While the total damage left behind after Tropical Storm Irma blew through Georgia remains unknown, it's clear that many across the state will be filing insurance claims.

So what should you do if strong winds or a downed tree damaged your home or vehicle?

FIRST: Contact your insurer as soon as possible as they usually handle cases on a first-come, first-serve basis. Make sure to write down your claim number and take notes.

SECOND: Document all damage through photos and videos. The more documentation, including a log of what you see, the better.

THIRD: Keep track of all receipts as you work to secure your home or vehicle. Your homeowners policy may cover additional living expenses and meals so keep track of all of those charges.

FOURTH: Don't assume something isn't covered! Better to ask than miss out on a potential claim payment.

  • Home: Even if you don't have flood insurance, some policies do cover water and wind damage. If a tree fell onto your home, your homeowners policy should cover the damage. And an FYI, even if the tree was rooted in your neighbor's yard, it's up to you to file the claim.
  • Vehicle: Comprehensive auto insurance should cover damage from downed trees and flooding.

FIFTH: Take caution! Beware of Robocalls and people coming to your door asking for private information or insurance payments. After large storms, fraud can be a problem.

SIXTH: Have no insurance? You can check DisasterAssistance.gov or nonprofit groups to see if you qualify for assistance.

More post-Irma help: