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Become A Property Underwriter

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Working As A Property Underwriter

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

  • Make Decisions

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $118,817

    Average Salary

What Does A Property 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 Property 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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Property Underwriter Demographics

Gender

Female

49.2%

Male

48.8%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

61.3%

Hispanic or Latino

13.4%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

9.7%

Unknown

4.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

German

18.8%

French

12.5%

Carrier

12.5%

Spanish

12.5%

Chinese

6.3%

Romanian

6.3%

Cantonese

6.3%

Dakota

6.3%

Mandarin

6.3%

Arabic

6.3%

Russian

6.3%
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Property Underwriter Education

Schools

Georgia State University

12.0%

University of Phoenix

8.0%

Saint Mary's University

6.0%

Kent State University

6.0%

University of Iowa

6.0%

California State University - Northridge

6.0%

University of Georgia

6.0%

Syracuse University

4.0%

University of Florida

4.0%

Jacksonville University

4.0%

Illinois State University

4.0%

University of South Dakota

4.0%

Temple University

4.0%

Boston University

4.0%

Colgate University

4.0%

Mercer University

4.0%

West Virginia University

4.0%

University of Delaware

4.0%

University of Hartford

4.0%

Stockton University

2.0%
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Majors

Business

29.7%

Insurance

13.9%

Finance

10.8%

Marketing

5.1%

Political Science

4.4%

Psychology

3.8%

Communication

3.8%

Management

3.2%

Criminal Justice

3.2%

Accounting

2.5%

Liberal Arts

2.5%

Computer Information Systems

1.9%

Computer Science

1.9%

Public Relations

1.9%

Business Communications

1.9%

Economics

1.9%

Kinesiology

1.9%

History

1.9%

Law

1.9%

Nursing

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

52.1%

Other

14.0%

Masters

13.5%

Associate

11.6%

Doctorate

3.7%

License

2.8%

Certificate

1.4%

Diploma

0.9%
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Real Property Underwriter Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Property Underwriter Westport Insurance Corporation Miami, FL Jul 13, 2016 $142,000 -
$145,000
Property Certificate Underwriter Munich Reinsurance America, Inc. Chicago, IL Jul 19, 2016 $140,000
Products Senior Property Underwriter Westport Insurance Corporation Miami, FL Sep 09, 2015 $140,000 -
$150,000
Products Senior Property Underwriter Westport Insurance Corporation Miami, FL Aug 22, 2014 $130,000 -
$150,000
Senior Property Underwriter Swiss Re America Holding Corporation Miami, FL Nov 30, 2011 $130,000
Property Underwriter Aspen Insurance Us Services, Inc. Miami, FL Feb 18, 2014 $125,500
SR. Property Products Underwriter Americas Westport Insurance Corporation Armonk, NY Mar 16, 2015 $120,000 -
$150,000
Property Underwriter-Latin America Aspen Insurance Us Services, Inc. Miami, FL Aug 12, 2012 $110,000
Senior Property Underwriter Lexington Insurance Company Boston, MA Sep 08, 2016 $100,000
Property Underwriter-Latin America Aspen Insurance Us Services, Inc. Rocky Hill, CT Dec 14, 2009 $100,000 -
$110,000
Property Underwriter-Latin America Aspen Insurance Us Services, Inc. Miami, FL May 31, 2010 $100,000
Senior Property Underwriter Zurich American Insurance Company New York, NY Sep 19, 2010 $90,000
Property Underwriter Lexington Insurance Company Boston, MA Sep 13, 2014 $85,000

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Top Skills for A Property Underwriter

  1. Underwriting Guidelines
  2. Policy Changes
  3. New Business Applications
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Analyzed claim data to make modifications to internal underwriting guidelines to ensure growth and profitability in new and maturing markets.
  • Maintained accuracy rate of 98%+ in review and processing of complex policy changes, meeting quality standards.
  • Review New Business Applications to see if Underwriting Guidelines are met and qualify for current Markets.
  • Support growth with profit in market areas by executing on the fundamentals of risk management.
  • Utilized a fundamental knowledge of automobile underwriting processes and policies while adhering to and implementing both Federal and State requirements.

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Top 10 Best States for Property Underwriters

  1. New York
  2. Wyoming
  3. New Jersey
  4. North Carolina
  5. Arizona
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Georgia
  9. New Hampshire
  10. California
  • (88 jobs)
  • (2 jobs)
  • (41 jobs)
  • (54 jobs)
  • (39 jobs)
  • (70 jobs)
  • (45 jobs)
  • (43 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (149 jobs)

Top Property Underwriter Employers

Jobs From Top Property Underwriter Employers

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