Building your Insurance Career; #1 Underwriting

Building your Insurance Career; #1 Underwriting (1)

As an expert in insurance recruitment, I am constantly fielding questions about underwriting, claims and broking.  I thought it might be useful to discuss each of these briefly and share some of my insights on careers in these fields.

First up…Underwriting.

Underwriting Career Paths

Underwriters typically hold degrees in economics, business, maths or a related subject. In the Dublin market the most common entry method is to train as an underwriting assistant for 1- 2 years in property, motor, commercial or various other niche lines of business.

A commercial underwriter with 4+ years’ experience will often have the option to migrate into reinsurance, or captive insurance, where salaries can be a little higher. Reinsurance underwriting Is closer to actuarial work than your typical underwriting role and therefore requires a really strong numeric aptitude from the individual. Employers are extremely cautious about who they hire as the workload can be intense at times.

Captive underwriting opportunities are typically seen in the likes of Aon, Marsh, Willis Towers Watson, or even a self-insured entity like CRH plc. Captive underwriting involves a huge amount of Solvency II financial month end and quarter end reporting. In that sense it differs hugely from traditional underwriting where human to human contact is inherent, and at times can feel like the work you would expect a Chartered Accountant to do. Some love it but many others prefer negotiating with brokers, building relationships and developing innovative products.

Current Market Trends in Underwriting

Underwriters now have more options in Dublin than in recent years and salaries have increased considerably in the past 2 years as a result.

Insurers are currently hungry to develop market share in motor and household products as well as several niche areas within commercial insurance, professional indemnity and financial lines. Whether your strengths lie in relationship management and sales, or product development and analytics, there is a great career for a good underwriter, and insurers, reinsurers and captives are proving time and time again they are willing to invest In hiring the best people for these key appointments.

About Gerry Walsh

Gerry is a Graduate Associate with Barden and specialises in Financial Services in Munster. Gerry brings a unique perspective to building a career in the Insurance area. To discuss your underwriting career and what directions you can take, drop Gerry Walsh an email on and Gerry will take it from there.  Easy.

We’re the experts in financial services recruitment in Ireland: From our offices in Dublin and Cork we work on financial services jobs at all levels, partnering with FS talent and world-class FS teams nationally.  If you’re a financial services professional seeking opportunity or an FS leader looking to attract new talent, our experts can help. So get in touch with our team today on hello@barden.ieSimple.

At Barden we invest our resources to bring you the very best insights on all things to do with your professional future. Got a topic you would like us to research? Got an insight you would like us to share with our audience? Drop us a note to and we will take it from there. Easy.

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