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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:
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).
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.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Insurance Underwriter||PVG Insurance Group, LLC||Miami, FL||Nov 25, 2011||$240,000|
|Insurance Underwriters||Swiss Reinsurance America Corporation||Armonk, NY||Sep 10, 2010||$195,000|
|Insurance Underwriter||Swiss Reinsurance America Corporation||Schaumburg, IL||Mar 24, 2008||$184,000|
|Insurance Underwriters||Barents Re Risk Management||Miami, FL||Sep 25, 2014||$160,000|
|Insurance Underwriter||Berkley Latin America Underwriting Managers LLC||Jacksonville, FL||Apr 03, 2012||$150,000 -
|Insurance Underwriters||Industrial Risk Insurers||Philadelphia, PA||Jul 18, 2011||$150,000|
|Insurance Underwriters||Swiss Re America Holding Corporation||Armonk, NY||May 24, 2011||$147,500|
|Insurance Underwriters||Swiss Reinsurance America Corporation||New York, NY||Jul 15, 2010||$138,000|
|Insurance Underwriters||Swiss Re America Holding Corporation||Armonk, NY||Oct 27, 2011||$135,000|
|Insurance Underwriters||Swiss Re America Holding Corporation||Armonk, NY||Nov 04, 2011||$131,250|
|Insurance Underwriters||Swiss Re America Holding Corporation||Armonk, NY||Apr 29, 2011||$131,000|
|Insurance Underwriters||Beazley USA Services||Atlanta, GA||May 04, 2012||$130,750|
|Insurance Underwriters||Swiss Re America Holding Corporation||Miami, FL||Oct 04, 2012||$125,000 -
|Insurance Underwriters||Swiss Re America Holding Corporation||Armonk, NY||May 30, 2012||$125,000|
|Insurance Underwriter||Peachtree Special Risk Brokers LLC||Stockbridge, GA||Oct 01, 2012||$90,000|
|Insurance Underwriters||Investor Analytics LLC||Berkeley Heights, NJ||Nov 20, 2009||$88,426|
|Insurance Underwriters||Federal Insurance Co (Chubb GRP)||Los Angeles, CA||Mar 30, 2009||$87,811|
|Insurance Underwriters||Generali Us Branch||Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ||Nov 10, 2010||$87,000|
|Insurance Underwriters||XL Insurance America, Inc.||New York, NY||Dec 10, 2007||$86,944 -
|Insurance Underwriting Analyst||Generali-U.S. Branch||Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ||Sep 15, 2010||$85,000|
|Insurance Underwriters||Beazley USA Services||Atlanta, GA||Aug 23, 2013||$85,000|
|Insurance Underwriters||Chartis Insurance Agency, Inc.||Chicago, IL||Jun 24, 2010||$84,906 -
|Insurance Underwriters||Paris Re America Insurance Company||Miami, FL||Aug 24, 2010||$60,000 -
|Insurance Underwriter||IJU Agency Ltd.||New York, NY||Sep 16, 2015||$59,480|
|Insurance Underwriter||International Jewelers Underwriters Agency Ltd.||New York, NY||Sep 16, 2015||$59,480|
|Insurance Underwriter||E Benefit Solution, Inc.||NY||Sep 09, 2015||$58,561|
|Insurance Underwriter||E Benefit Solution, Inc.||NY||Sep 07, 2015||$58,561|
|Insurance Underwriter||Solomon Agency Corp||NY||Sep 07, 2015||$58,561|
|Insurance Underwriter||International Underwriting Agency, Inc.||NY||Sep 07, 2015||$58,561|
|Insurance Underwriter||Solomon Agency Corp||NY||Sep 08, 2015||$58,561|
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Career: Insurance Underwriter
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