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LIBERTY MUTUAL ANNOUNCES 1991 FINANCIAL RESULTS

 LIBERTY MUTUAL ANNOUNCES 1991 FINANCIAL RESULTS
 BOSTON, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Liberty Mutual Insurance Company


reported today at its annual meeting a net gain from operations of $149,211,000 for 1991 compared to a net gain from operations of $164,448,000 for 1990.
 Net premiums written by Boston-based Liberty Mutual in 1991 totaled $6,434,427,000, a decrease of 0.7 percent, compared to $6,479,821,000 in 1990.


Liberty Mutual recorded a net underwriting loss before dividends of $783,644,000 and declared $141,681,000 in dividends to policyholders. Liberty Mutual's net investment income for the year was $1,161,126,000, up 1.8 percent over 1990's net investment income of $1,140,106,000, a $21 million increase.
 Liberty Mutal's surplus and special reserves increased by 10.8 percent in 1991, bringing its total surplus to $2,846,692,000.
 Liberty Mutual Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gary L. Countryman stated that the deteriorating residual market, primarily in workers compensation, overwhelmed Liberty Mutual's improved voluntary market results. In 1990, Liberty Mutual's involuntary underwriting loss after dividends was $323 million or 36 percent of the total. In 1991, it grew to $568 million or 61 percent of the company's total underwriting loss.
 "Liberty Mutual has been the leading writer of workers compensation for more than half a century and we intend to stay the industry leader," Countryman said. "There is no question that workers compensation is in crisis and no one is more committed to strengthening workers compensation than Liberty Mutual. Everything we have done, and are doing, in the areas of reform, cost containment and new product development is consistent with our commitment to strengthening the system and meeting our customers's needs."
 Countryman also stated that the issue of cost escalation is at the root of the problems in auto insurance, health care and workers compensation. And, he said, regardless of the system under which benefits are paid, health care costs are stunning in their escalation. Where the general rate of inflation is averaging 4 percent, medical cost inflation is running at 11 percent and workers compensation medical is increasing at a rate of 13 percent.
 "At the same time, state regulators have disregarded the underlying data and have refused to allow prices to keep pace with costs," Countryman said.
 Liberty Mutual has been working toward meaningful reform in the area of workers compensation, where cost stability on a state-by- state basis can only be achieved by a combination of rate adequacy and system reform.


Additionally, Countryman noted, there should be a strong emphasis on loss control, focusing on accident prevention and rehabilitation. Quality medical care and adequate income benefits must be priorities, and the system which delivers those benefits should be as dispute-free as possible.
 Also, Liberty Mutual continues to work with the national Labor- Management Group, formed in February of 1990, to address the crisis in the workers compensation system. On the state level the company has worked towards reform in a number of states including Texas, Oregon, Colorado and Massachusetts.
 In the area of private passenger auto insurance reform efforts, Liberty Mutual supports sound No-Fault laws in states experiencing excessive numbers of minor bodily injury claims. Strong No-Fault laws reduce unnecessary litigation and exaggerated claims, lower costs, and allow for accident victims to be compensated more quickly.
 In the area of health care reform, Liberty Mutual has developed and articulated to consumers and elected officials a proposal to create a fairer, more affordable and more accessible health care system designed to reward administrative efficiency and the delivery of quality care.
 Based on consolidated assets of $29.1 billion, Liberty Mutual is one of the leading providers of personal, business, life and international services and products, and financial services, in the country. It employs more than 19,000 people in over 400 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. This year Liberty Mutual celebrates its 80th anniversary.
 -0- 4/15/92
 /CONTACT: John Cusolito, 617-574-5512; or Diane Turner, 617-574-5752, both of Liberty Mutual Insurance/ CO: Liberty Mutual Insurance Group ST: Massachusetts IN: INS SU: ERN


PB -- NE005 -- 8673 04/15/92 12:01 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 15, 1992
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