What does an Underwriter do?
An Underwriter’s job is to strike a balance between writing new business and declining proposals that may not be financially viable. If there’s a high risk attached to an application for insurance cover, an Underwriter may decide to decline the proposal. Conversely, they may opt to accept high-risk applications, subject to steep premiums and added terms and conditions. They could, for instance, opt to insure a house in a high-crime area only if the owner agrees on installing a comprehensive alarm system.
Underwriter skills and qualifications
Despite the fact that a large part of an Underwriter’s job concerns working with data and statistics, they also interact with people constantly. They need to deal with new and existing clients and build trusting relationships with other stakeholders, such as Brokers and Insurance Agents, they therefore need solid interpersonal skills. A successful Underwriter candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications, these typically include:
- Excellent analytical skills to evaluate information from many different sources and arrive at an accurate conclusion
- Sound judgement to determine the risk involved in underwriting an insurance policy
- Solid IT skills and knowledge of relevant software packages, such as spreadsheet applications
- Meticulous attention to detail, as determining risk involves considering all details included in an application
- Strong mathematical skills to determine the probability of loss and calculate appropriate premiums
- Solid decision-making skills, as they need to make important decisions regarding new business and possible risks
Underwriter experience requirements
Underwriters typically need previous insurance underwriting experience. Candidates must have several years of experience writing new business and must show industry knowledge of insurance market principles and practice. An awareness of best practices in client service and compliance systems and processes will be advantageous. Candidates must also have experience using relevant statistical packages and analytical tools.
Underwriter education and training requirements
Although there are no fixed education and training requirements for this position, Underwriters often hold a bachelor’s degree in business studies, finance, economics, maths, law or management. To enhance their skills and knowledge in insurance underwriting, candidates can obtain professional qualifications through a professional body. The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), for instance, offers qualifications like a Level 4 Diploma in Underwriting Practice or a Level 6 Advanced Diploma in Strategic Underwriting. Candidates can also gain entry into the profession through an insurance professional higher apprenticeship.
Underwriter salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of an Underwriter in the UK is £43,751 per year. Salaries will differ depending on variables like the location of the job, the candidate’s level of experience and the specific employer.
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