Insurance Underwriter Job Profile

An Insurance Underwriter (IU) is a person who is responsible for reviewing an individual’s insurance coverage, addressing and assessing the risks involved. IUs generally focus on the premiums and additional charges. They provide their company’s service to both individuals and businesses. Many of the underwriters specialize in any one of the insurance sector: Commercial Account Underwriters, Property or Casualty Underwriters (insuring businesses or organization against damage or injury to people) or Life Insurance (LI) underwriters.

A Short Note about LIs:

LI underwriters process only LI applications. Life insurance or assurance is a contract between the insurer and policy owner. It is where the insurer approves to pay an agreed beneficiary the sum upon the occurrence of the insured person’s death or any untoward event. The policy owner has to pay the premium at regular intervals or in one all inclusive lump sum.

IU duties and Daily Tasks:

Examines the documents of insurance applications and determines the degree of risk involved. The risk factors which are taken into account include the following, but are not limited to: the financial background of the applicant, value and the condition of the property. Decline or approve the applicant’s request depending on the degree of risk.The following are some of the risk factors involved:

  • Analyze data to find out the reasons, principles, etc. by segregating the data.
  • Processing information by compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating and auditing it.
  • Evaluating data and making individual decisions based on the company’s or client’s references or other relevant information and also to checking for compliance standards.
  • Updating technical knowledge to apply to the job as and when required.
  • Delegate to the field employees to seek and find more information, state insurance quotes or to explain the company’s underwriting policies.
  • Evaluate the loss or losses in any minor or catastrophic circumstances.
  • Evaluate the value of the policy and arrive at a premium profitable to the insurance company.

Required Skills

  • Superb knowledge of English
  • Clerical knowledge and mathematical knowledge of arithmetic, geometry, calculus, algebra, statistics and their applications.
  • Should also possess people skills, like active listening and learning, critical thinking, comprehensive reading and writing, inductive and deductive reasoning, judgment and decision making, time management, complex problem solving techniques and so forth.

Income

Most IUs work a typical 40 hour work week. Their annual income depends on factors like title, place of employment, specialization, education level and of course experience. The average income range is $20,000 to $60,000 per year.

Career Development

A wonderful way to start your career is to begin your career as a junior underwriter. The American Institute of Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters conducts a certification for IUs. It is namely the: Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation which can be earned by only underwriters in the insurance industry for at least three years. In addition to it, the candidate should walk through and surpass ten examinations which are administered.

Advancement in this depends on the employer and of course IU. But in general, an underwriter can become a chief underwriter or manager of the underwriting department. They might sometimes be promoted to some other administrative role as per the firm’s decision.