Even minor auto accidents are stressful. Your prized vehicle has been damaged. You may feel shaken physically. You may feel angry, whether with yourself or the other driver. This makes it easy for you to say too much. Let's start with a simple rule. Although it costs you nothing in a no-fault state, making any type of admission of fault is a bad idea in all the at-fault states. This goes double if the other driver or passengers are holding devices that may be recording what you say. Say as little as you feel possible in all the circumstances. This protects your position until you have a chance to think calmly about what happened.
In a recent survey, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found about 40% of drivers were prepared to share all the information on their driver's license. About 17% admitted they would allow the other driver to take a photograph of their license. Although this may sound a convenient way of exchanging information, this opens you to identity theft. The information on the license is one of the standard tools used to establish your identity for telephone and internet transactions. Giving other people your home address and license number potentially allows others to assume your identity. Indeed, 25% of respondents said they would always pass on their home address and 30% would give their personal telephone numbers. Neither disclosure is legally required. The law only instructs you to give your name and proof of insurance. The only telephone number you need give is that of your insurer.
What can you do to protect yourself and maintain auto insurance quotes?
In 2011, there were more than 9 million reported cases of identity theft. This seriously disrupts your life, damages your financial reputation and leaves your credit score on the floor. So don't expose yourself to the risk of further losses by saying too much. Keep yourself safe after the accident and, by so going, keep your auto insurance quotes lower when renewal time comes round. More importantly, if everyone keeps their losses within reasonable limits, everyone's car insurance quotes stay lower. So whether for selfish or altruistic reasons, take care.