According to a recently released insurance risk report published by a leading insurance firm, ‘unforeseen consequences of electromagnetic fields’ could result in a flood of insurance claims that would translate into significant liability losses for the industry.
The report, titled Swiss Re SONAR — Emerging Risk Insights, released by Swiss Reinsurance in June 2013, addresses risks that could affect the insurance industry moving forward. The report considers the risk of increased insurance claims related to health risks associated with electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure to be ‘high’. The report highlights recent Italian court rulings that have ruled in favor of claimants that have suffered damage to their health as a result of cellphone use, and also points out that there is an increasing public awareness and anxiety with regard to the health risks associated to EMF exposure.
The report considers most of the topics addressed to be of ‘medium impact’ to the industry, but the health issues related to EMF exposure are classified as high impact. Other potential risks such as cyber attacks, internet security, power blackouts, and occupational safety — which are all exacerbated or further compromised by ‘smart’ metering systems — are also discussed in the report.
Swiss Re considers Emerging Risks to be “newly developing or changing risks that are difficult to quantify and could have a major impact on society and insurance industry”. They have classified EMF exposure as a potentially ‘High’ impact, suggesting that in a decade or more from now there is potential for “high financial, reputational and/or regulatory impacts or significant stakeholder concern” that could significantly impact stakeholders in the insurance industry.
The report’s authors are concerned that should a direct link be established between human health issues and EMF exposure that it could result in many new claims being filed, which would result in severe losses in terms of product liability cover. Truth is that big business and corporations have an interest in convincing the public that low-level EMF exposure is safe, even though there are thousands of scientific studies that prove otherwise.
Considering that use of electronic devices that emit EMFs is not only increasing, but we are becoming more and more dependent on this technology to go about our everyday business, be it work, play, socializing with friends, or communicating with family. This increasing dependence has spawned a rapidly growing Wi-fi network that spans the entire country, and is particularly dense across urban areas. As a result we are constantly exposed to electromagnetic frequencies even when we are not actually using our devices. We may not initially notice any health implications, but after long-term exposure the damages to our health may be more apparent, manifesting years from now as the increasing bombardment of EMFs silently takes its toll on our bodies.