What are the Different Underwriter Careers?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2018
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Underwriters typically work for insurance companies, banks, and mortgage lenders. An underwriter determines whether or not to grant an insurance policy or loan to an individual or business, based on background checks, credit histories, economic conditions, and several other factors. Upon authorizing a client for a loan or policy, he or she writes up the specific terms of the agreement. Since there are several areas of specialization, there are many different types of underwriter careers available.

Insurance underwriters typically specialize in writing health, life, property, or automobile insurance policies. Underwriter careers in health and life insurance companies entail confirming clients' medical records, age, occupation, and family history to create appropriate policies. A property and casualty insurance underwriter creates policies for homes and businesses which protect them against theft, fire, and severe weather damage. He or she assesses the location and condition of an establishment and negotiates a policy with the client. An auto insurance underwriter considers an individual's driving record, the type of car to be insured, and statistics about the driver's location to determine which type of policy to write.


Many underwriter careers can be found with banks and credit unions which offer loans. A loan underwriter takes into consideration several variables before determining the amount and terms of a loan. An underwriter usually interviews customers to find out why they need loans and if they can provide collateral. The underwriter performs a detailed credit check and verifies income and employment reports. He or she then determines whether or not a loan can be offered based on the bank's policies. If a loan is not viable from the bank's perspective, an underwriter may offer a smaller loan or suggest that the customer find a cosigner to ensure repayment.

Some underwriters specialize in creating mortgage loans for home buyers. A mortgage underwriter carefully evaluates a buyer's credit, rental and purchasing history, debt to income ratio, and assets. He or she must follow government regulations and company policies to ensure that the buyer and lender enter a legal mortgage agreement.

For most underwriter careers, candidates must typically obtain bachelor's degrees in business administration, finance, or accounting. Many prospective underwriters find internships or assistant positions after college to learn about the business from experienced professionals. In addition, new underwriters often take nationally recognized certification exams in their area of specialization to improve their credentials and improve the likelihood of securing underwriter careers. Continuing education is important for underwriters to stay up-to-date on new laws and trends regarding policy writing and loan regulations.



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