Most global insurers have chosen to exclude radio frequency (RF) coverage from their policies. More so since 2013, when AM Best, the leading insurance rating agency published a report stating that it has now been determined that about 250,000 cell phone antenna workers per year who are in close contact with cell phone antennas are at high risk of thermal (ionizing) effects from RF radiation including eye damage, infertility and cognitive impairments.
Note AM Best’s analysis did not consider non-thermal (non-ionizing) effects from cellular radiation, which have also shown to be hazardous to human health on deeper cellular levels.
EMF Exclusions Are Standard Within The Insurance Industry
Insurance companies typically exclude coverage for illnesses caused by long-term EMF (non-ionizing) exposure. Mainstream media has not made this information readily available to the masses.
As published on Business Insurance in 2007, the safety of electromagnetic radiation has been debated for many years within the insurance industry, as far back as 1984 as wireless communication grew in popularity. The scientific community has always been split on the opinion of whether wireless radiation poses a health risk or not. As time passed and more claims and lawsuits were filed, insurance companies increasingly dropped coverage for EMF damages.
Lloyd’s of London, one of the largest insurers in the world, in 2015 created a market standard that electromagnetic radiation (EMR) exposure illness would be excluded from coverage, as mentioned in a previous article: Insurance Companies Can Refuse Claims Related to Electromagnetic Radiation Illnesses. This means insurance policies would exclude coverage for illnesses caused by continuous long-term non-ionizing radiation exposure including that released from mobile phones.
Wireless Radiation Classified as Pollutant
If specifically requested, some insurance companies do offer additional insurance policy extensions for EMF Liability typically found within Pollution Liability alongside chemicals, smoke and asbestos. This additional liability can minimize court cases and unwanted publicity to telecommunications and electrical companies. Cell phone companies, such as Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have also defined EMFs, microwaves and all non-ionizing radiation as pollutants and will not cover damages.
Telecom Companies Addressed EMF Liability in 2014 Annual Reports
Many wireless companies addressed shareholders in their annual reports of the fiscal year ending in 2014, yet did not pass warnings on to consumers.
Verizon said, “Our wireless business faces personal injury and consumer class action lawsuits relating to alleged health effects of wireless phones or radio frequency transmitters.” “We may incur significant expenses in defending these lawsuits. In addition, we may be required to pay significant awards or settlements.” AT&T and T-Mobile made similar statements including mention of cell tower health risks.
American Tower Corporation stated, “If a scientific study or court decision resulted in a finding that radio frequency emissions pose health risks to consumers, it could negatively impact the market for wireless services, as well as our tenants, which could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations or financial condition. We do not maintain any significant insurance with respect to these matters.”
Through the evolution of new wireless technology, and as 5G continues rolling out world-wide, cellular antenna saturation keeps growing. Considering the amount of antennas, the lack of liability coverage and that many telecommunications companies have been warning their share-holders since 2014 of a probable increase in lawsuits, it can be determined that RF injuries are expected to escalate.
Does Risk Outweigh Revenue?
EMF exclusions in liability insurance not only increase risk of consumer and employee lawsuits, but it may lead property owners to be less willing to renew existing cell tower/antenna leases. The risk to property owners could far exceed lease revenue. These towers and antennas are increasingly being installed everywhere including commercial and residential streets on rooftops, sides of building and many discrete areas increasingly putting contractors at higher risk for electromagnetic radiation effects.
Medical professionals who typically work in high EMF environments are also excluded from coverage with companies such as A&M Insurance for Medical Professionals in the UK.
The overall medical community has yet to be trained to recognize symptoms of electromagnetic radiation overexposure and lacks knowledge to treat these types of injuries. Therefore, EMF effects are often misdiagnosed and mistreated. The insurance industry recognized this challenge which further supports their decision to exclude RF/EMF exposure coverage from insurance policies.
If the general public were aware of common EMF insurance exclusions due to industry health concerns, would consumers continue using wireless devices to the same constant degree?