Fortis is to begin a further study to determine whether physiotherapy has a positive effect on whiplash claims after an earlier study found there was no benefit.

The insurer's claims director, Rob Smale told Insurance Times that the company was to undertake a second pilot programme examining the impact of the treatment on 500 whiplash claims.

An earlier study on 1000 claims found that physiotherapy did not provide any commercial benefits and in fact increased claims costs.

Smale said: "The earlier study revealed that it costs us more, as the claims settlement was not reduced."

He said the second study would look to determine whether the same results were found.

There have been mixed reports from other insurers on the benefits of physiotherapy on whiplash cases.

Alliance Cornhill found little cost benefit from using the treatment as the medico-legal reports "did not reflect the intervention".

In contrast, Norwich Union reported "tangible" benefits on the treatment of whiplash claims using rehabilitiaton techniques from its million pound study.

Last year, AXA also said its studies showed that rehabilitation improved settlement times in whiplash cases, although it did not reduce claims settlements or legal fees.