The lessons I have learned when dealing witt insurance companies is to make sure I do not go with the company witht he lowest rat4es, as they are likely the same companies who reject or chip away at valid claims - protecting their shareholders more than honoring their commitments to their customers. Even with otherwise excellent insurance companies there are times an insured with a claim has to get tough - something insurance companies are not used to having to deal with. We are supposed to be appreciative, compliant weaklings. That said, I use USAA for nearly all my insurance needs. For our vintage Mustangs and Shelbys we use American cOllectors, as doing so allows my USAA umbrella insurance policy to extend coverage to matters involving those vehicles. I have never had any issues with USAA with the very few claims I have sent to them over the past 50+ years of driving, and 49 years of living on my own.
That said, if you ever feel an insurance company is not dealing with you in a fair and reasonable manner, retain an attorney and turn him/her loose. Claims adjusters HARTE it when an attorney gets involved with a settlement as it only increases their expenses significantly. I had Guardian Life, who I had a private disability policy with, deny covering me for a well qualified medical incident that left me unable to continue working in my one occupation in the capacity I had been able to in prior years. Immediately upon them denying me my claim I retained the meanest SOB I could find who specialized in private disability insurance situations. It took about 2 m, but he finally told them it is clear my case fell within the stated guidelines of covered claims, and if they continued dicking with me he was instructed to file a lawsuit for the amount of the claim coverage plus 7 time that amount for punitive damages due to their belligerence, They decided to pay up.
A few years later a new person was assigned to my case and she decided to discontinue paying my ongoing amount due to me having a house i rented out (income). Too bad for her rental income is, per their own policy definition, passive income, and is thus excluded from calculating my personal income. Not only did I sic my attorney on her and her company in a very assertive manner, I also told him my prior notification that they miscalculated my amount of monthly benefit paid, which I decided earlier to not pursue, was now something I wanted to pursue after all. They ended up paying me the back-amount weed, reactivated the benefit payments, and paid me over an additional $50,000 for their prior miscalculation they had previously said was not incorrect. Had that wench just left me alone instead of trying to play "the tough chick" they would have reduced their exposure by that $50,000. I also advised them, through my attorney, that they still owed even more as their recalculation was still shot - but I would opt to let that slide until the next time they tried to refuse to pay the benefit due me per my policy contract. They never screwed with me again.
From what I have seen, an insurance company will do all they can to get away with paying out as little as possible to settle a claim. At the first hint you are being messed with, get a qualified attorney. For a large claim, do not wait. Get the big dig as early on as you can. He or she will be worth every nickel they cost for their fee. As an aside, never tell an employee of an insurance company you are going to get a lawyer, as they will freeze you out from that point forward, saying you are now only allowed to have your attorney speak with their legal counsel, and will stop taking your calls. Say nothing to them about your plans. Just get the attorney and let him/her handle ALL communications with the insurance company from that point forward. I will give an insurance one chance, and one only, to do the right thing in whatever case they are working on with me. And I let the adjuster I am working with know that at the first hint of me not being treated in a fair and reasonable manner I will be bringing in "experts" to help me make certain I am treated fairly. I never tell them the "experts" are legal counsel, I let their imagination handle that. One advantage I have always had, is by the time we are discussing things at that level they are very aware I have the financial resources to pull in some heavy hitters if needed. I make no idle threats, I point out the road forward as i see it, and let them know the road can be smooth or it can be rough - they get to choose. Meanwhile, other than the one personal disability claim I have never had to bring in legal counsel to get a fair settlement on what few issues i have had in my 50+ of living on my own.