"Also note that every state has an Insurance Commission that"
While some states have worthless commissions, in MOST states it is very useful to call them before you even talk to the other insurer. Find out what the state laws are, write down chapter and verse, and when you call the other insurer you can say "Stop right there, I've checked and the state requires you to...Do I need to file a complaint or will you do what you are required to do?"
In some cases an insurer is also required to make payment in full within 30 days of receiving a valid claim, and if they don't...they have to answer to that same commission, and
they may lose the right to argue about the dollar value.
It very much pays to start with calling the insurance commission, whatever they are called in your state. And if the first insurance rep who speaks to you on the phone
gives you nonsense or makes threats--politely demand to speak to their superior, tell them you will not deal with them. You're allowed to do that, and they're generally required
to find a manager, not just pass the phone
to the next desk.
Your insurance commission will probably have some good advice on the subject of "extreme weather" versus a "named storm". The policy might exclude damage in the latter case, but not the first. And when they start mumbling "Act of God" again, your insurance commission can help you out with the reply to that one.
By the way, if you can legally record
calls in your state? I would suggest doing so. Insurers have been known to lie bigtime and then swear you didn't understand what they never said. If that means buying
a $50 microrecroder from Radio
Shack, it is a good investment. I find that when you say "Yes, that's exactly what you said, would you like to hear the tape?" folks change their tune real fast.