Head of Commercial Underwriting

General Search & Recruitment Published: May 23, 2017
Job Type
200,000 to 235,000 Plus Bonus & Relocation Assistance


Head of Commercial Underwriting

Los Angeles area, CA

In this role as Head of Commercial Underwriting you will be responsible  for the overall strategic analysis and planning, underwriting management, analysis and monitoring of the book of business produced by Exclusive Agents and Independent Agents.

This includes these Lines of business:  Workers Compensation, CMP, Property, General Liability, Auto, Home Office Underwriting, and Loss Control. Complexity ranges from simple non-complex retail BOPs to complex multi-million dollar workers compensation risks.  With the exception of small deductibles, the portfolio of risk are written as guarantee cost.  Recognized as a technical expert in an underwriting specialty


Essential Job Functions

  • Develops Strategic Plans with senior management, product management and field underwriters on underwriting risks employing advanced diagnostic and systematic analysis to assess acceptability. Develops specialized and cost efficient process to validate the information used to rate and underwrite the small commercial business and accesses the underwriting of larger risks.
  • Accountable for overall BU underwriting results, including overall profitability, growth, authority levels.
  • Determines appropriate pricing for the individually underwritten risks where predictive modeling is less accurate. Drives a pricing discipline centered on technical pricing for all business segments. Keeps competitive analysis current for the primary lines and industry segments.
  • Participates with senior management in the strategic planning and strategic development and implementation of underwriting policy, marketing and business strategy.
  • Interprets corporate strategies and initiatives to tailor the company's underwriting approach and builds consensus within the underwriting organization for such an approach.
  • Analyzes quality, quantity, and profitability risks underwritten, and presents reports to senior management, customer segments, and field underwriters.
  • Keeps current on state/territory issues and regulations, industry activity and trends. May represent the company in industry trade groups. Freely shares knowledge and expertise with others.
    Mentors and guides less experienced underwriters and assists in the development and delivery of underwriting training.
    Responsible for strategies on special underwriting projects and presentations.
  • Responsible for overall exposure management strategy, including catastrophe mitigation actions and risk accumulations.
  • Designs and executes line-specific reinsurance programs.
  • Active participant in the Reinsurance and Exposure Management Committees. 




  • Strategic and operational interface with all BU functions and all other functions involving underwriting.
  • Work closely with Chief Operating Officer, Business Insurance Product Management and Actuarial teams, and Center teams on product development, underwriting guidelines, referral underwriting, coverage review, CAT management, underwriting audit and training.  In conjunction with other senior level officers, develops, designs and executes strategy .
  • Strategic and operational interface with all BU functions and with Corporate Actuarial for reinsurance and exposure management planning. 
  • Consults closely with Product and Actuarial on the development of new product terms/conditions and rating methodologies.
  • Oversees design of underwriting tools and drives their implementation. 
  • Oversees interface with Loss Control, IT, Claims and Commercial Centers on general business objectives.
  • Work with Bus Ins Sales to assist District Managers and agents to manage GWP and profitability goals and expand Business Insurance participation and revenue with Elite SSA and SSA Agents.


  • May represent the Company at the highest levels with government agencies, industry coalitions, & community leaders to influence public policy consistent with Company objectives. 
  • Meet with agents and customers. Negotiate with IA Program Business producers. 
  • Negotiate with current and potential reinsurance partners. 
  • Negotiate with current and potential vendors.

Education Requirements

  • Four year college degree
  • Insurance education such as CPCU or related courses.

Experience Requirements

  • 5 years leadership experience with large operations
  • 10 years Business Insurance industry experience preferably with underwriting and/or field management experience
  • Experience managing/developing a senior group of managers, underwriters and operations / service center personnel.

Special Skill Requirement

  • Role requires a thorough comprehension of business insurance and its key disciplines and processes including insurance products, coverages, underwriting guidelines, servicing needs, etc.
  • Must be skilled and knowledgeable in relationship management and communication with key business executives.
  • Ability to effectively interact with all levels of internal and external business partners.
  • Ability to deal with ambiguous situations and issues.
  • Creativity in resolving unique and challenging business problems.
  • Ability to achieve results by taking a proactive long-term view of business goals and objectives.
  • The highest level of technical and product specific expertise, underwriting skill and knowledge of insurance and underwriting principles, practices and procedures.
  • Excellent analytical and problem solving skills, with the ability to manage multiple projects.
  • Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite and other business-related software.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills.
  • Excellent communication, negotiation and presentation skills. 


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