You bought a home you love. That’s a huge achievement! But before you pop the champagne, you’ll want to think about protecting it. Now there’s the obvious stuff you should look into — security systems, professional monitoring, cameras, and other equipment, but you should consider homeowners insurance in that equation as well. Like we say, home insurance is home security.
Liberty Mutual is one of the five biggest insurance providers in the nation,1 with comprehensive mix-and-match policies, next-generation claims filing, and a name that’s been around for over a century. They’ve struggled a bit in the customer satisfaction department lately, but that seems to be changing.
I took a behind-the-scenes look at Liberty Mutual’s home insurance packages to see what getting a quote was really like — from rates and customer experience, to special discounts and local availability. But first I spent some time getting to know the different types of homeowners coverage Liberty Mutual offers.
Homeowner’s Tip: If you live in a high-risk area where natural disasters are common, Liberty Mutual may not cover you. The easiest way to see if you’re eligible for a Liberty Mutual policy is to request an online quote.
Liberty Mutual has a single standard HO-3 policy with plenty of extra endorsements, or add-ons, to make your insurance go further. Here’s a breakdown of what you get and what you can add on to your Liberty Mutual home insurance plan.
FYI: An HO-3 policy is the most common homeowners insurance plan in the U.S. It covers your home and belongings, as well as your liability to others in the event of an accident on your property.
Liberty Mutual covered me for these items in the case of loss, theft, damage, or accident.
Did You Know: Understanding Actual Cash Value”]When my insurance policy pays me ACV for my lost or damaged possessions, it’s reimbursing me for their value at the time I lose them. So, say I bought a designer wool rug for $1,500 five years ago. With ACV coverage, my policy would maybe pay me $500 to replace it if it got damaged or stolen. Not ideal.
I would have to purchase these extra protections or endorsements.
Understanding Replacement Cost: It will cost me more to insure my possessions at replacement cost value (RCV), but it means my insurance provider will pay me their full market value in the event of damage or loss. So for my designer wool rug example a while back? I’d get the money to buy the same model new, even if its price went up in the five years since I bought it.
There’s no one-size-fits-all insurance premium quote. The market value of your home will influence your rate. So will its size, age, and condition, and even the state (or area) where you live.
According to the latest report by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), U.S. homeowners paid $104 per month (or $1,249 per year) on average to insure their homes in recent years.3 How does Liberty Mutual compare?
I requested a quote for a 1,724-square-foot home in Davenport, Iowa (built in 1993), with a market value of $259,900, just a hair above the national median. Home security was nothing fancy: fire, smoke, and burglar alarm, all self-monitored.
Liberty Mutual quoted me $237 per month, or $2,844 yearly, with my discounts. I ran that against the NAIC’s figures to see what the average homeowner is paying for their HO-3 policy in Iowa with coverage in the $200,000-$290,000 range.
Guess what? Annual median homeowners insurance in Iowa was $1,010. So my Liberty Mutual quote was nearly three times as expensive.
But all wasn’t lost. Before I show you how I managed to lower my Liberty Mutual quote by about 20 percent, here’s a breakdown of everything my Liberty Mutual premium would have included.
Did You Know: Insurance providers try to make understanding coverage easy. But they don’t always succeed. Our Homeowners Insurance Buyer’s Guide keeps home insurance simple — from basic terminology and types of coverage to the key factors you should be considering when calculating your coverage limits.
|Type of Coverage||Amount of Coverage|
|Loss of use||Actual loss|
|Medical payments to others||$1,000|
|Home Protector Plus™ (inflation protection)||Yes|
|ID fraud restoration||No|
|Computer and smartphone||No|
|Protective devices discount||Yes|
|Wind and hail deductible||$1,500|
A quick inspection of my Liberty Mutual quote revealed the culprit: extra replacement cost coverage. Getting rid of Home Protector Plus, Liberty Mutual’s inflation protection, dropped my bill by $37 monthly. This is a huge difference, and it didn’t even affect my dwelling coverage. (It did lower my personal possessions coverage to $143,000. It also capped my loss of use insurance at $57,280.)
Was it enough savings to make me a customer? The fact is, even with that pretty hefty discount, my Liberty Mutual premium was still heavier than I’d like. This particular home, for whatever reason, just wasn’t a good candidate for a Liberty Mutual policy.
There’s been a torrent of activity at the Better Business Bureau lately over Liberty Mutual’s lackluster customer service experience. Consumer data analytics giant J.D. Power’s latest study on digital home insurance claims points to similar trouble spots in the consumer satisfaction department.4
Here’s the long and short of it. While some home insurance providers were busy speeding up claims settlements with new digital tools so they could keep up with pandemic-related claims surges, others got bogged down, irritating customers.
For example, MetLife plans (now carried by Farmers) topped the charts with 904/1000 points in claims satisfaction. Read our full Farmers review for the whole story. Liberty Mutual was somewhere in the middle (12th out of 20) with 881 points. They weren’t the only top home insurance provider to feel consumer wrath in 2021, though. State Farm also struggled to meet digital claims expectations during the pandemic.
Did You Know: State Farm may have had trouble processing claims last year, but they ranked second in overall customer satisfaction among renters and fourth among homeowners. Check out our experience with State Farm homeowners insurance for the full report.
