Term of the Week: Underwriting

Insurance underwriting is the process of evaluating the risk of insuring an individual, car, home or any object. The underwriter scrutinises the proposals and sees if the company has the capacity to take it up and, if it does, what should be the price it should charge.

Note that the premium differs for each customer, based on the underwriting result. It is calculated depending on the underwriter’s perception of risk in a proposal, based on age, profession, habits or, say, medical history of the individual. A smoker, for instance, will have to cough up a higher premium on his health insurance than a non-smoker.

The underwriter, however, does not handle the customer directly. If any additional information is required or medical tests have to be carried out, it is sent through the agents for clarification.

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