Tricia Murray, an insurance defense attorney with ForbesGallagher, owns property on Cape Cod that suffered fallen trees in a recent tornado. Luckily the damage was only to the trees and the yard, and the people, pets, and house itself were not harmed. In her article at the wonderful blog Agency Checklists about dealing with the aftermath, one of the things she discusses is how even she, an experienced insurance litigator, did not really know what was covered and what was not covered under her homeowner's policy. (She learned that tree damage that does not affect her house is not covered under her policy.)
That has been my experience as well; after every minor water infiltration into my house from a bad storm or fender bender to my parked car I have to read my policy to figure out what is or is not covered. The advantage of being an insurance litigator in my own life is not so much that I can make a better argument about coverage than anyone else, as that I can speak to adjusters with an air of polite confidence when I know that they are wrong about coverage.