Insurance Underwriter Job Description

Insurance underwriters review and analyze insurance applications for potential risk. Insurance and title companies hire insurance underwriters to analyze all sorts of insurance policies. They tend to work full daytime hours and are rarely required to work weekends or evenings. Insurance underwriters work with little supervision in a collaborative team environment, reporting directly to the underwriting department manager or supervisor. Though insurance underwriters typically work within office environments, they may travel to perform field investigations when needed to assess specific types of insurance policies on properties.


Insurance Underwriter Duties and Responsibilities

The daily duties performed by insurance underwriters greatly vary depending on the size of the business, the policies they issue, and the number of insurance applications they process and assess. However, these core duties are common at most insurance and title companies:

Evaluate Applications

Insurance underwriters evaluate insurance applications and ultimately determine whether to approve or deny policy requests based on their findings.

Analyze Credit History

Insurance underwriters analyze an applicant’s credit history to determine the likelihood of on-time payments and the risk of default.

Review Requests

Insurance underwriters review requests for policy cancellations, renewals, and other policy changes.

Request Additional Information

When necessary, insurance underwriters request additional information beyond the application to ensure thorough and accurate evaluations.

Prepare Insurance Documents

Insurance underwriters prepare all insurance policy documents to be signed by applicants and shared among other departments within the company.

Determine Coverage Amounts

Insurance underwriters determine the amount of insurance coverage applicants qualify for, the premium amount, and the terms of payment.


Insurance Underwriter Skills and Qualifications

Insurance underwriters are professionals who use analytical thinking to determine the viability of insurance applications and the terms of these agreements. Insurance and title companies hire candidates only if they have the following essential skills:

  • Communication skills – insurance underwriters use excellent verbal and written communication skills to interview applicants and review various documents
  • Analytical thinking – strong analytical skills are needed to make policy determinations and ultimately approve or deny applications based on credit history and other financial factors
  • Computer skills – some computer skills are essential for insurance underwriters, as many companies use software programs and digital systems to process and store applications
  • Time management – insurance underwriters use time management skills to meet deadlines and work within a fast-paced environment
  • Mathematics – insurance underwriters analyze detailed financial information and credit histories to make a final determination regarding the terms of insurance policies, which requires good math skills
  • Multitasking – insurance underwriters multitask to handle multiple applications and perform several responsibilities at once


Insurance Underwriter Education and Training

At minimum, insurance underwriters need a high school diploma or equivalent to pursue this career path. However, a majority of employers require their insurance underwriters to have a bachelor’s degree in finance, business, accounting, or a related field of study. Some companies additionally look for candidates who have previous experience in the insurance industry, though this is not always required.

Some training is provided by employers, though the length of this period varies by company and the amount of education and past experience a candidate already has. While in training, insurance underwriters work closely with a senior member of the underwriting team until they’re ready to assume job tasks on their own.


Insurance Underwriter Salary and Outlook

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that insurance underwriters earn a median annual salary of $69,760, or $33.54 per hour. The BLS expects employment opportunities in this field will decline 5 percent through 2026.

Full-time insurance underwriters receive comprehensive benefits packages that typically include medical coverage with dental and vision insurance. Life insurance, retirement options, and paid vacation days are typically offered in these packages. Some companies may also provide monetary bonuses to insurance underwriters who successfully process large policies.


Helpful Resources

Find out how to pursue a career as an insurance underwriter and learn the tricks of the trade using these books and websites offering job strategies, techniques, and helpful advice:

Insurance Underwriter RED-HOT Career Guide – this book contains thousands of likely interview questions and great answers for insurance underwriters who want to land the job and impress employers

Group Underwriters Association of America – search for professional conferences and browse resources for insurance underwriters at this website

Commercial Liability Insurance and Risk Management – learn more about commercial liability insurance and risk management with this book

International Risk Management Institute – find continuing education resources, upcoming conferences, and certification programs for insurance underwriters and other risk management professionals at the IRMI website

Property/Casualty Insurance: A Basic Guide – this basic guide for insurance underwriters is written in simple, straightforward language with easy-to-follow tips and outlines of basic concepts. The text also contains a glossary of common industry terms

National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors – visit this website to explore job openings, browse professional development resources, learn about upcoming events, and stay up to date on news for insurance professionals of all types


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