Insurance Underwriter

Job Descriptions
An Insurance Underwriter is responsible for dealing with insurance policies by understanding the risk, cost and policy terms for both the policy holder and the firm.

An Insurance Underwriter plays a vital role in the organisation, contents and issuing of insurance policies. They are responsible for primarily arranging the terms of insurance policies and in what circumstances the policy holder will be compensated. The terms for insurance policies vary tremendously, so Insurance Underwriters use a range of formulas and data from other Insurance workers such as Actuaries, to determine the likelihood of the policy needing to be paid out, the amount of compensation that would be issued and the whether or not there would be mitigating circumstances to the pay out. Further variables are apparent and dependent on what area of insurance the Underwriter works in, for example General Insurance, Life Insurance, Commercial Insurance and so on.

Much of the work undertaken by Insurance Underwriters requires would-be Underwriters to be meticulous in their approach to work due to the highly technical and specific nature of insurance and insurance policies. Graduates considering a career as an Insurance Underwriter would also be advised to be highly analytical and numerate for when they are putting together policies and examining data received from Actuaries or the wider firm.

Insurance Underwriter Salaries

The average starting salary for an Insurance Underwriter is £19,333. This is a very good starting income for new graduate Insurance Underwriters to start on. This is also competitive with similar roles in Insurance and related areas of work like Finance or Accountancy.

One important thing to remember is that Insurance Underwriters are required to undergo lengthy training and professional qualifications, and it is from here that graduates can start to increase their earning power. Once graduates are certified by somewhere like the Chartered Insurance Institute or they work towards a Postgraduate qualification in Insurance, Insurance Underwriters can see their pay rapidly increase and especially as they move onto more senior positions in the field.

The Daily Duties of an Insurance Underwriter

The daily duties of an Insurance Underwriter are varied and can depend on many things including the area of insurance they work in, their level of seniority as an Underwriter and what component of the insurance policy they are working on. Here are some of the typical tasks graduate Insurance Underwriters can expect to be working on:

  • Dealing with Policy holders - Insurance underwriters can spend a lot of time dealing with policy holders and arranging new policies. This is customer service with the added specialism of being a professional in Insurance and working to secure the most profitable and safe policy for the firm. Insurance Underwriters can be expected to look into the background of policy holders and their history of claims or mroe specific things to the policy such as medical history or area of work.
  • Handling policies - Handling policies is the bread and butter of life as an Insurance Underwriter. This duty entails all the processes of creating and issuing and insurance policies. Much of this requires research into the policy holder, firm approaches to certain types of policies, the use of data relating to risk and to then calculate the amounts of pay-outs and the amount the policy holder pays to secure this particular policy.
  • Managing data - Managing data is a fundamental part of being an Insurance Underwriter. The ability to use, manage and manipulate data helps inform so much of what Insurance Underwriters do, whether it is the risk attached to a certain kind of pay out or the likelihood of a certain kind event or accident happening that would trigger a remuneration being issued. This could also be attached to broader uses of data, including health figures provided by Actuaries.
  • Terms and Conditions - The terms and conditions are often intrinsic to the success of insurance policies. While they might be fundamental to the agreement between policy holder and the insurance firm, it is important that Insurance Underwriters are able to handle the often dense text and complicated format of these insurance policies.
  • Working out premiums and prices - More specifically, looking at prices and premiums is fundamental for Insurance Underwriters and the firm from which they work. Insurance Underwriters must be making money for the firm and still need to ensure policy holders that their insurance policies are worthwhile. So the importance of correctly and appropriately pricing policies is an art that Insurance Underwriters need to master as soon as possible.

Much of the work undertaken by Insurance Underwriters is varied and all forms part of a process for providing Insurance policies that benefit the policy holder and the firm. While with many Insurance Underwriter graduate positions a lot of training is provided but it would be useful for graduates to have fantastic numerical and analytical capabilities if they are looking for a career as an Insurance Underwriter.

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