The most passionate enthusiasts of virtual reality and augmented reality will rave about how exciting virtual reality is, and how it will totally transform the way in which we experience things. But we’re still a long way off widespread adoption. Most commonly, virtual reality and augmented reality are being used as a new method of content delivery for games, such as the many that are compatible with headsets like the Oculus Rift for VR (virtual reality) and mobile games such as last year’s AR (augmented reality) fad, Pokémon GO.
But beyond the visual gimmick and its entertainment purposes in gaming and media, there are very real, tangible benefits for the more “boring” industries. There are opportunities for virtual reality to thrive in all sectors. Many businesses also doubted how widespread the internet would become, believing that it would only be relevant for certain types of businesses. And now everything is online. Even our refrigerators and ovens.
According to reports, augmented reality and virtual reality are expected to create new risks which insurance companies are going to have to prepare for in terms of coverage. But the insurance industry itself could be totally revolutionised by virtual reality.
Similar to how the real estate industry is utilising virtual reality for property viewings, virtual interactive tours for damage assessments or risk assessments could be conducted around business premises without a representative physically being there. This could save companies time and travel expenses when conducting risk assessments before giving any kind of quote for insurance.
The telematics company, Scope Technologies, has recently trialled VR technology as a way to reconstruct the moments leading up to accident using the black box data available. Virtual reality can help to better determine who was at fault in a car crash, and whether or not the insured driver could have minimised the damage or prevented the accident from occurring. And, much like how currently black box technology can track drivers’ driving and offer lower premiums to more responsible drivers, drivers could also use virtual reality to take simulated driving tests when applying for auto insurance to reduce the cost of their car insurance.
Virtual reality and augmented reality can also be used for educational purposes to reduce unnecessary risks in the workplace and prepare employees for what to do in the event of a fire or flood. Safety training simulations could supplement or even replace fire drills, or provide simulated scenarios to train manufacturing and factory workers on risk handling.
The applications for virtual reality within the insurance industry are beginning to emerge, and will eventually become more pronounced as companies embrace the new technology.