Insurance Underwriter

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DEFINITION of 'Insurance Underwriter'

A financial professional that evaluates the risks of insuring a particular person or asset and uses that information to set premium pricing for insurance policies. Insurance underwriters are employed by insurance companies to help price life insurance, health insurance, property/casualty insurance and homeowners insurance, among others.

Underwriters use computer programs and actuarial data to determine the likelihood and magnitude of a payout over the life of the policy. Higher-risk individuals and assets will have to pay more in premiums to receive the same level of protection as a (perceived) lower-risk person or asset.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Insurance Underwriter'

Insurance underwriting is big business – just ask Warren Buffett, who for years has used insurance and reinsurance premiums to fund his investments at Berkshire Hathaway.

Insurance companies walk a tightrope between being too aggressive or too conservative in their underwriting duties. If they are too aggressive, greater-than-expected claims could cut into company earnings; if they are too conservative, they will be outpriced by the competition and lose business.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. How does insurance underwriting differ from investment underwriting?

    The main difference between investment underwriting and insurance underwriting is the type of financial service being offered. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Why is my insurance premium so high/low?

    Insurance premiums can be affected by many factors including: type and amount of risk size of deductible amount of coverage age ... Read Full Answer >>
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