Meta Quest 2: insurer records increase in claims
The increasing prevalence of VR headsets is leading to a rise in claims, according to a U.K. insurance company.
VR headsets like the Meta Quest 2 can quickly become a hazard to home furnishings, roommates or your own physical well-being if used improperly. If you don’t mark your play area correctly or ignore its boundaries, you can get a nasty surprise: smashed TVs, lamps or hands are the result.
The Reddit forum VRtoER bears macabre witness to this. Here, VR users post pictures of their destroyed interiors or (sometimes bloody) VR accidents.
Amusing damage reports
As VR glasses are found in more and more households, claims are also on the rise. UK insurer Aviva registered 31 percent more VR-related insurance claims last year, the Guardian reports. Since 2016, cases have even increased by 68 percent.
In 2021, the average claim was £650, which is equivalent to approximately $870. Televisions are particularly often affected.
Fortunately, the damage reports received are relatively harmless: One insurance customer hurled his VR controller into the TV in fright because a virtual zombie jumped toward him, and a child smashed two valuable figurines standing on the mantelpiece because the game required a wiping motion.
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VR claims: Rise is “normal”
That VR-related insurance claims are on the rise is nothing unusual, the British insurer says. “When new games and gadgets become popular, it’s often reflected in our customers’ insurance claims,” says Aviva property claims director Kelly Whittington. “In the past, we’ve seen similar trends with consoles, smartphones, fitness games and even Fidget spinners.”
The insurer says many people received VR headsets as gifts over Christmas, and claims are already being filed for 2022 – and it expects more to come.
Meta Quest’s Guardian protection system (2) has been steadily improving in recent years. It detects and displays furniture that is in the play area and can display outlines of intruding objects in VR. These safety measures only help to a limited extent if users handle the devices irresponsibly.