Meet Elica O’Shea, AVP, Property Claims Manager
Please tell us about your career journey and your path to Sompo.
After passing the bar, I started my career as a private practice solicitor, working for DWF and Kennedys in their property, construction, and engineering claims departments. In 2016 I was seconded from Kennedys as maternity cover to the (then) Endurance syndicate as a claims examiner, and I never left! Endurance was acquired by Sompo in 2017, so I continued handling large loss property and energy claims in my new role as a senior claims examiner. I was promoted in November 2022 to AVP property claims manager, which brings us up to today.
Tell us about your day job.
Day to day, I have a lot of marketing to do. The insurance industry is still recovering from when the pandemic put a complete stop to face-to-face meetings. I’m making up lost time on that front and putting a lot of energy into rebuilding client relationships to pre-pandemic levels. In terms of business lines, I manage property, crisis management, and I have oversight of our agriculture business. I also support our technical claims department, so I manage the teams that report into me.
What’s our USP?
Sompo’s care for its clients and staff sets it apart from the market. We have gone through an intense period of acquisitions over the past few years, with a steady stream of new teams and business lines joining. When I came on board in 2016, the claims department only had five people – now we have over 35. Sompo consistently hires excellent people from a range of backgrounds, which makes it an enjoyable and interesting place to work.
What advice do you have for prospective Sompo candidates?
Be adaptable. Sompo is a great place to work in an industry that is constantly evolving. My advice would be ‘don’t be scared of change’. I’ve been with the company for over seven years. During this period, I’ve witnessed our team expand from 100 to 400 employees, experienced shifts in executive leadership, observed the evolution of our company culture, and encountered numerous new colleagues. If you can persevere, the insurance industry is truly rewarding.
What is your idea of a perfect day outside of the office?
I have two kids under 5, so when I’m not working, almost all of my time is spent ferrying them to activities and generally being in ‘mummy mode’. My perfect day would be much slower paced (sorry, kids!). I’m thinking it involves a beach in the sun, with a glass of cold champagne, and a good book.
Be kind to everyone, whether they’re your clients, your team, or anyone further afield. It’s nice to be nice!