A lightning strike caused a fire that completely engulfed Angel Lozada’s house.

“We lost everything,” he says, in Spanish. “At that moment, you don’t know what to do, how to react.”

After he knew everyone was ok, Angel immediately called his homeowners insurance agent to file a claim.

But if damage to your house or property isn’t as extreme, Consumer Reports says you’ll need to decide if you should even bother filing a claim.

“We normally say don’t bother filing a claim for any damage that’s below your deductible,” says Tobie Stanger, Consumer Reports Home Editor. “But the exception to that is water damage.”

That’s because a small issue could signal a bigger, more expensive mess lurking inside the walls or ceiling.

As you’re assessing the situation, it is also important to start documenting the damage. Use your phone to take photos and videos. This will help you make a list of items that were destroyed or need repair.

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