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Rental car coverage varies policy to policy,¬†you’ll want to follow these tips to understand your coverage.

You’ll always be asked if you want to buy insurance when you’re at the rental car agency counter. Most people decline because they have insurance on their own personal vehicle, but whether they’re actually covered, the type of coverage and its limits depends on their existing personal auto insurance.

Your personal insurance

The general rule is that your personal auto insurance is going to extend to a rental vehicle. Your liability coverage ordinarily pays up to your policy limits on any accidents that are your fault, and your collision coverage would pay for damage to the rental vehicle that you cause. Your comprehensive coverage will likely pay for damage to the rental vehicle like vandalism that’s not the result of an accident. If you have homeowners, condo or residential rental coverage, that insurance will most likely cover a theft from inside of a rental vehicle.

Medical coverage

Just about everybody has some type of medical payments coverage through their personal auto insurer. This will likely pay for any medical bills that you incur if you’re in an accident in a rental vehicle. Your health insurance will probably pick up the rest.

Credit card coverage

Some credit card companies offer primary coverage on a rental vehicle. If there’s an accident or covered loss, you might not even have to notify your own insurer. Other credit card companies only offer secondary coverage. They might only pay your deductible along with some minor costs of the claim. In any case, for a credit card company’s auto insurance coverage to apply, you have to use that specific card to pay for your rental. Remember that it’s unlikely that either primary or secondary coverage through your credit card will pay any of the rental company’s administrative or loss of value fees.

Know where you stand when you rent a car. Contact your auto insurer, homeowners, condo or rental residence insurer along with your health insurer to learn what they’ll cover in a rental car accident. You might not have to buy any insurance at the rental counter.