How to Land Your First Job as an Insurance Underwriter: Tips and Strategies

March 27, 2023 · 5 min read

Insurance underwriting is the process of assessing risks and determining insurance coverage for individuals and businesses. Insurance underwriters play a crucial role in the insurance industry, as they help insurers decide whether to accept or reject insurance applications and determine the premiums that policyholders will pay. The accuracy of underwriting helps ensure that insurers can pay out claims when they arise, which is critical for the financial security of policyholders.

Your first job as an insurance underwriter is a crucial step in your career. It is an opportunity to gain hands-on experience, develop your skills, and build a professional network. Additionally, it sets the foundation for your future career growth and opportunities.

Determine Your Career Goals

There are several different types of insurance underwriters, including life, health, property and casualty, and reinsurance. Each type of underwriter focuses on different areas and requires a different skill set.

It's important to determine which type of underwriting interests you the most. This will help you focus your job search and ensure that you're applying for positions that align with your interests and career goals.

You should also identify your long-term career goals and objectives. Do you want to specialize in a particular type of underwriting? Do you want to move into management or leadership roles? Knowing your career goals can help you make informed decisions about your job search and future career path.

Acquire Relevant Education and Training

Most insurance underwriting positions require a bachelor's degree in business, finance, or a related field. However, some positions may require a degree in a specific area such as nursing or engineering, depending on the type of insurance being underwritten.

Some types of insurance underwriting, such as property and casualty, require certification or licensing. The requirements vary by state and type of insurance. It's important to research the specific requirements for the type of underwriting you're interested in pursuing.

The insurance industry is constantly evolving, so it's important for underwriters to stay up to date with industry trends and regulations. Many insurance companies offer training programs and continuing education opportunities to help their employees stay current.

Photo: Drazen Zigic/Freepik

Gain Relevant Work Experience

Internships are a great way to gain hands-on experience in the insurance industry and make valuable connections. Many insurance companies offer internship programs, and there are also third-party providers that specialize in insurance internships.

Entry-level positions such as underwriting assistant or junior underwriter can provide valuable experience and help you develop the skills needed to become a successful underwriter. These positions may require some prior experience or training in the insurance industry.

When applying for underwriting positions, it's important to have a strong resume and cover letter that highlight your relevant education, experience, and skills. Tailor your application materials to each job you apply for, and make sure to emphasize your interest in the specific type of underwriting being offered.

Network and Build Professional Relationships

Joining industry organizations and associations can help you build your professional network and stay up to date with industry news and trends. These organizations also often offer networking events and opportunities to connect with other professionals in the field.

Attending industry events and conferences is another way to build your network and stay current with industry developments. These events can also be a great opportunity to learn about new underwriting techniques and best practices.

Networking is all about building relationships, so don't be afraid to reach out to professionals in the field for advice and guidance. LinkedIn is a great tool for connecting with professionals in the insurance industry.

Prepare for the Interview Process

The underwriting interview process typically involves a series of interviews with various individuals within the insurance company. These interviews may include behavioral questions, technical questions, and case study analysis.

Research common interview questions for insurance underwriting positions and prepare thoughtful, well-reasoned answers. Be prepared to discuss your experience and skills, as well as your understanding of the insurance industry and the specific type of underwriting you're interested in pursuing.

Develop a strategy for how you want to present yourself during the interview process. Be sure to highlight your strengths and skills, and demonstrate your interest in the specific type of underwriting being offered.

Photo: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

To land your first job as an insurance underwriter, it's important to determine your career goals, acquire relevant education and training, gain relevant work experience, network and build professional relationships, and prepare for the interview process.

Landing your first job as an insurance underwriter may take time and effort, but with persistence and dedication, you can achieve your career goals in this exciting and rewarding field.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Determine your career goals and objectives to identify the type of underwriting that interests you.
  • Acquire relevant education and training, including a bachelor's degree and any required certifications or licenses.
  • Gain relevant work experience through internships or entry-level positions in insurance underwriting.
  • Network and build professional relationships by joining industry organizations, attending events and conferences, and reaching out to professionals in the field.
  • Prepare for the interview process by understanding the underwriting interview process, preparing for common interview questions, and developing a strong interview strategy.

FAQ

What are the career prospects for Insurance Underwriters?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of Insurance Underwriters is projected to decline 4 percent from 2021 to 2031. However, experienced underwriters with specialized skills and knowledge of emerging risks, such as cyber insurance, may have better job prospects.

What is the typical work environment for an Insurance Underwriter?

Insurance Underwriters typically work in office environments for insurance carriers, brokers, or other financial institutions. They may also travel to meet with clients or attend industry conferences and events.

What is the salary range for Insurance Underwriters?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for Insurance Underwriters was $76,390 in May 2021. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $47,330, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $126,380.

What are some career advancement opportunities for Insurance Underwriters?

Insurance Underwriters may advance to positions such as senior underwriter, underwriting manager, or risk manager with additional education, training, and experience. They may also choose to specialize in a particular area of insurance, such as property and casualty, life and health, or marine insurance.

by Liza Sushko

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