Life Underwriter at New York Life Insurance Company in Cleveland, OH

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A career at New York Life offers many opportunities. To be part of a growing and successful business. To reach your full potential, whatever your specialty. Above all, to make a difference in the world by helping people achieve financial security. It’s a career journey you can be proud of, and you’ll find plenty of support along the way. Our development programs range from skill-building to management training, and we value our diverse and inclusive workplace where all voices can be heard. Recognized as one of Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies, New York Life is committed to improving local communities through a culture of employee giving and service, supported by our Foundation. It all adds up to a rewarding career at a company where doing right by our customers is part of who we are, as a mutual company without outside shareholders. We invite you to bring your talents to New York Life, so we can continue to help families and businesses “Be Good At Life.” To learn more, please visit LinkedIn, our Newsroom and the Careers page of


Position Summary

Reporting to a Managing Underwriter, the Senior Associate Underwriter is responsible for evaluating life insurance applications and determining whether applications should be approved, declined or if additional information is required.  Senior Associate Underwriters review cases with a 2-Year Total Amount at Risk of $3,000,000 including those with an Attending Physician Statement as part of the application and are authorized to issue or decline all such cases.

Senior Associate Underwriters predominantly rely on Underwriting Guidelines to evaluate an applicants risk classification; however, due to the complexity associated with multiple conditions or atypical lab results, Senior Associate Underwriters are frequently required to make assessments of applicant risk absent specific direction from the Underwriting Guidelines.  Whether synthesizing the mortality risk of medical labs and family history or discounting the mortality risks of highly correlated factors such as motor vehicle reports and avocations, Underwriting Associates are expected to evaluate an applicant's overall risk profile, not simply summing the total from individual risk factors.  Medical Directors and Managing Underwriters are available for consult as necessary; but Senior Associate Underwriters are expected to make a decision recommendation, not open-ended requests for insight. 

As the majority of applications reviewed by this role include Attending Physician Statements, a Senior Associate Underwriter must have a working knowledge of medical terminology and awareness of how various medical impairments interact and effect individual mortality risk.  Senior Associate Underwriters also work closely with General Office personnel and may, at times, speak directly with agents.  Consequently, Senior Associate Underwriters must have strong communication and customer service skills.

Key Responsibilities

  • Accurately classify the mortality risk for proposed insureds as above average (Preferred/Select Preferred), average(Standard), below average (varying Substandard risks and Decline) based on both medical and nonmedical information on cases with 2-Year TAAR (Total Amount At Risk-Dollar amount requiring underwriting) of $5 million or less - generally including an Attending Physician Statement. The increased amount of risk to the company and the complexity associated with the potential financial requirements needed as well as the increased medical knowledge and understanding needed to accurately assess an Attending Physician Statement  require a broader knowledge base and experience level from the underwriter.
  • Maintain a strong working knowledge of our administrative systems, product rules, Underwriting Guidelines and medical factors impacting mortality.
  • Communicate by phone directly with agents and general office personnel as well as provide written updates regarding application status, additional requirements needed, input errors and required corrections, Reinsurance offer details and requirements, reconsideration questions, appeal requests, and the final underwriting decision and associated reason(s).
  • Assist the Quality Control unit with audits by reviewing and auditing individual cases per the guidelines as well as serving as a consultant when grey areas and difficult decisions arise during the auditing process.
  • Mentor underwriters on proper documentation of case files, providing instruction to underwriters on how to write thorough but concise medical or financial referrals, as well as clear and concise written communication to internal and external customers.                                                                                                      
  • Accurately classify the mortality risk on non-contractual attained age term conversions, contract changes, and reinstatements with a TAAR (Total Amount At Risk-Dollar amount requiring underwriting) up to and including $5,000,000. For example: a case was issued Standard 23 years ago, payment ceased, and the policy is on Term Extension for another 12 years. The PI's current medical history would warrant a decline on a new business case. Should underwriting reinstate the existing policy or not? 
  • Participate on projects where the Senior Associate Underwriter's experience in underwriting, customer relations, and interdepartmental knowledge would benefit such as training initiatives, work-flow and systems improvements, Best Practices meetings, etc.


  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • 7+ years of previous Underwriting experience required
  • Ability to communicate difficult concepts and influence others to adopt a different point of view
  • Makes decisions that have cross-functional impact
  • Collaborates with others to solve complex problems; uses sophisticated analytical thought and/or equivalent experience to exercise good judgment and identify innovative solutions




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