UnderwriterWhat is an Insurance Underwriter?

I saw this graphic on Facebook the other day and it made me think about how often my friends and family members ask me this question when I tell them my job title is Underwriter. Have you heard your independent insurance agent say, “subject to underwriting approval, we can determine how much your premium will be or if we can include your new purchase (equipment, etc.) on your policy” when talking about your business, auto or home coverage? Have you ever wondered what that means?

Underwriters evaluate, analyze, and assess insurance risks to determine if coverage will be provided and, if so, what the premium will be. Most underwriters have a Bachelor’s Degree, usually in Finance, Business Management or Administration, Insurance and Risk Management, or Actuarial Science. I’m a Commercial Lines Underwriter so I work with coverages and policies to protect businesses. Here are the steps I follow each day when doing my job:

  1. Review application received from the agent.
  2. Validate and research the information received.
  3. If needed, send out a service to inspect the property.
  4. Identify and calculate the costs of each coverage requested.
  5. Review past information and history about your account such as frequency and severity of loss occurrences.
  6. Request additional information needed to help make a fair analysis and decision to offer coverage.

Then I work very closely with your agent to help tailor your coverage needs, offer alternatives when needed, and make recommendations to assure your business is protected in the event of a loss.  I’m not a superhero and I don’t lie on the beach all day, but I do enjoy helping fulfill the promise to provide you security, protection, and peace of mind!

One response to “Understanding Your Underwriter”

  1. I would add a couple of items to the above-list. Many accounts which generate larger premiums will require the underwriter to work closely with the loss control person once an inspection is made. This requires good communication.
    Also, often the communication with the claims dept. can be critical when identifying a loss problem or the potential for further losses.
    As a former commercial underwriter, I found it critical for underwriting, loss control and claims to be able to maintain and promote communication between the departments within the company and to do the same with the independent agents handling their accounts. Successful underwriting is a partnership.

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