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Insurance Underwriter

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Life As an Insurance Underwriter

Job Description & Duties Review individual applications for insurance to evaluate degree of risk involved and determine acceptance of applications.

Insurance Underwriter Responsibilities

  • Authorize reinsurance of policy when risk is high.
  • Decrease value of policy when risk is substandard and specify applicable endorsements or apply rating to ensure safe, profitable distribution of risks, using reference materials.
  • Review company records to determine amount of insurance in force on single risk or group of closely related risks.
  • Examine documents to determine degree of risk from factors such as applicant health, financial standing and value, and condition of property.
  • Evaluate possibility of losses due to catastrophe or excessive insurance.
  • Decline excessive risks.

Skills Needed to be an Insurance Underwriter

Below is a list of the skills most Insurance Underwriters say are important on the job.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

  • Underwriting Account Representative
  • Underwriting Director
  • Commercial Lines Underwriter
  • Underwriting Consultant
  • Underwriting Manager

Is There Going to be Demand for Insurance Underwriters?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 104,100 jobs in the United States for Insurance Underwriter. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Insurance Underwriter. There will be an estimated 7,500 positions for Insurance Underwriter per year.


The states with the most job growth for Insurance Underwriter are Utah, Arizona, and Maryland. Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, Maine, or Wyoming. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does an Insurance Underwriter Make?

The average yearly salary of an Insurance Underwriter ranges between $42,260 and $122,840.


Insurance Underwriters who work in New Hampshire, District of Columbia, or New Jersey, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Insurance Underwriters in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $60,750
Alaska $67,430
Arizona $73,290
Arkansas $55,290
California $88,140
Colorado $77,170
Connecticut $85,010
Delaware $67,330
District of Columbia $87,010
Florida $70,900
Georgia $81,290
Hawaii $67,040
Idaho $68,710
Illinois $75,690
Indiana $77,190
Iowa $71,680
Kansas $74,630
Kentucky $69,940
Louisiana $69,440
Maine $68,390
Maryland $77,650
Massachusetts $82,540
Michigan $70,270
Minnesota $68,410
Mississippi $65,530
Missouri $68,250
Montana $76,830
Nebraska $68,120
Nevada $67,260
New Hampshire $81,280
New Jersey $88,510
New Mexico $61,050
New York $92,810
North Carolina $78,220
North Dakota $68,310
Ohio $74,370
Oklahoma $59,820
Oregon $72,570
Pennsylvania $77,300
Rhode Island $71,260
South Carolina $55,320
South Dakota $78,370
Tennessee $68,630
Texas $68,390
Utah $60,040
Vermont $65,610
Virginia $68,950
Washington $81,210
West Virginia $58,830
Wisconsin $68,670

What Tools & Technology do Insurance Underwriters Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Insurance Underwriters:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software
  • Word processing software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Database software
  • LexisNexis
  • Delphi Technology
  • C++
  • Fannie Mae Desktop Underwriter

How to Become an Insurance Underwriter

Individuals working as an Insurance Underwriter have obtained the following education levels:


How Long Does it Take to Become an Insurance Underwriter?


Insurance Underwriters Sector


The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.



Image Credit: Nick Youngson via Creative Commons 3 - CC BY-SA 3.0

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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