Underwriters in the field of general insurance usually are employed by local insurance companies, often in larger cities. Life insurance underwriters usually are employed in company head offices.
With experience, underwriters advance to assessing more complex risks such as commercial property risks or auto fleets, and quoting premiums on risks (determining prices and conditions to offer for proposed policies).
After qualifying for the CIP designation, a general insurance underwriter may move into more advanced technical areas of underwriting, management or other company departments (for example, marketing). Some underwriters become independent insurance agents or enter the field of reinsurance or brokering. All insurance agents and independent adjusters must be licensed (for more information, see the Insurance Adjuster and Insurance Agent/Broker occupational profiles).
In Alberta, 98% of people employed as insurance underwriters work in the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Leasing [pdf] industry.
The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:
- trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Leasing industry)
- location in Alberta
- employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
- occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions)
- size of the occupation.
In Alberta, the B114: Insurance Underwriters occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.3% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 39 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.
Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.