Thursday, 25th April 2019


Insurance underwriters evaluate risks and suitability of potential clients, deciding whether they can be allowed to receive insurance cover. Underwriting is common practice within financial service provides, involving the measure of risk and subsequent calculation of the premium cost. Insurance underwriters work for insurance companies, reviewing client applications and giving quotes.

Applications for insurance cover are known as ‘risks’. Insurance underwriters need to weigh up the likelihood of a claim being made by the client, by evaluating the risks, and then coming up with an appropriate cost for the cover.

Insurance underwriters are well experienced in the insurance sector, knowing about all types of insurance policies and premiums. They can choose to specialise in a certain type of insurance, whether it is life, motor, travel, health or commercial insurance for companies.

Typical duties might involve:

  • Studying insurance applications
  • Gathering and assessing background information on the potential client
  • Calculating possible risk
  • Deciding how much the premium (cost) should be
  • Deciding whether the risk should be shared with a re-insurer
  • Using actuarial information and other statistics for evidence
  • Preparing quotes
  • Liaising with brokers, clients and other professionals such as surveyors or doctors
  • Negotiating terms of insurance with policyholders or their brokers
  • Ensuring that premiums are competitive
  • Drawing up contracts and writing policies
  • Keeping detailed records of policies underwritten

Insurance underwriters need to gather a lot of information in order to make reasoned judgements and decisions. Therefore, they work closely with actuaries, claims and risk managers, brokers and other professionals.

There is a lot of background knowledge required of an insurance underwriter, and many start off working in other areas of insurance before working in this role.