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Car Insurance in Italy: Understanding Costs and the Bonus-Malus System

Posted on October 2nd, 2023

by Adriana ruiz

Car insurance in Italy comes with its own set of intricacies, especially when it comes to pricing and the bonus-malus system. Understanding these factors is crucial for anyone seeking car insurance in the country.

What Are the Bonus-Malus Classes?

Italy employs a bonus-malus system comprised of 18 classes, each determined by the insured party’s history of at-fault accidents. Class one corresponds to the minimum premium, while class 18 represents the maximum premium.

New policyholders typically start in the 14th class. With each year free from at-fault accidents, policyholders move up one class. Conversely, in the absence of accidents, the bonus-malus class decreases by two positions. Additionally, the cost of car insurance depends on the policyholder’s personal information, city of residence, and the type of vehicle insured. To reduce the annual premium, policyholders can leverage the “Bersani Law.” If there is a family member in the same household with a lower bonus-malus class than the 14th class (the starting class), the new policyholder can automatically request to inherit that family member’s bonus-malus class.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Italy?

For first-time policyholders, the journey usually begins in the 14th class. On average, an insurance policy for a resident of a major Italian city ranges from €1,000 to €1,500 per year.

Policyholders in the first class who opt for basic third-party liability coverage typically pay approximately €300 to €500 annually. Conversely, those in the 18th class, at the bottom of the list, may find themselves paying €2,500 to €3,000 per year. Car insurance companies in Italy often offer the flexibility of splitting payments into two installments. The semi-annual payment plan operates as follows: an annual insurance contract is signed, and the payment is divided every six months. It’s important to note that the insurance contract remains valid for a full year, obligating the policyholder to pay the second installment for the subsequent six months.

Other Cost-Saving Strategies

Another cost-saving approach is to insure the vehicle only for specific months of the year. Some insurance companies permit the suspension and subsequent reactivation of policies. This means that the annual premium must still be paid, but the policy is only active during the required period, remaining suspended when not needed. For instance, if you require coverage for just four months, from May to August, you can easily suspend it in September and reactivate it for the remaining months of the following year. This strategy can lead to significant savings. Typically, insurance companies allow a maximum of two policy reactivations, and some may charge a small fee of €10 to €20 for the suspension/reactivation, while others offer this service at no additional cost.

Average Car Insurance Costs in Italy

Car insurance is obligatory in Italy for all vehicles on public roads, except when a vehicle is parked or stored in a private area and clearly cannot be driven on public roads. The average cost of insurance in Italy depends on several factors, which we’ll discuss here.

Factors Influencing Costs:

– Age of the Driver: The age of the driver plays a significant role in determining the annual premium. Younger drivers often pay more due to their limited driving experience, which can lead to a higher number of accidents compared to more experienced drivers.

– Type of Vehicle: The type of vehicle being insured directly impacts the policy cost. Smaller utility vehicles for daily use generally have lower premiums. As the vehicle’s power increases, measured in terms of horsepower, the insurance price also rises. However, this variable has a relatively smaller impact compared to the other factors mentioned in this article unless it involves sports cars.

– Residence of the Policyholder: The policyholder’s municipality of residence is another vital aspect that influences the insurance policy’s price. Where you live can significantly affect the risk coefficient, depending on the likelihood of accidents with other vehicles. Typically, residents of major Italian cities pay higher annual premiums compared to those living in smaller towns or remote areas with lower population density.

– Additional Coverage: The cost of car insurance also depends on the additional coverage requested when signing the contract. These options may include fire/theft insurance, roadside assistance, legal protection, physical injury insurance for the driver, and more.

In Conclusion

The average cost of basic third-party car insurance in Italy for an individual without prior policies in the country ranges from €900 to €1,600 per year. Many insurance companies offer the option to split payments into installments every six months, although choosing this option may result in a slight price increase of about 5%.

Understanding the intricacies of car insurance in Italy is essential for making informed decisions and finding the most suitable coverage for your needs. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, these insights will help you navigate the complexities of car insurance in this beautiful country.

Car Insurance in Italy: Understanding Costs and the Bonus-Malus System 1

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