Insurance underwriting factors

Insurance underwriting A term that refers to the process of identifying risks to potential default clients. Each insurance company has its own set of underwriting guidelines.

What is an insurance underwriting?

When you apply for any insurance—health insurance, auto insurance, property and casualty insurance, life insurance, etc.—you specify the process. Every insurance company has an underwriting department that reviews the application and assesses the potential risks presented by the applicant. Using tables and actuarial information provided by you or derived from other sources they are legally allowed to have access to (your credit history, driving record, claims history, and Office of Medical Information file, for example), the underwriter decides whether or not to issue you policies. If you are determined to be eligible for insurance, the underwriter then decides how much insurance protection it will provide you, how much it will cost you to charge for it, and what, if any, exclusions or limitations your policy has.

The primary job of an insurance underwriter is to protect the insurance company from loss and ensure that it stays in business by not selling policies that present above-average risk or undue exposure to risk, or by charging a premium high enough to clear above average. risks and exposure. Obvious examples include denying auto or homeowners insurance for a convicted drunk driver or a damaged convicted fire respectively, charging higher fees for hurricane-prone Florida homeowners insurance or charging higher life insurance premiums for an older person. If you’re in a denied or high-risk category, this may not seem fair to you, but sound underwriting practices help lower insurance costs for applicants who are a preferred risk.

Underwriting insurance for different companies

Each insurance company has its own standard underwriting guidelines. For some types of high-volume insurance, such as auto coverage where the policies are fairly standard, the insurance company may use an automated underwriting system to expedite the evaluation of your application and issue your policy as quickly as possible. For more complex or highly individualized policies, a more hands-on approach is combined with software to calculate your insurance risk. Insurance agents may also rely on Internet databases to check things like driving history, credit score, and age.

Insurance companies and their insurance companies are required to comply with laws set at the state level and, where applicable, at the federal level. They are also guided by the ethical standards of the industry. Your insurance cannot be denied because of race, national origin, religion, marital status, or sexual orientation, for example. The specific terms and rights will also depend on the type of insurance you are applying for. A health insurance plan, for example, cannot deny you based on a family history, breast cancer, or genetic disease if you were not diagnosed with breast cancer or that genetic disease when you applied. If you feel your rights have been violated, your first course of action is to contact your state’s insurance commissioner.

Underwriting factors for different types of insurance

Different types of insurance products have different underwriting considerations as well. Here are some examples:

  1. For auto insurance, your age, driving history, credit score, years of driving experience, gender, insurance history, claims history, coverage levels, and vehicle models can all have a significant impact on your insurance premiums.
  2. For health insurance, your age, gender, health status, smoking history, and family medical history are more important factors.
  3. For life insurance, your age, gender, health history, types of insurance, marital status, number of children, occupation, income, smoking or drinking more are in the final quote.

The more you understand how insurance companies price your insurance, the better chance you have of getting the best coverage at the right price. is an insurance comparison website. We provide you with the latest insurance news and free comparison insurance quotes from top-rated insurance companies.

About Dale Williams

Dale Q. Williams, MBA, is a respected financial executive whose experience spans from insurance to investment banking. Dale has initial underwriting experience from working for one of the largest US based insurance companies and advisory experience from working for several mid market and mid market investment banks. Dale also holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, with concentrations in finance and accounting.

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