Meet Rich Appel, SVP, Senior Counsel, Sompo International Insurance
What is your backstory? Tell us about your path to Sompo International.
I switched careers a few times during my early years after college graduation. My first job out of college was working as a Software Engineer on Military Communications Systems. After a couple of years, I left that field to become a Nassau County Police Officer. I worked as police officer on patrol for more than six years during which time I attended St. John’s Law School. After graduation, I Ieft the police force to join the law firm Chadbourne & Parke and later moved to the firm Cadwalader. In private practice I worked primarily on insurance and reinsurance litigation and arbitration matters. Endurance, now Sompo International, was a client of Cadwalader and through that relationship I became aware of an opening at Endurance and joined the company thirteen years ago.
What is something about your role / Business Unit that people may not know?
Our Product Development/Legal unit provides insurance product and legal support not just for the U.S., but also for underwriters situated in Bermuda, United Kingdom, and across Europe covering global risks. Our support includes analyzing and addressing myriad legal and regulatory issues, along with the drafting and review of insurance policies and facultative reinsurance certificates, vendor contracts, confidentiality agreements and assorted other agreements related to the writing of insurance.
What do you think makes Sompo International unique?
Sompo International is a growing insurer that has been able to maintain its entrepreneurial spirit. Sompo International fosters a collaborative environment dedicated to providing our clients with insurance solutions customized to their needs while maintaining high quality customer service.
What is a trend you feel is impacting the industry at the moment?
An evolving trend in the industry is the increasing regulatory scrutiny of the management of cyber insurance exposures and the handling of data privacy issues. For example, the New York Department of Financial Services recently issued regulatory guidance on best practices for insurers to manage their cyber insurance risks. Social and climate activism are also having an increasing impact on the industry, as insureds and insurers alike are taking these issues into account in how and with whom they do business.
What do you do when you’re not working?
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic I spent much of that time taking my oldest son to Special Olympic Sporting events for swimming, soccer and basketball. Hopefully, those events will be able to start up again soon as those activities are sorely missed by the athletes.