When it comes to their prized possessions, people often apply for insurance, hoping companies will pay out should anything bad happen. Deciding who gets insurance cover and who have to keep their items in bubble wrap instead, an underwriter has a lot of responsibility in the insurance world.
The typical duties of an Underwriter are: Assessing background information on the client; Studying insurance proposals; Calculating risk; Deciding how much should be paid out; Liaising with the professionals and specialists to help judge risk assessment; Selecting appropriate and competitive premiums based on information and judgment; Writing policies and adding specific conditions when required; Deciding whether the risk should be shared with a re-insurer; Negotiation terms.

Sample Companies:


  • AIG
  • MetLife
  • Bank of America
  • Fifth Third Bank



The median salary of an Underwriter is $70,020. However, salary can change depending on your employer, location, and years on the job.

How to get there:

The most relevant majors for Underwriters are business/management, accounting/finance, economics, law, math, and statistics. Most employers prefer candidates with a college degree or professional designation and some insurance-related experience. Working with computers and technology is also a vital part of underwriting. Computer software systems are used to analyze and rate insurance applications, make recommendations based on risk and adjust premium rates according to this risk.

Important Qualities:


  • Knowledge of insurance
  • Good negotiation skills
  • Excellent communicating skills
  • Analytical abilitly
  • Good decision making under pressure
  • Sound judgment
  • Ability to meet deadlines



Underwriters with experience and additional designations may advance to senior underwriter and managerial positions, although smost employers require certification to achieve this level.

Relevant Classes:

  • Composition I and Advanced Composition/
  • Writing
  • CMN 101- Public Speaking
  • CMN 211- Business Communication
  • ECON 437- Game Theory
  • FIN 230- Introduction to Insurance
  • ECON 471- Intro to Applied Econometrics

Relevant Clubs & Organizations:

  • Actuarial Science Club
  • Business Professionals of America (BPA)
  • Finance Club
  • Economics Club
  • Illini Statistics Club








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