WHAT DO INSURANCE UNDERWRITERS DO?
Step into the risk business. Insurance underwriters work for insurance companies to decide whether or not to give out insurance and the terms at which it is given. Underwriters work in insurance fields like life, health, mortgage or property and casualty, and look at many factors to determine approval for insurance.
Underwriters receive insurance applications from insurance agents, and then use rigorous tests and software programs to get recommendations on coverage. Depending on the type of insurance, factors can include accident history, health, income, age, etc. The program recommends amount of coverage and premiums, and the underwriter makes adjustments based on the individual, deciding whether to approve or reject the applicant.
In addition, underwriters write their findings in the policies for approval by the applicant.
HOW MUCH DO INSURANCE UNDERWRITERS MAKE?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that in 2010, the annual median income for insurance underwriters was $59,290, or $28.51 hourly.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?
A bachelor's degree in finance, business, economics or similar is highly recommended, but some employers may be willing to hire those with extensive insurance related experience and great computer skills. New underwriters will train under senior underwriters, gaining experience on the job.
Regular certification and training is required and can be found through the Insurance Institute of America, The American College, and the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters.
JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Analytical Skills: Underwriters look at many factors and information to solve issues and problems.
- Decision Making Skills: Underwriters must decide the cost and benefits of whether or not to recommend insurance coverage.
- Attention to Detail: Every detail in an insurance policy can affect the decision to offer coverage. Missing one might cost the company money.
- Interpersonal Skills: Underwriters will talk with insurance agents on a daily basis. Good communication skills are needed.
- Technical Skills: Underwriters will work with complex software daily. Being comfortable with computers and using mathematics is required.
THE FUTURE OF INSURANCE UNDERWRITERS
Jobs for underwriters will grow slowly between 2010 and 2020, according to the BLS. As the industry relies more on automation through computer software, fewer underwriters are needed.