A:

To become an insurance underwriter, you typically need a bachelor's degree. However, some employers may hire you as an underwriter without a degree if you have relevant work experience and computer proficiency. To become a senior underwriter or underwriter manager, you need to obtain certification.

Education Needed to Be an Underwriter

You don't need a specific bachelor’s degree to become an underwriter, but courses in mathematics, business, economics and finance are beneficial in this field. A good underwriter is also detail-oriented and has excellent skills in math, communication, problem solving and decision making.

Once hired, you typically train on the job while supervised by senior underwriters. As a trainee, you learn about common risk factors and basic applications used in underwriting. As you become more experienced, you can begin to work independently and take on more responsibility.

Your employer may require you to get certified as part of your training or to advance to a senior underwriter position. Completing certification courses helps you stay current on insurance policies, technologies, and state and federal insurance regulations.

Underwriting Training Offered

The American Institute For Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters offers a training program for beginning underwriters. It also offers two special certifications: associate in personal insurance and associate in commercial underwriting. These certifications typically require two years of coursework and exams to complete. For more experienced underwriters, the institute offers a chartered property and casualty underwriter certification. The American College of Financial Services also offers a certification options for underwriters, the chartered life underwriter designation.

(For related reading, see: Is Insurance Underwriting Right for You?)

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