So, You Want to Become an Insurance Underwriter?

By Elisabeth Axiak

If you’re wondering how to break into the world of insurance underwriting in Canada, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we take a look at the five crucial steps you’ll need to complete, including soft skills, schooling, and certification.

Think You Have What It Takes?
Certain soft skills are required to make it in insurance underwriting. If you like to take an analytical approach to things, pay close attention to detail, and work well under pressure, you’re on the right track. On top of these things, it’s important that you have good communication skills and are comfortable with math and statistics.

The Choice is Yours
There are two ways to break into the industry as an underwriter in Canada. Either complete an undergraduate degree, or complete the CIP (Chartered Insurance Professional) Certification.

Most employers prefer that you obtain an undergraduate degree or diploma first. When it comes to university, the best fields to get a degree in are: Business, Accounting, Math, Commerce, or Economics. There are also college programs who specialize in insurance – they give you both business courses, as well as courses that help you start working towards your CIP.

Alternatively, you can go straight into your CIP. This nationally recognized program, offered through the Insurance Institute of Canada, gives students a wide range of valuable insurance-related information.

Certifiably Great
The CIP gives you lots of important knowledge, is internationally recognized, and also gives you a nice pay increase! According to The Conference Board of Canada, those who hold a CIP designation earn an average wage premium of about $8,000 more per year than their colleagues with a similar level of experience but without the designation!

If you choose to get your undergraduate degree first, you can always decide to take your CIP at any time during your career.

Work Life
You can work at a number of different companies, not just typical stock insurance companies! Other options include mutual insurance companies (like us!), reinsurance companies, or banks.

Check out our infographic below for all the details you need to become an insurance underwriter!


Infographic on how to become an insurance underwriter, from Halwell U, part of Halwell Mutual

Think you’re an expert on underwriters now?
Take our quiz below to complete the course!

How to Become an Underwriter Quiz

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