Life Insurance Underwriting Exam

The role of a life insurance underwriter is to check the feasibility of insurance application.  He/she identifies, evaluates and estimates the risk and determines the premium to insure against the risk.  The underwriter looks into the application and decides whether it is to be accepted or rejected.  Life insurance underwriter analyses the report of actuaries and prepares some policies and condition for the insurance product.   He/she is considered an expert in a particular area of insurance like life insurance, commercial insurance or general insurance, etc. The underwriter views and reviews the application for coverage under insurance both for companies and individuals. 

Required Skills for Underwriter

An insurance underwriter must have certain basic skills along with educational qualifications. He/she must possess analytical and investigating approach. Analytical skills, decision-making skills, detail orientation, and interpersonal skill are few of prerequisite of the underwriter.  Computer literacy along with knowledge of Business, finance, and accounts are necessary to become an underwriter.

Eligibility for Underwriter Exam

Generally, a bachelor degree is required by companies. Professional with B.Com in Finance, Accounting, M.Com. in Finance or Accounting or BBA/MBA are generally preferred for this job. The candidates with knowledge of computer and analytical bent of mind are highly preferred. There are instances when one can get underwriter’s job without a degree if he/she possess some relevant experience with the related firm or organization.  

Entrance exams/Certification

The candidates have to pass the following entrance examination to become the underwriter. There are several certifications available for this. With the growing experience, one needs to get certified or obtain certificates. These certificates are provided by several institutions.  IRDAI has also authorized many institutes to conduct a pre-licensing test for insurance surveyors and loss assessor as required by IRDA regulations.

Related Material  IC 24 – Legal Aspects of Life Assurance

Following exam are conducted for the underwriter:
– Licentiate Exam
– Associateship Exam
– – CIS Exam
– Surveyors Exam
– Actuarial Science Exam

Generally, there are two stages of examination for life insurance underwriter:


As far as the passing marks for licentiate exam is concerned, objective type MCQ (on-line/ Off-line) is 60% and above and duration of examination is two hours.


Passing marks for all subjects/papers of descriptive type is 50% and above and duration of examination is 3 hours.

Licentiate Examination:

It is an introductory course that deals with two compulsory papers i.e. Principles of Insurance and Practice of Insurance (Life and Non-Life) and one more paper as optional from professional exam curriculum.

Associate Examination:

The student who is going through Associate Examination may have the option to choose subjects either Life or Non-Life or both combined. The scheme of study provides knowledge of the chosen subject. However, candidates will have to get familiar with the practical aspects related to these subjects.

Fellowship Examination: It is considered the highest level examination and involves advanced studies of the specified area

Higher Study

Apart from it, there are many universities and institutes that provide degrees and diplomas in insurance study:

– Amity School of Insurance and Actuarial Science, Birla Institute of Management Technology, DS Actuarial Education Services (DS ActEd) Aptitude Test, International Institute for Insurance and Finance (IIIF) PG Diploma Entrance Examination, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Symbiosis National Aptitude (SNAP) Test and Uttar Pradesh Management Common Aptitude Test UPMCAT

Related Material  Applications of Life Insurance (IC23)

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