Career Detail

Insurance Underwriter
Insurance companies protect individuals and organizations from financial loss by assuming billions of dollars in risk each year-risks of car accident, property damage, illness, and other occurrences.
The Job
Property and casualty underwriters usually specialize in either commercial or personal insurance and then by type of risk insured, as in fire, homeowners', automobile, marine, or liability insurance, as well as workers' compensation. In cases where property-casualty companies provide insurance through a single "package" policy covering various types of risks, the underwriter must be familiar with different lines of insurance. For business insurance, the underwriter often must be able to evaluate the firm's entire operation in appraising its application for insurance.
Work Environment
Underwriters have desk jobs that require no unusual physical activity. Their offices usually are comfortable and pleasant.
College Majors
business administration or finance with courses or experience in accounting.
Minimum Qualifications
Although there are no formal education requirements for becoming an underwriter, many employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree or professional designation, some insurance-related experience, and strong computer skills.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Underwriting can be a satisfying career for people who enjoy analyzing information and paying attention to detail. In addition, underwriters must possess good judgment in order to make sound decisions
Quick Facts
  • Most large insurance companies prefer to hire people who have a college degree in business administration or finance with courses in accounting.
  • Continuing education is necessary for advancement.
  • Employment is expected to grow more slowly than average as the spread of underwriting software increases worker productivity.
  • Job opportunities should be best for those with a background in finance and strong computer and communication skills.
Compensation and Outlook
Wage and salary interpreters and translators had median annual wages of $38,850 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $28,940 and $52,240. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $22,170, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $69,190. Individuals classified as language specialists in the Federal Government earned an average of $79,865 annually in March 2009.
Comments and Updates
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