It is a widely held notion that one does not have to know the job to manage people who do the job.
This certainly makes sense for most blue collar and clerical occupations.
Does the same rationale apply to non-underwriters (defined as individuals that have never been underwriters) managing underwriting professionals?
At our study groups, this is recognized as an increasingly important question, in part because the number of individuals with no underwriting background who oversee new business departments is increasing.
The prevailing mantra of senior management regarding underwriting and most other operational functions is "faster, cheaper, better."
Chief underwriters are obliged to take whatever steps they can to address this in literally everything they oversee.
The success of simplified life products in the marketplace will be greatly impacted by how the premium rates match up against fully underwritten products.
Premium rates are tied to how the product is underwritten, because the less you know about the risk the more you have to charge to cover it.