What does an Underwriter do?
Underwriters typically work at insurance agencies, banks and other financial institutions to approve insurance plans and loans for clients. They read each application to determine if an applicant qualifies for a loan or an insurance policy, confirming that all of the information on the applicant accurately reflects their risk level. They review an applicant’s personal documents such as their driving record, medical history, criminal record, credit report and income statements.
Underwriters look for patterns in financial data to determine which applications could have a high risk of financial losses. They assess a company’s losses and try to identify the main sources of loss to better inform the way they vet clients. After performing a risk assessment, the Underwriter decides who to approve and submits a statement explaining their decision.
Underwriter skills and qualifications
An Underwriter uses a variety of soft skills, technical skills and industry knowledge to accurately review applications, including:
- Qualitative and quantitative analysis skills
- Communication skills, including speaking and writing
- Customer service skills
- In-depth understanding of insurance coverage or loan products
- Advanced knowledge of federal regulations and best practices of insurance or lending institutions
- Project management and organization skills
- Time management and prioritization skills
- Decision-making and critical thinking skills
Underwriter salary expectations
Underwriters earn an average of $73,215 per year. Salary may depend on level of education, experience and geographical location.
Underwriter education and training requirements
Underwriter candidates are likely to have at least a bachelor’s degree in business, economics, finance or business. Many Underwriters receive on-the-job training, working with a more experienced Underwriter to learn best industry practices and company-specific practices. As part of their training period, entry-level Underwriters can manage lower value projects and then work their way up to higher-value policies. Candidates vying for a senior Underwriter position may also have completed additional training and become certified through the American Institute For Chartered Property Causality Underwriters.
Underwriter experience requirements
Entry-level Underwriters may not have previous experience in the role and can complete on-the-job training to get experience. Other relevant experience may include customer service, banking, insurance or other business roles. For roles that require specialized knowledge, complete advanced tasks or have leadership responsibilities may require years of experience as an Underwriter and certification. Candidates may be in pursuit of or have completed certification.
Job description samples for similar positions
If the job description for the Underwriter does not suit your needs, view descriptions for related professions: