Undergraduate degree programs in risk management and insurance contain courses that pertain exclusively to the field; programs in business and business management, while not industry-specific, also contain courses that cover many insurance-related topics and issues. Some insurance companies hire entry-level insurance underwriters who possess a bachelor's degree in business or a related field and train them through work-study programs.
Insurance underwriters who wish to obtain Associate in Commercial Underwriting (AU) or Associate in Personal Insurance (API) credentials or similar designations are often required to take courses and exams through professional training programs. Professional organizations offer certification training programs and courses that result in a variety of credentials.
Some common topics covered in these courses are:
- Risk identification and management
- Contract law
- Insurance pricing
- Commercial insurance
- Insurance operations
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List of Common Courses
Insurance Fundamentals Course
New insurance underwriters gain an overview of all aspects of the insurance industry. The history of insurance, risk assessment and insurance profitability may be covered in this course. Students might also learn about the structure of an insurance company and other insurance industry players.
Insurance Underwriting Course
New underwriters and working underwriters without formal education are introduced to the fundamentals of the role of an underwriter. They also learn about the processes involved in decision-making with regard to underwriting. Students in this course might also learn about personal and commercial insurance underwriting and the computer programs involved in assessing risk and liability.
Property Insurance Course
Students learn about personal and commercial insurance, exposure to property loss and insurance policies. Risk management is also highlighted in this course, which is intended for newcomers to the insurance industry.
Personal Insurance Course
This is a mid-level insurance course that covers topics including homeowners and other types of residential insurance such as automobile, watercraft and umbrella insurance. Health insurance and liability coverage are also typically discussed. Students learn about insurance underwriting in a section of the class devoted to life insurance fundamentals. The role of insurance in financial planning may also be covered.
Risk Management Course
Topics discussed include corporate finances, cash flow and risk metrics. This course teaches insurance underwriters about loss exposures, covering losses, planning for disasters and the underwriter's role in managing financial risk.
Life and Health Insurance Course
Students in a life and health insurance course learn about people's behaviors and exposure to health problems and early death. This course may also cover the economic and social needs for life and health insurance. Contracts and policies are also covered in a life and health insurance course.