Peerless Insurance Returning to Mass. Auto Under Managed Competition

November 14, 2007

Liberty Mutual Group today announced that one of its companies – Keene, N.H.-based Peerless Insurance – intends to return to the Massachusetts private passenger auto insurance market next year after a 20-year absence.

Peerless Insurance is expected to file rates on or after February 15, 2008, and plans to begin offering auto and home insurance through independent agents in the second quarter of next year.

Peerless already sells commercial insurance in the state through about 150 independent agent locations. In 2006 the company wrote approximately $70 million in commercial insurance premiums in Massachusetts.

Peerless is the first insurer to announce plans to enter the state to write auto insurance since Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Nonnie S. Burnes introduced managed competition. In 1988, Peerless Insurance became the first of many companies to stop issuing new and renewal policies in Massachusetts because of what it then deemed the state’s malfunctioning auto insurance system.

The state currently has 19 insurers writing private passenger auto policies.

The Peerless announcement came in the same week that Liberty Mutual also announced it was boosting its Bay State direct sales force by 50 percent to handle additional auto insurance business.

“Consumers like choices when making purchase decisions,” said Edmund F. Kelly, Liberty Mutual Group chairman, president and CEO. “Along with the recent increase of our direct sales force in Massachusetts, adding Peerless Insurance’s distribution through independent agents underlines our commitment to providing a range of options to Massachusetts consumers.”

Peerless Insurance is a member of Liberty Mutual Group’s Agency Markets business unit, which consists of regional property and casualty and specialty insurance companies that distribute products and services through independent agents and brokers. Peerless currently sells personal insurance in seven states in its eight-state region.

Source: Liberty Mutual Group
www.libertymutual.com

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