Getting a job in banking and finance industry (BFSI) is very lucrative for youngsters in our country.
People having a graduate or post graduate degree especially in accounting and finance amongst others not only dream for getting a decent job in public sector banks and insurance companies but private sector players as well present a lot of great career opportunities for them.
Insurance underwriting is one of the primary and core functions of insurers and has been one of the top jobs in the United states in the past.
With the insurance sector growing year by year at a good momentum in India, underwriting jobs are becoming increasingly popular with career aspirants in India as well.
What does a property and casualty underwriter do?
The roles and responsibilities of a P&C underwriter will typically include reviewing proposal form, determining the risks, inspecting property, determining the terms agreed by insurer and policyholder and providing solutions to improve risk parameters.
Underwriting is basically the process of evaluating an insurance proposal for the risk and price the insurance based on that risk.
Here are detailed overview of what a propert and casualty underwriter does –
- Review the proposal form and determine what risk it is going to present.
- Inspect the property if required to get a detailed understanding of the risk parameters which cannot be cleared by a proposal form
- Determine the terms and conditions of the policy on which he is willing to grant insurance as per the risk presented. The terms agreed by both the insurer and policyholder will be the final terms of the insurance contract.
- Price the insurance product appropriately and precisely to set a premium by charging a high rate on the bad features of the risk and providing discounts on the good features of the risk. The premium decided by the underwriter will be the final premium to be paid under the policy.
- Providing solutions to improve the risk parameters
- If the risk is not insurable it is the underwriters’ decision to decline the risk.
In this article, we will discuss about what are the career prospects for aspirants in underwriting function especially in the property and casualty lines of business.
We had already discussed about roles and responsibilities of a property and casualty underwriter; next is, some certifications and degrees one can do to work successfully and confidently in this field and background required for the same.
Property insurance means the insurance products which covers tangible products like car, building, stocks, machinery, goods in transit etc.
Some of the main insurance line of businesses covering property of various kinds are Fire, engineering, motor, marine etc.
Whereas casualty includes third party bodily injury and property damage liability insurance just like we have a mandatory TP in the motor insurance products.
At the very outset this should be clear to the aspirants that underwriting of any insurance products is a specialized job which needs a good understanding of the field as per the insurance line of business in which the underwriter is working.
Health underwriters will be preferably with a background in medical field and similarly property and casualty underwriters will be from engineering or similar technical background.
Although the underwriting departments of insurers employs a wide background of people who are working since years and as a result accumulated a deep understanding of the terms and rates of P&C policies, for freshers it is better to undergo some courses or certifications which will certainly help them to get an underwriter role, we will discuss about them in the next section.
Is property & casualty underwriters a good career path?
The career prospects and the demand for skilled workforce including P&C underwriters is surely increasing with the increasing number of proposals flowing in to the insurance company and the demand and awareness of insurance rising.
Not only the insurance companies, insurance brokers also require good underwriters for placement roles who looks after the client insurance requirements to design a product and places the policy with insurance companies’ underwriters at suitable rates and terms.
Underwriters also find demand in IT companies as business analysts who require them for their specialized knowledge of the insurance field to understand the requirements of their clients which are big insurance companies and design better systems and processes for them.
Other corporate companies also have a separate insurance department who employ underwriters as in-house risk managers to procure and manage insurance policies for the company.
The starting salary for a management graduate P&C underwriter will be in the range of 500-800k per annum which will obviously increase with experience and knowledge of the field.
Gauging the good demand for professionals’ in insurance sector, educational institutions and universities have come up with formal post graduate degrees in management and other branches specializing in insurance.
Some of these institutes are Banaras Hindu university, Institute of risk management (initiative by IRDA), National law university, National insurance academy (an institutions run by PSU insurers), and a long list of private universities.
The length of the full-time courses varies from 1-2 years in length and these are great for a fresher planning to start a career in P&C underwriting.
If someone does not wish to engage in a full-time course, they can do certification courses and online programs from Insurance institute of India (III) providing many diploma and certification courses in property and casualty department.
The study materials can be purchased from III and examinations should be appeared and passed to get the diploma or designations as applicable.
At the advanced level one can go for foreign certifications like CPCU – Chartered property and casualty underwriter of United states and Chartered insurance institute (CII) designations of the UK.