Liberty Mutual Holding defends our freedom to buy car insurance. As the parent company of Liberty Mutual Group and its operating subsidiaries, Liberty Mutual is one of the top property/casualty insurers in the US and among the top 10 providers of automobile insurance. The company also offers homeowners' insurance, workers compensation, general liability, group disability, fire and surety, and commercial lines for small to large companies. Liberty Mutual operates through four business divisions: Personal Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Liberty International, and Global Specialty. It distributes its products through a diversified blend of independent and exclusive agents, brokers, and direct sales.
Liberty Mutual's four business divisions are Personal Insurance (accounting for about 45% of net written premiums), Commercial Insurance (25%), Liberty International (some 15%), and Global Specialty (another 15%).
True to its name, the company's Personal Insurance division offers coverage lines for private automobile, homeowners, valuable possessions, and personal liability through its own sales force, two direct response centers, appointed Prudential agents, and online. Traditional and variable life insurance and annuity products are offered through subsidiary Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston. Personal Markets' largest source of new business comes through its relationships with affinity groups, including credit unions, employers, and professional and alumni associations.
The Commercial Insurance segment provides a wide range of property/casualty and group benefits products and services for businesses through independent agents, brokers, and benefit consultants across the US.
Liberty International's operations consist of local insurance companies selling property/casualty, health, and life insurance products to individuals and businesses in 17 countries and key markets.
The Global Specialty segment includes Liberty International Underwriters (LIU), Liberty Mutual Surety (LMS), and Liberty Mutual Reinsurance (LMR).
Private passenger automobile insurance is the company's single largest line of business (36% of the total net written premium in 2014).
Liberty Mutual has some 900 offices in 30 countries around the globe.
Liberty International has four operating regions: Latin America (Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Ecuador); Europe, (Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Poland, Ireland and Russia); Asia (Thailand, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, and Vietnam); and India.
Sales and Marketing
The company distributes its products through more than 2,300 licensed sales representatives, through direct response centers, third-party producers, and online. Its commercial insurance lines are sold through independent agents, brokers, and benefit consultants throughout the US. More than 10,000 independent agencies in 49 states sell Liberty Mutual's Safeco-branded insurance products.
Liberty Mutual markets its offerings in industries including energy, financial services, health care, hospitality, food and beverages, manufacturing, and printing and publishing.
The company’s revenues grew 3% to $39.6 billion in 2014 thanks to higher premiums earned and an increase in fee and other revenues. The growth was due to higher personal insurance volume and growth in the specialty insurance lines; those gains were partially offset by net realized losses. Liberty International's earnings were flat due to loss from the sale of its Argentina operations.
Net income also grew 3% in 2014, rising to $1.8 billion due to the higher revenue (but offset by loss from the sale of the Argentina operations).
Cash flow from operations fell 70% to $1.2 billion that year, due to approximately $3 billion paid in total consideration to fund the National Indemnity Company Reinsurance Transaction.
Liberty Mutual increases its geographic foothold by opening new branches organically, establishing joint ventures, and acquiring local complementary businesses.
The company's Liberty International Underwriters (LIU) business offers specialty commercial insurance and reinsurance and operates from about 50 offices worldwide. LIU writes a variety of products in such areas as aviation, cyber liability, construction, energy, marine, and crisis management, among others. Its Lloyd's Syndicate 4472 also provides multi-line insurance and reinsurance worldwide.
Liberty Mutual's International division has grown in importance as part of a planned long-term expansion outside of the US. This division operates in about 15 countries and provides personal and commercial insurance to local markets. It uses various means to branch out into emerging markets like Russia, China, and India. In 2014 the division sold its Argentinian operations.
In mid-2014, the company reached an agreement with National Indemnity Company (NICO), a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, on a combined aggregate adverse development cover for most of Liberty Mutual's workers' compensation, asbestos, and environmental liabilities.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2014 the company acquired Uni.Asia Capital's 68% stake in Uni.Asia General Insurance Berhad for approximately $118 million.
Expanding its presence in Ireland, it has agreed to buy Northern Ireland-based Hughes Insurance, an independent insurance broker offering auto, home, travel, and commercial lines.