Liberty Insurance is set to exit the commercial liability, commercial property and development bonds markets here.

The American owned company said the decision was taken to enable it to focus on evolving products and lines of business that fit better with its wider business objectives.

These include personal and fleet insurance, where the company said it can take advantage of its global scale.

It is understood that the areas of cover that are being axed make up a very small percentage of the company's overall business here.

The changes take effect from April 1 when the last existing policies expire, but the insurer said it would stop quoting for new business in the impacted areas right away.

"Liberty will continue to provide services and honour its commitments to existing Liability, Property and Bonds customers for the duration of their existing contracts with the company," the firm said in a statement.

"Customers in these areas will be unable to renew their contracts once they expire."
 
The insurer has 300,000 customers across motor and home policies and said it remains fully committed to the Irish market, including broker partners.

Around a dozen roles are expected to be impacted by the decision. Last autumn Liberty said it would create 120 new jobs in its Cavan operations.

Liberty’s move comes at a time of intense scrutiny on the insurance market, with criticism from policy-holders of increasing premiums in a variety of segments.

But insurers claim that many areas of the market, including certain commercial segments, are loss-making due to the high cost of claims.