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What Does a Professional Liability Underwriter Do?

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  • Written By: Kristie Lorette
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 18 August 2014
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A professional liability underwriter works as an employee for an insurance company. The primary role of the liability underwriter is to assess the risk of providing the insurance to a particular client. In the end, the professional liability underwriter decides whether to approve or deny the applicant’s policy.

Beyond deciding whether or not the policy is approved, professional liability underwriters also set the terms and conditions of the policy. The underwriter sets these terms and conditions so that the applicant receives the type of insurance policy they need, but that it also limits the amount of risk that the insurance company takes on, in case the insurance company does have to pay out.

Professional liability underwriters conduct a lot of research in order to access the risk of the applicant. These underwriters also depend on a lot of research, statistics, information and data that other professionals provide to the liability underwriter. The professional liability underwriter uses all of this information as the basis for making the decision to approve or deny the insurance policy and to set the terms and conditions of the policy.

Underwriting and risk software programs exist to help a professional liability underwriter to gather and assess the information and data quickly and easily. The information that the underwriter takes into consideration depends on what type of insurance policy the applicant is applying to receive.

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For example, when an applicant is applying for health insurance, the professional liability underwriter has to review the personal characteristics, habits and behaviors of the person applying for health insurance. This means that the applicant’s age, medical history, health family history and lifestyle — such as smoking and drinking habits — will be reviewed. The more risk the applicant carries, the higher the chances are that the applicant will receive denial. If not denial, then the less favorable the terms and conditions of the policy may be, such as a higher deductible, higher premium or exclusion of coverage.

The specific duties and responsibilities of a professional liability underwriter can also vary according to the type of company or type of insurance company for which the underwriter works. The most common types of professional liability underwriters are in companies such as property and casualty insurance, mortgage, health insurance and life insurance. Overall, professional liability underwriters all look at the risk for the company for extending a policy, but there may be some industry specific tasks that each underwriter has to abide, as well as company policies and procedures that may vary from company to company.

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