Insurance underwriters decide whether to offer insurance cover and if any special terms or conditions should apply, such as insisting that a householder install a burglar alarm. They assess the extent of a risk and calculate the cost of the premium. They decide whether the insurance company should re-insure some of the risk, by insuring it with another insurance company. They may specialise in one type of insurance such as motor, life or household.
They ensure that the premium is low enough to be competitive, yet high enough to provide the insurance company with enough income to pay out claims, cover costs, build up a reserve of funds and make a profit.
The normal working hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Underwriters are mainly office-based and work as part of a team with insurance technicians and other professionals, such as actuaries. Travel to attend meetings and to visit insurance brokers or clients at their business premises is necessary.
To be an insurance underwriter you should:
There aren't any set requirements however some experience like being an underwriter at a call centre can come in useful. There may be opportunities to get this job through an apprenticeship. Alternatively a degree in either maths or economics can help you secure a place on a graduate training scheme.
Promotion is usually to more responsible underwriting posts, dealing with more complex or greater risks. There may be opportunities to move into management, other branches of insurance, or to run a department or Lloyd’s company. It is possible to gain promotion by having specialist knowledge in areas such as fire, motor or aviation insurance.
For further details of skills shortages and approved qualifications contact the Financial Services Skills Council.
If you would like to learn more about becoming an insurance underwriter that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Financial Services Skills Council
51 Gresham Street
Tel: 020 7216 7366
Financial Services Authority
25 The North Colonnade
Tel: 020 7066 1000