Well, waterproof vs water resistant is somewhat of a confusing subject and there is no real industry standard to define it. For instance, I have two watches; one water proof to 900 feet and one water resistant to 60 feet. Obviously both can be submerged in a bathtub or pool and fend off a pitcher full of water without having any problems. Drop the water resistant watch in the ocean to 100 feet and providing I can recover it, it probably wont work.
Neither my HTC Touch Pro 2, nor my HTC EVO were water resistant to any degree, in fact my touch pro 2 wasn't even sweat proof and the moisture indicators would turn red. However, the Maxx is supposed to be water resistant which implies that anything less than being fully submerged in water should be OK. I think it is fair to say that it is quite comon for many of us to put our phones on the table or on our laps (or even in our pockets) whil we are eating which makes them prone to being splashed if a drink or some other liquid gets spilled. Advertising something as being water resistant is usually targeted at situations just like that. Have you ever been caught out in a torrential downpour with your phone in your pocket? Happened to me yesterday playing golf. Fairly common and although my phone was in my pocket, it did get a little damp. (disclaimer: I was thinking about this thread when it happened and did everything I could to prevent further water contact) But.... Water resistant should prevent damage. If for instance I was running for cover and fel in one of the lakes then water resistance would not have made much of a difference... it would have been submerged.
In regards to the insurance. Thats just what it is. We pay a premium to cover us in the event of an accident in which our phone is damaged or lost and we can get a replacement. Just like a car or house, or other property we carry insurance on. And, just like car insurance and homeowners insurance, there is the occasional time when someone tries to beat the system to get a new car, home, phone, etc. which is why we pay higher premiums. For the most part though, the vast majority of claims are legitimate. There was a long discussion on another smartphone site that I frequent about Assurion replacing the HTC Touch Pro II with a newer HTC Arrive. Several people started talking about all sorts of damage and problems with their phones and some were getting Arrives and some were not. In fact, the replacements were either refurbed Touch Pro II's or the crappy samsung replenish. It got pretty heated and the thread was eventually locked.
IMHO, the OP is right in that his phone was exposed to water, and a pitcher of water (and probably Ice) spilled on the table and running off onto his legs and phone would be something less than 64oz of liquid and would more or less constitute a splash rather than a dunk. I think being "water resistant" should have protected the phone reasonably enough to prevent damage.