7 On Your Side: Paramount Insurance fight
UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WJLA) - A mother and father of four in Upper Marlboro say they were shocked when a police officer knocked on their door at 4 a.m. with news that their SUV had just been stolen out of their driveway. It was stripped and abandoned a few blocks away. When their insurance company refused to pay their claim to replace the stolen tires and rims, the family said they felt victimized all over again.
Tony Tinsley and his family were sound asleep when thieves stole their GMC Denali, pushed it down the street, stripped the tires and rims, and left it sitting on bricks.
“Nothing but my lug nuts [were] laying on the ground,” says Tony. “They left my lug nuts.
They filed a claim with their insurance company, Paramount Insurance in Baltimore, and were questioned by an insurance investigator.
“And at the end of the conversation she asked me was I lying about anything, which made me feel not good at all for you to even ask me that,” Saira Tinsley says.
The claim was delayed at first because the Prince George’s County Police Department misplaced the incident report. When they found it, Tony sent it to Paramount, showing that police received a 911 call from a neighbor who had heard people tampering with vehicles in the middle of the night. The report says officers found the Denali abandoned, missing all four tires and rims, and that the suspects broke the steering column locking mechanism and used another vehicle to push the victim’s truck up the street. Police also say the thieves hit other victims the same night in the same neighborhood.
“My neighbor over here, they did his in his driveway. Left it on bricks right in the driveway,” Tony says.
But Paramount was still unsatisfied. The delays continued for months while the family’s truck sat at the dealership.
“I needed that vehicle because we have four kids and we need that to travel,” Tony says.
Tony went ahead and bought tires and rims on his own and submitted the receipt. Paramount sent their investigator to the tire shop. The investigator then sent the Tinsley’s a letter saying the receipt they furnished to demonstrate the purchase of tires and rims was not able to be authenticated.
“We felt like we were in a kangaroo court with them because they were trying to say we did something and not pay us and we had to prove that we were innocent just to get a payment out of them when we pay our monthly payments, our premiums on time, all the time,” Tony says.
That’s when the Tinsley’s called 7 On Your Side.
“[The investigator] asked me to verify a receipt,” says Keith Thompson, the manager of Chrome. “I verified it, that that was one of my receipts, yes.”
Thompson tells ABC7 he told the investigator that he remembered selling the tires and rims to Tony Tinsley. Two days later, the Tinsley’s received a check for over $5,000 from Paramount.
“Thanks to 7 On Your Side because if it was not for you guys we still would not have received a payment.”