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RLI Home Insurance Review (2023)

RLI is an insurance company that offers homeowners, condo, renters, vacation home, landlord, and home business insurance policies in Hawaii. While their financial ratings are stable, most of the online reviews from their customers are complaining about customer service and claims handling.

Read Time: 8 mins

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Premiums 4
Claims 1
Customer Satisfaction 3
Financial Standing 5
  • Comprehensive homeowners coverage
  • Discounts provided
  • Strong financial standing
  • Few complaints received
  • Only offers homeowners insurance in Hawaii
  • Not the best at handling claims
  • Mixed customer service reviews
  • No known premium information

RLI is an insurance company that was founded in 1965. Based out of Illinois, they serve all 50 states. You can purchase a variety of insurance products from RLI. This ranges from personal lines to business insurance and even surety bonds. They are a versatile carrier that is self-proclaimed to be different from the rest. RLI chooses to take on ethical and caring team members to make the customer experience extraordinary.

The company is known for its innovation. In 1960, its founder actually specialized in replacing contact lenses. This formed the name, Replacement Lens, Inc. They were one of the first insurers of their kind, and they decided to build upon this success by extending their services to other areas of coverage in the future.

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Their specialty today is providing homeowners insurance for residents of Hawaii and have been doing so for over 20 years. They offer coverage for homes that have a high risk of experiencing hurricanes and other weather-related incidents. They also offer condo insurance, renters insurance, dwelling fire (landlord) insurance, and vacation home insurance.

RLI homeowners insurance coverages

If you are living in Hawaii and need homeowners insurance, RLI is a good company to consider. They offer extensive coverage for these homes that are known to be in high-risk areas. The company recognizes the perils that can often be challenging to insure and will accept these homes when most other carriers will not.

There are a few factors that set them apart from the rest:

  • They insure primary and secondary residences up to $4.5 million
  • They insure corporately-owned homes, family trusts, and LLCs
  • They insure homes located in remote areas, which includes all islands in Hawaii
  • They insure homes under construction
  • They provide hurricane coverage

These are all very beneficial options when living on an island. RLI aims to provide as much protection as possible for different types of homes.

Additional coverages

Getting a homeowners policy is an essential part of protecting your dwelling, but there are other factors you should consider. A traditional policy, even the most comprehensive, excludes certain perils. This is why you should always look into getting additional coverage whenever possible, and RLI does have options for its customers.

Hurricane coverage

Hurricane damage is typically excluded from coverage by traditional homeowners insurance policies in coastal areas like Hawaii. However, RLI does offer this coverage as part of their home insurance policies. This is a great one to have, especially when you live in an area that typically experiences hurricanes and related weather events. These perils can cause a lot of damage, so you want to make sure your home is fully protected.

Personal umbrella insurance

In case you are personally liable for an injury that occurs on your property, you need to make sure you are adequately covered. Regular homeowners insurance policies do include personal liability coverage, but getting an umbrella policy in place will boost this coverage. The umbrella actually applies to all of the base policies you have in place. The liability limit is usually sold in increments of $1 million. This will increase the personal liability limit on all policies you hold.

Home-based business

RLI also offers a policy for small business owners that operate from home. This plan is designed to suit a wide variety of businesses. RLI claims they can insure 140 different types of home-based businesses. This policy covers all events and shows that you might participate in as a business. It also provides up to $1 million in liability coverage, up to $100,000 in business property, and up to $5,000 per person in medical payments. RLI’s home business policies can be customized with multiple additional coverages to insure your drone, electronic data processing, money and securities, additional insureds, terrorism coverage, garage-keepers coverage, inland flood coverage, and identity fraud expense coverage.

RLI home insurance discounts

If you are looking to save money on your homeowners insurance, RLI does provide discounts to its customers. You can qualify for the following discounts that are offered:

Homeowners Insurance Cost Calculator

RLI homeowners insurance premiums

There are no details regarding the average premiums offered by RLI. To get an accurate price, the easiest thing to do is request a quote for your home. Some customers have reported that RLI offers decent pricing, but they tend to increase their premiums upon renewal. Others have stated the pricing is higher than other similar carriers.

Given the comprehensive coverage provided and discounts offered, there is still a chance you can end up with a reasonable rate. The company provides customers with a way to find a local agent, making it easy to get a personalized quote.

RLI’s claims experience

If you need to submit a claim through RLI, there is no online portal available to use. They state they prefer email communication, which can be frustrating for some customers. Those who have worked with the company state the process was on the difficult side. Someone stated they were never assigned a claims adjuster and found it hard to keep track of the open claim since there is no online portal to use.

There is another customer who was assigned a claims adjuster they found to be unhelpful and rude. The reviews are mainly negative when it comes to those who have worked with RLI regarding claims, so this is something to keep in mind when you are considering them for homeowners insurance. Many customers suggest they are not very communicative and difficult to get ahold of when they are needed.

RLI’s customer service

Working with a carrier who cares about customer service is very important. This usually indicates how you will be treated if you decide to become a customer. Those who have worked with RLI have mixed reviews. Some of them have echoed the disappointment when it comes to RLI’s inability to effectively communicate. Others are happy with the carrier and have been using them for many years.

According to the NAIC, RLI has actually received a 0.19 when it comes to formal complaints being filed. This is much lower than the national average of 1.0. The complaints they have received are not involving their homeowners insurance product, so this is a good sign when it comes to customer service.

RLI’s financial strength

Learning more about the financial strength of a carrier is another great way to form an opinion about them. This is going to highlight the company’s ability to pay out claims and keep growing with a positive financial outlook over time.


While RLI is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, they have received an A- rating in terms of financial stability. This is seen as a great rating and showcases the company’s ability to keep growing in a positive direction.

AM Best

Through AM Best, RLI has received an A+ rating, which is indicative of a superior financial status. This rating was affirmed in December 2022.

The verdict

RLI is a niche insurance company when it comes to providing homeowners insurance. They offer policies for those living in Hawaii and aim to offer comprehensive coverage. This is noted by the way they also offer hurricane insurance and personal umbrella coverage. Since they have been around for over 50 years, they do have a lot of experience when it comes to insuring customers.

If you are looking for ways to save money on your insurance, RLI does offer discounts. It is difficult to tell where they stand when it comes to their average premium pricing since this information is not readily available online, but customers have either reported average or higher-than-average pricing.

They seem to be lacking in the claims department, receiving several reviews from customers stating they are not great with communication and can often be unhelpful during the process. Customer service has mixed reviews, but the company appears to be in great standing when it comes to the NAIC complaint index. They are well below the national average and have received few complaints.

This is a good choice for people who live in homes that are in high-risk areas. Many people who cannot get insurance through other carriers would likely benefit from choosing RLI, even despite the lack of claims handling and customer service.

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Kristen Nadel has worked as an insurance agent for 4 years and has an extensive background in writing homeowners insurance content. She is also a published author residing in Oklahoma. Her creative spirit and tenacity for excellence allow her to stay inspired. Writing is more than just a task to her — it is a lifelong passion.
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