I need to start off this epinion by letting everyone know Im writing this about Liberty Mutual because Im disappointed, shocked and angry with them. I also want you to know that the problem we are having is widespread across Long Island, NY and is not limited to just Liberty Mutual. Liberty Mutual as well as other insurance carriers are currently being looked into because they have been dropping people who only have homeowners policies with them. We figured we were safe because we have had multi policies with them for years.
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The insurance companies fear a major hurricane in this neck of the woods and are dumping policy holders like flies. I know of at least 3 of my friends who were dumped, one for having more than 1 claim and 2 because they were located in a hurricane area - mind you we havent had a hurricane here in at least 10 to 15 years! Hurricanes Gloria and Hugo were the last ones.
We had been loyal Liberty Mutual Customers for almost 19 years. In the whole of that 19 years we had 4 claims in total. On our current house alone in the past 10 we filed 3 of those claims. The first was for a fire in 2003 which we were reimbursed $1700 and the 2nd and 3rd claims were from water damage due to old pipes in our bath tub leaking in July of 2005 and the old pipes in the kitchen leaking in Sept. of 2005. The total amount Liberty reimbursed us for these two claims was less than $2000. We opted to pay a higher insurance premium so our deductible would only be $500, this way if something like the pipes leaked we would be covered by our insurance. Our total out of pocket expenses for the leaking pipes was close to $5,000. Prior to even filing the 2nd claim I asked them straight out, will having 2 claims in a short period of time effect my insurance in anyway? I was told no it shouldnt because they are small claims.
We received a letter from Liberty Mutual in February of 2007 to Dear Valued Customer, thank you for insuring with liberty. We value your business
.and are committed to doing our best to exceed your expectations.
Periodically updating your homeowners policy ensures thorough protections and allows us to serve you more effectively.
At liberty we take pride in offering superior insurance products and services
.Liberty Mutual is there to provide you with the sense of safety and security you can depend on.
Once again thank you for insuring with Liberty Mutual. We appreciate your Business
Jump forward to September 4, 2007 the most recent letter I received from Liberty Mutual
An underwriting review of your insurance policy was recently completed. The purposes of this letter is to notify you that the policy listed above non renewed effective 12:01 a.m. on 10/27/2007. The reasons for non renewal are Loss History
9/1/05 water damage and 7/19/05 water damage.
I contacted Liberty and spoke with Supervisors, managers who said they put it through underwriting again and unfortunately will not change their decision to non renew us.
Heres the kicker - We cant get insurance with any regular insurance company now because we are considered high risk. We will get insurance however, it is going to run us anywhere from $4000 per year up to $6000 per year. We had been paying $1,890 per year. We now have to deal with an insurance broker, luckily a friend of the family, who knows we will get insurance. My once low deductible may have to go up from $500 to $5000 to keep the premium as low as possible. His advice to me was not to file anymore frivolous claims with the insurance company. Whats the purpose of having a policy where you pay extra for a low deductible and then get dumped for using it. I figured out that in the last 20 years since being with liberty between renters and homeowners insurance we have paid them $32,000. In that whole time they have reimbursed us $3,700 in insurance claims - nice profit from us on their part!
The supervisor who called me back did state she understood how I felt because shes a consumer as well. My only comment to her was since shes in the insurance industry and sees whats going on she must not be insuring through Liberty. She had no comment from me after that.
The good news is that once the claims are 3 years old they come off your insurance record, however you still have to divulge anything within 5 years to your new insurance carrier. In another 1 to 1 ˝ years we can revisit trying to get a multi policy with another insurance company.
I have deleted the original epinion I wrote which was praising Liberty Mutual but have included it at the end of this new epinion just to be fair since at one point we were extremely happy with them. Im also including some tips below for anyone trying to get a new policy - some of the questions the 7 different insurance companies asked me while searching for a new policy:
First and foremost - dont file claims with your insurance unless its something major like a fire, hurricane, tornado, etc. - more than one in a 3 year period and you will have difficulty getting coverage from anyone else if your insurance company non renews you.
Do you have a trampoline - We dont but if you do, you have to disclose it because if someone gets hurt on your trampoline they can sue! You dont disclose it your insurance wont cover you. FYI - My brothers family has one as well as their neighbor. My son sprained his ankle falling off their neighbors. My nephew broke his arm falling off their neighbors luckily to keep everyone friendly nobody sued so beware.
Do you have a dog type, size and has it bitten anyone - we do have a dog and he has not bitten anyone.
BELOW IS THE ORIGINAL REVIEW I WROTE IN 2004
Liberty Mutual helped after the fire.
