Commercial Underwriter Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Commercial Underwriter, or Business Underwriter, evaluates an organization’s risk of insuring commercial applicants to ensure the company is making smart financial decisions and minimizing risk. Their main responsibilities include investigating commercial applicants and determining their risk level, deciding appropriate coverage amounts for applicants, and processing insurance applications.

Build a Job Description

Commercial Underwriter duties and responsibilities

Commercial Underwriters are primarily responsible for determining whether the organization should approve a new commercial client for insurance or if they’re too much of a risk. Some other duties and responsibilities include:

  • Investigate a client’s financial history
  • Analyze information in an insurance application to ensure it’s correct
  • Use relevant underwriting software
  • Evaluate the software’s recommendation and offer their own recommendation 
  • Create summary reports for clients and upper management
  • Develop comprehensive payment schedules and insurance agreements for clients
  • Identify and inform management of potential risks of insuring the client

What does a Commercial Underwriter do?

A Commercial Underwriter helps minimize financial risks related to commercial insurance. They don’t sell insurance, they just assess the risks that a client may present. A Commercial Underwriter will thoroughly analyze insurance applications by investigating the client’s financial history and personal information. 

After the investigation, Commercial Underwriters use their own knowledge and underwriting software to determine whether the client is too much of a risk. If they are, they must notify their supervisor, reject the application, and provide alternative options to the client. If the client isn’t too much of a risk, the Commercial Underwriter will decide the appropriate coverage amount and process the client’s insurance application, ensuring all information is correct.

Commercial Underwriter skills and qualifications

To do their job successfully, Commercial Underwriters should have strong analytical skills, allowing them to thoroughly and fairly decide whether an applicant is too much of a risk. Additionally, they should have prerequisite skills and qualifications including:

  • Knowledge of common underwriting software, such as Applied Epic or Applied Rater
  • Able to review client’s financial statements and history
  • Strong customer service skills
  • Knowledge of underwriting guidelines
  • Solid decision-making skills
  • Able to multi-task and prioritize tasks
  • Knowledge of insurance regulations 
  • Strong math and computer skills

Commercial Underwriter experience requirements

There are many entry-level positions available in underwriting, such as a Junior Underwriter or Assistant Underwriter that candidates can start in before moving up to Commercial Underwriter. Candidates with similar work experience, such as Insurance Brokers or Customer Service Representatives, bring good transferable experience to the role. You may also consider hiring candidates with limited work experience and provide on-the-job training. 

Commercial Underwriter education and training requirements

There are no set education and training requirements for Commercial Underwriter candidates, as your company will have its own insurance policies that candidates need to learn. This means that you may want to hire candidates with a high school diploma or GED and provide on-the-job training. Alternatively, you may require candidates to have a college diploma or bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as finance, risk management, accounting, or insurance. There are also underwriting certification courses in Canada that you can require.

Commercial Underwriter salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Commercial Underwriter in Canada is $56,104 per year. This salary varies based on the company, experience, and location.

Job description samples for similar positions

If this Commercial Underwriter job description sample isn’t quite what you’re looking for, take a look at some related job description samples:

Commercial Underwriter job description FAQs

What is the work environment of a Commercial Underwriter like?

Commercial Underwriters typically work in an office Monday to Friday. They may also have to visit commercial properties to assess them in person. Depending on the company, Commercial Underwriters have their own office or may share an office with other Underwriters, Underwriting Assistants, or Customer Service Representatives.

Who does a Commercial Underwriter work with?

Commercial Underwriters typically report to a Senior Underwriter and a Project Manager, Account Manager, or Account Executive. Depending on the size of the organization, they usually work with a team of Underwriters, Assistant Underwriters, or Junior Underwriters as well.

What is the difference between Insurance Brokers and Commercial Underwriters?

As both roles are common in the insurance industry, differentiating between them is important. An Insurance Broker sells various types of insurance for one company or several. They help new clients find the ideal insurance policy and help existing clients with filing or settling claims. Commercial Underwriters do not sell insurance, they represent an insurance company and assess whether new clients are too risky to offer insurance to.

What industries do Commercial Underwriters work in?

Commercial Underwriters work for any company that sells insurance, which means they typically work in the finance or insurance industry. They work for companies that sell various types of insurance, such as life or health insurance, but mainly focus on insurance for commercial properties. 

Job Description Examples

    *Indeed provides this information as a courtesy to users of this site. Please note that we are not your career or legal advisor, and none of the information provided herein guarantees a job offer.