Insurance Underwriters

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Also known as:
Automobile and Property Underwriter, Bond Underwriter, Insurance Analyst, Insurance Underwriter, Insurance Writer, Underwriting Account Representative, Underwriting Service Representative

See all Finance Careers.

ABOUT INSURANCE UNDERWRITER CAREERS
Video transcript

Insurance companies protect businesses and people against loss by assuming billions of dollars in risks each year. But who is protecting the insurance company? Underwriters. They scrutinize insurance applications, examining actuarial reports, medical records, and other data to decide if their company can take a chance. They're the ones who decide whether or not to issue a policy and how much to charge for it.

Technology is the underwriter's active partner. They use computer models called "smart systems" to evaluate insurance applications, weeding out those who are not eligible and adjusting the premium rate for the rest. The internet hosts a growing assortment of web sites devoted to underwriters and their needs for current information.

Future job growth in the insurance industry will be limited due to increased office automation. A bachelor's degree is required to start, and continuing education is a must to earn specialty designations and advancement. Job prospects for underwriters are best for applicants with the most desirable credentials - excellent computer and communication skills and a strong background in finance.

SNAPSHOT
Review individual applications for insurance to evaluate degree of risk involved and determine acceptance of applications.
Leadership
MED
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Authorize reinsurance of policy when risk is high.

Decrease value of policy when risk is substandard and specify applicable endorsements or apply rating to ensure safe, profitable distribution of risks, using reference materials.

Review company records to determine amount of insurance in force on single risk or group of closely related risks.

Evaluate possibility of losses due to catastrophe or excessive insurance.

Examine documents to determine degree of risk from factors such as applicant health, financial standing and value, and condition of property.

Decline excessive risks.

Write to field representatives, medical personnel, or others to obtain further information, quote rates, or explain company underwriting policies.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Economics and Accounting Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.