In general terms, the job of an underwriter is to administer the distribution and public issuance of securities owned by an issuing body, such as a corporation. An underwriter could be any entity including a company. Establishing a security’s offering price, buying them from issuing companies, and selling them to stakeholders and investors through its distribution network, are the main responsibilities of an underwriter.
Underwriting fees are paid by issuing clients to underwriters. Aside from that, underwriters are given a profit share out of the sale of shares to various investors. The sole disadvantage in the underwriter’s task is the risk of not being able to sell all the underwritten securities. In case it’s not sold at the offering price, the underwriter has no other choice but to sell them in a lesser amount than its cost, and worse, keep the shares themselves.
In the world of insurance, an underwriter functions as the one analyzing insurance applications whether to be agreed upon or discarded. Independent brokerage firms and insurance companies or carriers are typically the ones hiring insurance underwriters. In most cases, insurance underwriters work as back-ups to insurance agents, though they are sometimes allowed to go together with agents during client sales calls.
Those who want to endeavor a career in insurance underwriting must possess a Bachelor’s Degree. Work experiences in finance, accounting, or other business-related jobs are likewise advantageous, but not mandatory. Some firms prefer to hire those with Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degrees. Since most of the analysis in line with the job is computerized, computer skills are as well essential.
Even if a certification is not typically necessary in an insurance underwriter’s basic job, it is still crucial in progressing with the field. In America, the prominent leaders in providing insurance underwriting certification and training are The American Institute for Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters (AICPCU) and the Insurance Institute of America (IIA). The former has been honored in personal or commercial insurance. CPCU or Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter is the most esteemed credential these two institutions tender, in which a relevant industry experience of 3 years and the applicant’s success in 8 beyond the 11 courses provided, are the requirements.
The duties of an insurance underwriter range from independent investigations pertaining to insurance applicants including background and credit checks, and analyzing specific insurance applications, to arranging the final policy of insurance conditions in congruence with the insurance company’s guidelines, such as the amount of premiums.
Insurance underwriters can also ask assistance from professional evaluators or appraisers especially transactions pertaining to property insurance. This is because insurance statisticians or actuaries can weigh up the related insurance risks at a higher level. Thus, the accurate policy terms and premiums are very well determined for extensive categories of properties and individuals.
The standard hours per week for an insurance underwriter’s work are 40 hours. This can take place in a permanent office. There can also be instances where insurance underwriters are required to travel, such as in construction sites, workplaces, ships, and other places covered in location underwriting.
Analytic persons are ideal to become insurance underwriters. The career can also pave a way to becoming a general manager in insurance businesses.