Three insurers could face claims of £200m arising from the ESR collapse.

Liberty, Markel and QBE could face a claims bill of up to £200m following the collapse of ESR Insurance, the Lloyd’s broker at the centre of an international fraud investigation, it emerged this week.

According to sources, the three Lloyd’s underwriters are named among others on a list of directors’ and officers’ (D&O) insurers for ESR.

Administrators estimated that up to £200m could be paid to clients that dealt with ESR’s financial risks division, which would in turn trigger ESR’s D&O policies. These clients could claim for the return of premiums paid, as well as damages with respect to policies improperly or invalidly placed.

However, the administrators added that £200m in claims was unlikely and the actual quantum of claims against ESR was likely to be significantly less. Administrators have alerted all of ESR’s D&O and errors and omissions insurers.

ESR was put into administration in February, following an internal investigation that uncovered irregularities in the operation of the company’s financial risks division.

Fraud investigations have begun in the UK, US and the Bahamas. Director David Bedford was earlier suspended amid allegations of the invalid issuing of bonds and insurance.