To be fair, COVID-19 has unbalanced many businesses — big and small — and forced the rapid digitalization of traditionally brick-and-mortar processes. In my experience, Liberty Mutual delivered its online quote fast and with minimal hassle.
I suspect that in the next year or so, settling claims digitally will be a breeze for them, too. After all, Liberty Mutual was one of the first home insurance providers to conduct property damage reviews by video, so they’ve got the tech know-how.
Homeowner’s Tip: FNOL, or first notice of loss, is the initial report you make to your insurance provider in the event of the loss or theft of, or damage to, your property or possessions. Digital FNOL reports can cut payout times down by 5.5 days.
Homeowner’s Tip: Your home insurance provider may use your credit score to determine your premium. If you apply with your spouse, they usually take the higher credit score, which may save you money.
Liberty Mutual homeowners insurance is available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. If you live in an area with a high risk of natural disasters, like tornadoes, hurricanes, or wildfires, your premium may be higher. It’s also possible you may not be eligible for a Liberty Mutual home policy at all. The best place to start is Liberty Mutual’s ZIP code finder.
|Provider||Lemonade||Liberty Mutual||Nationwide||Progressive||State Farm|
|Availability||22 states||50 states||44 states||Most states||48 states|
|BBB rating||Not rated yet||B||A+||A-||A-|
|Years in business||6||110||95||85||99|
Liberty Mutual is an A-rated insurance provider with a solid basic plan you can build out to cover just about anything, even identity restoration services. Despite some snags en route, they’ve also proven they’re ready to take their digital game into the 2020s with mobile claims reporting, video damage reviews, and a speedy online quote system.
Did You Know: If you filed a claim with your insurance provider this year, you’re not alone. About one out of every 20 homeowners files a claim every year.
My Liberty Mutual quote was at the high end of the spectrum, both in my own experience and according to NAIC averages. I was able to wrangle a slightly lower rate for a newer house, but it was nothing approaching the rates I found reviewing other top ten home insurance providers like State Farm and Lemonade.
In terms of customer satisfaction, Liberty Mutual has been lighting up the Better Business Bureau’s customer complaints board with negative reviews lately. Some of that is due to COVID-19 (and the changes it’s forced upon service providers). But part of that is on Liberty Mutual. They didn’t receive more than double the national average number of customer complaints for nothing.5
If it’s any consolation, from what I’ve seen, Liberty Mutual has read the writing on the wall and is now in full recovery mode.
Liberty Mutual writes policies for cars, motorcycles, watercraft, ATVs, and RVs, with discounts of up to $947 for bundling home and auto policies.
Besides homeowners insurance, Liberty Mutual also offers renters, condo, and landlord insurance.
Liberty Mutual sells life insurance and illness and accident insurance, which covers deductibles, copays, prescriptions, and physical therapy expenses. You can also add identity theft restoration and tuition insurance onto your homeowners plan.
FYI: Ninety percent of natural disasters in the U.S. involve flooding,6 and yet standard homeowners policies don’t cover it. If you live in an area with frequent floods, you’ll want to get flood insurance via FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program.
A Liberty Mutual homeowners insurance policy would be worth considering if you’re looking for a highly customizable plan with reliable payouts and money-saving bundles, and you’re comfortable handling transactions online (going paperless is faster and will save you money).
Liberty Mutual’s rates weren’t the cheapest I’ve found, and the folks at Liberty Mutual have some customer service issues to iron out. Pandemic-related delays and subpar customer support have earned them some unfavorable press, but we suspect the worst is behind them.
You can file a claim with Liberty Mutual three ways: by phone, via the Liberty Mutual app, or online through the Liberty Mutual website. Filing online will save you time. Just remember to have the incident date and details handy.
The Liberty Mutual plans I found were more expensive than national and state averages. But rates vary from home to home and person to person. Your experience may not be the same.
After you file your claim, a Liberty Mutual rep will be in touch. You can arrange to do this via FaceTime or Skype and get an on-the-spot estimate.
We recommend going online and requesting a quote. Contacting an agent by phone is an option, too.
Liberty Mutual has coverage in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. However, coverage may be limited in areas with frequent hurricanes, wildfires, and floods. Requesting a quote online is the fastest way to see what’s available where you live.
Yes, Liberty Mutual sells auto insurance policies, which you can bundle with your home insurance plan for additional savings.
Insurance Information Institute. (2020). Facts + Statistics: Insurance company rankings.
FEMA. (2021, November 3). Flood Insurance.
National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2020). Dwelling Fire, Homeowners OwnerOccupied, and Homeowners Tenant and Condominium/Cooperative Unit Owner’s Insurance Report: Data for 2018.
J.D. Power. (2021, February 25). Surge in Digital Home Insurance Claims during COVID-19 Drives Faster Cycle Times and Improved Customer Satisfaction, J.D. Power Finds.
National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2020). Results By Complaint Index.
Insurance Information Institute. (2022). Facts about flood insurance.
As Managing Editor for SafeHome.org, Rob Gabriele has written and edited over 1,000 articles in home security. His expertise is in smart home automation and home protection with thousands of hours of testing and research under his belt. Formerly a reporter and producer for the USAToday network, Rob has been a writer and editor for over 10 years. He holds a Master’s of Science with an emphasis on writing from the University of Montana, and he currently lives in the Reno/Tahoe area of Nevada.