The following article discusses the career path of Underwriter. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Underwriters.
Underwriters work either for an insurance company or for a bank that supplies people with mortgages and loans. They analyze the risk of the prospective client in terms of them repaying their loan or making a claim on their insurance. They also ensure all the data they have received is correct and accurate.
The main role of the underwriter is to make sure that the quality of the products offered to clients is as high as possible, and completely fit for purpose. They must follow numerous rules and regulations to achieve this, starting with the company’s own guidelines and ending with federal laws. They must, therefore, have an in-depth understanding of the industry as a whole, so that they can develop and offer products that are right for everybody.
Other job duties of underwriters include:
- Analyzing data, business, loss experience, claim history, and the outcome of decisions in relation to liability
- Submitting, underwriting, pending, or approving coverage premiums and amounts, presenting those findings to managers
- Ensuring that current policies are up to date and comply with relevant rules and guidelines.
- Being responsible for certain geographical areas, finding new businesses and clients based on prospective profitability
Where We Work
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 104,100 insurance underwriters in 2016. The largest employers of these professionals were:
- Direct insurance (except life, health, and medical) carriers: 47%
- Insurance agencies and brokerages: 19%
- Other insurance related activities: 6%
- Direct health and medical insurance carriers: 5%
- Credit intermediation and related activities: 4%
How to Become
Underwriters usually work in the office and they often work unsociable hours, as insurance companies have extended opening hours. They must be trained to understand specific federal rules and regulations, as well as undergo internal training to have a full understanding of policies and procedures. It is generally expected that underwriters also have an in-depth understanding of FHMLC and FNMA guidelines and programs.
A bachelor’s degree is usually required for an underwriter, although the major for this degree is less important. It is preferred that candidates have completed finance, business, mathematics, and economics courses. Usually, new underwriters will start as a trainee, being mentored by senior underwriters. They will manage basic applications so that they can gain an understanding of what the common risk factors are. Sometimes, their company will offer further in-house training on underwriting concepts. As they become more experienced, they will start to work independently, handling complex applications.
Usually, further certification is expected for underwriters, but this is delivered in-house. They take part in courses that ensure their knowledge on insurance policies is up to date, and there is also a focus on state and federal laws and regulations, as well as new technology. In order for someone to advance to the position of senior underwriter or underwriter manager, certifications are expected.
One of the most common certifcations is the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), offered by the American Institute for Property and Casualty Underwriters. The Institute also offers training for entry level underwriters. Other designations relevant to insurance specialties also exist, such as the Associate in Personal Insurance (API) and the Associate in Commercial Underwriting (AU). It usually takes between one and two years to achieve these certificates.
The Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) designation is offered through the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. This focuses on basic insurance concepts. The Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) certification, meanwhile, is offered by the American College of Financial Services. This is available for those with at least three years’ professional experience.
Traits & Qualities
The most effective underwriters have the following traits to some degree or other:
- Strong analytical skills
- Excellent decision making skills
- Very detail oriented
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Excellent mathematical skills
- Good communication skills, both verbal and written
- Most Reported
Salary by State
The following section lists Underwriter salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, DC had the largest quoted salary of $91,609 while Nevada had the smallest quoted salary of $26,745.
Top 20 National Employers
According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Underwriter. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.
|Employer Name||Location||Average Salary|
|Greater New York Insurance Companies Underwriter||New York||$193,167|
|Symmetry Financial Group Underwriter||Missouri||$178,885|
|The Watkins Group SFG Underwriter||Arizona||$150,000|
|Symmetry Financial Underwriter||Arizona||$150,000|
|Entrepreneurs Marketing Solutions LLC. Underwriter||Missouri||$150,000|
|Gail Audibert Associates, Inc. Underwriter||Connecticut||$148,598|
|HRH Group Services Underwriter||Massachusetts||$144,648|
|Disability RMS Underwriter||Maine||$142,341|
|NBN, Inc. Underwriter||Tennessee||$130,328|
|Selby Jennings Underwriter||Massachusetts||$126,572|
|Diedre Moire Underwriter||Connecticut||$125,142|
|Fran Rogers Personnel Underwriter||New Jersey||$124,900|
|LaMorte Search Underwriter||Texas||$123,745|
|Randstad Professionals Underwriter||Georgia||$115,000|
|Lear and Associates, Inc. Underwriter||Illinois||$113,820|
|Liberty Mutual Underwriter||New Hampshire||$112,838|
- What is an Underwriter? (with pictures) – wiseGEEK
- Underwriting – Wikipedia
- Insurance Underwriters : Occupational Outlook Handbook …
|Career Name||Average Salary|
|Marketing Communications Manager||$70,119|