Underwriting is a vital part of the financial and insurance industries. An underwriter is effectively the person that assesses risk, and determines the suitability of potential clients looking to avail of whatever service their employer provides, be it insurance, a loan, or capital. Underwriters have the responsibility of defining the terms within which the service will be offered. And, because of this, they are in very high demand. After all, without a qualified underwriter, lenders and insurance agencies would be lost. But how do you become an underwriter? And can underwriters work independently as a small business?
What do you have to do to become an underwriter?
Normally, you at least need a bachelor’s degree in finance, or another business-related field. Underwriters also have to be meticulous, detail-oriented, and thorough. An underwriter has to make a lot of major decisions and, if they don’t have the information to back those decisions up, they won’t do well. Underwriters also use specialized software, so experience with, and education in, those sorts of programs are also vital. Finally, there are certain certifications that underwriters can pursue, depending on what they asses for.
Can underwriters work independently of larger companies?
It’s always a good idea for an underwriter to start working for a larger insurance company or financial institution. Agency experience is invaluable, and they’ll normally foot the bill to get you trained in the latest software. Further, they’ll help you feel your way through risk assessment during your early years. But, if you’d like to eventually branch out, you certainly can, and just offer your services to different agencies. Just make sure that you have enough experience and certifications to make hiring you worthwhile – after all, most insurance companies and banks do have underwriters on staff.
How healthy is the underwriting industry?
It’s becoming more and more vital for underwriters to set themselves apart because underwriting software is becoming so sophisticated. Most people can plug in information and then report on the result a computer spits out. But if you have a good eye for assessing risk, and have the experience and knowledge to make yourself an asset, you can do very well as an underwriter.
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