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An Insurance Underwriter determines whether applications for insurance should be covered and what terms should apply to each individual policy.
Essentially the job entails assessing the level of risk that a potential policy holder may need to claim against the policy during its term. It's an important role in any insurance business as the mitigation of higher risk applications generally leads to increased profits for the business as a whole.
It's often the case that an application for insurance will be deemed by the Underwriter as carrying an unacceptable level of risk. In such cases, the Underwriter may increase the standard premium to reflect this risk, impose certain conditions on the policy holder or choose to reinsure the higher risk element of the policy with another insurer. Alternatively, depending upon the Underwriters' appetite for risk, cover may simply be refused.
There are no specific entry requirements though most employers provide extensive training and usually candidates are encouraged to specialise in one area of risk, such as life insurance. Once in the job, most Underwriters gain formal qualifications such as those offered by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) or the Institute of Financial Services (IFS).
Recent salaries for roles advertised at time of writing (Nov 2009) include:
Are you an Underwriter? Would you like to contribute to our "Day in the Life of..." series? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
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