Aviva is issuing a warning to householders with virtual reality devices, after receiving a flurry of claims linked to VR games.
The insurer saw home contents claims involving VR headsets soar by 31% last year, compared to 2020, with the majority of claims relating to ‘accidental damage’. In most cases, customers made claims for TV sets which had been broken by over-enthusiastic gamers. The average value of a VR-related claim for accidental damage in 2021 was around £650.
Aviva has seen a steady growth in VR-related home claims in recent years, with a 68% increase since 2016.
And with virtual reality devices proving popular gifts for Christmas 2021, more customers could be facing similar incidents this year. Aviva said it had already received a handful of claims in 2022, as a result of people falling into or hitting TV screens while wearing VR headsets.
Kelly Whittington, UK Property Claims Director for Aviva says: “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!
“These devices can be a great source of fun, but we’d encourage people to be mindful of their surroundings and take a look at their home insurance to make sure it suits their needs. Accidental damage cover can be a great addition to home contents insurance, just in case accidents happen.”
Aviva claims involving VR headsets include:
- A customer threw a controller into the TV set when a zombie jumped out during a game, surprising the unwitting participant.
- One child smashed two designer figurines when his game demanded a ‘swipe’ move – and he swept them off a mantelpiece.
- Several customers reported toppling over while wearing VR headsets – falling head-first into TVs and cracking the screens.