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Nationwide, water-loss claims continue to climb. In California alone, such claims have risen dramatically, with the percentage of homeowner claims growing from 24 percent in 1997 to 32 percent in 2001, costing insurers $1.7 billion. In a single year in California, between 2000 and 2001, claims rose $47 million. For some insurers, this meant that 40 percent of claim payments were for water losses.

The rise in water-related losses has been attributed to many causes. Some studies point out that modern homes have much more plumbing in them than older homes. In general, older homes do not have as many bathrooms, while newer homes often have extras such as wet bars, icemakers, water filter systems, soft water systems, and residential automatic fire sprinklers. Modern homes also are built to be more airtight, thus tending to trap moisture more readily. Much of the increase in water-related losses can be blamed on modern materials used in the manufacture of plumbing fixtures, as well as poor construction methods.

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