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Career profile Insurance Underwriter

Also known as Account Underwriter, Automobile and Property Underwriter, Commercial Lines Underwriter, Health Underwriter, Life Underwriter, Personal Lines Underwriter, Underwriter, Underwriting Consultant

Insurance Underwriter

Also known as Account Underwriter, Automobile and Property Underwriter, Commercial Lines Underwriter

Interests Profile
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$43,210 - $129,550 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Writing
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Mathematics
  • Sales and Marketing
Core tasks
  • 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.
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What does an Insurance Underwriter do?

Insurance Underwriters review individual applications for insurance to evaluate degree of risk involved and determine acceptance of applications.

What kind of tasks does an Insurance Underwriter perform regularly?

Insurance Underwriters are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • 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.
  • Evaluate possibility of losses due to catastrophe or excessive insurance.
  • Review company records to determine amount of insurance in force on single risk or group of closely related risks.
  • 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.
  • Authorize reinsurance of policy when risk is high.

The above responsibilities are specific to Insurance Underwriters. More generally, Insurance Underwriters are involved in several broader types of 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.
Working 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.

What is an Insurance Underwriter salary?

The median salary for an Insurance Underwriter is $71,790, and the average salary is $80,390. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Insurance Underwriter salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Insurance Underwriters earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Insurance Underwriters earn less than $43,210 per year, 25% earn less than $54,850, 75% earn less than $97,820, and 90% earn less than $129,550.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Insurance Underwriters is expected to change by -1.8%, and there should be roughly 8,300 open positions for Insurance Underwriters every year.

Median annual salary
$71,790
Typical salary range
$43,210 - $129,550
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-1.8%

What personality traits are common among Insurance Underwriters?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Insurance Underwriter are usually higher in their Conventional and Enterprising interests.

Insurance Underwriters typically have very strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Also, Insurance Underwriters typically have moderate Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Insurance Underwriter tend to value Independence, Relationships, and Support.

Most importantly, Insurance Underwriters strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Second, Insurance Underwriters strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Insurance Underwriters moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Insurance Underwriters must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, attention to detail, and analytical thinking.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Insurance Underwriters, ranked by importance:

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

What education and training do Insurance Underwriters need?

Many Insurance Underwriters will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Insurance Underwriters usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Insurance Underwriters

  • 1.1% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 9.7% completed high school or secondary school
  • 17.9% completed some college coursework
  • 8.4% earned a Associate's degree
  • 50.5% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 10.2% earned a Master's degree
  • 2.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Insurance Underwriters

Insurance Underwriters may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, mathematics, or sales and marketing knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Insurance Underwriters might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

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.
Administrative
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
Economics and Accounting
Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking, and the analysis and reporting of financial data.

Important Abilities needed by Insurance Underwriters

Insurance Underwriters must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Insurance Underwriters need abilities such as written comprehension, written expression, and inductive reasoning in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Insurance Underwriters, ranked by their relative importance.

Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Critical Skills needed by Insurance Underwriters

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Insurance Underwriters frequently use skills like active listening, reading comprehension, and writing to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Insurance Underwriters, ranked by their relative importance.

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.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.