Hundreds of jobs to go at major insurance firm

Liberty Insurance
Liberty Insurance

One of the largest general insurers in the market is to lay off hundreds of staff today.

Staff at Liberty Insurance are being told this morning that 270 of them are to be laid off.

The US-owned group is closing its UK retail arm, which is serviced from Ireland.

The former Quinn Insurance group has 1,000 staff spread between Blanchardstown in Dublin, Cavan, and in Co Fermanagh in the North.

Liberty plans to outsource the Co Fermanagh call centre, which is based in Enniskillen.

It denied that the layoffs are due to under-reserving on the motor side of its business in Ireland. Most motor insurers in the market are losing money, and have been hiking premiums.

The latest official figures show motor premiums rose by 16pc in the last year.

Liberty bought the old Quinn Insurance business four years ago, and a year later bought the British retail business from the administrators of the Quinn Group. But UK insurance division has been loss making, a spokesman for Liberty said.

Liberty is a huge US mutually-owned insurance group based in Boston.

It comes after rival RSA was said by its unions to be making 200 people redundant.

And domestically owned FBD has had a number of profit warnings.

Via Charlie Weston on