What is underwriting?

underwriting is The underwriting process evaluates the likelihood an insured event will occur, determines its likely cost and develops an appropriate premium for the coverage that is competitive in the marketplace and remunerative to the insurance company writing the policy. For some standardized coverages that are highly competitive, underwriting may be somewhat besides the point — the policy has to be priced according to marketplace pressures if the insurer wishes to remain in that line of coverage. Underwriting still plays a substantial role for many coverages, however, even those in the increasingly competitive businesses of auto, home and term life insurance. Insurance companies don’t all target the same slice of the market in the same states, and thus often have different objectives in their underwriting efforts as well as different cost structures that determine operating profit margins in their underwriting calculations. Underwriting differences account in part for the substantial differences in insurance premiums for comparable coverages.


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