VR Insurance Claims Skyrocket: The Metaverse Is All Fun And Games Until Someone Takes A Header
It is all fun and games until someone loses an eye… or a piece of furniture… or an expensive TV. VR headsets can be a lot of fun but can also cause injury to those who are unaware of their environment. To that end, UK-based insurance company Aviva recently reported it has have seen a 31% increase in the number of VR-related insurance claims over the last year.
A representative from Aviva told The Guardian that this increase in claims is not uncommon. Kelly Whittington, Aviva’s UK property claims director, remarked, “As new games and gadgets become popular, we often see this playing through in the claims made by our customers. In the past we’ve seen similar trends involving consoles with handsets, fitness games and even the likes of rogue fidget spinners.” Whittington noted that there has been an overall increase of 68% in VR-related insurance claims since 2016. She further commented that the average VR claim was for “accidental damage” and amounted to £650 GBP ($879.29 USD). There have already been several claims this year as many people received VR headsets as gifts during the holidays.
The insurance claims that are made can read a bit like a comedy sketch. One person purportedly threw their controller at a TV when a zombie jumped out at them during a game. According to Aviva, this claim was accepted and settled.
Whittington encourages VR users to “be mindful of their surroundings and take a look at their home insurance to make sure it suits their needs.” They suggested that people consider adding accidental damage coverage to their home insurance. This kind of coverage of course would be useful even if you do not own a VR headset or are not frightened by jump scares.
It is difficult to nail down exact numbers, but VR and AR sales undoubtedly increased in 2022. The International Data Corporation (IDC) reported this past December that global shipments were up by 348.4% from 2020. Some believe that VR headsets were popular due to the unavailability of consoles like the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, but others argue that they will only continue to increase in popularity. It was agreed in reports from various different data collection and market research groups that Meta dominated the market. Meta Quest 2 is currently the most popular VR headset and the hype train does not appear to be stopping any time soon. And that means VR-related insurance claims may continue to rise as well.
Images of Meta Quest 2 courtesy of Meta.