Proposed company law reforms could lead to a rise in directors' and officers' (D&O) premiums, Heath Lambert has predicted.

The Company Law Reform Bill attempts to clarify directors' duty of care.

Mark Hardinge, Heath Lambert's chief executive of financial and professional risks, said it was inevitable that insurers would seek to increase rates as the Bill could increase the scope of negligence claims against executive management.

Francesca Bristo, Markel head of D&O underwriting, agreed more claims were likely to follow but said it was too early to suggest that there would be an effect on rates.

Bristo added: "We really have to see a falling away of underwriting capacity or a substantial increase in claims activity for there to be an impact on rates."

Paul Cregan, Hiscox specialist class underwriter, said insurers would wait to see how the frequency of claims would be affected.