Insurers may be forced to increase premiums following a House of Lords judgment, which could see a rise in harassment claims.

The decision makes it easier for employees to succeed in claims under the Protection from Harassment Act [1997], which covers any form of harassment including unwanted text and email messages that the employee finds abusive.

Claims can now be made up to six years after the actions complained of, giving a claimant under this legislation a further three years beyond the statutory three years for personal injury claims.

James Tait, associate solicitor at Shakespeares law firm, said: "It could affect both employers' liability and employment practice liability insurance. It may affect premiums because employers can be liable for harassment they are not aware of. It may also create an upsurge in compromised agreements."