Liberty Mutual Insurance first opened their doors in the state of Oregon as far back as 1934, and they’ve been in business since 1912. They offer a complete range of insurance products, including auto insurance, and they have “featured dealers in Beaverton, Eugene, Lake Oswego, Portland and West Linn. In total, they employ more than 1,000 people across the state. Their website claims they are “an insurance company as responsible as you are,” but when it comes to Liberty Mutual Insurance claims in Oregon, do their deeds in fact match their words?
Liberty Mutual Found to Below Average In Survey
The most recent J.D. Power survey of car insurance companies, which was compiled between March and July, 2011, based on claims from more than 11,000 customers of 25 different insurance companies, does not paint a very attractive picture of Liberty Mutual. Using a scoring system with a top possible ranking of 1,000 points, Liberty Mutual managed only 830, which was 16 points below the industry average. In fact, of the 25 insurance companies named in the report, Liberty Mutual came in a lowly 16th place. Their Power Circle Rating of 3 out of a possible 5 earned them a review from J.D. Power of “About Average.”
When it comes to settling Liberty Mutual insurance claims in Oregon, the story is best told by the people who have been on the wrong end of what can only be described as dubious practices. Perhaps that’s why the company loses almost 10% of its customers, year in and year out, a fact they try to put a positive slant on by declaring they retain 91% of their customers every year.
American Association of Justice Called Liberty Mutual: One of the 10 WORST Insurance Companies
An American Association of Justice report has described Liberty Mutual as one of the 10 worst insurance companies in America. They put the company in eighth position, which in fact corresponds very closely with the J.D. Power survey, which puts them ninth. The AAJ report makes some fairly damning accusations regarding Liberty Mutual to back up their ranking. These include:
- Denying, delaying and defending claims. Just like another major insurer, Allstate, Liberty Mutual hired a New York consulting firm to help them become more profitable. The denial of valid claims, delays in paying settlements and defending cases that should have been settled long before they reached the courts were deemed perfectly legitimate means to raise the company’s bottom line.
- Abandoning policyholders. The firm has been accused of jettisoning policyholders in places that have suffered hurricane damage, like Florida, Louisiana and some New England states.
- Engaging in fraudulent practices. Liberty Mutual—among other insurance companies—was accused of bid rigging fraud with broker Marsh & McLennan. The aim was to keep insurance rates artificially high. At this point in time, the other insurance companies who were accused along with Liberty Mutual have settled those charges; Liberty Mutual continues to proclaim its innocence of any wrongdoing.
The AAJ report concludes that more than 50% of Liberty Mutual’s customers who have filed claims are either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the company’s response.
Customers Complain about Liberty Mutual to Consumer Affairs
Statistics, charts and reviews are all well and good to get a general picture of a company’s performance, but nothing tells the story as well as the people who have had to deal directly with Liberty Mutual. A look at a number of complaints to Consumer Affairs says a lot. One man from the Milwaukie area wrote that Liberty had denied his insurance claim because they said the policyholder had failed to come up with a witness, after a garbage truck had backed into his car. This was in spite of the fact that he had a report from the police department validating his claim. The garbage truck company was insured by Liberty Mutual. The man from Milwaukie says that when it comes to settling Liberty Mutual Insurance claims in Oregon, “they are crooks, liars and thieves!”
Another injured motorist wrote to the Consumer Affairs offices, saying a driver who was insured with Liberty Mutual ran a stop sign and T-boned him in May of this year. The man writing in was badly injured, had already had one surgery and is in need of another. He’s unable to work, and after losing his job, he lost his house, his car and his boat. To make matters worse (if that’s possible), he’s a single father trying to raise a 14-year-old son. To date, Liberty Mutual has not paid him a single penny, and he’s trying to live off his 401k.
Clearly, Liberty Mutual claims in Oregon are not straightforward, and can be frustrating as well as costly. It would be advisable for any Oregon driver making a claim that involves Liberty Mutual to retain the services of an experienced Portland personal injury lawyer, and preferably someone who has dealt with Liberty Mutual, and other insurance companies just like them, in the past.