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RLI reports net loss in first quarter


PEORIA, Ill.—Specialty insurer RLI Corp. on Tuesday reported a first-quarter net loss of $1.82 million compared with a $25.5 million profit in the first quarter a year ago.

RLI also reported declines in its net premiums earned for the first quarter, which was down 7.6% to $125.7 million, and investment income, which was down 8.1% to $17.7 million compared with 2008's first-quarter results.

However, the Peoria, Ill.-based insurer reported an increase in underwriting income to $15.2 million from $14.7 million for the first quarter a year ago. The combined ratio for this year's first quarter was 87.9%, compared with 89.2% during the same period a year ago.

"Maintaining underwriting discipline in this market is of the utmost importance," said Jonathan E. Michael, RLI Corp. president and chief executive officer, in a statement.

RLI also reported net investment losses during the first quarter of $33.5 million, compared to $3.7 million profit during the first quarter of 2008.