Meet John Mohs, Senior Vice President, Excess Casualty
What is your backstory? Tell us about your path to Sompo International.
I first started working in insurance 30 years ago during a recession. My brother recommended the job of Underwriter for the reason that it is a job that rewards knowledge. The more you know, the more you learn – the more valuable of an employee you become. I have always enjoyed learning new things and think that curiosity is one of the best traits for an Underwriter. Prior to transitioning to Bermuda, I worked for three major carriers in the U.S., lived in five cities & underwrote various commercial insurance products. I have always been excited about working with good teams and the chance to work with a highly respected team here at Sompo International Excess Casualty in Bermuda was a chance I could not pass up.
What do you think makes Sompo International unique?
Sompo International empowers professionals with the authority to make decisions and be absolutely relevant in the marketplace. We are very proud of our track record in Bermuda of training and developing local talent as well as fostering further career development by encouraging employees to drive to better themselves through education and practical experience.
Can you shed light on a current project / initiative you / your BU is working on?
While the Bermuda Excess Casualty Underwriting Unit has taken advantage of and benefited from the “hardening market” over the last 18 months, we are not resting on our laurels or becoming complacent. We are embarking on an ambitious project to analyze our recent efforts under the lens of our loss experience over the history of our book of business. ”How would our current book of business have fared in the face of the loss activity that we have experienced?” This will provide us with thoughtful guidance moving forward as well as identify areas of opportunity that we may not see directly in the marketplace. We are also looking at the idea of “mapping” our exposures to better visualize the catastrophic loss potential with our book of business.
What is a trend you feel is impacting the industry at the moment?
Given the increase in the frequency of severity that we have seen in the Casualty space in the last decade – how do we move forward and smooth out the volatility in this space to give underwriters, brokers and clients more certainty about the transfer of risk in such a way that profitability is achievable for all parties – not just one side or the other? I feel that our consistent approach to Excess Casualty in Bermuda provides that stability to our broker partners and ultimately to the customer.
Any advice to your younger self?
I began my carrier as a local Underwriter in a small U.S. branch underwriting local commercial clients with independent agents. I am currently underwriting Fortune 1000 clients for catastrophic liabilities offshore in Bermuda. Along the way, I moved geographies all over the US and I gained significant experience and career growth by volunteering for tough jobs that others shied away from; each post led to greater opportunities to expand my horizons. I would encourage my younger self to stretch the bounds of your world whether it be geographical, employment roles and responsibilities, and go outside of your comfort zone.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I love deep-sea fishing. I also enjoy playing golf, cooking/entertaining for friends with my wife (I fancy myself an amateur mixologist), and any water activities involving my little family (boating, swimming, snorkeling & beaching).