New vacancies for underwriters skyrocketed last year as insurers across the UK recruited new staff at record pace, according to a new report from data analysts Vacancysoft.

People in office

  • Over 2,100 vacancies for underwriters in the UK in 2021
  • Total vacancies represent a 120% year-on-year increase
  • 2021 total is a 91.2% increase on pre-pandemic levels
  • AIG recorded the most vacancies in 2021

In 2021, insurers in the UK published 2,100 underwriting vacancies – a new record and an acknowledgement of the importance of the role. Indeed, even during lockdown-hit 2020, the underwriting market remained resilient with vacancies falling only 13 percent below the 2017-2019 pre-pandemic average.

The report, from industry analysts Vacancysoft, notes that while “recruitment across nearly all other areas within insurance was significantly cut back in 2020, underwriters remained much in demand”.

On a regional basis, the Greater London area saw the highest growth in new jobs, accounting for 53.2 percent of all underwriting vacancies, a year-on-year increase of 103.1 percent. The second largest region was the North West, with 9.4 percent of total vacancies.

In terms of sector, there was a shift towards specialist non-life insurance companies. In 2017, almost three-quarters (72 percent) of vacancies were in general insurance, but this share dropped to 52.3 percent in 2021. In contrast, non-life insurance firms accounted for 36.7 percent of all new underwriting jobs – a rise of 18.9 percentage points over the period.

Across the top insurance firms for underwriting vacancies, AIG leads the way. The company published nearly 90 vacancies in 2021, a 20.5 percent year-on-year rise. AIG was followed by Axa and RSA, which had the same level of new vacancies in 2021.

The report suggests that the surge in hiring is due to “insurers looking to revisit policies to immunise themselves against future extreme ‘black swan’ events, now that liability associated with covid is largely settled”.