Businesses operating in Lebanon could be left with insufficient insurance cover as violence escalates in the region between Israel and Hezbollah fighters.

Insurers have warned that terrorism cover alone will not be enough to ensure companies are protected against physical damage.

Adrian Lewers, a political risk and terrorism underwriter at Lloyd's insurer, Beazley, said there had been an increase in inquiries for both war-on-land and terrorism cover.

But he added: "Most buyers have simply gone for terrorism cover. What that will mean in the current situation, which in my view is a war situation, is that they will have a gap in their cover. This is not because there was a lack of it available but because they didn't ask or opted not to take it up.

"Anyone prepared to write [war risk and terrorism] will now look to maximise the pricing," he said. "But, for war cover in particular, I am not sure there is a price for that risk. It is dependent on the type of asset to be insured and where precisely it is. But the situation is so uncertain today that many people wouldn't put a price on risks in Lebanon."

Insurance for boats sailing into Lebanese and Israeli ports is also likely to be affected as governments seek to evacuate their expatriates in Lebanon.

The London market has begun to price cover in preparation for vessels entering the region.

A marine spokesman for Lloyd's broker, Aon, said: "Lebanon is an excluded area for hull war risks, so evacuation vessels will be charged an additional premium. As a result of the conflict there has been a sudden hike in rates from 0.1% last week to 0.25% today."

Tim Turner, a marine hull underwriter at Beazley, added: "The weekly breach rates for vessels calling either in Lebanon or Israel, have dramatically increased in the last week and move on a daily basis as events unfold."

Israeli warplanes are targeting Hezbollah fighters, who have captured two of its soldiers.

The country has continued its air raids over southern Beirut and others parts of Lebanon.

Meanwhile Hezbollah has continued to fire rockets into northern Israel.