Solicitors' professional indemnity (PI) premiums fell by nearly 15% in this year's renewal season compared with 2005.

According to provisional figures, total premiums charged by insurers to solicitors for the first £2m-£3m of cover were £211.4 m in 2006/07, compared with £243.8m in 2005/06. This amounted to a saving of £32.4m or 13% on the previous year.

Stephen Holland, executive director of the professions division at broker Lockton, formerly Alexander Forbes Professions, said rates were at historically low levels and that significant increases in premiums were expected in the future.

Holland said: "Solicitors should enjoy this year's savings, but must be aware that when rates rise insurers will offer the best terms to those firms with excellent claims records and high standards of risk management."

Lockton said it had secured premium savings of up to 40% for a number clients and an average saving for clients of 15%.

Sandra Neilson-Moore, European practice leader for law firms' PI at Marsh, said current rates were sustainable. "The perception is that the market is in profit as it has not lost lots of money on claims. [Rates are] sustainable if claims experience doesn't worsen. It would take another spike to change entirely."