Insurance Underwriter Career

insurance-underwriter-500Insurance underwriters review applications for insurance and help their employers determine whether to provide coverage, what level of coverage to provide, and how much to charge in premiums. While underwriters tend to work for large insurance companies, some are employed by third-party organizations that provide underwriting services to insurers.

Most insurance underwriters work full-time hours in an office setting. They have employee status and are paid salaries. Though self-employed underwriters exist, they are in the minority.

Insurance Underwriter Career Snapshot

Further details on a career as an insurance underwriter are listed below (statistics from the May 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average annual salary for insurance underwriters.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a Bachelor’s degree while 12% have an Associate’s degree.

Insurance Underwriter Education

Although no formal education requirement exists to become an insurance underwriter, over 80 percent have bachelor’s degrees as of 2014. Employers prefer candidates who are analytical and have excellent computer skills. Entry-level positions do not require certification, but it is often mandatory for candidates wishing to advance into management positions to become certified.

Insurance Underwriter Job Duties

Insurance underwriters spend their days reviewing insurance applications and helping their employers render decisions on them. They must be familiar and up-to-date with the company’s standards and policies, and they must have the ability to analyze an application and determine with confidence whether it should be approved or denied. Because underwriters spend most of their time buried in paperwork and scrutinizing tedious details, keen focus and attention to detail are paramount.

Insurance Underwriter Salaries

The 2015 median annual salary for insurance underwriters was $65,040 according to the Those in the highest 10 percent of the profession earned over $116,600, while those in the lowest 10 percent made less than $38,960. Factors that determine where an underwriter fits along the pay spectrum include region of the country (higher cost of living areas, such as New York and San Francisco, tend to confer higher salaries), level of education, and years of experience.

Insurance Underwriter Job Outlook

The job outlook for insurance underwriters is negative. Analysts expect 11 percent fewer jobs to exist in the field in 2024, compared to 2014 numbers. Technology is the primary culprit. Apps and software are being developed to replicate many of the duties currently performed by underwriters.

Insurance Underwriter Skills & Traits

Insurance Underwriter Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Insurance Underwriters:Typical Work Activities:
• Active Listening
• Decision Making
• Reading Comprehension
• Critical Thinking
• Speaking
• Written Comprehension
• Oral Comprehension
• Inductive Reasoning
• Oral Expression
• Written Expression
• 10-key calculators
• Desktop/laptop computers

• Document management software
• Financial analysis software
• Getting Information
• Decision Making
• Analyzing Data or Information
• Processing Information
• Documenting/Recording Information

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