While the full extent of virtual reality’s (VR) implications for the insurance industry is yet to come, most insurers today don’t have to be convinced of the technology’s promise. In fact, a recent survey of 623 insurance executives found:
- 85% already believe it’s important to leverage virtual, augmented, or extended reality solutions to close the gap of physical distance when engaging with employees or customers;
- 84% say it will create a new foundation for interaction, communication, and information; and
- 84% think it’s very important for their organizations to be pioneers in virtual experience solutions.
With such far-reaching expectations, just how are virtual experiences transforming insurance? Let’s look at three areas.
84% of insurance execs say virtual reality will create a new foundation for interaction, communication, and information.
Enhanced risk assessment and underwriting
From claims adjusters who need to evaluate property damage to underwriters who need accurate data to evaluate risk, insurers are turning to virtual means to learn more, build knowledge, and improve safety and efficiency. And since VR can encompass any immersive experience, it can be valuable to insurers looking to replicate an environment or simulate a potential situation.
For example, with visual reporting from a 360-degree camera, underwriters can view a business location without being on–site, understanding not only a location’s size, but also the layout as well as the type of machinery and equipment in the space. An insurer could also visualize the company’s fleet for its size, make up, and condition.
These types of virtually enhanced methods enable more informed decisions. And with deeper insights into risks, underwriters can leverage information to better understand risks and craft insurance solutions that help customers better manage their exposures.
Improved customer engagement
Today’s insurance customers want more convenience, customization, and efficiency. And, thanks to its collaborative nature, virtual experiences have the potential to deliver this, improving the way insurance carriers engage with customers.
For instance, in collaboration with an insurer’s risk control or risk engineering consultants, a risk manager could use virtual experiences to:
- Assess and compare the physical environments of their specific locations, whether they are across the country or in other parts of the world, to identify potential hazards that might result in claims.
- Provide employee training on how to use machinery or other equipment to help mitigate the risk of injuries.
In these ways, virtual experiences enable more engaging methods for identifying risks and helping to improve overall safety.
Better claims experiences
Virtual experiences can also enhance claims processing and improve turnaround times. In fact, Lexis-Nexis Risk Solutions’ 2019 Future of Claims study found that:
- 95% of insurers are either already using or considering virtual claims handling;
- 79% of insurers are either considering or open to the concept of touchless claims handling; and
- Insurers that currently use claims automation and virtual methods report significant efficiencies, along with higher customer satisfaction.
For example, Liberty Mutual Insurance has implemented automated processes via web robots, or “bots”, to reduce the intake time from hours to minutes for workers compensation claims. This virtual process speeds up assignment of new claims while also enabling claims teams to focus on meaningful interactions with injured works.
Imagining virtual solutions
In today’s rapidly changing insurance environment, virtual reality can harness the power of digitally immersive experiences. Coupled with real-world applications, they present an opportunity to potentially improve customer service, risk mitigation, and more. Learn more about how other trends are helping to shape the future of insurance here.
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