Who really dinged your spouse's car

April 17, 2013: 10:49 AM ET
car crash secrets
Men, it turns out, are more likely than women to keep a minor accident secret from a spouse. But men are also more likely to suspect their wives of doing it.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

If your husband or wife drives up with a brand new dent on the car, you might not get the truth about what happened.

Some 35% of spouses admitted to dinging the family car, then telling their loved one that someone else did it, according to a new survey by the insurance website insure.com.

Something similar occurs with traffic tickets. About a quarter of the roughly 1,000 married people surveyed said they'd gotten a traffic ticket and kept it secret from their spouse, the survey said.

Surprisingly, almost the same number kept mum about an actual car crash. These would, presumably, be relatively minor crashes, Insure.com editorial director Amy Danise said.

Husbands, meanwhile, tended to be overly suspicious of their wives when it comes to matters like this. While only 17% of wives said they'd covered up a car accident, 38% of husbands thought it possible their wives had done so, according to the survey. Similarly, only 16% of wives had kept a traffic ticket secret, but 32% of men thought their wives had.

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Wives, on the other hand, trust their husband more than they should. While 31% of men said they had kept a car accident secret from their wives, only 23% of wives thought their men would ever do such a thing, the survey said. And while 34% of men kept traffic tickets secret from their wives, only 25% thought that was even possible.

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The results of all this, Danise said, could be costly.

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"Women may see the family's car insurance rates rising and not realize their husbands' deceptive behavior is money out of their pockets," she said.

According to a recent study of driving costs by the auto advocacy group AAA, insurance is among the biggest costs of car ownership and it's also the most highly variable.

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