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Become A Commercial Underwriter

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Working As A Commercial Underwriter

  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Processing Information
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $90,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Commercial Underwriter Do

Insurance underwriters decide whether to provide insurance and under what terms. They evaluate insurance applications and determine coverage amounts and premiums.

Duties

Insurance underwriters typically do the following:

  • Analyze information stated on insurance applications
  • Determine the risk involved in insuring a client
  • Screen applicants on the basis of set criteria
  • Evaluate recommendations from underwriting software
  • Contact field representatives, medical personnel, and others to obtain further information
  • Decide whether to offer insurance
  • Determine appropriate premiums and amounts of coverage

Underwriters are the main link between an insurance company and an insurance agent. Insurance underwriters use computer software programs to determine whether to approve an applicant. They take specific information about a client and enter it into a program. The program then provides recommendations on coverage and premiums. Underwriters evaluate these recommendations and decide whether to approve or reject the application. If a decision is difficult, they may consult additional sources, such as medical documents and credit scores.

Underwriters analyze the risk factors appearing on an application. For instance, if an applicant reports a previous bankruptcy, the underwriter must determine whether that information is relevant to the current policy. The underwriter would consider how far in the past the bankruptcy occurred and how the applicant’s financial situation has changed since the applicant filed for bankruptcy.

Insurance underwriters must achieve a balance between risky and cautious decisions. If underwriters allow too much risk, the insurance company will pay out too many claims. But if they don't approve enough applications, the company will not make enough money from premiums.

Most insurance underwriters specialize in one of three broad fields: life, health, and property and casualty. Although the job duties in each field are similar, the criteria that underwriters use vary. For example, for someone seeking life insurance, underwriters consider age and financial history. For someone applying for car insurance (a form of property and casualty insurance), underwriters consider the person’s driving record.

Within the broad field of property and casualty, underwriters may specialize even further, into commercial (business) insurance or personal insurance. They may also specialize by the type of policy, such as insuring automobiles, boats (marine insurance), or homes (homeowners’ insurance).

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How To Become A Commercial Underwriter

Employers prefer to hire candidates who have a bachelor’s degree. However, insurance-related work experience and strong computer skills may be enough. Certification is generally necessary for advancement to senior underwriter and underwriter manager positions.

Education

Most firms prefer to hire applicants who have a bachelor’s degree. Courses in business, finance, economics, and mathematics are particularly helpful.

Training

Beginning underwriters usually work as trainees under the supervision of senior underwriters. Trainees work on basic applications and learn the most common risk factors. As they gain experience, they become responsible for more complex applications and work independently.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Employers often expect underwriters to become certified through coursework. Courses are important for keeping current with new insurance policies and for adjusting to new technology and changes in state and federal regulations. Certification is often necessary for advancement to senior underwriter and underwriter management positions. Many certification options are available.

For underwriters with at least 3 years of insurance experience, The Institutes offer the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation. For beginning underwriters, The Institutes offer a training program.

The Institutes also offer two special designations: Associate in Commercial Underwriting (AU) and Associate in Personal Insurance (API). To earn either the AU or API designation, underwriters complete a series of courses and exams that generally take 1 to 2 years.

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors offers an introductory course in basic insurance concepts: the Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF). The American College of Financial Services offers the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) certification.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Underwriters must be able to evaluate information from a variety of sources and solve complex problems.

Decisionmaking skills. Underwriters must consider the costs and benefits of various decisions and choose the appropriate one.

Detail oriented. Underwriters must pay attention to detail, because each individual item on an insurance application can affect the coverage decision.

Interpersonal skills. Underwriters need good communication and interpersonal skills because much of their work involves dealing with other people, such as insurance agents.

Math skills. Determining the probability of losses on an insurance policy and calculating appropriate premiums require mathematical ability.

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Commercial Underwriter Career Paths

Commercial Underwriter
Senior Underwriter Assistant Vice President
Controller, Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Underwriter Assistant Vice President Vice President And Manager
Vice President Operation Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Underwriter Assistant Vice President Vice President
Vice President And Portfolio Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Account Manager
Commercial Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Project Manager Portfolio Manager
Senior Portfolio Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Relationship Manager
Business Relationship Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Operations Manager Operations Director
Assistant Vice President Operations
8 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Director Senior Vice President
Chief Risk Officer
9 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Controller Finance Vice President
Administration Vice President
6 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Accounts Payable Manager
Credit Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Accounts Payable Manager Credit Manager
Senior Credit Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Credit Analyst Credit Manager Risk Manager
Risk And Insurance Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Underwriting Specialist Underwriting Consultant Underwriting Manager
Underwriting Director
8 Yearsyrs
Underwriting Specialist Underwriting Consultant
Underwriting Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Underwriting Specialist Mortgage Underwriter
Lending Services Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Finance Analyst Planning Manager Benefits Manager
Employee Benefits Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Commercial Account Manager Regional Accounts Manager Client Manager
Client Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Credit Officer Risk Management Consultant
Loss Control Consultant
10 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Commercial Underwriter?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Bond Underwriter 5.0 years
Senior Underwriter 4.7 years
Marine Underwriter 4.0 years
Commercial Lender 3.8 years
Underwriter 3.6 years
Commercial Banker 3.5 years
Top Careers Before Commercial Underwriter
Underwriter 16.2%
Internship 3.8%
Top Careers After Commercial Underwriter
Underwriter 17.1%
Agent 2.6%

