Liberty Mutual Group, more commonly known by the name of its primary line of business Liberty Mutual, is a diversified global insurer and the third largest property and casualty insurer in the United States based on 2010 net written premium. It is the 82nd company on the Fortune 500 list for 2011. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, it employs over 45,000 people in more than 900 locations throughout the world. As of December 31, 2010 Liberty Mutual Group had $112.35 billion in consolidated assets, $95.4 billion in consolidated liabilities, $17.0 billion in policyholders' equity,and $33.2 billion in annual consolidated revenue. The company, founded in 1912, offers a wide range of insurance products and services, including personal automobile, homeowners, workers compensation, commercial multiple peril, commercial automobile, general liability, global specialty, group disability, fire and surety.
LMG owns, wholly or in part, local insurance companies in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China (including Hong Kong), Colombia, India, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
The current CEO is David H. Long, who succeded his predecessor Edmund (Ted) F. Kelly on June 29, 2011. Ted Kelly was appointed CEO in 1998.
Liberty Mutual was founded in 1912 as the Massachusetts Employees’ Insurance Association (MEIA), following passage of a Massachusetts state law requiring employers to protect their employees with workers compensation insurance in 1911. The first branch office was opened in 1914. Later that year, they wrote their first auto policy.
The name was changed in 1917 to the Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, and through partnerships they began offering full coverage auto policies. In 1964 Liberty Mutual began offering life insurance through its Liberty Life Assurance Branch. In 2002 the company converted into its current mutual holding company structure. The conversion was controversial – it proposed to give policyholders an interest in the mutual insurance company, which some policyholders believed would dilute their interest in the overall company and limit their dividends. A lawsuit was filed alleging that information provided to policyholders was misleading; Liberty Mutual settled the lawsuit in December 2001 which required additional disclosure and limited certain compensation to company officers and directors. Despite these concerns, the plan was approved by voting policyholders around November 2001.
Liberty Mutual has made several large acquisitions over the past several years, including the most recent acquisition of Safeco Corporation in 2008. Liberty Mutual agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of Safeco for $68.25 per share, for a total transaction price of approximately $6.2 billion.
In 2006, Liberty Mutual created a television commercial about people doing things for strangers. They claim that the "overwhelming" positive response they received for the ad led to their decision to create the website, The Responsibility Project.
Liberty Mutual is also the sole corporate sponsor of PBS' long-running documentary series, American Experience, and has produced special commercial messages for airing during American Experience broadcasts. In 2011, as part of the company's "Real America" campaign, the company introduced two new commercials featuring Sacagawea and Paul Revere, which are available for viewing on YouTube.