Jul 09 '04 (Updated Jul 14 '04)
We live in New York, on Long Island. My husband and I have been Liberty Mutual customers for well over 15 years now. We started out with them for our Auto Insurance because their rates were lower, then we moved into an apartment after getting married and used them for our renters insurance. When we finally bought our first home 12 years ago, we checked around with other insurance agencies and found Liberty had the best price because they offered various discounts that other insurance agencies did not offer. When we went to purchase the home we are in now, 6 years ago, I checked with other insurance agencies again and was told "they can't compete with Liberty Mutuals Multi Policy Discounts". We checked with the local State Farm and Allstate offices.
As of this date, some of the discounts we are currently receiving are:
5% Multiple Policy Discount (2 cars and the house)
9% Preferred risk rating plan discount
16% Protective Device Credits (Smoke Alarm, Burglar Alarm, Fire Extinguishers.
5% Group Savings Plus Discount (something we just started receiving because my husband is a Nassau Community College Alumni)
In the 12 years since we have owned a home, we have had 2 claims with Liberty. One for water damage done to our living room after our roof started to leak. The total damage was about $1200 and after our $500 deductible we received a check from the insurance adjuster on the spot for $700. In this situation the $700 covered the repair of a hole in the wall and the painting of that wall - we were very satisfied.
The 2nd incident where we had to call upon Liberty was 7/20/2003 - we had a fire in our basement caused by a spray paint can leaking and the fumes coming in contact with the pilot light on our hot water heater which was about 4 feet away from our workbench where all the cans were stored. Within about 6 hours of calling Liberty Mutuals Claims Center they had a worker at our house at 9:00pm to assess the damage to our basement and to start the initial cleanup.
If you have never smelled the stench from burnt paint and the fumes, it can be unbearable.
I wrote a safety tips review on paint storage which can be read at:
We did not have any water damage, although the Hempstead Fire Department were there within minutes of our call (thanks guys for the quick response, the first aid rendered, and for not putting any holes in my home :)) We had a Halon Fire Extinguisher which works great in small rooms, as it eliminated the oxygen in the area feeding the fire and snuffed it out within seconds (We were lucky here, as we never used a fire extinguisher before).
The Liberty Cleanup guy started airing out our basement with high powered fans so the smell from the fire wouldn't go through the rest of the house. He stayed until about midnight. At 9:00 am the next morning, the whole crew, 5 men in total came in to start removing any charged, melted, damaged items. At 10:00 am the Liberty Mutual Adjuster came, took a look at the damage and estimated a value for the items that were considered a loss. He came up with a figure of $1700 after depreciation of the items. The main items were the workbench, a file cabinet, the paint cans that caused the fire and he also allowed us for the recharging of the fire extinguisher (a cost of almost $300 alone), since without that we may have lost our home. After out $500 deductible he cut us a check for $1200 on the spot. We were able to replace everything we had lost, although we decided against storing anymore paint and will only buy on an as needed basis. We were told that if the replacement cost for the items came to more than what we received we could submit the bills to Liberty and they would take care of it but issuing us an additional check. The cleanup crew cleaned the floors, each individual ceiling tile, furniture, windows, about 150 record albumns, books, toys, and they painted the area where the fire was. It took them 2 days to finish the cleanup and we were left with no remnants of any fire, no smell, no soot.
Our insurance rates have not gone up due to the claims. We just received our new policy from Liberty and except for the replacement cost on our home, everything else stayed the same. Luckily the value of our home went up a few thousand, thus increasing the premium by a few dollars. We have been very happy with how quick they were to respond to our calls. They were courteous, understanding and helpful.
I will now list the coverage we have from our Policy Declaration Page:
Dwelling with expanded replacement cost $437,100
Other structures (our garage) 43,710
Personal Property with Replacement Cost 327,825
Loss of use of your residence Actual loss Sustained
Personal Liability (each occurrence) 300,000
Medical payments to others (each Occurrence) 1,000
Other Deductible: Hurricane 2% $8742
My total yearly premium comes to $1,451 after all the discounts I received. Without the discounts it would be $1810.
As I stated earlier, I have never experienced any problems with Liberty. We deal with the Liberty Mutual office at 70 E. Sunrise Hwy, Valley Stream, NY. They can be reached at 877-389-8894. Their claims # is 800-228-8004.
We have our auto policy through liberty and receive several discounts on that through them. I wrote an epinion on Liberty Auto several years ago and will be updating that soon. It can be found at:
Hope this information has helped. I speak to Liberty Several times a year just to check to see if they are offering any discounts. That's how I found out about the Group Savings Plus Discount
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