Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

26 December 2015

Insurance and Liability of Wireless Communication Carriers

This is an extremely important 12-page document prepared by the Maine Coalition to Stop Smart Meters giving evidence of the insurance and liability of wireless communication carriers.  Following are extracts of documents from Lloyds of London, SwissRe, and Vodafone.

PUC Docket 2011.262 Friedman on Remand Intervenor DW et al
Evidence 9 Insurability; Insurance and Liability of Wireless  Communication Carriers 
Updates filing dates, links, and typos April 8, 2013 Item 464  

Evidence 9 Insurability 
9.0 Insurance and Liability of Wireless Communication Carriers 

This category contains information about whether wireless companies can get insurance for claims made based on adverse effects on users’ health caused by their devices. The evidence is strong enough that the WHO, which tends to be a conservative organization, placed RF/EMF in the “possibly carcinogenic” category.  And plaintiffs claiming their health was harmed by exposure have won recent court cases. In addition, awareness about the issue of RF from cell phones causing adverse health effects is getting better, so insurance companies are watching. Of course, as more people have adverse effects  and identify them, awareness will naturally be increased. The 2011 categorization of RF as a possible carcinogen increases the concern as well. 

In this category, we present documents from insurance companies, court cases that have awarded compensation for RF radiation adverse health effects, industry defense attorneys, actuaries, and from the news and web media. One telecom company, Airtel-Vodafone does not mince words. They claim limits of liability for any adverse RF health  effects in their contract with the user, and maintain that they do not have to carry tort or  liability insurance. We have provided the entire Terms and Conditions from Airtel-Vodafone. In filing 9.21 Intervenors provide a brief on this category. 

9.01 Lloyds of London, Lloyds of London Risk Assessment 2011. This document is a  report on a global survey of 500 Board level executives in 2011. The report assesses what the executives believe are the top 50 risks to their businesses. Only 12.4% of those surveyed represented IT, Technology or Telecom companies. Yet, the “harmful effects of new technology” was named as a new risk (as compared to 2009) in the top 50.%.  In North America, it ranked 38.%.  EMF was listed as a concern.  In addition, 80% of companies lose more than 20% of their value at least once in a 5-year period because of a major reputational event such as when tobacco or asbestos companies and their associates were found to be liable for not providing information. This presents a huge risk. 
[Copy filed in Docket 2/15/12 Item 250] 

9.02.1 Braumer, Christian, SwissRe, Electrosmog – A Phantom Risk Article; This article, written by a worldwide Insurer of telecoms and other businesses comes to the  conclusion that the electrical engineering and power industries can be held liable even if  science never provides conclusive proof. It must be expected that plaintiffs will win suits dealing with this issue. The article details why it is not possible to answer with certainty the questions posed about RF/EMF. “Perhaps” is the answer. The expectation  that any certainty will ever be answered is erroneous, the author concludes, because it is based on the mistaken assumption that the relationships between EMF exposure and 
diseases such as immune deficiency, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cancer are merely complicated. It explains that instead, we are dealing with complex relationships, which  cannot even be identified, let alone understood, using the research methods presently available. The last paragraph in the introduction is fantastic in explaining the dilemma. Very significant to the wireless smart meter case and RF is that on page 11, this document says “sensitive individuals perceive (a change from a direct current field to an alternating-current field) this as a slight vibration of  their body hairs”. This supports that there are individuals (EHS) that are differentially affected by RF and electricity in  general. 
(This was numbered incorrectly as 9.2 in the filing; it was supposed to be 9.2.1; actually should be 9.02.1)

9.03 SwissRE Insurance PowerPoint Electrosmog; Why are electromagnetic fields  (EMF) on the radar screen of insurance companies for more than a decade? This 2009 Power Point (ppt) from a re-insurance company indicates that EMF has been on the  insurance company’s radar since 1989 because of links to childhood leukemia and high  voltage power lines and their interest in the INTERPHONE study results. Mentions contradictory study results and predicting risk loss and the law. For insurance companies, it outlines EMF as three problems: medical, socio-legal, and underwriting. Covers (CGL) commercial general liability and product liability and gives definitions of each. Presents models of costs of insurance and reinsurer’s liabilities. SwissRE, because of the model is maybe more at risk than others. Gives their method of “triage”. Discusses that EMF, as an “emerging risk”, is hard to predict. Location of PowerPoint for  SwissRe: accessed February 2013. 
[Note from Editor, "Towards Better Health":  the above link no longer exists.  Here is the link to the 2009 Power Point presentation:
http://www.slideserve.com/hop-green/electrosmog ]

