RLI Business Insurance Review

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Contributor, Benzinga
August 26, 2022
RLI via Simply Business
Overall Rating:
securely through RLI via Simply Business's website

RLI Insurance focuses on specific markets. It offers personal and business products and surety bonds nationwide. Replacement Lens Inc. (RLI) was the first insurance company to cover contact lenses. Gerald D. Stephens formed RLI Corp in Peoria, Illinois, in the early 1960s as part of a holding business.

RLI Corp. operates through RLI Insurance Company, RLI Indemnity Company and Mt. Hawley Insurance Company. The corporation moved away from contact lens insurance over time.

RLI’s commercial lines include business and commercial umbrella insurance. In personal lines, it writes mostly specialty policies but offers Hawaii homeowners insurance.

Independent agents sell RLI products nationwide.

Best For
  • Those in need of specialty coverage, including business and commercial umbrella insurance
  • Hawaii homeowners insurance
  • 24/7 toll-free claims reporting service
  • Excellent financial strength
  • High customer service rating from BBB
  • No online quoting

RLI via Simply Business Ratings at a Glance

RLI Product Offerings
Customer Service Rating
Customer Pricing
User Benefits
User Experience
Overall Rating

RLI is a national admitted and excess and surplus (E&S) lines specialty insurer. Gerald D. Stephens founded RLI in 1958 after recognizing an unmet contact lens insurance market need. RLI was one of the earliest contact lens insurers when it was created in 1965.

RLI provides specialty business coverage, personal, surety bonds and home-business insurance. The company has provided insurance to home-based enterprises for over 20 years. RLI's customer service team has experience with home-based businesses in 140 industries and can help you with an application for coverage.

RLI Product Offerings

RLI Insurance offers business, personal and surety insurance.

Business Insurance

Design Professionals Insurance

RLI is innovative. Its design professionals curriculum is geared to architects, engineers, surveyors, landscape architects and architectural planners. RLI's experienced underwriters, claims professionals and broker connections set them apart.

RLI provides value-added services beyond a policy. The following elements can help you improve your firm's risk management while saving time and money.

  • Free continuing education (CE) content
  • Good risk management strategies 
  • Claims service excellence
  • Free contract review with guidance from in-house professionals on over 50 frequent problem areas
  • In-house risk management workshops and procedure reviews
  • Better coverage coordination with one insurer
  • Multiline discount
  • Field-specific risk management advice and learning opportunities
  • Efficiently issued insurance certificates
  • Claims reporting help

Home Business Insurance Coverage. 

RLI has created detailed home-based company insurance products to protect your assets. Insured home enterprises include:

  • Art Studio/Gallery
  • Craft businesses
  • Repair of vinyl and leather
  • Photography
  • Detailing and windshield repair

Casualty Insurance

Contractor’s Liability

RLI offers general liability and excess liability coverages to owners, developers, general contractors and artisan contractors.

  • Best-in-class authority
  • Creative risk solutions
  • Personalized policies
  • 15-day policies
  • Customized self-insured retention and big deductible schemes


RLI's construction liability coverage is available in all 50 states through Mt. Hawley Insurance Company and wholesale dealers nationwide.

Contractors' Risk Appetite

RLI serves general contractors who handle ground-up construction, exterior updating, interior build-outs, new additions and building upkeep. 

For owner-occupied construction, policies can cover:

  • Water treatment plant and flat concrete work
  • Electricians, plumbers and mechanics 
  • Firefighting
  • Repairing machinery
  • Installation without monitoring
  • Install fireproofing
  • Multi-year projects

Energy Casualty Insurance

RLI Energy Casualty helps the energy business manage its risks and protect its assets.

Complex and diverse dangers surround energy and energy-related industries. RLI’s unique insurance solutions for contractors, consultants, premises and product risks in traditional and alternative middle-market energy offer comprehensive protection.

Customer Service Rating

RLI has a great history of financial stability. RLI has been rated A+ "Superior" by AM Best and A "Strong" by Standard & Poors for decades. RLI is not BBB accredited but does have an “A-” BBB rating. 
To contact RLI, you can call toll-free at 800-331-4929 or 309-692-1000. You can also use the contact form on the company’s website. RLI does not offer direct sales of business insurance to policyholders. Nationwide, its products are accessible via retail agents and brokers, wholesale brokers and program administrators. For a quote, you can complete an online application or call 1-844-249-2684.

Customer Pricing

It doesn’t seem that RLI provides an online quote system. The cost of a policy for a small business can vary depending on a wide range of variables, including the insured entity's line of business, geographic area, annual revenue, number of employees, annual payroll, policy limits, deductible amounts and claim experience. Get in touch with a local agent from RLI to learn more about your insurance options.

You can save money on your insurance rate by bundling policies or completing a safety course, two of the most common ways in which insurance providers offer discounts. Make sure you get the best deal possible by finding out if you can do without coverages. After discussing them with an agent, you can learn more about your coverage options.

User Benefits

Policyholders can expect to receive the following benefits from RLI insurance:

  • Enhanced tools to transact and manage your business
  • 24/7 claims service
  • 24/7 account servicing
  • Consulting services for small and mid-sized commercial fleet operators
  • Defensive driving courses
  • Personalized RLI loss control representative

User Experience

RLI Insurance offers a convenient user platform for policyholders to manage their accounts 24/7. From the user portal, you can:

  • Report claims online
  • Access loss control analysis and other loss control resources
  • Request loss runs
  • Access the RLI accident reporting kit

RLI also provides informative fliers for policyholders to download from its company website, including environmental liability insurance, home-based business insurance, marine insurance, a personal umbrella policy and transportation insurance.

RLI vs. Competitors

RLI Insurance specializes in business insurance for home-based enterprises and Hawaii homeowners insurance. Other competitors who provide this type of insurance include The Hartford, Travelers and Liberty Mutual.

Overall Rating

RLI is a nationally admitted E&S insurer. RLI offers business, personal, surety, and home-business insurance. Since 1993, the company has insured home-based businesses. RLI's customer care staff can assist you in applying for coverage for home-based enterprises in 140 industries. RLI is financially stable. AM Best and Standard & Poor's have rated RLI "Superior" for decades. RLI has an "A-" BBB rating but isn't accredited.


Does my home-based business need insurance?


Home-based entrepreneurs are common. Remote workers rely on home insurance to protect their home-based enterprises. Homeowner’s insurance may not cover all aspects of your business. You may need more business insurance.


Is business insurance expensive?


Commercial insurance costs vary depending on your business and insurance needs. Comparing commercial insurance quotes is the easiest method to save money.

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About Janet Hunt, Insurance Agent

Janet has been working in, and writing about, the insurance industry for over 20 years.