Lloyd’s Won’t Discuss Their New EMF Exclusion Clause



no questionsLast week, a couple of blogs noted that a recent commercial liability insurance renewal policy issued through a Lloyd’s of London underwriter contained a liability exclusion clause about electromagnetic fields.

The clause excludes any compensation for claims:

“directly or indirectly arising out of, resulting from or contributed to by electromagnetic fields, electro-magnetic radiation, electromagnetism, radio waves or noise.”

It is important that “radio waves” are explicitly included as they, specifically the microwave zone, are what enable wireless communications devices like cell phones, wi-fi, cordless phones etc.

After the policy holder made an inquiry seeking clarification about the exclusion language, CFC Underwriting LTD in London, the UK agent for Lloyd’s, sent the following:

“The Electromagnetic Fields Exclusion (Exclusion 32) is a General Insurance Exclusion and is applied across the market as standard. The purpose of the exclusion is to exclude cover for illnesses caused by continuous long-term non-ionising radiation exposure i.e. through mobile phone usage.”

Sharon Noble, Director of the Coalition to Stop Smart Meter Harm in British Columbia (Canada) brought the clause and CFC’s response to public attention.

My interpretation of this revealing statement is that CFC Underwriting, and perhaps all of “the market” has realized that the time has come to hedge against a future surge in “illnesses caused by continuous long-term non-ionising radiation exposure i.e. through mobile phone usage.” Why else would they refuse coverage “across the market as standard.”?

“Unfortunately, Lloyd’s doesn’t have a spokesperson who can talk about this so we’re going to have to decline.”

Lloyd’s of London describes itself as “the world’s specialist insurance market,” and they’ve insured and paid on a variety of unusual risks and catastrophic claims. Unlike many other insurance brands, Lloyd’s is not a company; it’s “a market where our members join together as syndicates to insure risks.” What they insure falls into seven broad categories: casualty, property, marine, energy, motor, aviation and reinsurance.

Reinsurance is the key here, as, among other things, it serves “to protect an insurer against very large claims.” Think tobacco, asbestos and climate change. And microwave radiation apparently, even though regulatory and health agencies around the world refuse to accept RF exposure as causing illness.

Lloyd's of London new blanket EMF exclusion language.

I was seriously intrigued at all of this and emailed an inquiry to the Lloyd’s press center stating that I wanted some more details about the exclusion. I told them that as I primarily produce radio, I’d want to capture the conversation on tape, but would also be happy to talk with someone off tape, but on the record.

Two hours later, I received a response from a woman at Prosek Partners, “a communications consultancy that delivers an unexpected level of passion, creativity and marketing savvy,” which apparently handles such issues for Lloyd’s. She wanted to know more about what exactly I was seeking and asked if I would “mind expanding on your request a bit?” so she could best determine how to help me. I obliged, sending back “Basically I’m interested in the 5 Ws, but why especially. I’d also like to how widely the exclusion is being replicated in Lloyd’s policies. Is there any sense internally at Lloyd’s about this being a first step that is likely to be copied industry wide? Was there any conversation pre/post release of the exclusion language with any wireless industry businesses?”

This afternoon (she apologized for the 24 hour ‘delay’) she wrote back to tell me “Unfortunately, Lloyd’s doesn’t have a spokesperson who can talk about this so we’re going to have to decline.”

Now I’m used to rejection as a reporter, but I couldn’t quite believe this and told her so in my reply, mentioning that their refusal to talk about the policy change would possibly “draw attention away from more important aspects of the story.”

The takeaway here is that an underwriter for Lloyd’s of London, the world’s largest insurance market place, has “across the market” refused to provide coverage for any claims arising from exposure to cell phones, wi-fi or any other source of electromagnetic frequency radiation. Lloyd’s has then refused to answer a media inquiry about why, claiming that there is no one “who can.” Hmmm…

8 thoughts on “Lloyd’s Won’t Discuss Their New EMF Exclusion Clause

  1. Despite Lloyds’ policy to exclude liability in at least some of its policies, it offers Wi-Fi in its Lime Street, London office. This is available to staff and visitors, and the current system has “much greater signal availability throughout the building” than the one it is replacing/has replaced.

    Accessing Wi-Fi in the Lloyd’s building (PDF)

    1. I’m curious if wireless providers will begin to provide, if they haven’t already, similar terms and conditions such as Lloyd’s of London does for use of their Wi-Fi system. Checking with municipalities, libraries, and other Wi-Fi “hosts” and providers might find an interesting trend.

  2. I would like to correct a comment made in your article “Lloyd’s Won’t Discuss Their New EMF Exclusion Clause.” Your quote, “given the general lack of concern in the scientific community,” is incorrect.
    There are thousands of peer reviewed non-industry funded studies from scientists and medical experts who say exposure to microwave radiation is a health risk. I have asked for just ONE study that says “microwave radiation exposure is safe for children and have yet to receive one.

    Links to scientific studies demonstrating biological harm from microwave radiation exposure

    1. Thanks for your reading my work and taking the time to comment Janis.

      I understand your point, but don’t agree with the notion that there is general concern in the scientific and health world about RF and microwave radiation specifically. There is a minority in both who are as vocal as possible and have excellent supporting evidence behind their claims. But unfortunately their messages are not making it through to their broader peer communities.

      I’ve been looking into this issue for over a decade and have collected hundreds of studies myself, so I’m fully aware that there’s a huge literature of valid science pointing out very serious health and safety risks going back over 60 years. It just hasn’t filtered out widely so that “generally” scientists are expressing concern about it, let alone regulatory agencies.

      Do let me know if you ever find that “ONE” study (I doubt you will). Another good resource is Ignorance and Denial.

        1. Thanks for reading and commenting Bob. Yes, I saw that a week or so back and have meant to contact them but it escaped me, I appreciate the reminder.

  3. Out of my depth a bit here and “off the cuff” but might the increased incidence of cancer at lower power levels be further evidence of the “biological window”effect where it is believed that at certain exposure levels as the signal is continuously attenuated in body tissue existing cancer cells are stimulated to replicate faster that they would do otherwise?

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