Jobs Outlook: Insurance Underwriters

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Employment of underwriters is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2012. Underwriting software will continue to make workers more productive; however, because computer software does not do away with the need for human skills, underwriter employment will increase as economic and population growth result in increased insurance needs by businesses and individuals. In addition, job openings will be generated to replace underwriters who transfer or leave the occupation.

Insurance carriers are always assessing new risks and offering policies to meet changing circumstances. Underwriters are particularly needed in the area of product development, where underwriters assess risks and set the premiums for new lines of insurance. One new line of insurance being offered by life insurance carriers that may provide job opportunities for underwriters is long term care insurance.

Demand for underwriters is also expected to improve as insurance carriers try to restore profitability to make up for an unusually large number of underwriting losses in recent years. As the carriers returns on their investments have declined, insurers are placing more emphasis on underwriting to generate revenues. This renewed interest in underwriting will result in favorable job opportunities for underwriters in the near term.

Employment of underwriters has historically been relatively steady. Overall, the best prospects for underwriter jobs will be for persons with the right skills and credentials, such as excellent computer and communication skills coupled with a background in finance. Because insurance is considered a necessity for people and businesses, there will always be a need for underwriters. It is a profession that is less subject to recession and layoffs than other fields.

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