutual Homeowners Insurance FAQ
What is the difference between Liberty Mutual and Safeco?
Liberty Mutual acquired Safeco in 2008, but the two are not one and the same. The two sell different products, with Safeco mainly designed to fit personal insurance policies, and they’re also sold through different channels — Liberty Mutual insurance is sold exclusively through Liberty Mutual brokers, whereas Safeco is generally sold through independent insurance agencies, which typically sell insurance from several different companies. It’s still worth pulling a quote from both companies, depending on what’s offered in your specific area.
Will Liberty Mutual raise my premium if I file a homeowners insurance claim?
The short answer: It’s likely. While Liberty Mutual does claim to offer an accident-forgiveness policy for auto insurance, it doesn’t say anything about a first-time homeowners insurance claim. It’s true that filing a claim could increase your premium, and the amount will likely hinge on the severity of the claim. You shouldn’t be fearful of filing a claim, but insurance companies have to compensate for your risks in some capacity. In some cases, there are state rules and guidelines that prevent them from hiking rates unfairly or choosing to non-renew your coverage — but companies can actually choose not to do business with you after receiving several hefty claims.
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