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Career Story: Commercial Insurance Underwriter

Commercial Insurance Underwriter

Job Title: Insurance Underwriter

Type of Company: I work for a commercial underwriting company.

Education: BA, Business Administration, University of Wisconsin

Previous Experience: I was a marketing intern for a bottle and cap manufacturer while I was in college. I also worked for a real estate brokerage selling commercial properties.

Job Tasks: My job as underwriter consists of managing clients -- wholesale brokers -- who insure excess and surplus lines of risk (meaning companies that do difficult jobs). Our clients send us these risks for analysis and we verify that the people who need the insurance fit within our field of core competence (accounts that we do well on, basically). Our goal, of course, is to write insurance that will be profitable for us and our clients. And since we're insuring companies worth millions of dollars, we want to write good contracts.

Here's an example of the kind of thing I deal with: I get a call from a client saying that he has a risk. The client goes on to tell me that the insured makes engine parts for race cars. This is our kind of business; I can tell that right away. So we then do a loss analysis and generate reports on similar accounts that we've insured in the past and see if we paid any claims. If research shows that we have a good history with race car parts makers, we will ask for some more information on the company to help generate an accurate premium: receipts, information on products, claims the company's filed over a 5 years span, and so on.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best things about my job are getting to work with a lot of people in the industry and seeing a lot of interesting accounts.

Worst things: Since I deal with a lot of money, it is stressful picking the right accounts to write. Also, it's tough to take a lot of time off and I get really busy during certain parts of the year.

Job Tips:
1. Get out in the market and network. Join social networks or programs that your school may offer.

2. Take part in any internships that your school offers. Each of these is an opportunity to see if the work you're offered is something that you'd like to pursue.

3. Look at various industries web-sites and see what each company may have to offer to you

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