Underwriters generally hold bachelor's degrees, frequently with a business or finance focus. After obtaining a degree, prospective underwriters can enroll in online courses leading to various underwriting designations, such as those in property, casualty, life and health insurance or in general underwriting. Additionally, they should expect to pursue continuing education opportunities throughout their careers in order to keep abreast of a field whose demands shift rapidly to adjust to technological and regulatory changes.
Online Underwriting Courses
The following are some commonly offered underwriting courses that can be found online.
- Commercial Underwriting Basics Course: This is an intermediate course taken on the path to the Associate in Underwriting (AU) designation. Students learn the fundamentals of underwriting and pricing insurance products for commercial organizations. Issues for assessment discussed include building construction, disaster potential, occupancy and fire hazards, indirect loss and commercial crime insurance.
- Commercial Liability Insurance Course: This is an advanced-level course on commercial liability that counts toward the AU or Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation. It provides participants with tools for helping businesses reduce exposure to financial loss and manage everyday risks. Types of liability loss exposures and insurance policies covered include general liability, business auto, worker's compensation, management, professional and aviation.
- Commercial Insurance and the Law Course: This intermediate-level course counting toward the CPCU designation covers issues relevant to U.S. law and insurance regulation, as well as insurance law and contracts formation. It considers consumer, property, tort, agency and employment law. Insurance laws as they apply to various business entities and multinational corporations are also addressed.
- Life Insurance Basics Course: This is a required course toward the Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) designation. It cover the two types of life insurance available - term and whole life - and the variety of products the industry offers for each. Also considered are the different ways individual consumers, families and businesses use these products, as well as the ethical issues faced by the insurance counselor.
- Insurance and Financial Planning Course: This intermediate-level course toward the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation focuses on the importance of risk management and personal financial planning in the areas of investing, preparing for retirement and estate planning. Factors affecting consumers' choices and options are discussed, along with techniques and tools for selecting products that best meet their needs.
- Group Health Insurance Course: This course toward the Registered Health Underwriter (RHU) designation provides an overview of group health insurance benefits. Perspectives of the insurance provider, customer, employer and nation as a whole are considered. Additionally, health care reform and state and federal laws are discussed in terms of their influence on both traditional and managed health care plans.
- Strategic Underwriting Course: In this course, students learn a variety of underwriting techniques to increase the profitability and success of an organization. Topics include underwriting for major accounts, reinsurance for commercial underwriting and loss-prevention tactics to use with big accounts.