After a loss, the insured is expected to take steps to mitigate the loss. Insurance policies typically require that the insurer be notified within a reasonable time period. After that, a claims adjuster will investigate the claim and the insured may be required to provide various information.
Filing a claim may result in an increase in rates, or in non-renewal or cancellation. Also once you have a claim (excluding acts of god claims, such as a hurricane) it might be more difficult to place insurance with another company. In many cases the claim affects you for a period of 3 to 5 years, depending on the carrier. In addition, insurers may share the claim data in an industry database.