Storm damage pits Salem couple vs insurance, mortgage


The ordeal was sorted out after KOIN 6 News got involved

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Sarah and David White were along thousands of Oregonians whose homes were damaged by trees during a recent ice storm.

The Salem couple learned shortly after that their insurance wouldn’t cover the damage. Both insurance agents, they were banging their heads against a wall trying to figure out how to untangle themselves from a mess between their mortgage company and their insurance company.

“I spent two weeks on the phone every day for hours making phone calls and calling into Chase, calling, you know, doing anything I can, anybody to listen to this issue and couldn’t find a lawyer,” Sarah White told KOIN 6 News.

For some reason, the Whites say their mortgage company didn’t pay the premium to their insurance, First American Family Property and Casualty Group. The Whites say First American – which is no longer taking new clients – wouldn’t cover the damage to their house.

David and Sarah White are insurance agents had a problem with their insurance policy — until they called KOIN 6 News, March 3, 2021 (KOIN)

Last Friday, KOIN 6 News emailed First American. The same day a spokesperson replied “I will certainly look into this.” KOIN also emailed Chase Bank, which holds the Whites’ mortgage. Someone quickly replied that they’ll look into it.

Three days later, on Monday, Sarah White said they received some much needed positive news.

“We were having a conversation about calling it a loss. You know, this, this is a loss we’re just going to move forward. And Dave was walking out the door as I got the phone call and I was like, Dave, hold on, hold on. And I, it was amazing. I couldn’t believe it. And he (the insurance rep) just said, yeah, you know, we’re going to get it taken care of.”

“We were shaking and couldn’t even think,” Sarah said.

“Well, I couldn’t even hardly function. It was hard to return to work,” David said.

“I just think you moved mountains, I really do,” Sarah said.

Chase sent a statement this week to KOIN 6 News: “We were pleased the customer’s coverage was reinstated without any lapse, and that a claim has been filed with the insurance company.”

KOIN 6 News is still not sure exactly what went wrong, but perhaps all of the dots were not connected after a refinance in 2019.

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