The use of physiotherapy on whiplash victims is failing to improve claims costs, analysis by Allianz Cornhill has revealed.

The insurer blamed medical reports for not reflecting the benefits of the treatment. Allianz Cornhill has been examining the cost effectiveness of physiotherapy techniques, particularly in whiplash cases, since early 2004 in order to assess the business case for using the treatments.

Allianz Cornhill technical claims manager Bob Rabbits said: "We are struggling to find any evidence of cost benefit in these claims."

He said that although the physiotherapy was being given, the medico-legal reports "did not reflect the intervention", meaning that the eventual claims settlements were not reduced as a result of the treatment.

Rabbits denied that the findings would lead to the insurer no longer offering physiotherapy to whiplash victims, but he said that the company's approach needed to be altered

He said claims managers needed to challenge the medical experts to ensure that the treatment was taken into account.

"Whiplash tends to be handled by the less experienced claims handlers, so we will have to train people more. The trick is also to be more selective on cases, picking the right ones at an early stage."

A number of insurers are undertaking projects to assess the benefits of rehabilitation. In July, Norwich Union began a £1m pilot study to examine the most cost effective treatments for whiplash.