Description of Surety Underwriters

Surety bonds are a form of insurance that protect a purchaser of a service against obligation defaults by the service provider, explains the Surety and Fidelity Association of America. For example, a surety provides some form of compensation to the client when a bonded business or individual does not perform or complete services as promised.

The business or individual providing the service secures the surety bond through an insurance or surety company. Surety companies employ underwriters who use certain criteria to determine who is bond-worthy. Take a look at the typical duties and requirements for surety bond underwriter positions.

Surety Bond Underwriter Duties

Surety underwriters collect specific financial, legal and other pertinent information about customers applying for insurance. They evaluate this information and calculate risk based on established criteria. The ability of the applicant to perform his obligation is one criterion.

Based on risk, underwriters accept or reject applications. For accepted applications, they determine the terms of the surety bond or credit, notes the Alpha Surety and Insurance Brokerage.

Other key duties part of contract surety underwriter jobs are product sales and business development activities. Underwriters also manage relationships with agents, customers and other stakeholders in support of business growth and development.

Skills for Surety Underwriter Jobs

Surety underwriters must be able to properly assess each surety bond application and make the best cost-benefit business decision regarding coverage. They must also be able to determine the appropriate premiums for the coverage offered. These decisions require detailed evaluations.

Surety underwriters need top-notch analytical and decision-making skills to be effective. Underwriters use software to compute risks, so computer and software skills are a must. Underwriters also need good communication skills to interact successfully with customers, build relationships and develop business.

Surety Underwriter Experience and Training

Two to three years of experience in insurance, risk management, claims analysis or related work provides a strong background for employment in surety underwriter jobs. This type of experience prepares you for a job requiring strong problem-solving, marketing and account-management skills.

If new to the surety underwriting profession, you train with senior underwriters to learn the ropes, and typically start out with simple, uncomplicated client applications. As you learn and gain experience, you have the opportunity to work more independently on advanced applications.

Education for Surety Underwriter Jobs

Many employers hiring underwriters require a bachelor’s degree in finance, business administration or risk management and insurance. These areas of study equip job-seekers with the knowledge necessary to be surety underwriters.

Once on the job, you must stay current with new and changing regulations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, working toward a certification is one way to do that. Surety professional or trade organizations are the starting point to finding certification programs.