Further to your article on the Wolverhampton University research project (Insurance Times 16 May), we would like to take this opportunity to clarify the British Damage Management Association's (BDMA) position and correct any misunderstanding in relation to your quote from our magazine.

Taken out of context, it might appear the BDMA is against any research that could reduce the market for reinstatement of flood damaged properties. However, our concern is that such research must include expert and professional opinion from those working in this specific field. Where appropriate, enhanced recovery methods are not employed as a matter of course on flood remediation work insurers do not get value for money. Those who would lose a lucrative source of income if such methods were more widely understood and implemented do not welcome any attempt to kill their `golden goose' by organisations such as the BDMA, as we rightly pointed out.

As the certifying authority for damage management practitioners the BDMA has a vested interest in raising awareness of best practice and ensuring such work is carried out in a professional manner by technicians qualified in this highly technical discipline.

The assumption that restoring flood-damaged properties can be undertaken by any general contractor shows a naïve lack of understanding of the implications both for the contractor and the insurer.

When the Wolverhampton University research was first brought to our attention we were given to understand the BDMA was to be specifically excluded from any input, which gave rise to our concern that it would not deliver a realistic view of the industry. Your news item seems to indicate that we are not alone in this view.

Following the floods of 2000/2001 a large amount of restoration work had to be re-done. In the current climate of increasing litigation, concerns about mould and asbestos, inadequate flood defences and numerous other associated issues, the BDMA believes an understanding of the scientific implications of flood recovery practices are more important than ever and wholeheartedly welcomes any research that takes this into account.

Claire Johnson on behalf of the British Damage Management Association (BDMA)

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