We have also provided a Canadian Broadcast Company news video where  the newscaster says that she spoke with SwissRe and that they will no longer insure wireless against adverse health claims. [Copy filed in Docket 2/26/12 Item 292] 

9.04 Vodafone,Vodafone Limits of Liability; Power to You, Airtel-Vodafone Pay as You  Go Services Terms and conditions. This document is the Terms and Conditions of the  contract between the user and the phone company. At least three parts of this contract  are relevant. In section 14.1 Airtel-Vodafone states that, “Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Agreement and to the full extent permitted by any applicable law that Airtel-Vodafone is not liable for 14.1.1, in any way to the Customer whether in contract, tort (including negligence or breach of statutory duty) or otherwise for any losses, claims, damages, liabilities and the like howsoever caused or arising.” and that they are not liable for “ Any health issues arising from propagation of and/or exposure (of harmful radiofrequency radiation”; (emphasis mine) and 14.1.4 Airtel-Vodafone is not responsible for maintaining any insurance cover of any kind to cover  any losses, damages or liabilities and the like suffered by the Customer or any third  party howsoever arising in respect of the provision of the Service. 
[Copy filed in Docket 2/26/13 Item 293]

9.05 Ryle, Sarah, Lloyds of London refuses to underwrite cell phones; Insurers balk at risks of phones.  The London Observer April 11, 2011. Article describes how a leading Lloyd’s underwriter refuses to insure phone manufacturers against the risk of damage to users’ health. John Fenn of the underwriting group Stirling said that there are people in the insurance market whom “close their eyes to the issue”….but he notes that if you go back to asbestos, it “wasn’t a problem” either. Asbestos claims helped bring the Lloyd’s market to its knees in the early 1990’s. 
[Copy filed in Docket 2/26/12 Item 294]

9.18 MerisMeris, Author/Editor, Swiss RE Does Not RE-insure Mobile Phones for Health Risks, Towards Better Health Article; December 30, 2011. This is a summary article regarding the SwissRe Electrosmog document (filed in docket as Category 9 as 9.02). The author quotes from a SwissRe document “Electro-smog” that was filed in full with this docket. This author’s summary serves as a “brief” for the Intervenors on the  Electrosmog Report because it pulls directly from the document summarizing relevant parts. Excerpt: The rating of 33 is the most dangerous and highest risk rating possible for re-insurance with Swiss Re. Were the table divided up into grades that we received in school, it would like something like this...1-6 is an A;  7-12=B;  13-19= C;  20-26%=D;  27-33=F. Asbestos, endocrine disrupters, nanotechnology and fuel additives are considered to be more “insurable” than cell phones and EMF related products and infrastructure. On a totally separate note, beef is almost as uninsurable as cell phones since the US prohibits testing of its cattle for mad cow disease. Softeners (endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) 20.0;  Asbestos (re-emerging risk) 21.0;  Resistance to antibiotics 21.5;  Methyl Tertiary-Butyl Ether (MTBE additives to fuel) 22.0;  Nano Technology 23.0;  Genetically Modified Crops 24.0;  Unintentional/accidental mixing and blending of GM crops 24.0;  Animals or animal products and feedstuffs infected with  Bovine Spongiform; Encephalopathy (Mad Cow Disease) 26.5;  Electromagnetic Fields (EMF), Electro-smog 27.0. http://mieuxprevenir.blogspot.com/2011_12_01_archive.html
[Copy filed in Docket 3/4/13 Item 370]

Other documents include:

Brief about the Austrian Worker’s Compensation  Board Decision
Zurich Insurance Won’t Pay for Liability Insurance for Wireless  Companies Actual Title: Zurich says it won’t pay for cell phone brain-cancer lawsuits.
- Article in The Guardian RE:''Insurer’s Balking; Actual title: Insurers balk at risks of phones. April 10, 1999
- Cell Phones and Insurance companies, Canadian Broadcast Company, The National Report, September 21, 2010... States that 60% of Underwriters will not cover companies for claims made for adverse health effects.
- Italian Supreme Court Awards disability to Executive for tumor from cell phone used for work. Actual title: Italy's Supreme Court  Rules Cell Phone Brain Cancer Work Related, October 19,2012
-  Labor court in Spain Declares College Professor  Permanently Incapacitated from Environmental and Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity. June 9, 2011.

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