Property insurance underwriters assess and determine the risk and coverage of a client’s property insurance. They analyse and review underwriting policies according to legal regulations.
The following job titles also refer to property insurance underwriter:
home office insurance underwriter
home office insurance underwriters
property insurance assessors
property and automobile underwriter
property insurance assessor
property and automobile underwriters
Much of the work of insurance underwriters is done sitting at a desk entering data into a computer or analyzing data on a computer. Most of the interactions away from the computer are with insurance agents who rely upon the information provided by underwriters.
Insurance underwriters typically work full-time during standard business hours. Because of the nature of their work, there is little need or reason to have to work evenings or weekends.
Employers usually prefer to hire candidates who have a bachelor’s degree. A common field of degree is business. Coursework in finance, economics, and mathematics is helpful.
Some colleges and universities partner with local businesses to offer internships. These opportunities allow students to gain knowledge or practical experience through assisting in a variety of tasks, such as underwriting.
Beginning insurance underwriters typically work under the supervision of senior underwriters for up to 12 months. Trainees work on basic applications and learn the most common risk factors. Some companies offer training programs that include classroom instruction on the basics of underwriting.
As new underwriters gain experience, they may work independently and handle more complex applications.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Property insurance underwriter is a Skill level 3 occupation.
Property insurance underwriter career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to property insurance underwriter.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of property insurance underwriter. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of property insurance underwriter with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of property insurance underwriter.
- Insurance law: The law and legislation concerning the policies of transferring risks or losses from one party, the insured, to another, the insurer, in exchange for a periodic payment. This includes the regulation of insurance claims and the business of insurance.
- Principles of insurance: Understand the principles of insurance, including third party liability, stock and facilities.
- Property law: The law and legislation that regulates all the different ways to handle property, such as the types of property, how to handle property disputes and property contract rules.
- Actuarial science: The rules of applying mathematical and statistical techniques to determine potential or existing risks in various industries, such as finance or insurance.
- Real estate underwriting: The process of evaluating applications for loans in real estate activities in which not only the prospective borrower but also the property being traded in is evaluated in order to assess whether the property will be capable of redeeming its value.
- Claims procedures: The different procedures that are used to formally request a payment for a suffered loss from an insurance company.
- Types of insurance: The various types of risk or loss transfer policies that exist and their characteristics, such as health insurance, car insurance or life insurance.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of property insurance underwriter.
- Analyse claim files: Check the claim from a customer and analyse the value of the lost materials, buildings, turnover or other elements, and judge the responsibilities of the different parties.
- Review insurance process: Analyse all documentation related to a specific insurance case in order to ensure that the application for insurance or the claims process was handled according to guidelines and regulations, that the case will not pose significant risk to the insurer or whether claims assessment was correct, and to assess the further course of action.
- Review investment portfolios: Meet with clients to review or update an investment portfolio and provide financial advice on investments.
- Analyse insurance risk: Analyse the probability and size of the risk that is to be insured, and estimate the value of movable or immovable property of the client.
- Analyse financial risk: Identify and analyse risks that could impact an organisation or individual financially, such as credit and market risks, and propose solutions to cover against those risks.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of property insurance underwriter. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Real estate market: The trends concerning the buying, selling, or renting of property, including the land, buildings, and natural resources encompassed within the property; the categories of residential properties and properties for business purposes which such properties are traded in.
- Mortgage loans: The financial system of acquiring money by property owners or prospective property owners, in which the loan is secured on the property itself so that the property can be repossessed by the lender in the absence of payments due by the borrower.
- Insurance market: The trends and major driving factors in the insurance market, insurance methodologies and practices, and the identification of the major stakeholders in the insurance sector.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of property insurance underwriter. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Collect property financial information: Collect information concerning the previous transactions involving the property, such as the prices at which the property had been previously sold and the costs that went into renovations and repairs, in order to obtain a clear image of the property’s value.
- Analyse insurance needs: Gather information about the insurance needs of a client, and give information and advice about all possible insurance options.
- Develop investment portfolio: Create an investment portfolio for a customer that includes an insurance policy or multiple policies to cover specific risks, such as financial risks, assistance, reinsurance, industrial risks or natural and technical disasters.
- Decide on insurance applications: Assess applications for an insurance policy, taking into account the risk analyses and client information, in order to deny or approve the application and set in motion the necessary procedures following the decision.
- Examine mortgage loan documents: Examine documents from mortgage borrowers or from financial institutions, such as banks or credit unions, relating to a loan secured on a property in order to examine the payment history of the loan, the financial state of the bank or borrower, and other relevant information in order to assess the further course of action.
- Assess mortgage risk: Assess whether the borrowers of a mortgage loan are likely to pay back the loans in a timely manner, and whether the property fixed in the mortgage is able to redeem the value of the loan. Assess all the risks involved for the lending party, and whether it would be beneficial to grant the loan or not.
- Negotiate on asset value: Negotiate with asset owners or parties involved in handling the asset on the monetary value of the asset for selling, insurance, usage as collatoral, or other purposes, in order to secure the most financially beneficial agreement for the client.
- Create underwriting guidelines: Create guidelines for the assessment of risks and determining whether acceptance of liability and granting payments is worth the risk for the organisation. Develop improved methods of analysis which ensure that all aspects of the underwriting process are examined.
- Create insurance policies: Write a contract that includes all the necessary data, such as the insured product, the payment to be made, how often the payment is needed, the personal details of the insured and on what conditions the insurance is valid or invalid.
- Estimate damage: Estimate damage in case of accidents or natural disasters.
- Handle financial disputes: Handle disputes between individuals or organisations, either public or corporate, which deal with financial matters, accounts, and taxation.
- Manage contract disputes: Monitor issues that arise between the parties involved in a contract and provide solutions in order to avoid lawsuits.
- Organise a damage assessment: Organise a damage assessment by indicating an expert to identify and examine the damage, give information and instructions to experts and follow up on the experts, and write a damage report.
ISCO group and title
3321 – Insurance representatives
- Property insurance underwriter – ESCO
- Insurance Underwriters : Occupational Outlook Handbook – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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