If you aren't part of the recent "Pokemon Go" craze, you will still almost certainly be aware of it. Large groups of people, young and old, all wandering about the cities, streets and roads of our nation, eyes glued to their phones. We've been seeing this sort of behaviour for years, a byproduct of the digital age: But the enormous success of the Pokemon Go game has turned this level of distracted walking up to 11.
In fact, according to research firm SensorTower, people are spending more time on Pokemon Go than any other top mobile app, and the game itself has had over 15 million downloads across a variety of devices. While it's fantastic to see so many people out and about getting extra exercise, the fact remains that such a huge amount of time spent looking down at the ground is not conducive to pedestrian safety.
Pokemon, Pokestops, Pokeballs – it might be time to add Poke-insurance to that list of necessities for the avid Pokemon Go player!
Stay aware of your surroundings
"You see it far too often – people walking along, looking down at their phones, listening to music on headphones, oblivious to their surroundings."
Though Pokemon Go has only been released for a short amount of time, it has already dominated headlines and social media feeds – and not always for good reasons. In their hurry to capture that rare pocket monster over the road or in a restricted area, people have already been suffering injuries, some of them quite severe.
Whether it's walking across a road with your eyes on the Poke-prize instead of the traffic or losing your footing on uneven ground, plenty of people have likely already had to claim on their private health insurance as a result of being too involved in their screentime.
Even before this particular craze really took off, there were calls for distracted pedestrians to take more care. The Victorian Transport Accident Commission (TAC) in conjunction with Victoria Police were pushing for greater pedestrian safety after revealing that over 200 people were killed on local roads over the last five years.
"You see it far too often – people walking along, looking down at their phones, listening to music on headphones, oblivious to their surroundings," said TAC Chief Executive Joe Calafiore.
This was said back in January of this year, and it's likely this sentiment has only become stronger as a result of the Pokemon Go trend.
More than just distraction
However, it isn't just about injury when it comes to insurance concerns with Pokemon Go. There have already been reports of people actively luring players to certain areas through game mechanics with the specific objective of robbing them. After all, the game itself needs a smart device – expensive pieces of technology that are likely tempting targets for thieves.
On that note, there is also the question of just who is liable for these kinds of incidents. The developer, Niantic, has previously had issues with players being harmed in similar circumstances, or even outright killed by not paying attention while playing their previous game, Ingress. Pokemon Go itself warns trainers to stay aware of their surroundings at all times, and has taken multiple other precautions to protect themselves from legal action via disclaimers. It remains to be seen how effective these are in the face of lawsuits.
Private health insurance, home and contents, even indemnity – it's quite amazing how much of a difference a relatively-simple application can make to the industry. The world is swiftly developing in a digital direction, but there's one consistent factor that will remain a constant: quality health insurance.
Whether you're a budding trainer or an experienced hand at Pokemon, it isn't the wild Zubats that you need to worry about – it's where you put your feet! Make sure you are covered for life's little mishaps by comparing your health insurance right here at HICA. You can call us on 1300 44 22 01 for more information.