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How Do I Become a Life Insurance Underwriter?

Jeremy Laukkonen
Jeremy Laukkonen

There are typically education and certification requirements to become a life insurance underwriter. The minimum education for the career is typically a bachelor's degree, though specific requirements can vary between locations. Your degree should usually be in statistics, finance, or a related field, and you will also need various interpersonal and computer skills. After you graduate but before you get hired, you will typically need to obtain certification by taking and passing a variety of tests.

The life insurance underwriter profession typically involves investigating applications for insurance and determining the risk factors involved. As such, the job usually requires a strong background in statistics and mathematics as well as knowledge of various other fields. This is why most underwriters are required to have at least a bachelor's degree before they begin work. Each company may have its own requirements, though the policies of state regulatory agencies may also apply.

Woman posing
Woman posing

To prepare for a career in life insurance underwriting, you will typically want to attend an accredited four year school and major in statistics, business, economics, or another similar field. In some cases, you can actually get two year associate's degree in commercial underwriting or a four year bachelor's in a similar program. Before studying for any particular degree, you should ensure that the school is properly accredited and that the degree you attain will allow you to become a life insurance underwriter.

Once you have a degree, you can typically find work as an assistant underwriter. This is often an important step on the road to become a life insurance underwriter because you can gain valuable experience. You may also seek professional accreditation at this time if such a thing is available where you live. In the United States, a certification known as Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU®) may need to be obtained if you want to become a life insurance underwriter.

After you become a life insurance underwriter, it is often a good idea to supplement your knowledge and experience with continuing education courses. This type of education can allow you to keep current with any developments in the underwriting business, and you may also be able to attain special certifications or designations that can help you land a better job. You may also choose to attain an insurance agent's license from your state government. This is not typically necessary for an underwriter, though it can allow you to sell insurance rather than just approve or deny policies.

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