The One Thing You Should Never Say Following A Car Accident

Here's advice from a pro who has handled hundreds of insurance claims

In the frantic, confusing minutes following an auto accident, it makes perfect sense for two drivers to meet and often say, "I'm so sorry." While it sounds courteous and sincere, it's something that drivers should avoid at the scene.

That's the advice of car insurance expert Natalie Dupuis of RBC Insurance in Toronto.

"That might not be the best thing to do," she tells The Globe and Mail. Such a statement could be interpreted as an admission of guilt when police and investigators determine fault for the collision. It could be the beginning of an expensive mistake – whether it comes up again in terms of setting insurance rates or as testimony in a court case.

Another common action – or in this case, inaction, that ends up costing driver's money following a crash? Failing to alert their insurance company. A lot of drivers, weary of watching their rates rise, choose to forego contacting their insurance company and pay for damage out of their own pocket. Dupuis cautions against this approach.

She says drivers can always call their insurance company for advice, and then determine whether they want to follow through with a claim. Also, there's never a guarantee the other driver will follow through on promises to pay for repairs.

"A major misconception that people have is that if they alert their insurance company of an accident, their rates will automatically rise," she tells The Globe and Mail. "If you were not at fault, your rates should not go up."

Other tips of advice in the wake of a car crash:

- Exchange information with other drivers involved.

- Obtain contact information of witnesses.

- Don't sign any documents at the scene, other than the official police report.

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