Hi. I’m Josh Eidelshtein, the founder of Paramount Paints, Water Damage and Mold Solutions and my Job now is mainly being a water damage detective,
I started off with my painting company back in 2009, with a focus on customer service and quality. My business has grown quickly based on my desire to help my customers, and be part of something greater as an oleh (immigrant) to Israel. The quality of our lives here is dependent on how hard we work for it. If we accept low-quality service, it will stay that way. If we demand higher standards, then we can work together to improve the standard of living in Israel.
About 5 years ago, it became clear that there was a huge necessity for reliable mold, and water damage contractors. Almost every bathroom had mold in it, almost every building had some sort of water damage issues, and during my paint jobs, I found myself solving these problems more and more. One of the “known” realities of living in Israel were the consistent stories about bad contractors, that did not honor their warranty or would refuse to give warranties in the first place. I asked myself how this system could be acceptable and who was benefitting from the constant loss of time and resources. To me, it seemed to be a pretty big issue in this country, not only amongst contractors but also among other professionals. There was a huge lack of reliability, trust, and most importantly, liability for the consequences of bad work.
With so many clients suffering from water damage related issues in their homes, I started researching the necessary tools in order to assess and find them. I spent two years just testing and perfecting my technique. I was able to develop a system of leak detection using methods and tools that are efficient and accurate, and the customer service and that I valued so much as a professional continued to increase. It was incredibly satisfying to see how my research and initial investments in equipment was clearly paying off. My clients were so relieved to finally have a professional who cared about their homes and had a plan of how to solve the problem.
The accuracy of my system led me to see the serious flaws, intentional procrastination, and literally fake assessments that many commonly used insurance companies are guilty of today.
Guys, day after day I hear stories from clients that are so fed up with their home insurance company, that they are ready to pay me out of pocket – just to get the problem finally dealt with and fixed. That means, that even though they are paying for insurance to cover these kinds of problems, they are so desperate for good service, that they pay me to deal with it, and never see a shekel from their insurance or wait an extended amount of time before the insurance company actually deals with the issue.
Homeowners – you must ask yourselves – what is going on here?
Are insurance companies blatantly avoiding protecting their customers, and sending out assessors that are instructed to find everything, BUT the problem? After ten years in the business, I sadly think the answer is yes. How much money is being wasted, and in my opinion STOLEN from Israeli homeowners? It’s absolutely huge and just based on my rough calculations there is likely hundreds of millions of shekel every year worth in damages in Israeli homes that are caused by either intentional procrastination or missed diagnoses. In my opinion, if the government of Israel is requiring homeowners to pay for home insurance then the government should also be regulating how damage is assessed and covered, to protect its citizens from being cheated!
One thing has become clear from the countless experiences I have had in this industry. They do not want to fix your problem quickly and efficiently. They drag their feet and attempt to find every possible way to avoid finding and fixing the problem. Olim and other homeowners without protexia are the easiest victims of this reality.
I want to give some practical examples of these situations.
I recently had a private client called me in to find a leak that was coming from upstairs. It was not the first time that a leak had sprung from the area so it was likely a result of the condition of the pipes. Within 10 minutes I had found the source of the issue using my technique and tools. A few days later the insurance company sent someone to come and assess if there was a pipe leak. I had marked the areas with the highest levels of moisture to make it easier for him, but he insisted “there was no pipe there.” No, the pipe wasn’t specifically along the water damage, it was directly above it – but when it leaks, the water obviously goes down. This isn’t rocket science… wouldn’t a professional in his field know that?
During a four-way, yes a four-way conversation over the phone (trying to help my client get his water damage covered by his insurance), I realized that the damage assessor from the insurance company was either lying or really did not know what he was doing:
Him: “There is no pipe there, and therefore the damage isn’t from a leak.”
Me: “How do you know, what tools did you use?”
Him: “A thermal camera.”
Me: “What kind of camera did you use?”
Him: “I don’t know which kind.”
Me: [facepalm] “Thermal cameras cannot be used alone to actually find a leak. Did you use anything else?”
Him: “No. There are no pipes there.”
Me: “Well, the pipe goes into the wall above it and if there is a leak then it would drip down, correct? Do you have tools to detect that?”
At that point, he no longer wanted to talk to me. I wonder why!
Thermal cameras alone DO NOT WORK in this country and are being used improperly by almost everyone, resulting in vague results that insurance companies take advantage of when they need to, in order to avoid covering water damage. Who benefits from this system of feet dragging, hoping the homeowners will get fed-up, pay privately, and accept this as part of “living in Israel?” The money and time lost, and gray hair and wrinkles that come from these situations are unfathomable, it’s simply huge. If you’ve been in the situation, you know how consuming and costly it is. In a country where the cost of living is so high and the standards of service are lower, it is MY JOB to do my part and enrich the business ethics to a more positive, helpful and client-oriented direction, specifically in an industry where unreliability is a known regularity.
I want to describe to you how the feet dragging of insurance companies results in serious monetary losses for homeowners. A pipe leak will either show up through visible signs of flooding or leak into the floor – which takes some time (depending on the size of the leak) before it can be seen or smelled noticeably. Most commonly a pipe leak is discovered because of
mold, peeling paint, or white crystals called efflorescence. If any of these three things are present it is essential to find the leak quickly before it spreads. The longer the leak goes undetected, the more damage occurs, the expenses rise, and it becomes even harder for the client to get the leak covered by insurance. Meanwhile, they are continuing to pay insurance fees. If this has happened to you, you are not alone.
Usually, the insurance company will send someone to make a small “fix” without properly finding the source of the damage. This results in nothing but more extensive damage, and forces the client into a maze of ‘how to prove to the insurance that the damage is their responsibility.’
I currently have a client that was told her leak was fixed 1.5 years ago, while the damage continues to spread through the floor. It has since destroyed the first level of her home. Her insurance company insists it was “fixed.”
If you want more examples, I could go on for hours. Unfortunately, you probably know someone who’s gone through this, or have experienced it yourself. I believe that we can each make this country a better place to live, and I personally, take pride in utilizing my own skills and experience to raise the bar.
Insurance companies must be held accountable for their lack of professionalism and worse. The more informed we become the more we can affect a positive change for ourselves and this young country that we live in. When choosing a home insurance company, MAKE SURE you find one with an excellent referral rate – preferably one from someone you know personally. Ask, ask, ask, and do not sign until you feel fully comfortable that this will be a company that will deliver YOU, the homeowner, with the peace of mind that you are paying for, and deserve.
Please share this information [or article]. I really want everyone to be as informed as possible.
With more knowledge, and clarity comes power!!