a person or company that underwrites policies of insurance or carries on insurance as a business.
a person or company that underwrites shares or bonds.
a person or organization that finances something; backer: the underwriters of the ballet company.

1610–20; underwrite + -er1

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World English Dictionary
underwriter (ˈʌndəˌraɪtə)
1.  a person or enterprise that underwrites public issues of shares, bonds, etc
2.  a.  a person or enterprise that underwrites insurance policies
 b.  an employee or agent of an insurance company who assesses risks and determines the premiums payable

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
The law is more stringent about the disclosure requirements of an underwriter or a broker than a market maker.
He agreed and said he had been unable to get the underwriter to agree to a higher amount.
Brokers pop by and propose risks that the underwriter accepts by scribbling the share he wants on the broker's slip.
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