Insurance, fuel and fines. The coming months could hold bad surprises for road users. On the one hand there is the risk, denounced by consumer associations, for two million policyholders to find themselves with policies quadrupled from 1 January as a result of the rule contained in the law on competition which obliges foreign companies operating in Italy to adopt the procedure direct compensation. On the other hand, the certain reduction from 1 December of the discount on petrol, diesel (from 0.25 per liter to 0.15) and LPG (from 0.085 per kg to 0.051) decided by the decree approved by the Council of Ministers. On the other hand, as regards the upward update of the amounts of road fines which would start with the new year on the basis of the automatism provided for by the Highway Code, the government has announced that it will intervene to avoid increases.
Reduced fuel discounts from 1 December
From 1 December, the government has decided to reduce the discount on petrol and diesel from 0.25 euro per liter to 0.15, while for LPG from 0.085 per kg to 0.051. Thus we pass from the current cut of 25 cents which, inclusive of VAT, was equivalent to a discount to the distributor of 30.5 cents, to a cut of 15 cents which, together with the VAT, will translate into 18.3 cents less.
Stop the adjustment of fines
Instead, the automatism envisaged by the Highway Code will be blocked by the executive, which from 1 January 2023 would trigger an upward update of the amounts of road fines. The amount of administrative pecuniary sanctions is in fact updated every two years by an amount equal to the entire variation, ascertained by Istat, of the consumer price index for blue-collar and white-collar families which occurred in the previous two years. With an increase in the amounts of the penalties in the order of +11% – calculated the Codacons – the fine for the parking ban would rise to 46 euros from January 2023, with an increase of 4 euros; the one for using a mobile phone while driving at 183 euros (+18 euros); the fine for forbidden access to the Ztl to 92 euros (+9 euros), while for exceeding the speed limits of more than 60 km/h the amount would reach 938 euros (with an increase of 93 euros compared to the current 845 euros).
Motor liability: the risk of premiums quadrupled
From 1 January, the regulation established by the Competition law will enter into force, which obliges companies with registered offices in other Member States but operating in Italy to adopt the direct compensation procedure (made by the insurance of the person who suffered the accident who will then receive reimbursement from the insurance of the person who caused it). An “unjust, highly unfair and highly inflationary regulation” is the alarm raised by Assoutenti and Movimento consumer: the novelty entails the risk for two million policyholders, a good part of which located in southern Italy and in large urban areas, and numerous holders of insurance for mopeds, to see the premiums of motor liability policies quadrupled.
«Direct compensation leaks from all sides – underline Furio Truzzi (president of Assoutenti) and Alessandro Mostaccio (general secretary of the Consumer Movement) -, a measure that was supposed to favor the insured but has turned into a maze of harassment that has profoundly altered the structure of the insurance market, undermining the pact of trust between insurance companies and policyholders. The lump sum system between companies needs to be profoundly revised and a minimum principle of competition restored: foreign companies should not be obliged to adopt a procedure such as direct compensation deemed optional by the Constitutional Court three decades ago, but it must be made so optional procedure for all insurance companies and for all policyholders».