Around supper time on a turbulent day in early September, Max Cummings was in his kitchen chopping tomatoes as Hurricane Ida bore down on his Upper Dublin neighborhood. His wife, Gudrun Trescher, yelled for him and their teenage son to flee to the basement before the tornado blew off about a quarter of their roof and let rain pour through the hole that opened over their son’s entire bedroom.

When they climbed out of the basement, the home’s insulation had been sucked out of the roof and swirled in gusts in the backyard like a weird snowfall.

What would come next -- and is still brewing -- is another storm over insurance claims. Six months later, many people in Upper Dublin have yet to return to normal lives as they are locked in prolonged negotiations with insurance firms or are awaiting repairs. For Cummings, the process has proved grueling.

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“Kicking you when you’re down,” Cummings, 60, said of his insurer, Allstate, which he had used for about 20 years for home and auto insurance. Cummings’ house is a colonial with 2.5-bathrooms, four bedrooms and 2,275 square feet of space in a neighborhood where houses run $500,000 to $600,000, Zillow estimates.

“They use time as a weapon against you. So you need to brace yourself for that,” Cummings said. “You need to be patient and not be in a hurry. There is big pressure to get your life back to normal as soon as possible. But being in a hurry could lead you to compromise too much because you want to get it over with.”

In Cummings’ part of Upper Dublin, blue tarps still drape houses. The winds and Ida’s torrential rain cut a path of destruction so severe that 114 homes in Upper Dublin were deemed uninhabitable and more than 1,000 commercial and residential properties harmed, resulting in millions of dollars in damage. The tornado also ripped through the municipal building. The township of 26,700 residents estimates Ida’s damage at $40 million.

“There are a lot of claims out there,” said Ira Tackel, the president of the township’s board of commissioners. Insurance firms “are really holding their feet to the fire and making them jump through hoops. It’s a process that’s not being made easy.”

Upper Dublin itself is still negotiating with its insurers over both its reimbursement for daily expenses and the claim on the township building, Tackel said.

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An Allstate spokesperson said in an email that it was continuing to work with Cummings and it does “not share specific claim details.” She said that Allstate has settled 97% of Ida claims in Pennsylvania and 96% in Montgomery County. “We’re working to resolve the remaining claims to get accurate payments to our customers,” she added.

Ida came ashore on Aug. 29 in Louisiana with 150-mile-per-hour winds and spun northward, eventually kicking up tornadoes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The storm caused $65 billion in damages, according to Christian Aid, a U.K. group that tracks damage caused by climate change. Insurers were slammed. Allstate had significant exposure, more than $600 million, according to the financial research firm S&P.

The day after Ida, Cummings hired a contractor to put a tarp over the hole in the roof. The contractor suggested that Cummings, a pharmaceutical researcher with about 20 patents, hire a public adjuster to help with his insurance claim. Licensed by the state, public adjusters negotiate insurance claims for clients. They are paid part of the insurance settlement, typically 10% to 15%. Cummings agreed to 10%.

Cumming’s and his public adjuster initially estimated the house’s damage at $375,000, or about what the Cummings paid for the house in 2011.

A week after the storm, an Allstate adjuster visited the water-logged home in the township’s Tannerie Run area. Water filled the bowl of tomatoes in the kitchen. The Allstate adjuster spoke with the distraught couple, photographing the house and taking information for about 90 minutes. He was polite.

In early October, Allstate offered $168,000 for the damage, or 45% of Cummings’s damage estimate. Cummings considered it outrageous.

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Just replacing his unsalvageable 50-year-old oak floors throughout the house would cost $30,000, Cummings estimated. Allstate offered $9,000 for snap-lock laminate flooring. In the kitchen, Cummings had 57 square feet of granite for countertops and a prep island. Allstate calculated that he had 17 square feet of granite.

Cummings and Trescher, both raised in Canada, extensively renovated the interior, putting new cabinets into the living areas, kitchen, and bathrooms. They would cost $40,000 to $45,000 to replace, Cummings said. Allstate offered $12,000.

His electrician told him the house had to be rewired for tens of thousands of dollars. Allstate offered no rewiring, just $437 for a few outlets and switches. “Did they think we would dry off the wires with a hair dryer?” Cummings said.

The house’s exterior looked unharmed, except for the roof. But rainwater flooded the house, damaging it from the inside out by seeping into the gypsum sheathing attached to the home studs. After consulting with outside experts, including a gypsum trade association, Cummings concluded that the sheathing had to be replaced throughout the house.

To replace it correctly, Cummings would have to take the vinyl siding off the house as well as strip an insulation wrap and a layer of foam insulation from the house to reach the sheathing -- a big project. But Allstate estimated that Cummings could repair the exterior with $14,000 in new vinyl siding.

Cummings firmly told Allstate no to the $168,000 for damages. Within a few weeks, in late October, Allstate offered vastly more -- $344,000.

Allstate narrowed the financial gap in the damage estimates. But Cummings still wasn’t satisfied. Allstate was not fully funding repairs to the exterior of the house, which he estimated at about $50,000.

Cummings also boosted his damage estimate to $396,000, based on inflation and a more detailed list of the damages.

At that point, Cummings said, Allstate changed the adjusters dealing with his claim. The insurer didn’t contact him for weeks, through November and December. He hoped to reach a settlement around Christmas but didn’t.

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Earlier this year, Cummings felt like he had to get on with this life. “It became my whole life for a while,” Cumming said of the claim.

Cummings was renting office space for his consulting and his family was living in an apartment, paying rent of $3,200 a month that was covered by insurance but the coverage would run out after a year. In his house, his son, Mario, walked to high school. Now he rode a bus, which Cummings didn’t like.

He “began to badger [Allstate].” For a couple weeks, Cummings persistently emailed Allstate’s generic customer service account with his claim number in the subject field, attaching documents of unresolved issues to the emails. He stopped the emails and then restarted them, calling it his “crazy-man routine.” It seemed to bring attention to his claim.

In mid-February, he settled for $394,000.

With the settlement, Cummings is considering whether to repair his house or tear it down and build a new one.

“I don’t believe his experience is unique at all,” Tackel, the township commissioner, said. “And it may be one of the better outcomes.” Upper Dublin, he said, has yet to settle its insurance claim. “We are not even close.”