After a motor vehicle accident, there will come a time when you reach out to your insurance agent to file a claim. Upon doing so, it’s your hope that they’re sensitive to your emotions and willing to do whatever it takes to assist you.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Here’s why: Your insurance company would rather pay out less than what you’re actually owed, as that works in their favor.

In other words, your insurance company may try to take advantage of you. Here are some of the things you can do to protect yourself:

  • Review your policy: Before you file a claim, review your insurance policy in great detail. Learn more about the coverage that you have and the type of compensation you’re in line to receive. When you know your policy like the back of your hand, it’s easier to protect your rights while holding out for all the compensation that’s rightfully owed to you.
  • Don’t say too much: Your insurance company wants you to share as much information about the crash as possible. But the more you say, the more likely it is that you’ll slip up and share information that they can use against you. You’re under no obligation to give a written or recorded statement until you’re 100% comfortable doing so.
  • Don’t accept their first offer: Unless it meets what you were expecting, as outlined in your policy, turn down this offer and wait for something that is more in line with your coverage. Car insurance companies love to make low-ball offers, hoping that you’ll take it just so you can finalize the process and focus on other areas of your recovery. As tempting as it may be, hold out until you receive an appropriate offer.

While your insurance company may attempt to take advantage of you after a crash, you don’t have to let this happen. You have a contract with them, so review it and make sure they live up to their end of it. Doing so will help you protect your legal rights, with the goal of eventually receiving the appropriate compensation.