Underwriter job description

When it comes to their prized possessions, people often apply for insurance cover, 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.


So, what will I actually be doing?

Not only judging whether applications are accepted, but underwriters also decide the terms and conditions of the insurance by assessing the probability of a claim being made.

Your role would involve:

  • Assessing background information on the client
  • Studying insurance proposals
  • Calculating the risk
  • Deciding how much should be paid out
  • Liaising with professionals and specialists to help judge risk assessment
  • Selecting appropriate and competitive premiums based on information and judgement
  • Writing policies and adding specific conditions when required
  • Deciding whether the risk should be shared with a re-insurer
  • Negotiating terms
Search for jobs like this

Find underwriter jobs now

See all of our current underwriter vacancies or sign up to have new underwriter jobs emailed directly to you.

The finer details...

You’ll be working the regular 40 hour weeks between the hours of 9 to 5, but prepare to do the occasional bit of over-time when the workload gets hectic.

Usually based in an office, you’ll occasionally get to leave your desk to visit other insurance brokers and clients to discuss policies.

Because it’s such a large field to work in, it’s likely that you’ll specialise in one type of insurance. Popular types include:

  • General insurance – household, pet, travel etc
  • Commercial insurance – for companies
  • Life insurance – Covers illness and injuries

Money, money, money

So how much could you be earning?

When you first start out as a newbie, you’ll take home between £15,000 and £20,000.

Get to the senior level and you’re looking at a salary of around £50,000.

Although this can change depending on your employer, your location and how many years you’ve been in the job.

See what people are earning in this job

The good points...

This is not a repetitive job where you’re doing the same tasks every day and not appreciated for it. Constantly dealing with different applications and making important decisions, no day is ever the same.

...and the bad

Being an underwriter is a stressful job, and telling people that the company can’t cover them will never get any easier.

Is there study involved?

Employers are always on the look-out for graduates, no matter what you studied, but you’ll stand out more if you’ve got something relevant such as:

Although employers won’t shut the door in your face if you don’t have a degree. Training is also a popular way to become an underwriter, with many companies doing training schemes to help you learn on the job.

There’s a lot of competition out there, so anything you can add to your skill set will make you stand out among the piles of applications. Previous work experience in insurance is one of the most useful things you can have on your CV, and by starting in an administrative role, you’ll learn on the job and work your way up to underwriter through internal promotions instead.

OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?

Think this is the job for you? You’ll love it even more if you’ve got some (or even all) of these skills:

  • Knowledge of technical information
  • Good negotiating skills 
  • Good communicator
  • Able to use initiative
  • Analytical
  • Good decision maker, especially when under pressure
  • Numeracy skills 
  • Good judgement and common sense
  • Ability to hit deadlines


Related articles:

Looking to hire new candidates?

Advertise a job

Advertise your job for £175 on totaljobs.com

 Advertise a job

Apply for underwriter jobs

 Catering CV

Interested in this job? Apply for the latest underwriter vacancies.

Get jobs by email

 apply for IT jobs

Only want to hear about roles that suit you? Get the latest matching jobs sent straight to your inbox

Get expert CV help

The Fuller CV

Struggling to turn your experience into a great CV? Our friends at CV KnowHow can help you - their team of expert CV writers are ready to talk to you today and help you create the perfect CV.

Get your CV rewritten by an expert

Gain crucial skills in the insurance sector

 Insurance Learning Zone

Looking to get into the insurance industry or gain promotion within the field? Check out our specified training courses on the Learning Zone.