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<The insurance company (USAA) paid me about $500, which was the maximum for lightning strikes on trees...I was not going to call the insurance company at all because I figured that they would not pay such a claim, but the tree guy suggested it. I was pleasantly surprised.>

This may or not be an issue for you, but you should have a good handle on how good or bad your insurance company is. There are a number of companies out there that may bump up your premium for filing a claim regardless of its size. Some others will cancel a policy after a second claim. It would not be a pleasant situation to be in if you were to suffer a meaningful loss in the future.

For the most part, insurance is there to protect you from the more serious losses. While it is certainly not wrong to file a claim for an actual loss, that decision should be made in the larger context of how will this may affect my future coverage and/or premiums.

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