Do you work as a Commercial Underwriter?

Average Yearly Salary
$90,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$48,000
Min 10%
$90,000
Median 50%
$90,000
Median 50%
$90,000
Median 50%
$90,000
Median 50%
$90,000
Median 50%
$90,000
Median 50%
$90,000
Median 50%
$168,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Allstate
Highest Paying City
Minneapolis, MN
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
4.3 years
How much does a Commercial Underwriter make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Commercial Underwriter in the United States is $90,624 per year or $44 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $48,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $168,000.

Real Commercial Underwriter Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Commercial Loan Underwriter 1 Apple Federal Credit Union Fairfax, VA Apr 27, 2012 $68,000
Commercial Underwriter Americanwest Bank San Diego, CA Sep 22, 2015 $62,000
Commercial Underwriter Lyons Mortgage Services, Inc. NY Sep 13, 2013 $59,800 -
$60,000
Commercial Underwriter Solomon Agency Corp. NY Oct 01, 2015 $58,561
Commercial Loan Underwriter 1 Apple Federal Credit Union Fairfax, VA May 03, 2012 $58,365 -
$68,000
Commercial Underwriter Trainee Farmers Group, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2015 $55,000
Commercial Underwriter Choice Agency Corp. NY Sep 01, 2013 $54,262
Commercial Underwriter Solomon Agency Corp. NY Oct 01, 2012 $53,490

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Top Skills for A Commercial Underwriter

  1. Financial Statements
  2. Underwriting Guidelines
  3. Loss Control
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Reviewed/uploaded financial statements, tax documents and assisted dealerships with strategies to establish commercial retail and lease installment loans.
  • Analyzed risk selection, placement, pricing, and continuation of commercial property and casualty accounts relative to corporate underwriting guidelines.
  • Supported the Loss Control and Commercial Lines Underwriting departments and provided project management support for various departmental initiatives.
  • Marketed company products and services to agencies including cargo, auto liability, general liability, truckers liability and excess liability.
  • Collected and analyzed financial information and prepared underwriting packages for commercial and commercial real estate loans.

Commercial Underwriter Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,006 Commercial Underwriter resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Commercial Underwriter Resume

View Resume Examples

Commercial Underwriter Demographics

Gender

Female

46.9%

Male

43.7%

Unknown

9.4%
Ethnicity

White

64.0%

Hispanic or Latino

12.7%

Black or African American

12.2%

Asian

7.4%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.0%

Carrier

14.3%

Korean

5.7%

Portuguese

2.9%

Chinese

2.9%

German

2.9%

Cantonese

2.9%

French

2.9%

Dakota

2.9%

Mandarin

2.9%
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Commercial Underwriter Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

21.1%

Florida State University

6.2%

University of Florida

5.7%

Michigan State University

5.3%

Arizona State University

5.3%

Illinois State University

4.8%

Miami University

4.8%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.8%

Ohio State University

3.8%

University of Akron

3.8%

Georgia State University

3.8%

University of Iowa

3.8%

University of Utah

3.8%

University of Texas at Austin

3.8%

University of North Texas

3.3%

Northwestern University

3.3%

Auburn University

3.3%

Pennsylvania State University

3.3%

Liberty University

3.3%

Ball State University

3.3%
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Majors

Business

40.4%

Finance

16.1%

Insurance

6.4%

Accounting

6.1%

Management

4.1%

Marketing

3.8%

Economics

3.0%

Communication

2.9%

Political Science

2.5%

Psychology

2.4%

Law

1.6%

Education

1.5%

Criminal Justice

1.5%

Real Estate

1.3%

Human Resources Management

1.2%

Sociology

1.2%

Legal Support Services

1.1%

English

1.0%

Public Relations

1.0%

Mathematics

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

55.0%

Masters

19.5%

Other

15.3%

Associate

4.8%

Certificate

3.2%

Doctorate

1.4%

License

0.5%

Diploma

0.3%
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Top Commercial Underwriter Employers

Jobs From Top Commercial Underwriter Employers

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