Strap-In: Virtual Reality is about to revolutionise the insurance industry
When we think of VR (virtual reality) we tend to associate it with the entertainment industry. Gaming, interactive experiences, movie viewing, etc. And it’s certainly true that in its early adoption days the entertainment industry is where the tech will be most heavily showcased, but in the mid to long term, VR, and to the same degree AR (augmented reality), will find its true calling in more sober industries such as healthcare, fitness, and – you guessed it – the insurance industry.
Imbedded Technology paves the way
In a world where you can strap on a headset and instantly become Batman, using VR/AR tech for insurance purposes may sound down right unimaginative, but step back from the buzz of how the tech is being applied today, and it quickly becomes clear just how powerful a tool VR/AR will be for the insurance industry. We have firmly entered the age of imbedded technology, and our future will be more connected than ever. Today, Ikea are fitting invisible smart speakers into furniture and picture frames. Likewise, the prevalence of camera tech will follow a similar path.
Cars of the future will undoubtedly be fitted with smart cameras that will play a vital role in deciding a driver’s risk assessment profile, and likewise the cost of their premiums and the menu of products and services available to them. The same will be true for public buildings, infrastructure, and even our own homes. But going further, what if an insurer on the other side of the world could assess a customer’s car accident liability by entering the car virtually and carrying out a detailed real-time assessment? Or by recreating the events of a car crash or a building fire in a virtual simulation based on hard data collected during the accident or incident?
“Within 25 years, the idea of climbing into an aircraft, and burning up huge quantities of fossil fuels to propel our bodies and briefcases full of papers, will seem absolutely backward.”
Burt Rutan – Aerospace engineer and entrepreneur
So close, no matter how far
Instantly, these technologies solve two of the biggest problems in insurance: distance and liability accuracy. Suddenly, an insurer can be present anywhere in the world without the physical need to open offices or deploy agents. The potential cost benefits are staggering, and insurers of all shapes and sizes can expand globally without the traditionally associated costs of physically doing so, which may level the playing field and drive a new era of competitive insurance services.
Believe the hype
Overall, for the insurance industry, it isn’t hype to say VR/AR tech will be revolutionary. It will forever change how insurers operate and open up countless options for expansion, as well as drive the development of smarter, individualised and more flexible products and services – trends customers are demanding today. Twinned with our rush to imbed speakers and cameras into just about everything, there will be no place insurers cannot access. Be it way down in our cities’ sewer systems, or all the way out in space to assess our satellites and space stations. Truly, the future for insurers is bright and exciting, so grab your headsets and strap-in. A virtual revolution is coming.