Insurer looks to provide rehabilitation 'to those who will benefit most'

Research is being conducted by Allianz Cornhill that could lead to a person's occupation, sex and social class becoming factors in their access to personal injury rehabilitation.

The work opens the way for the insurer to develop profiling techniques to determine access to rehabilitation.

Allianz Cornhill is looking at how different claimants respond to rehabilitation. The company found that rehabilitation worked better on some claimants – such as returning them to work quicker – than others.

It wants to understand why some people respond more favourably than others so it can target the treatment more effectively.

Martin Saunders, motor and casualty claims manager at Allianz Cornhill, said: "We want to make sure we provide rehabilitation to those who will benefit most. We have a scarce resource and need to find people who will respond best.

"By the end of the year we hope to be a bit sharper in this area."

The insurer is looking at upper and lower limb fractures and will focus predominantly on how different types of injury respond to treatment. It will also look at other factors such as occupation and social class.

"Demographic group may be a factor – we don't know at this stage," said Saunders. "It may be that painters with upper limbs injuries need more careful work," he suggested.

Saunders insisted that the aim of the study was "not to cut out segments of the population [from access to rehabilitation]," adding: "Whether we can get to a position of profiling I cannot say."