As a former property and auto claims adjuster for Farmers Insurance and then later fraud claims many years ago here are my thoughts.
First of all, a "list" in a forum like this is laughable.
Secondly, saying one insurance company is better than another is meaningless. 2 insureds could easily have the exact same loss, same coverage, and same insurance company, and even same state laws but a very different claims pay-out. Coverage could even be denied with one but accepted by the other.
All major insurance company policies are structured the same way. For example on a Home Owners policy the building and structures is covered, except for the named exclusions.
In other words to deny coverage the adjuster has to find the exclusion. For personal property, on all HO policies it works the very opposite. For there to be coverage, it has to be a named peril
or coverage does not exist. Have you read those named perils?
What sets the differences between insurance companies is the dollar amounts listed in their particular HO policy, specific limits, company procedure/policy, state laws, and even the actual town/area you live.
My best advice is to find a good agent you can trust. Find an experienced agent. Ask lots of questions, ask about the horror stories you have heard. Specifically ask about replacement cost.
Often when payment is made the insurance company will only pay actual cash value until you show proof of replacement.
Know your policy limits. Do you have annual reviews with your agent? There can be specific limits on items used in a business, jewelry, guns, tools, cash etc. If an adjuster can prove just one occurrence
where you received money from your bedroom studio, coverage could be denied.
You will find a world of difference between agents. Most agents are high volume
and after an initial meeting you might only spend time with the agents secretary. I would avoid those because they rarely give the best personal service. Insist on a yearly face-to-face meeting and if the agent refuses, find one who will do that. Theagents errors and omission insurance
might not even extend to his assistant/secretary.
Some agents will write a policy to anyone who walks through their doors including known criminals. Other agents scrutinize their potential insureds and are very selective about who they insure. Choose one who wants to know what you are all about.
Agent character is very important, and a good agent definitely wants to know your character too.
If you are just shopping for the lowest price, it's doubtful you will even end up with an agent, let alone a quality agent. Then you had better read and completely understand those 20 pages thoroughly.
Specific company selection is also meaningless because from a claims end, I will guarantee you that your local claims office/region/supervisor has a huge impact on what is initially covered or denied. For example some regional supervisors instruct their claims adjusters to thoroughly advise their insured about every possible avenue of coverage. Other supervisors take the "if they didn't ask, we wont tell"
philosophy. The difference between these 2 scenarios can be huge, and again it's not the specific insurance company since the policies are all structured the same. But if you have a good experienced agent, that agent can help you overcome the "don't tell" philosophy.
The bottom line is you have a contract, and it's enforceable by law. Did you read or know your contract? Yes it's a huge contract, but with a good honest agent it is understandable to know the basics. If there is a dispute, think to yourself what a judge or jury would decide because ultimately this is how insurance companies make their decisions.