Know Your Policy Coverage
Read through your policy thoroughly and make sure you understand your coverage. Make sure that it makes sense to place a claim for the damages. A standard rule of thought is if the claim is not double or triple the deductible on your policy it might not be a good idea to place a claim for the repair costs. Typically the higher the cost of the repair, the more it makes sense to use your coverage and file a claim.
Make The Right Repairs
When making repair considerations it is wise to choose to complete the repairs that will help prevent further damage, or help to secure the property, first. These might include boarding up windows, covering damaged roof areas with plastic or tarp, and securing damaged doors and any other vulnerable entrances. The expense for these repairs is usually reimbursable through your insurance plan. Be sure to collect any damaged items in one area. Do not discard them as the insurance adjuster may need to inspect them.
A picture is worth a thousand words so be sure to take plenty of pictures of any and all property damage, when possible. Pictures can help to make the claims process easier and more efficient. Most contractors will be able to give you an idea of what the repair costs will be. Create an itemized list of the damaged property items and add to that list any relevant quotes you have received from contractors. Remember it's always good to get a quote from more than one contractor.
File Claims Promptly
Be sure to review your policy and find out the time limit set for filing claims. Be sure you have as much information about the damage as possible, including repair costs, before you file a claim. Be deliberate and methodical about the way you collect and report the damage. When the adjuster files the claim be sure to get a copy of the claim forms sent to you.