Finance Department


Date of this Version


Document Type



Journal of Actuarial Practice 5 (1997), pp. 125-138


Copyright 1997 Absalom Press


For a long time underwriting has been a part of the actuarial canon. With increasing frequency, however, challenges are being issued against the right of insurance companies to underwrite applications for new bUSiness, arguing that certain aspects of the practice are undesirably discriminatory. We explore the role of the actuary in the underwriting process and the challenges that are being set for the profession (as opposed to the life insurance industry) as a result of this role. As the distinction between the interests of the actuarial profession and the interests of the life insurance companies has become increasingly blurred, we consider how the profession can maintain this distinction and so retain its identity as a profession worthy of public trust and respect.