Liberty Mutual is the fourth-largest property and casualty insurer in the United States. The company was founded in 1912 as the Massachusetts Employees’ Insurance Association after a state law was passed requiring employees to provide worker’s compensation insurance. The name was changed to Liberty Mutual Group in 1917. According to the Insurance Journal, Liberty Mutual Group employs 41,000 people in more than 900 offices worldwide. In 2008, Liberty Mutual acquired Safeco Corporation for approximately $6.2 billion.
“One of the Ten Worst Insurance Companies in America”
The American Association for Justice (AAJ) included Liberty Mutual in their report, The Ten Worst Insurance Companies in America – How They Raise Premiums, Deny Claims and Refuse Insurance to Those Who Need It Most. In making their report, the AAJ looked at thousands of court documents, records, and documents from state insurance departments, the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The AAJ also examined news reports and statements from former agents and adjusters.
Bad Faith Insurance Practices
The AAJ found that Liberty Mutual has been accused of a number of bad faith insurance practices, including:
Delaying, denying, or defending policy claims that should have been easily resolved;
Abandoning policyholders for hurricane damage claims in Florida and Louisiana; and
Artificially raising insurance rates in bid-rigging fraud with other insurance companies with broker Marsh & McLennan (Liberty Mutual maintains its innocence).
Similar to Allstate practices, Liberty Mutual is known to have policies in place that increase corporate profit by reducing the amount paid on individual claims.
What is Insurance Bad Faith?
Insurance companies owe a duty of good faith and fair dealing with their policyholders. If the insurance company violates this covenant of good faith, the policyholder may sue the insurance company for bad faith and breach of contract. Examples of bad faith include:
- Not investigating a claim
- Denying or delaying a claim
- Refusing to defend a lawsuit
- Refusing to make a reasonable settlement offer
- Unreasonably interpreting insurance policy terms.
The California bad faith insurance attorneys at Estey & Bomberger have successfully handled bad faith claims against most of the major insurance companies in California. In one case, we obtained a $1,540,000 verdict against an insurance company that failed to promptly pay a $10,000 underinsured policy limit. In another case, we obtained a $1,275,000 verdict against an insurance company that failed to promptly pay a $25,000 policy limit on a dog bite case. See our case results for other verdicts and settlements.
Getting the Maximum Value for Your Liberty Mutual Claim
Even if you do not suspect the insurance company is acting in bad faith in handling your claim, it is still a good idea to contact an attorney. A second or third opinion about how much your case should settle for is definitely worth taking into consideration. You may be entitled to far more compensation than the insurance company initially offers you. If you have been injured in an auto accident, bicycle accident, motorcycle accident, truck accident, SUV rollover accident, or a slip and fall accident or have been attacked by a dog, and you are dealing with Liberty Mutual Insurance, contact the attorneys at Estey & Bomberger for a free, no-obligation consultation and valuable information about the Liberty Mutual claims process.