Liberty Mutual posts Q3 losses due to natural catastrophe and asbestos charges

Financial Insurance NewsThe Liberty Mutual Group, one of the largest property casualty insurers in the U.S., has posted their third quarter financial report. The report shows that the company has lost millions as the result of natural disasters and a high-profile asbestos lawsuit that was levied against the insurer earlier in the year. Last year, the insurer reported a net profit of $567 million during the third quarter, but 2011 has produced several major natural disasters that have shaken the insurance industry to its core.

Liberty Mutual’s losses from catastrophic events for the third quarter total $111 million. The company is also faced with an asbestos/environmental charge totaling $339 million. This year, the company has faced down more than $596 million in losses due to natural disasters, $323 million of which coming from Hurricane Irene. The report is not all bad news, however, as the insurer expects to recover some of its losses thanks to the help of higher premiums.

Premiums in areas prone to disasters have been rising in recent months, mostly due to the number of disastrous events that have plagued these regions of the U.S. Liberty Mutual is at the heart of these increases, hoping to help offset the ever rising cost of risk with the help of higher premiums. Liberty Mutual CEO David Long notes that the core business operations of the company remain strong.

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