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Q&A with Amar Sumaria – Claims Director

Book open Reading time: 4 mins

What is your role and how long have you been at Everest?

I am a Claim Director responsible for managing a team of diverse and talented adjusters and handling a portfolio of complex Reinsurance claims. Recently, I was also appointed to Everest’s DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) Council. I have been at Everest for 2 years and worked in Insurance for over 13 years.  

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

I graduated with a degree in Maths from King’s College London (sadly a long time ago now!). I tried a couple of different types of roles including accountancy but stumbled into London Market Claims which turned out to be a more rewarding career than I could have imagined. Before Everest, I worked at two other leading Lloyd’s syndicates as a Claims Adjuster. During my early career, I completed the ACII qualification and I am now a Chartered Insurer. In 2019, I decided to go back to university part-time to study for an MBA at Warwick Business School, which I hope to complete in early 2022.

What has been the single most important thing you learnt so far in your job?

To never be afraid to ask a question or to challenge the way things are done.

What do you find most interesting with the sector/industry you’re in?

The London Insurance Market is vital to London’s economy, as about 25% of the City’s GDP is generated by it and around 50,000 people are employed through it. From a global perspective, London is also unrivalled as a global hub for (re)insurance and it is renowned for its ability to handle complex risks.

For anyone less familiar with the London Insurance Market, it is very much a market, and a huge proportion of business is conducted face to face which makes it a fun place to do work. Also, as London has such a strong international reputation, many people from around the world are attracted to work here so you can meet and learn from people of different cultures and backgrounds.

Working in Claims has given me many opportunities for personal and professional growth, and I still feel like I learn new things every day. Quite often, I watch a major event on the TV and know that I will likely have to manage the claims that emanate from it. This gives me a connection to understand the financial impact of real-world situations, and makes my work feel meaningful.

How important is diversity to you and what is Everest doing in this space at the moment?

For me, company culture underpins everything we do here at Everest. As a member of the (group-level) DEI council, I can assure any applicant that DEI is an essential cornerstone of our culture and an important part of our strategy. Our group CEO, Juan Andrade, is the executive sponsor of the DEI council and attends our meetings, so DEI initiatives at Everest have support at the highest level. 

Recently the DEI Council has formed the Black, Pan-Asian and Pride ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) in addition to our existing Women’s Networking Group and Everest Charitable Outreach ERGs.   These ERGs were established in response to direct feedback received from our employees through the listening sessions held last year.  These ERGs will help to foster an inclusive workplace and provide a space for employees who share a common background, interest, or experience, and to build a sense of community.

Through my role on the DEI council, I am on the steering committee for our Regional DEI Representatives Program where we have recruited over 30 volunteers in 20 offices around the world to help champion regional DEI initiatives. I have also been heavily involved in ensuring that our recruitment processes are able to reach out to and attract the diverse talent that we all need more of in our organization and our industry. Notably, over the last 18 months, 480 new colleagues have joined the Everest family worldwide, of whom 52% were also diverse across both gender and/or ethnicity. 

Outside of our organisation, Everest also strives to be a strong corporate citizen with a commitment to philanthropic efforts. Last year, we expanded our matching-gifts program to several charities that support the fight against social injustice, racism, and discrimination.

Finally, any tips for anyone who’d like to apply for a role at Everest?

Don’t be afraid to be yourself and highlight what makes you unique. Ultimately, we are looking for candidates that can add new skills and viewpoints to our team meaning that we are open to a broad range of backgrounds, experiences, and talent.