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As Risk Gets More Complex, Underwriting Roles Changing

Karen Pauli | August 16, 2016

The underwriting staff for an insurance carriers has a bright future. Roles are changing, however, like almost everything in insurance. Risk is becoming significantly more complex. Cyber, environmental, and political risks, to mention a few, require new skills. Analytics are enabling the automation of a number of underwriting decisions, but human decisions are still necessary for more complex risks.

For some time, personal auto underwriting has been fully automated by many insurers. This has transitioned underwriters into the role of portfolio underwriters who manage the underwriting profile of entire books of business. Not the same role as traditional underwriting, but a challenging and interesting one.

Technology will support underwriters as insurers expand appetite for new products in a global market. Associating all of the underwriting risk variables, particularly in commercial lines, will be supported by new data sources.

Skilled underwriters will still need to collaborate with customers and distributors to appropriately manage risk. Analytics will support decisions and provide deeper insight into risk, but it takes a smart underwriter to bring accounts together profitably.



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