How Real is Virtual Reality in Insurance?

Virtual Reality (VR) is no longer a technology reserved for the gaming industry. The applications are manifold in industries such as education, engineering, healthcare, insurance, sports, telecommunications etc., Two things occurred to me when I first tried google cardboard was:

  1. How immersive the experience would be in a much more technically crafted devices like Oculus Rift and
  2. What would be the current and potential enterprise applications and implications of this technology for insurance industry.

Unlike other technology disruptions like telematics, IoT, mobile, digital and cloud in insurance industry which I have outlined in one of my previous blog, VR is yet to catch up in terms of adoption by insurers. However, there are some applications from which the early adopters of this technology have started benefiting.

Virtual Reality in Insurance
Source: Fill /

Current Enterprise Applications

The Applications: VR simulation of car crashes – Insurers help understand its customers on what happens in a car crash for a safety demonstration

The Benefits:  Improvement of driving behaviour by creating awareness on safety, reduced accident claims

The Early Adopters: Australian insurer NRMA Insurance built a car crash simulation in collaboration with an ad agency and a film production studio and provided the experience to customers through Oculus Rift headset in a crashed car showroom exhibit.

The Applications: Training – Safety experts and workers in manufacturing plants and warehouses are trained on safety practices and risk handling in a situation like accident by creating a virtual world with risk scenarios

The Benefits:  Immersive and effective training experiences

The Early Adopters: Travelers insurance is working with AppliedVR in developing a Virtual Reality mobile application aiming at industrial safety

The Applications: Advertising – Ad campaigns in the VR gaming and other platforms

The Benefits: Connecting better with the tech-savvy audience

The Early Adopters: Axa partnered with Google Niantic Lab Ingress to protect the gamers in a virtual real world using Axa Shield.

Ideas Insurers Can Explore

The Applications: Risk Assessment – Underwriters can look at all the possible risk hazards in a building without actually visiting the building.

The Benefits:  Cost saving on travel and hiring

The Early Adopters: Insurers can steal ideas from the travel industry and see how they can customize it for their needs. Marriot Hotels teleports guests to places like Hawaiian beach and downtown London with 4D sensory experience.

The Applications: Analytics – Data scientists can analyse and visualize large dynamic datasets in VR and executives can interact with the dashboards and take decision

The Benefits:  Quick and informed decision making, scenario analysis

The Early Adopters: Insurance industry can inspire from solutions developed for power, oil & gas and logistics industries. Space –Time Insight has recently demonstrated the capability of big data analytics and VR for a power substation maintenance using Oculus Rift. Also, data analytics on VR advertisement which even shows the heat-map of where the users are looking can be used by insurance companies.

As an array of companies such as Google, Facebook, Samsung, Sony etc., beef up their investments in VR and the number of enterprise applications spread across industries, the technology will soon prove to be disruptive for Insurance industry. Though customer experience, product demos and employee engagement are the key applications for the insurance industry, the ideas could be limitless as the technology matures. The day when we will compare the insurance product, take a driving test, purchase by interacting with an agent and talk to the customer care executive for claims, all through VR, is not too far.

This blog is written by Karthick Paulraj, Analytics Consultant at BRIDGEi2i

About BRIDGEi2i: BRIDGEi2i provides Business Analytics Solutions to enterprises globally, enabling them to achieve accelerated business impact harnessing the power of data. BRIDGEi2i’s Insurance Industry solutions brings in a unique combination of advanced analytics techniques and domain experience to help businesses develop a clear understanding of the market landscape, prioritize marketing channels and transform digital data into actionable insights to deliver incremental marketing return on investment. To know more visit

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position or viewpoint of BRIDGEi2i.