A History of Innovation
history of innovation dates to the early 1960s, when Founder Gerald D. Stephens, CPCU,
recognized the expense of replacing contact lenses, and founded RLI Replacement Lens,
Inc. a contact lens insurance agency. In 1965, he acquired the holding company that would later become RLI Corp. RLI was one of the first insurers of contact lenses. In time, it emerged as the
largest insurer of its kind in the world.
Building upon this success, RLI soon charted a course that would dramatically affect
its future. RLI entered the commercial property and liability insurance field and expanded
into the direct writing of a commercial umbrella program.
RLI Insurance Company, our flagship insurance subsidiary; Mt. Hawley
Insurance Company, our multi-line excess and surplus lines subsidiary;
and RLI Indemnity Company, admitted in most states; are all rated A+
by A.M. Best Company. Through them, the company has developed a reputation for profitably
covering difficult risks typically eschewed by larger multi-line insurers. Our record of
success can be traced to our underwriting, claims and support personnel, noted for their
expertise in specialized insurance products and segments. Characteristic throughout
the Company is a seasoned entrepreneurial spirit inspired by the fundamentals that guide
insurance success. The companys reputation for original products, superior service and
aggressive implementation of cutting-edge technology is known nationwide. In short, RLI
remains a model of fundamentally sound innovation for the insurance industry.
Entrepreneurial innovation launched a fledgling company. A dedication to solid
fundamentals ensured its maturation into the savvy enterprise it is today. The foundation
for tomorrows success lies in our people. As each one of us owns a piece of the business,
we cooperate to achieve the growth, expansion and diversification necessary to write the
next proud chapter of RLI history.
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