Not so long ago the usage of virtual reality was regarded as being confined to video games but nowadays it is increasingly being used by other industries and in particular by the insurance industry. Apparently, the insurance industry is finding virtual reality useful for training and research and for product development.
Michael Macauley, CEO of Quadrant Information Systems a company that supplies pricing analytics services to property and casualty insurance carriers has pointed out and that virtual reality enables carriers to create a wide variety of situations, allowing adjusters to experience and learn from them, more quickly and more accurately and in far greater detail than using houses and other structures built solely for adjuster training. Of course, the costs are also much lower.
Additionally, insurers are also using virtual reality to help communicate with their customers, highlighting the possibility of home accidents to prospective policyholders and showing how defective appliances and others hazards such as floods could affect their home. One such company using this technique is Liverpool Victoria, a UK-based company with more than 5 million consumers. It is using a scanned print ad and prospects’ smart phones to allow customers to explore a virtual house while learning which components of the home can be insured.
Another way virtual reality is being used is in patient rehabilitation and it is showing particular promise for spinal cord injuries and for phantom limb pain after amputation. Its usage is being discussed in conjunction with workers compensation at just about all major rehabilitation centers in the country. As well as helping facilitate recovery from injuries, virtual reality is also being used to help prevent them. A number of construction companies are using the technology to provide virtual training and to improve site safety.
Macauley said “The rapid adoption of virtual reality, in both insurance-specific and insurance-related applications is yet another indicator of the extent to which technological development is changing-and in some ways disrupting-the insurance industry. VR is causing carriers to rewrite the rules for the way they operate. This is a challenge, but I think it’s also a great opportunity.”