Liberty Mutual Better Car Replacement™ Review

April 1, 2011 8 Comments »


Liberty Mutual has “taken it up a notch” when it comes to the never ending game of car insurers battling to offer the newest and best auto insurance coverage options.

The introduction of “Better Car Replacement™” coverage has gotten some recent attention among insurance professionals and consumers alike.

This program is designed to mimic, and exceed standard new car replacement coverage and loan/lease gap insurance coverage offered by other car insurance companies.

The basic concept here is that in the event your car is totaled, Liberty Mutual will provide you with not only a new car, but one that is one model year newer, with 15,000 fewer miles than your current vehicle.

Liberty Mutual doesn’t specify how many model years back they’ll go, so check with your agent (your 1966 Shelby might be not be replaced with a ’67).

*Keep in mind that with many insurers you cannot buy new car replacement on a vehicle that is more than two model years old, but gap coverage may be purchased for any vehicle with a loan/lease regardless of age.

Even with TTIA’s critical eye…Better Car Replacement™ is a pretty darn good deal. Let’s look at the details here to help you determine if this coverage is enough to make current customers stay with Liberty Mutual or convince them to switch insurance companies.

Give Me an Example

Perhaps you have a 2009 model Ford Mustang with 50,000 miles on the odometer.

In the event your vehicle is determined to be a total loss by your claims adjuster, you can expect to be given enough money to purchase a 2010 model Pony with no more than 35,000 miles on it.

That would result in a vehicle that’s one model year newer with 15,000 or fewer miles than the old one. Simple enough, right?

Just the Facts Ma’am

As with any insurance policy, whether auto, homeowners or commercial, the devil is in the details. You need to understand the coverage and talk to an insurance agent who can explain what you might not understand…which for some consumers is quite a bit when it comes to policy coverage.

While their website is relatively limited in details, you can expect a few of the usual requirements be met by your policy.

You will almost certainly have to purchase physical damage coverage for the vehicle in question. Both comprehensive and collision coverage are probably necessary. This is also referred to as “full coverage,” meaning a liability only policy will offer no rewards here.

[Read more about the difference between comprehensive and collision coverage.]

Also note that the cause of loss must be covered by the policy for the coverage to take effect.

Your deductible will still come into play here. If you have a $1,000 auto insurance deductible, using the example above, if the newer (2010) Mustang costs $20,000, you’d get $19,000 from Liberty Mutual. That’s the $20,000 less your $1,000 deductible.

Keep in mind Better Car Replacement™ DOES NOT cover leased vehicles or motorcycles, so you would not have a shot at this coverage if you fit either of those categories.

And you may not be able to get this coverage in every state, so again, contact your local Liberty Mutual Agent for details.

Make sure to get several quotes from an independent insurance agent before opting to purchase any new auto insurance policy.

While Better Car Replacement™ may be great and come in very handy for some, overpaying for auto insurance never makes sense. If the Liberty Mutual policy is not cost effective in the first place, it simply isn’t worth your time or money.

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  1. Jeff Lewis May 26, 2014 at 3:05 am -

    Buyer Beware of New Car Replacement! I purchased this additional service on my policy and I recently totaled my vehicle. I had a 2011 Hyundai Tucson that they estimated the value to be 20.250. This estimate in my opinion was very fair for my vehicle.
    Now here comes the part that I believe is a scam ! They game me their estimate for my one year newer car with 15,000 miles on it and only appraised it for $1,600 more than mine! Even the low blue book trade in value is over $23,000 for a. 2012 Hyundai Tucson Limited Edition! When I questioned this I was advised that they DO NOT give you the money to purchase the newer car. They use a marketing survey company to give you what they consider. “Fair market value” for the newer car that even they admit is not enough to actually purchase the newer car! This is misrepresentation at the least or possibly fraudulent bait and switch! I have refused to settle my claim until the West Virginia Onsurance a commissioner has an opportunity to investigate the care. They advised me that according to the commercials and paperwork provided by liberty mutual that they are definitely supposed to provide the funds to actually purchase the newer car!

  2. Rick Mikolasek May 27, 2014 at 3:57 pm -

    Thanks for sharing Jeff – please update us as the situation gets resolved!

  3. Monique Cameron April 12, 2016 at 10:18 am -

    Jeff or anyone I am going through that same scenario. What was the end result. I had 2016 Hyundai Elantra Limited, the estimate was 17K, which I think was fair. The estimate for the new model was 3K more, not disputing however they are including this in my settlement. I do not feel they need to include that in my estimate as I have GAP

  4. Glenn Richardson April 22, 2016 at 7:27 pm -

    I was in the insurance business for 27 and a half years and view Liberty Mutual’s TV ads to be among the most misleading I’ve ever seen. They are doing the insurance industry a huge disservice. Check the policy details very carefully.

  5. Stacie H May 12, 2016 at 9:22 am -

    Thank you for your comments. I’ve been thinking about switching to Liberty Mutual for the Better Car Replacement from Progressive – I’m completely dissatified with them, and want an insurance that actually works!! I spend all this money a month/bi-yearly and don’t seem to get ANYTHING out of it.

    Any further information and updates would be incredibly helpful. I feel so lost.

  6. Ava May 24, 2016 at 7:46 pm -

    I am having a similar issue. I just had my car totaled. No one else was involved, just tire blew out when jumped a curb, and all air bags deployed. Anyway, my pay off balance is lets say 17000, liberty mutual appraised my 2013 at 14550, leaving me upside down as they say on the loan. So here i have better car replacement which they told me was better than gap insurance and turns out not true. They gave the value for a 2014 at only 17000, which leaves my better car replacement pay out at only 3000…so essentially that with having full coverage will pay off the old vehicle, but there is no replacement. I am considering filing a suit against them.

  7. Glenn Richardson December 4, 2016 at 5:28 pm -

    Insurance is about risk sharing. That is you may choose to carry no collision protection. However, there is usually a state mandate that the owner of a vehicle is required to purchase liability insurance of a minimum amount. Collision and comprensive coverage may or may not have a deductible or a minimum deductible. This is where risk sharing comes into play. If you choose a high deductible, that is, you assume more risk of paying for a greater portion of the repair of your vehicle, the insurer will charge a lower premium. If you want the insurer to pay more to repair your vehicle expect to pay a higher premium. Read the exclusions in your policy if you read nothing else. Remember, insurance policies include various paragraphs called “clauses”. What you won’t find in an insurance is Santa Clause! Beware of independent agencies that claim the will find the best policy for you and the lowest cost. Independent Agents are paid a commission. Insurance like any other product has an increased cost when there are “middle men” between you and the company that produces the product. Beware of TV commercials that don’t allow you time to read the “fine print” and Don believe anything Flo tells you.

  8. steve April 11, 2017 at 7:47 am -

    You have to have insurance in the first place, if all the states did not have a law that you must have insurance, all the fat cats which are the insurance co. would have to get out and go to work, to try to get your money and it would cost a lot less, the law makes it cost more, the fat cats do not have to try to get you to come to them! The law says you have to have it, so all the fat cats just sit back and take all your money, and you let them do it !!!!! The laws are not there for you and me but all the fat cats!!!!!!!!

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