Liberty Mutual to Stop Offering Business Owner’s Policy In California As Costs Bite

July 27, 2023 by

Property and casualty insurer Liberty Mutual will stop offering its business owner’s policy (BOP) product in wildfire-prone state California from Oct. 1, in a sign that cost inflation and higher catastrophe losses are pounding insurers’ profits.

A spokesperson for Liberty Mutual also told Reuters in an emailed statement that the company “will not renew its current book of this line of business beginning in December.”

BOP is an insurance product usually required by business owners that bundles all major property and liability risks into a single package.

Global insurers are seeing an erosion in their profitability as they struggle to price the heightened catastrophe risk into premiums amid an environment already fraught with high inflation and regulatory hurdles.

Liberty Mutual joins a growing list of major insurers retreating from California. In May this year, State Farm said that it would stop selling new insurance policies to homeowners in California.

The continued retreat of larger insurance carriers from the California residential property insurance market, signals ongoing regulatory constraints, rising cost inflation and higher catastrophe losses, credit rating agency Fitch said in a note earlier this year.

(Reporting by Singh Shekhawat and Manya Saini in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)