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Like to call the shots? Consider underwriting

Where I fit in_Chrissy HarmonThe insurance industry is growing and has a high need for talented professionals with a variety of training and skills. Recruiters are asking job seekers “where do you fit in?” In this series, Cincinnati Insurance associates describe their own career journeys.

In college, you may not realize it, but you are a decision maker. You are constantly deciding what to do on a Thursday night, how to handle class on Friday morning, what your major should be and, perhaps most importantly, what to do with the rest of your life. If you like being the commissioner of your fantasy football league or being the one who decides where you and your friends go on a particular night, then underwriting is a job you will enjoy. In underwriting, you call the shots.

An underwriter is an insurance professional who reviews applications submitted to an insurance carrier. You evaluate an insurance application and determine the terms under which an application is accepted. When you underwrite an application  ̶  called “writing” a risk  ̶  you are agreeing to provide insurance for a certain price under certain terms. The collection of policies that an agent submits to an insurance carrier  ̶  or that all agents in a given territory submit  ̶  is called a book of business.

Underwriting is managing a book of business and building long-term relationships with your customers. You may manage a multimillion dollar portfolio provided by agents whose clients trust them to place their policies with financially stable carriers who are competitive and provide excellent service. You may have the opportunity to work with accounts that range from nationally recognized construction businesses that build high-rise office buildings to Main Street restaurants in Small Town, USA. It will be your job to determine how you can write these organizations profitably and build a long-term relationship between these businesses and the organization you work for.

Underwriting is having effective negotiation skills. There will be challenges. In order to retain, compete and build your portfolio, you will need to develop creative negotiation and problem-solving techniques to achieve mutually satisfying results. Perhaps you are already a pro at creative negotiation. Is your roommate a diehard Steelers fan but you live in the Jungle every day of the week? How do you decide whose team poster gets hung over the mantel: Ben Roethlisberger’s or A.J. Green’s? In any event, through open communication and problem-solving skills, you will reach a satisfying result.

Underwriting is rising above challenges. The marketplace is dynamic, new products are introduced and your accounts will evolve. Every day will bring new challenges and experiences that make you analyze factors from a multitude of angles. This knowledge will open doors to future growth and career advancement opportunities within your organization. As an underwriter, you will never be bored and will never be on the sidelines. You will be a key player on your company’s team.

For more information about a variety of insurance careers, please visit the Insurancecareers.org website or Facebook page sponsored by Ohio’s insurance industry. Cincinnati Insurance posts open positions on our website.

Submitted by Chrissy Harmon

Posted 11:12 AM  View Comments

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