5 July 2021 1 min read

What is an underwriter?

Reinsurance tutorials #42

What is an underwriter?

In the reinsurance industry, the job title varies from Underwriter to Account/Client Manager. 

The primary job of the underwriter is to protect the company from acquiring non profitable business. He or she complies with the goals, objectives and standards of the organization in order to meet customer satisfaction and deadlines. The UW assesses the risk submitted by clients to the company. He uses various risk assessment software in order to regularly carry out risk assessment for various individuals and groups. He is also in charge of deploying policy packages that meet the needs of clients. He or she is knowledgeable about the industry he or she works in and is familiar with the concepts and principles that apply to his or her industry.


The underwriter acts promptly in a dynamic environment, with a consistent judgment in making underwriting decisions. He or she follows established underwriting guidelines and risk classification principles that differentiate on the basis of actuarial principles and/or reasonable, anticipated mortality or morbidity experience that he or she needs to take in account in his or her decisions, the commercial aspects, legal environment, specific T&C that apply (definitions, exclusions…); this is not always easy.


The underwriter determines an adequate premium to the risk studied and determines if the risk is acceptable. He or she should neither appraise risks too conservatively nor have a too liberal approach to the risk.


The Underwriter acquires skills in the areas of product design, pricing and portfolio management, including creation of commercial tariffs, the setting of acceptance and clearing rules as well as the management of exceptional underwriting/commercial requests. 


He or she should be creative, able to make quick decisions and have good judgment and analytical skills. The Underwriter should also have excellent verbal and written communication and strong negotiation skills.


The Underwriter usually holds a degree in mathematics, economics or a master's degree in business administration or related fields. Those are preferred by most employers.




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