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Become An Underwriting Associate

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Working As An Underwriting Associate

  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $48,200

    Average Salary

What Does An Underwriting Associate Do

Insurance sales agents contact potential customers and sell one or more types of insurance. Insurance sales agents explain various insurance policies and help clients choose plans that suit them.

Duties

Insurance sales agents typically do the following:

  • Call potential clients in order to expand their own customer base
  • Interview prospective clients to get information about their financial resources and discuss existing coverage
  • Explain the features of various policies
  • Analyze clients’ current insurance policies and suggest additions or other changes
  • Customize insurance programs to suit individual clients
  • Handle policy renewals
  • Maintain electronic and paper records

Insurance sales agents commonly sell one or more types of insurance, such as property and casualty, life, health, and long-term care insurance.

Property and casualty insurance agents sell policies that protect people and businesses from financial loss resulting from automobile accidents, fire, theft, and other events that can damage property. For businesses, property and casualty insurance also covers workers’ compensation claims, product liability claims, or medical malpractice claims.

Life insurance agents specialize in selling policies that pay beneficiaries when a policyholder dies. Life insurance agents also sell annuities that promise a retirement income.

Health and long-term care insurance agents sell policies that cover the costs of medical care and assisted-living services in old age. They also may sell dental insurance and short-term and long-term disability insurance.

Agents may specialize in any one of these products or function as generalists providing multiple products.

An increasing number of insurance sales agents offer their clients—especially those approaching retirement—comprehensive financial-planning services. Such services include retirement planning, estate planning, and help in setting up pension plans for businesses. In addition to offering insurance, these agents may become licensed to sell mutual funds, variable annuities, and other securities. This practice is most common with life insurance agents who already sell annuities, but many property and casualty agents also sell financial products. For more information on agents who sell financial products, see the profile on securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents.

Many agents spend a lot of time marketing their services and creating their own base of clients. They do this in a variety of ways, including making “cold” sales calls to people who are not current clients.

Potential clients often use comparison shopping tools online to learn about different policies and obtain information from insurance companies. Clients can either purchase a policy directly from the website or contact the company to speak with a sales agent.

Insurance agents also find new clients through referrals by current clients. Keeping clients happy so that they recommend the agent to others is a key to success for insurance sales agents.

Insurance agents may work for a single insurance company or an insurance brokerage.

Captive agents are insurance sales agents who work exclusively for one insurance company. They can only sell policies provided by the company that employs them.

Independent insurance agents work for insurance brokerages, selling the policies of several companies. They match insurance policies for their clients with the company that offers the best rate and coverage.

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How To Become An Underwriting Associate

Although most employers require agents to have a high school diploma, many agents have a bachelor’s degree. Agents must be licensed in the states where they work.

Education

A high school diploma is the typical requirement for insurance sales agents, although a bachelor’s degree can improve one’s job prospects. Public-speaking classes can be useful in improving sales techniques, and often agents will have taken courses in business, finance, or economics. Business knowledge is also helpful for sales agents hoping to advance to a managerial position.

Training

Insurance sales agents learn many of their job duties on the job from other agents. Many employers have new agents shadow an experienced agent. This practice allows the new agent to learn how to conduct the company’s business and to understand how the agency interacts with clients.

Employers also are increasingly placing greater emphasis on continuing professional education as the variety of financial products sold by insurance sales agents grows. Changes in tax laws, government benefits programs, and other state and federal regulations can affect the insurance needs of clients and the way in which agents conduct business. Agents can enhance their selling skills and broaden their knowledge of insurance and other financial services by taking courses at colleges and universities or by attending conferences and seminars sponsored by insurance organizations.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Insurance sales agents must have a license in the states where they work. Separate licenses are required for agents to sell life and health insurance and property and casualty insurance. In most states, licenses are issued only to applicants who complete specified courses and who pass state exams covering insurance fundamentals and state insurance laws. Most state licensing authorities also require agents to take continuing education courses focusing on insurance laws, consumer protection, ethics, and the technical details of various insurance policies.

As the demand for financial-planning services increases, many agents also choose to get licensed and certified to sell securities and other financial products. Licensing and certification requires substantial study time to pass an additional exam—either the Series 6 or Series 7 licensing exam, both of which are administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The Series 6 exam is for agents who want to sell only mutual funds and variable annuities. The Series 7 exam is the main FINRA series license, which qualifies agents as general securities sales representatives.

A number of organizations offer certifications that show an agent’s expertise in insurance specialties. These certifications are not required for employment, but they can give job candidates an advantage over other applicants. Certifications also can be a source of continuing education credit. For details on specific designations, contact The Institutes and The American College of Financial Services.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Insurance sales agents must evaluate the characteristics of each client to determine the appropriate insurance policy.

Communication skills. Insurance sales agents must be able to communicate effectively with customers by listening to their requests and suggesting suitable policies.

Initiative. Insurance sales agents need to actively seek out new customers to maintain a flow of commissions.

Self-confidence. Insurance sales agents should be confident when making “cold” calls (calls to prospective customers who have not been contacted before). They must speak clearly and persuasively and maintain their composure if rejected.

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Underwriting Associate Jobs

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Underwriting Associate Career Paths

Underwriting Associate
Underwriter Quality Control Technician
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Billing Specialist Accounts Receivable Specialist
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Office Manager Property Manager
Asset Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Commercial Lines Underwriter Senior Underwriter
Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Underwriter Account Executive Office Manager
Business Office Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Loan Processor Underwriting Assistant Commercial Lines Account Manager
Commercial Account Executive
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Vice President Sales/Marketing Territory Sales Manager
Commercial Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Underwriting Technician Commercial Lines Underwriter
Commercial Lines Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Commercial Underwriter Commercial Lines Underwriter
Commercial Lines Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Assistant Vice President Compliance Officer
Compliance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Associate Chief Executive Officer Sales Agent
Customer Account Executive
5 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Project Manager President
Managing Member
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Associate Operations Manager Realtor
Property Management Specialist
6 Yearsyrs
Underwriting Technician Underwriter Risk Manager
Risk Management Director
7 Yearsyrs
Commercial Underwriter Account Executive Assistant Vice President
Risk Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Specialist Analyst
Senior Associate
5 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Director Of Sales Vice President
Senior Vice President
12 Yearsyrs
Underwriter Senior Underwriter
Underwriting Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Commercial Lines Underwriter Underwriter Assistant Vice President
Vice President
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Underwriter Assistant Vice President
Vice President And Manager
10 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Underwriting Associate?

Underwriting Associate Demographics

Gender

Female

64.4%

Male

34.3%

Unknown

1.4%
Ethnicity

White

62.6%

Hispanic or Latino

14.3%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

7.9%

Unknown

3.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.8%

Chinese

10.3%

Carrier

10.3%

Russian

6.9%

Mandarin

6.9%

Portuguese

3.4%

Ukrainian

3.4%

German

3.4%

Japanese

3.4%

Hindi

3.4%

Polish

3.4%
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Underwriting Associate Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.7%

Temple University

7.8%

University of Georgia

6.7%

Boston University

5.6%

Villanova University

4.4%

Wayne State University

4.4%

San Francisco State University

4.4%

Georgia State University

4.4%

University of Missouri - Columbia

4.4%

University of Delaware

4.4%

Missouri State University

4.4%

Drexel University

4.4%

Iowa State University

4.4%

University of Southern Maine

3.3%

Franklin University

3.3%

University of Nebraska at Omaha

3.3%

Park University

3.3%

University of Central Arkansas

3.3%

Pace University - New York

3.3%

Kean University

3.3%
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Majors

Business

33.3%

Finance

14.9%

Accounting

6.7%

Insurance

5.8%

Management

5.0%

Economics

4.6%

Psychology

3.4%

Health Care Administration

3.1%

Communication

2.9%

Liberal Arts

2.6%

Marketing

2.6%

Legal Support Services

2.2%

Political Science

2.2%

Human Resources Management

2.2%

Management Science

1.7%

Criminal Justice

1.7%

Nursing

1.4%

History

1.4%

English

1.2%

Real Estate

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

49.1%

Other

17.1%

Masters

15.4%

Associate

12.3%

Certificate

3.8%

License

1.0%

Diploma

0.7%

Doctorate

0.7%
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Full Time
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Internship
Temporary

Real Underwriting Associate Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Underwriting Associate, Engineering Large and Spec Nationale Suisse Latin America LLC Miami, FL Jan 15, 2014 $210,000
Underwriting Associate, Engineering Large & Specia Nationale Suisse Latin America LLC Miami, FL Jan 15, 2011 $165,000
Underwriting Associate Jpmorgan Chase & Co. New York, NY Jun 09, 2016 $82,000 -
$95,000
Underwriting Associate Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation Boston, MA Sep 26, 2010 $79,750
Underwriting Associate Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation Boston, MA Apr 26, 2010 $68,000
Underwriting Associate Colony American Finance, LLC Irvine, CA Dec 15, 2014 $65,000
Underwriting Associate Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation Boston, MA Jul 02, 2010 $64,918
Senior Specialty Underwriting Associate The Chubb Corporation New York, NY Jun 01, 2014 $58,000

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Top Skills for An Underwriting Associate

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  1. Underwriting Guidelines
  2. Insurance Policies
  3. Loss History
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Review individual risks for acceptability and handle those within authority based on company underwriting guidelines and standards.
  • Transitioned insurance policies from recently acquired companies to ANPAC policies utilizing company specific insurance software.
  • Researched premium and loss history analyzed current loss ratios and developed underwriting recommendations for accounts exceeding $100K.
  • Analyzed corporate financial statements and annual reports to ensure reliability of information and company performance.
  • Provided customer service to personal bankers and settlement agents by investigating and resolving loan package discrepancies to avoid processing delays.

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