5 Confessions of an Insurance Underwriter

We recently sat down with a savvy insurance professional with an extensive background in underwriting to learn more about the challenges within this role.

Times are definitely changing for Underwriters and here is what we learned:

1. The process of underwriting has changed significantly (especially since the 2010s)

In the last decade, the underwriting process has become more methodical and data-driven with the onboarding of new technologies.

“In the old days, we were trying to predict the future. It was an educated guess, with support from the actuaries. Before technology, determining risk was a fill-in-the-blanks game. Gambling was a common analogy.”

2. The job responsibilities are expanding

The role of the Underwriter has become increasingly complex. More responsibilities are required to simply get the job done.

“In the new world, I’m part Business Developer responsible for revenue generation and my ‘hit-ratio.’ I’m also charged with profitability, accountable to loss ratios in my LOB. I’m feeling overworked, not to mention keeping up with all the tech trends. It’s nearly impossible.”

3. There will be a shortage of underwriters in <10 years

Underwriters will be retiring at record rates. With growing responsibilities and limited current recruitment, this issue will be a serious problem in a few short years.

“Meanwhile, we’ve all been reading about this looming 4-500,000 carrier staffing gap in the next 5-7 years due to retirement. With too few replacements in pipeline, we’re all asking, ‘What’s going to happen…’”

4. Adopting new tools is a double-edged sword

For tech-savvy Underwriters, they see tech as introducing efficiencies. Others see it a threat to their job or just a hassle with their job with little real ROI. The efficiency component of a new tool is crucial. Will it minimize a task, while increasing, or at least maintaining surety.

“When it comes to new Insurtech tools, I always ask ‘Will the tool help me reduce a process from 30 minutes to 5 minutes? Quite frankly, a lot of new tech that we’ve implemented in the last few years have failed due to unkept promises and/or bad training. Excitement doesn’t last. The solution has to deliver.”

“There’s also resistance from within. The adage in play is all too true, ‘It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.’

5. Technology can streamline processes

Technology is taking over a lot of the manual tasks that Underwriters used to do. In fact, many of the old tasks are no longer required. A new simplified underwriting process now bypasses many steps.

“Lemonade is now underwriting personal lines risk with only 4 questions. So, we’ve gone from an hour-long interview with an agent, to ‘give us 15 minutes and we’ll give you a 15% discount,’ to FOUR questions – literally an hour to 15 minutes to 2 minutes.”

“We are all unlearning the old way and adapting to new, automated underwriting systems. Data Analysis and discipline are the order of the day.”


Yes, it’s a challenging time for Underwriters. There is tremendous change occuring, which is always hard in and of itself. The issues of an aging workforce, retirements of key staff, staffing shortages, increased pressure to hit a new and growing set of metrics/responsibilities are topics that the industry itself has to address and while there is a tidal wave of new technologies available, finding the right technology is a critical solution.

With technology poised to replace a lot of the existing touchpoints, we anticipate significant changes and even further streamlining of the underwriting process. Given this trend, a secure, accurate, up to date condition of the asset remains an essential foundation for any automated underwriting solution.

Attestiv. A [tamper-proof, trusted, fraud-resistant] picture is worth a thousand words.

Picture of Attestiv


Recent News

About Us

Attestiv provides authenticity and validation for digital photos, videos and documents using patented tamper-proofing blockchain technology and AI analysis. 

Deepfakes and Claims Automation

Deepfakes: An Insurance Industry Threat

Sign up for our Newsletter
Nicos Vekiarides

Nicos Vekiarides

Nicos Vekiarides is the Chief Executive Officer & co-founder of Attestiv. He has spent the past 20+ years in enterprise IT and cloud, as a CEO & entrepreneur, bringing innovative new technologies to market. His previous startup, TwinStrata, an innovative cloud storage company where he pioneered cloud-integrated storage for the enterprise, was acquired by EMC in 2014. Before that, he brought to market the industry’s first storage virtualization appliance for StorageApps, a company later acquired by HP.

Nicos holds 6 technology patents in storage, networking and cloud technology and has published numerous articles on new technologies. Nicos is a partner at Mentors Fund, an early-stage venture fund, a mentor at Founder Institute Boston, where he coaches first-time entrepreneurs, and an advisor to several companies. Nicos holds degrees from MIT and Carnegie Mellon University.

Mark Morley

Mark Morley is the Chief Operating Officer of Attestiv.

He received his formative Data Integrity training at Deloitte. Served as the CFO of Iomega (NYSE), the international manufacturer of Zip storage devices, at the time,  the second fastest-growing public company in the U.S.. He served as the CFO of Encore Computer (NASDAQ) as it grew from Revenue of $2 million to over $200 million. During “Desert Storm”, Mark was required to hold the highest U.S. and NATO clearances.

Mark authored a seminal article on Data Integrity online (Wall Street Journal Online). Additionally, he served as EVP, General Counsel and CFO at Digital Guardian, a high-growth cybersecurity company.

Earlier in his career, he worked at an independent insurance agency, Amica as a claims representative, and was the CEO of the captive insurance subsidiary of a NYSE company.

He obtained Bachelor (Economics) and Doctor of Law degrees from Boston College and is a graduate of Harvard Business School.