The Potential of Virtual Reality for Insurance Innovation

Advances in virtual reality are helping to revolutionizing the insurance industry, creating a more efficient, and more cost-effective, marketplace to the benefit of carriers and customers alike.

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As employees and consumers across the look for more mobile and user friendly interactions in all of their business transactions, insurers are feeling increased pressure to evolve. As result, we’ve seen companies begin to explore how a range of newer consumer technologies. Virtual reality (VR) is one of those technologies that carriers are increasingly exploring for the way it can change the way that agents engage with customers, enforce policies, and process claims.

Thanks to recent advances in VR technology, new training programs are giving agents more specialized skill sets. New simulations are improving the safety practices of policy holders. And new methods to inspect claims are making agents more productive.

First, VR can help insurance adjusters better serve their customers through sector-specific training programs. Agents working in home insurance can learn about HVAC installations or maintenance lifecycles. Agents in auto insurance can learn about nuances of engine repair, or the differences between the latest car and truck models. These training programs will enable agents to offer customized, policy-specific recommendations that can help customers understand their policies and improve their safety practices. At the same time, they can empower agents to make better informed decisions when evaluating insurance claims, making their assessments more cost-efficient over the long run.

Second, VR-based simulations can help corporate clients and policy holders to improve their safety practices. Businesses can use these simulations to train employees in new scenarios, or evaluate how they would respond in unfamiliar, or even potentially dangerous situations. In medicine, for example, these simulations can help nurses and doctors to practice on a new machine before using it on any patients. In transportation, these simulations could help test truck drivers in icy or snowy conditions. These procedures can help companies ensure that their employees will follow the most recent safety procedures in unplanned scenarios, leading to lower costs and fewer claims.

Similarly, individual policy holders can use VR-based simulations improve their safety practices. Through these programs, home owners can learn how to prevent maintenance issues like a flooded basement. Vehicle owners can learn new driving techniques or practice how to respond in unusual circumstances like a skid. At the end of the simulation, they can test their skills to ensure that they understand the latest policies and procedures, which will lead to lower accident rates in the long run. And after they successfully complete a training program, individuals can send the results to their agent to verify their enrollment and reduce their premiums. Meanwhile, agencies can use these programs to offer tailored discounts based on individual practices, giving their customers a more fair and accurate rate.

Redefining Claims Handling

Third, VR cameras can redefine how agents verify and evaluate claims. Instead of spending the time and money required to send multiple agents on field inspections, insurance agencies can simply send one person equipped with a 360-degree camera. Back at the office, agents and experts equipped with VR headsets can virtually examine the site, inspecting damages and calculating losses without ever having to leave their desks. What’s more, they can store the data record from the inspection, and can retrieve it at a moment’s notice—essentially going “back on site” if they ever need to double check their assessment.

Virtual reality headsets aren’t just gadgets that you may find in the living room or the amusement park. They’re also productivity tools that have the potential to reshape the insurance industry as we know it. VR devices are transforming the way that insurance agencies prepare their employees to work in specific sectors. They’re improving safety practices through simulations that benefit corporate clients as well as individual policy holders. And they’re creating innovative new ways to evaluate claims in the field. Taken together, these advances are helping to revolutionizing the insurance industry, creating a more efficient, and more cost-effective, marketplace to the benefit of companies and customers alike.

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John Curtis // John Curtis is Vice President at Samsung Electronics America. Curtis works with enterprises in the financial services industry and public sector to solve their business problems with mobile-first technology solutions.

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