Insurance Underwriter

Job Description:

Insurance underwriters decide whether to insure a person or company, and set out the details of insurance policies.

Job Category:
Financial Services

What you will do:

In your day-to-day tasks you could:

  • study insurance proposals
  • gather background information like medical histories
  • analyse statistics from actuaries and other sources
  • get specialist risk assessments from experts like surveyors or doctors
  • assess the likelihood of an insurance payout
  • calculate the price of insurance premiums
  • judge whether to share the risk with another insurer
  • prepare quotes and negotiate terms with brokers or business clients
  • write policies


You’ll need:

  • administration skills
  • maths knowledge
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to use your judgement and make decisions (leadership skills)
  • customer service skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become an Insurance Underwriter, specific subjects are not typically required. However, having a strong educational foundation in certain subjects can be beneficial for developing the skills and knowledge necessary for this career. Insurance Underwriters assess insurance applications, evaluate risks, and determine coverage and premiums.

While specific subjects are not mandatory, here are some subjects that can be helpful:

  1. Mathematics: Strong mathematical skills are essential for calculating premiums, assessing risk factors, and analysing financial data related to insurance policies.
  2. English Language: Effective communication skills, including written and verbal communication, are crucial for documenting underwriting decisions, preparing reports, and communicating with clients and agents.
  3. Business Studies or Economics (optional): Courses related to business principles, economics, and financial management can provide a foundational understanding of insurance industry operations and terminology.
  4. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Proficiency in using computer software for data analysis, underwriting software, and communication can be valuable in modern underwriting.
  5. Statistics (optional): Understanding statistical concepts can be helpful when analysing data and assessing risk.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • a graduate training scheme

You could take a degree before applying for a place on an insurance company’s training scheme. Relevant degrees include:

  • business studies
  • finance
  • economics
  • maths

It will help to get some relevant work experience whilst you’re studying, for example through an internship.

You could do a T Level in Finance and then apply for trainee insurance underwriter roles and work towards further qualifications on the job.

You could start by doing an insurance practitioner advanced apprenticeship.

You could also take an insurance professional higher apprenticeship, depending on your background and qualifications.

These take between 24 to 36 months to complete with a mix of workplace learning and study.

You may be able to join an insurance company as a junior underwriter and work your way up by doing qualifications on the job.

Employers set their own entry requirements, but it will help if you know how to use common office software, including spreadsheets.

Other Routes
You could apply to join a company’s graduate training scheme if you’ve got a degree. Most subjects are accepted though you may have an advantage if you’ve studied business, maths or economics.

Working Hours and Environment:

Typically you could work 36 to 38 hours a week.

You could work in an office.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could deal with more complex risks.

You could also move into management or apply for related jobs like risk management, loss adjusting and claims management.