Because the alternative is to have her drive me everywhere.
August 22, 2008 10:16 AM   Subscribe

Auto insurance in Illinois: what to get, where to get it? Caveat: the car is insured already; I'm not.

My SO's parents are giving us their old car, and are very nicely continuing to insure it (and her). I, on the other hand, have no such insurance, and I'm given to understand that I would need some basic level of insurance in order to drive the car. What should I be looking for? All the insurance company websites ask about the car that's being insured when I try to get a quote, and I appear to have lost my phone, so calling up and asking is out. I'm in Chicago, FWIW.

Bonus issue: I also need to pick up renter's insurance as a condition of the lease on the apartment I'll be moving to soon. Any recommendations for a good company for this? Any chance of a discount if I get both types of insurance through one carrier?
posted by sinfony to Work & Money (5 answers total)
You don't need insurance. Your SO's parents need to add you as an authorized driver on that vehicle, on their policy. This may increase their premiums so you need to be prepared to pitch in.

Renter's insurance is cheap, so you can go with any reputable insurer. I personally have had State Farm for nearly two decades.
posted by kindall at 10:26 AM on August 22, 2008

Kindall is right - my parents paid for my car insurance for a couple of years (in Illinois.) All that's needed is your name on the policy as an authorized driver. If it ups the premium, then you can just send them the difference.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:44 AM on August 22, 2008

Previous thread has some information. Look up non-owner policies, but I'd be sure to talk to a real person and clarify if it's what you need. Coverage might be limited to liability, etc, and not sure when your S.O. is considered part of your 'household' (this insurance is only available if car is not available to household I think).

Does your college alumni office have a discount on any specific insurance companies? I'm with Liberty Mutual for this reason. Most companies I've seen give you a discount for having two policies with them.
posted by ejaned8 at 10:45 AM on August 22, 2008

Response by poster: Word from the insurer is that I can't be added to the existing policy because I don't live in the household. Insurer also says that if I'm only driving it occasionally, there's no need for me to be insured, but that if I were to drive it regularly, I would have to have my own coverage. Guess it's off to the non-owner policies for me.

Thanks for all the advice!
posted by sinfony at 11:16 AM on August 22, 2008

Liability is for the driver, the rest is for the car.

Yes. You need some form of insurance to protect you if you injure someone or cause a loss.

(There is some protection for occasional drivers and/or car borrowing on other people's policies. I doubt your situation is within that protection, since you live where the car does. Your SO's policy might not be 100% kosher if she's no longer in her parent's household and the car is not garaged at same. Be careful.)
posted by gjc at 5:55 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

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