Building your Insurance Career; #1 Underwriting….by Barden Financial Services

As the main players in the Insurance market continue to hire aggressively, the jobs market is becoming increasingly candidate-driven. As a result, experienced Insurance professionals now have ample options open to them and early career Insurance professionals/recent graduates can now plan and take control of their career in Insurance.

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 boast 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.

Because underwriting is core to the business of any insurance company, to move up the ranks you must not only be technically astute at assessing risk, you must also be able to build relationships with colleagues in actuarial, claims and other departments.

In general, a move to reinsurance or captive insurance is more lucrative. Recently a number of captives and reinsurers have moved to hiring analysts rather than the traditional underwriter model. This has opened up more opportunities in Dublin and in London.

Career progression in underwriting essentially depends on your ability to handle increasingly complicated and substantial degrees of risk. For example, making the final decision on pricing risk for a new aircraft or office block requires a steady, senior hand. Some underwriters choose to advance themselves by moving away from consumer insurance products to complex fields like marine insurance, property treaty, casualty etc.


Current Market Trends in Underwriting

Underwriters now have more options in Dublin than in recent years and salaries have increased considerably in the past 24 months as a result. Increased demand for brokers means that some experienced underwriters are now being afforded the opportunity to move into this area.

We have seen the first wave of insurers; reinsurers & captives start to hire analysts rather than junior underwriters. It will be interesting to see how this develops and if this trend continues as the focus moves to Data analytics.

To discuss your underwriting career and what directions you can take, drop Phelim Murray an email on and Phelim will take it from there.  Easy.


(Phelim is AVP Consultant in Insurance for Barden Financial Services and specialises in Insurance Careers in Dublin.  Having trained in Insurance himself, Phelim brings a unique perspective to building a career in the Insurance area.)

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At Barden we invest our resources to bring you the very best insights on all things to do with your professional future.
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