Street parking isn't looking so bad right about now, is it?
Usually when you hear about valets behaving badly, the offense is related to the professional parker’s need for speed…or an inability to park. However, The Houston Chronicle is reporting on a valet nightmare that is much scarier than busted body panels or high-speed hooning. As the story goes, sometime in 2015 Carlo DiMarco pulled up to a Doubltree by Hilton hotel near the Galleria in Houston, Texas. He handed the keys to his Porsche Panamera to the valet and went to his room. When he came down the next day his car was gone.
During the night two unidentified men walked up to the stand and asked for the keys to the Panamera. The car was parked out front of the hotel, not in the garage. The valet handed over the keys to the Porsche and it was never seen again. Obviously this pissed off DiMarco, but to make matters even worse no entity will take responsibility for the theft. He ended up filing a lawsuit against Hilton Worldwide (the franchise owner), the property management company and the parking vendor. The reason why litigation was needed is because no entity would take responsibility for the theft. The hotel said the valet company—a third party—was to blame, this despite the valets wearing the hotel’s uniforms.
The insurance company representing the valet company, Scottsdale Insurance Co. (part of Nationwide), denied the claim because its property damage policy somehow does not include coverage for theft. According to DiMarco his insurance company offered to pay out $68,000 on his 2014 Panamera, which he says would leave him $50,000 in the hole. He now drives a Ferrari FF but continues to make payments of $2,000/month on his long-gone Porsche. If this sounds like a bit of a First World problem that's because it is. Still, people valet all types of cars and it's scary to know that the only thing potentially keeping thieves from your ride is a valet willing to ask for a claim slip.