As an apprentice insurance underwriter, you will help assess the risk of insuring a person or company based on the likelihood of a claim being submitted.
Working closely with actuaries, brokers, and risk and claims managers, you’ll strike and maintain a balance between attracting and retaining customers through competitive insurance premiums and being able to cover any potential claims losses.
Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:
- 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.
- Salaries for underwriting apprentices typically range from £16,000 to £25,000. Trainee underwriters on graduate schemes may earn £24,000 to £30,000.
- Qualified underwriters typically earn between £25,000 and £45,000.
- Salaries for senior/lead underwriters start at around £40,000 and can rise to £100,00 for underwriting managers. Heads of underwriting can earn in excess of £100,000.
You’ll typically work Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, 36 to 38 hours a week, with extra hours at busy times. There may be opportunities for hybrid working, for example three days working in the office and two from home.
You could work in an office.
Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice insurance underwriter include:
- Level 4 Insurance Professional – Entry requirements for this level include 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship.
This qualification takes 24 months to complete with a mix of workplace learning and study.
On an insurance broker apprenticeship, you’ll learn:
- customer service skills
- the ability to sell products and services
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to use your initiative
- persistence and determination
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- excellent verbal communication skills
- maths knowledge
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently.
You can work within any of the following types of insurance organisations:
- large companies – offering a range of general insurance cover
- smaller companies – specialising in one type of insurance, e.g. motor
- life assurance companies
- reinsurance companies
- health insurance companies
- credit agencies.
Initial training programmes might run up to two years. This is usually followed by two to three years of training in the speciality risk area of your choice. Training is often on-the-job, with more experienced colleagues, and is validated by passing professional exams such as the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). As part of your training, you may get experience in several areas of insurance, such as claims and broking, to help you improve your skills and knowledge.
Following the completion of the Advanced Diploma, you may use the title ACII and apply to the CII for Chartered Insurer or Chartered Insurance Underwriting Agent status (subject to five years of experience, not necessarily post-qualification).
You will also be helped to achieve the Level 6 Senior Insurance Professional apprenticeship level.
After qualifying, you might become a senior underwriter or team leader/manager. As you gain experience, you will usually be in charge of younger members of staff who will report to you on their underwriting decisions. You can also train new or inexperienced employees and coach and mentor them.
Accepting more responsibility and dealing with more complex or high-risk situations can improve your chances of advancement and moving to different positions and businesses as your career progresses.
Moving into other fundamental areas of insurance, such as risk management, loss adjustment, or claims management, is possible for seasoned underwriters with extensive experience. You could also specialise in marine or aviation insurance or go into reinsurance to deal with complicated situations and high levels of risk.
It is also possible to advance into sales by honing your relationship-building skills to meet sales targets for specific types of insurance.