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Liberty’s Safeco joins Mass. market

Boston insurance giant Liberty Mutual is hoping to capture an even larger share of the state’s home and auto insurance business by selling plans of its Safeco subsidiary through independent agents.

The company introduced Safeco Insurance to Massachusetts customers this month. Safeco Insurance, which Liberty bought in 2008, offers home, automobile, motorcycle, watercraft, and recreational vehicle insurance through independent agents.

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In Massachusetts, a vast majority of customers still get their personal insurance through independent agents, instead of through the insurance company directly, said Victor Pepin, Safeco’s regional general manager. “We want to continue to grow that market,” Pepin said.

Liberty Mutual had been selling plans through independent agents through its subsidiary Peerless Insurance. But Safeco has a wider range of specialized plans for motorcycles, boats, and classic cars, and will offer customers more options, Pepin said.

Liberty Mutual is retiring its Peerless brand.

Liberty Mutual bought Safeco of Seattle for $6.2 billion as the Boston-based company was aggressively expanding both nationally and internationally.

Deirdre Fernandes can be reached at deirdre.fernandes@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @fernandesglobe.
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