KELLER, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – For many North Texans dealing with storm damage, Thursday makes the beginning of navigating how the insurance process.

The Insurance Council of Texas says its member agencies have already received 7,500 car and home claims combined from this Wednesday night’s storms.

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Hail has big as three inches rained down on parts of Tarrant County.

“It sounded like cannon firing,” said Keller homeowner Paul Perry. “It was very, very loud.”

The hail busted through car windows and damaged homes.

“We’ve got holes in aluminum siding, vinyl siding,” Perry said. “The roof is probably shot. The gutters are probably shot. Some window screens. Patio furniture.”

Perry’s no stranger to dealing with severe weather claims, thanks to February’s historic winter storms.

“Our whole first floor got flooded and we’re still doing repairs on that,” he said. “Then this hit last night. Let’s just say I’m on first name basis with the insurance company at this point.”

The Insurance Council of Texas recommends people take photos and videos of all the damage.

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Go ahead and make any necessary initial repairs. If you have to buy tarps or other supplies or hire a company to take care of the clean-up, save those receipts.

“Contact your insurer,” said Camille Garcia with the Insurance Council of Texas. “Make sure that you document those conversations, not only with your agent but your adjuster, your contractor, your service repair facility, so that way you’ll know next steps.”

Garcia recommends doing your research before hiring someone to fix your roof or the damage to your car.

After weather catastrophes, fraud spikes in North Texas as scammers try to take advantage of the situation.

“The big mistake that sometimes as homeowners we make is we place trust in somebody because we just want the job done,” she said. “We just want to see our home repaired, so we make rash decisions instead of being very deliberate and very careful.”

Be wary of contractors that go door-to-door soliciting business and get recommendations from your friends and neighbors on trustworthy companies.

“You have to be careful,” said Perry. “You can’t just take the first guy that comes along.”

When you do get a check from your insurance agency, don’t just sign it over to a contractor.

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Put everything in writing, and pay in increments as the work gets done.

Caroline Vandergriff