Gotta Catch Em’ All? Pokémon Go Introduces New Insurance Risks

Posted by Richard Jacobson

Pokemon GoEven if you aren’t playing the game, there is no doubt you have heard its name or seen someone else engrossed in it. With more than 15 million players downloading the popular app, Pokémon Go has swept the nation. It has quickly become a phenomenon that has changed the gaming world in just a few shorts weeks. Gone are the days when gaming kept players confined to their couches for hours on end. With the introduction of Pokémon Go, the outside world has evolved into a virtual reality that everyone wants to explore.

While the game has certainly done an exceptional job of motivating kids and adults alike to get outside and play—a rarity today—this positive impact is overshadowed by the emergence of negative outcomes. In their eager pursuit to ‘catch em all,’ some gamers have willingly subjected themselves to grave dangers including walking into traffic and trampling onto private properties.

Pokemon Go Insurance RisksWhile new gaming advancements have certainly allowed the ground-breaking app to become the marvel it currently is, insurance organizations are struggling to keep up with the new liabilities being introduced. The game has blurred the fine line between digital and physical worlds and has left all parties vulnerable. For example, 28-year-old Steven Cary recently slammed his car into a tree while looking at a special Pokémon on his app. As a result of this and other incidents, the emergence of Pokémon Go has raised a number of liability questions. Who is responsible and whose insurance carrier has to pay in the case of a Pokémon Go related accident or injury? Who covers damaged property caused by players? highlighted the growing liability issues in a recent article.

Today’s environment of unparalleled innovation is certainly keeping the insurance world on its toes and inspiring the industry to look at the world and assess risk more creatively. The Pokémon Go craze is just the most recent example of the global era of disruption. As insurers strive to keep up with rapid technological changes and combat these emerging disrupters, focus must shift towards rethinking current talent strategies in order to create a successful and innovative workforce. Today’s innovative organizations need employees who can imagine and employees who can implement; they need employees who are all-rounders and they need specialists to ensure their success in a disruptive industry. What is your organization doing to attract the talent needed to stay ahead of the competition in this age of disruption and innovation?