VR Helps Insurers Better Understand Risk

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As virtual reality matures, insurance companies are using the technology to train adjusters, underwriters and loss control engineers—and help create a safer future. Quadrant Information Services discusses how VR is changing the industry.

Quadrant Information Services CEO, Michael Macauley, discusses how VR is changing the industry.

“Virtual reality,” says Michael Macauley, “once considered the exclusive property of video game developers, is increasingly being used by the insurance industry for training, research, and product development.” Macauley, CEO of Quadrant Information Systems, a leading supplier of pricing analytics services to property and casualty insurance carriers, notes that where today large P&C insurers build houses and other structures solely for adjustor training, VR will enable carriers to create a wider variety of situations and enable adjusters to learn and experience them—more quickly, more accurately, in greater detail, and at significantly lower cost.1

Macauley points out that in addition to industry training, insurers are moving rapidly into the use of VR as a means of communicating with their customers. Allianz, for example, uses VR to highlight the possibility of home accidents to prospective policyholders, vividly illustrating defective appliances, floods and other hazards. Liverpool Victoria, a UK-based company with more than five million consumers, through a combination of a scanned print ad and prospects’ smart phones, allows customers to explore a virtual house while learning about the many components of the home—cars, pets, etc.—that can be insured.2

On another front, health care researchers are testing novel ways in which to incorporate VR into patient rehabilitation, while workers’ comp insurers are using it to better train adjusters and underwriters. Areas where VR is showing promise include spinal cord injuries, phantom limb pain after amputation, severe pain after burns, and rehabilitation. According to senior care management executives, the use of VR in conjunction with workers’ compensation is being discussed at virtually every major rehabilitation center in the country today.[FN3]

In addition to helping to facilitate recovery from injuries, VR is being deployed to help prevent them. Many experienced construction companies are adopting the technology to improve site safety, provide virtual training, and—along the way—reduce training-associated travel costs. A major Hong Kong-based firm, Gammon Construction Limited, has already started using virtual reality to train its employees. Gammon Safety Manager Kwok Wai-yin says, “This training has successfully drawn trainees’ attention, stimulated their responses, and attained mutual communication, which is more effective and convincing than lectures. In addition, it has changed their mode of thinking, boosted site safety, and is getting us closer to the zero-harm goal.” Global construction giant Bechtel is also rolling out a virtual reality safety training program.[FN4]

“The rapid adoption of virtual reality, in both insurance-specific and insurance-related applications,” says Macauley, “is yet another indicator of the extent to which technological development is changing—and in some ways disrupting—the insurance industry. Like wearable technology, driverless cars, and a host of other new developments, 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.”

“Our industry helps put boundaries between people and danger by making the determinations we make every day: what’s insurable and what’s not, and at what cost. The better our adjusters, underwriters and loss control engineers are equipped to do that—by using virtual reality or any other newly-proven technology—the better partner our industry will be to its customers and to society at large. At Quadrant, we’re tirelessly working to learn about new technology and pass that understanding on to our clients, both because it will make them better competitors, and because it will help them make the world a safer place.”

About Quadrant Information Services:

Quadrant Information Services, headquartered in Pleasanton, CA, provides pricing analytics solutions for property and casualty insurance companies. Quadrant gives actuary, product development, pricing, sales and marketing personnel at its client companies—which include all the major insurance carriers in the United States—the data they need to make accurate, data-driven decisions. An industry innovator since its founding in 1991, Quadrant has provided the P&C insurance field with a long series of technological advances, including InsureWatch, the industry’s first cloud-based pricing tool, which allows the user to produce unlimited combinations of reports with the click of a mouse. For more information, and to learn why Quadrant is for insurance companies that are tired of losing the right customers and winning the wrong ones, please visit http://www.quadinfo.com.

1.    Breading, Mark, “Virtual Reality: A Role in Insurance?”, Insurance Thought Leadership, August 11, 2016.

2.    Bordvik, Aleksander, “AR and VR in Insurance,” LinkedIn, October 11, 2016.

3.    Walsh, Juliann, “VR IN Worker’s Comp,” Risk & Insurance, February 20, 2017.

4.    “Virtual Reality Based Training Can Make Construction Sites Safer,” Holobuilder, November 4, 2016.

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Karla Jo Helms
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