The Dying Art of Underwriting
25 August 2017
As the art of underwriting becomes less important than the science of underwriting, customer experience becomes more of a differentiator.
When I started my career in the insurance industry as a loss control engineer, it was often said that loss control was the eyes and ears of the underwriter—implying that the underwriter was the brain of the company. Underwriting was an art, and a science. A company could differentiate itself through its underwriters. Every policy had to be individually underwritten, and so top underwriters were sought out for their knowledge, expertise, and their relationships with agents.
Although that model worked for years, it had its challenges. Expertise wasn’t scalable. It only came after years on the job. This meant that the costs of underwriting were high, in terms of both the years of investment in an underwriter to build that expertise, and the cost per policy of having such an expert devoting time to the decision-making process.
But over time, the job of the underwriter has changed: