Whenever you’re dealing with an insurance company, or if you’re in a situation that probably will lead to an insurance claim, you should be careful about what you say.

Auto accidents. Whether you’re in a fender-bender or a major crash, don’t use the word "sorry" to anyone who’s on the scene. That indicates fault, and may cause the insurer to either delay paying your claim or raise future insurance premium payments.

Water damage. If you suffer property damage from a storm or a burst pipe you may be covered, depending on the type of homeowners’ policy you have. However, if you say that rainfall or basement leaks caused a "flood," reimbursement is uncertain. Floods generally are excluded from standard homeowners’ insurance; you should buy specialized flood insurance if your home is in danger of flooding.

Medical care. If you need pre-approval for a drug or a procedure, avoid words like "trial" or "experimental." Insurers may deny claims for treatments they believe to be unproven.