Insurers have been warned that sloppy work by employees on the internet could result in damage claims under employer's professional liability policies.

Speaking at the fourth annual professional indemnity seminar, Rupert Boswall of leading insurance law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, said the scope for avoidable claims waiting to materialise from e-commerce could be "huge".

He said e-mails had the same status in law as official correspondence.

But there was a greater risk that e-mails could contain mistakes since they were often produced more quickly and easily, or sent to the wrong party by accident.

Boswall urged insurers to include specific exclusions in policy wordings to pre-empt claims for negligent provision of professional services, breach of confidentiality, defamation and intellectual property infringement.