Road Traffic Accidents and Car Insurance in Italy

Information on what to do when you have a road traffic accident and how to make an accident report for your insurer after a car crash...

The terms of the Italian Highway Code (Codice della Strada) state that it is compulsory to provide help in the event of an accident, whether involved in it or just passing by.

What to do at the scene of an accident

  • Stop immediately
  • Put on a reflective jacket before leaving the car, especially in bad weather or at night
  • If the vehicle is blocking the road, use hazard lights and place a warning triangle (triangolo di emergenza) 30m from the scene to warn oncoming traffic.
  • If there have been injuries or fatalities make sure the injured are protected from the traffic, do not touch them; do not move them if at all possible; do not administer any drink nor medicine.
  • Call the Health Emergency line (Emergenza Sanitaria): 118
  • If needed call the Emergency Aid line (Soccorso Pubblico di Emergenza):113 or the Police (Carabinieri): 112
  • Provide clear details about the location of the accident and what happened, the type and number of vehicles involved and the number of injured people so that the emergency services may find the site easily and are properly prepared
  • Wait for the emergency services
  • Motorways have red SOS freephones about every two kilometres - each of these has at least two buttons, one to request medical help (Soccorso Medico) and another for road emergency (Assistenza Stradale). Push the appropriate button and wait for the green light or for the confirmation message
  • Wait near to the SOS box
  • When the police arrive, they will provide help for the injured, re-establish traffic flow, gather all the necessary information about the accident and write an accident report

In the event of an accident with no serious injuries, and if both drivers agree on the facts, there is no obligation to contact the police. However, all parties must still complete the accident report in order to benefit from insurance.

The Accident Report

When the accident happens between two vehicles only and if there is no physical injury, then both parties may revert to an amicable procedure (Constatazione amichevole d'incidente) and fill in the  “friendly accident report forms” which are usually provided with the motor insurance documents. Formally known as Convention for Direct Indemnity (CID, Convenzione Indennizzo Diretto) they are now known as CAI forms.  The forms are available online and it is advisable to complete the form immediately after any traffic accident as they  speed up the reimbursement procedure. 

Included in the accident report are the following details:

  • Name of the people involved in the accident
  • Details of the insurance companies
  • Registration plates of the vehicles involved
  • Circumstances and description of the accident
  • Signature of both drivers

A copy of the accident report must be sent to the insurance company within three days, and the car must be kept at their disposal for an expert's report. The insurance company then has ten days to assess the damages, and must pay within 15 days.

If the insurance company disagrees with the amount of work to be done on the car, it will pay a provision based on an estimation (offerta di risarcimento); the difference can be claimed later on.

As of 2004, the "amicable procedure" is also valid, under certain circumstances, where there have been injuries:

  • The vehicle in which the injured person has travelled is damaged
  • For each injured person, damage to the person (physical damage, moral damage, material damage and medical fees) do not exceed the amount of €15,000

Further Information

  • ANIA (Associazione Nazionale fra le Imprese di Assicurazione) National Insurer's Association (in Italian)
    At: Via di San Nicola da Tolentino 72, 00187 Rome 
    Tel : 06 326881