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Insurance Underwriter

Career Overview

Insurance Underwriters (IUs) establish who will receive an insurance policy, determine what type of policy is appropriate, calculate risk of loss from policyholders; and write the policy that covers any risk. The IU decides whether a policy is to be issued and what premium is to be charged based upon their analysis of a wide variety of factors about an insurance applicant including data from medical records and actuarial studies,.

Most IUs specialize in one of four categories: life, health, mortgage and property and casualty; with life and health IUs writing group policies as well as individual.

Employment

Most underwriters are based at company headquarters or regional branch offices. Marine and construction IUs travel frequently to inspect and assess risks. Due to the downsizing of many insurance companies IUs are now expected to work more than the standard 40 hour work week. There is expected to be slower than average growth of 6 % in the 2006-16 period, however underwriting software is expected to continue to make IUs more productive during this period.

Education

While there are no formal educational requirements for IUs, most insurance companies prefer IUs with a bachelor's degree and/or some professional designation. The Insurance Institute of America offers a training program for beginning underwriters and it offers the designation of Associate in Commercial Underwriting (ACU) for those beginning a career in IU. There are other designations that may be earned from other organizations in the insurance industry.

Salary

Lowest 10% $16.13 $33,550

Median 50% $26.22 $54,530

Highest 10% $46.03 $95,740

Source: US Department of Labor

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