What does an Underwriter do?

An underwriter works in insurance agencies utilizing data to determine the risks in creating insurance policies. They are found in insurance agencies of all kinds, from general to life insurance. An underwriter will analyze statistical data and decide who can be covered through the company and who is not eligible. They do this by assessing personal background information about the client and using risk assessment strategies.

Individuals employed as an underwriter require keen analytical and mathematical skills. Many have advanced education and hold bachelor's degrees in finance, statistics or other math fields. As the job deals with utilizing personal information to assess potential clients, personal integrity is essential. Additionally, underwriters who succeed in the field complete assignments within established time-frames and accurately forecast risk.

What responsibilities are common for Underwriter jobs?
  • Review insurance proposals and seek to improve terms
  • Properly Assess and analyze client's background information
  • Participate in continuing education courses to remain knowledgeable and competitive in the industry
  • Use professional techniques and strategies to calculate the risk associated with client policies
  • Review insurance claims and terms to determine the amount to be paid out by the company
  • Designate and prepare insurance premiums based upon informed judgment and competitor pricing
  • Organize meetings with specialists to help determine risk assessment in unique circumstances
  • Layout and finalize insurance policies applying specific terms and conditions as agreed upon by the client
What are the typical qualifications for Underwriter jobs?
  • Bachelor's degree in mathematics, statistics or related field
  • Strong math and analytical skills are essential to complete job requirements successfully
  • Professional listening and certification from intuitions such as Associate in Commercial Underwriting (AU) Chartered Life Underwriter certification (CLU) preferred
  • Experience working with private and sensitive personal information
  • Excellent negating skills and strategies
  • Ability to multitask and work toward multiple deadlines simultaneously
  • Interpersonal and customer service skills are required when meeting with and interviewing potential clients
  • Strong computer skills and ability to use necessary software
  • Confident in decision making and the ability to explain processes or choices as needed
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.6 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.5 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Underwriter Salaries

Average Base Pay

$61,443 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
See More Insights
$45K
Median: $61K
$84K
See More Insights
Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Underwriter Career Path

Learn how to become an Underwriter, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Underwriter
$61,427/yr
Senior Underwriter
$84,492/yr
Underwriter IV
$63,890/yr
Underwriter

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
21%
2 - 4
54%
5 - 7
13%
8+
12%
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Underwriter Insights

Read what Underwriter professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Nova MutualNova Mutual
Senior Underwriter
Dec 11, 2020

“The empowerment I feel everyday is amazing and helps me do my job to the best of my abilities”

Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance CompaniesBerkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies
Underwriting Analyst
Jul 31, 2022

“Great way to get your foot in the door and get started in the insurance industry”

West One LoansWest One Loans
Underwriting
Sept 5, 2022

“It’s a fun place to work and it’s the people that really make it great.”

Liberty Mutual InsuranceLiberty Mutual Insurance
Associate Underwriter
Mar 2, 2022

“I was a sales intern at one of the offices and the teams i worked were great.”

Flagstar BankFlagstar Bank
Foreclosure Specialist
Dec 17, 2020

“Management is not the best in sharing information and a lot of the day is spent answering phone calls.”

RLIRLI
Senior Underwriter
Sept 13, 2021

“Overall a great place to work and by far the best company I've worked for.”

Nationwide Building SocietyNationwide Building Society
Mortgage Underwriter
Apr 10, 2021

“There was a good culture and I made lots of friends and felt well managed.”

Acuity InsuranceAcuity Insurance
Senior Commercial Underwriter
Oct 26, 2020

“Acuity hires top talent and I'm fortunate to be surrounded by so many amazing business professionals.”

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Underwriter Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of an underwriter

A typical day of an underwriter in the financial industry generally involves determining the level of risk for lenders and evaluating and assuming another party's risk for payment. Underwriters are crucial to the mortgage and insurance industry and equity markets because of their ability to find out lending risks and analyze financial status.

Underwriting is a good career for problem-solvers and for those with analytical minds. However, if you are thinking about becoming an underwriter, keep in mind that technological advances may leave fewer underwriter positions available in the future due to automated solutions.

Yes, successful underwriters get paid well. The average pay for an underwriter in the United States is $61,443 per year. The amount an underwriter earns can vary depending on experience, level of education gained, and the industry. Lead underwriters, called book runners, typically have higher salaries because they have more responsibilities.

Working as an underwriter can be challenging at times, as there is a lot of data to be considered when assessing a contract. Because each situation and contract is different, underwriters must work diligently and pay attention to minor details to provide lenders with a clear and accurate risk assessment per contract.

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Underwriter jobs