Drivers paying high price in Naples – for insurance
May 7, 2006
NAPLES, Italy — Remember that old line about the other sex that goes, “Can’t live with them, can’t live without them?”
That goes double for auto insurers.
Residents in Naples, however, might choose to live without them — at least their auto insurance bills — especially since a recent report showed that “Bella Napoli” has the highest premiums in Italy.
The study looked at rates for the country’s 18 top car insurers and checked their rates in 10 provinces, according to a summary published on the Agenzia Giornalistica Italia Web site.
They gathered the results based on data for 18-year-old male and female students, a 35-year-old male worker, a 35-year-old housewife, and two 46-year-old workers.
Not surprisingly, the report states, the 18-year-old student pays most.
Unlike the U.S., where a driver could have his or her license for two years at that point, the legal driving age in Italy is 18.
High insurances rates have driven some in the military to sell their American cars before transferring to Naples.
“That’s why I sold both my cars before coming out here,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Aaron Franks of the Naval Computers and Telecommunications Station, who has been stationed in Naples for about six months.
“My wife had a Jeep Grand Cherokee and I had a Honda Prelude,” he said.
“We were looking at five grand for full coverage.”
Instead, they bought a 1998 Opel Tigra and are still paying more than $2,000.
“When we got here and got the car, we put liability on it and are paying about $140 a month,” he said. “To me, that’s not too bad, as back home I was a speed demon.”
Franks said he’s not the only one who has faced extremely high insurance rates.
“Others my age have called [for quotes], and [insurance companies] wanted $5,000 a year for full coverage,” he said.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Chris Tillman of the base Air Operations had faced rates nearly this high.
“They wanted $350 a month for full coverage, and it was a ’93 Alfa Romeo,” he said. “And I ain’t never had a speeding ticket.”
Tillman’s not driving right now, saying that the car — his third since arriving in 2002 — had to be scrapped because of an accident.
Petty Officer 1st Class Jedidiah Yisrael said he drives an Isuzu Rodeo.
“If I had full coverage, I’d be paying $2,200 a year,” he said. “Liability costs $762. I was in Jacksonville, Fla., and for full coverage for six months it was $492.”
Yisrael said the high cost of insurance isn’t too shocking, based on Naples’ reputation for bad driving and high crime rates.
“I’m not surprised, with accident rates over here and car thefts,” he said.
Rates in Europe
Stars and Stripes called car insurance companies in Europe that cater to U.S. forces to get full-coverage rate quotes on a 2000 Dodge Neon Sport.
Because the rates are determined by many variables, here’s what was used for these quotes:
The driver’s a 35-year-old man who mainly drives to and from work, less than than 15 miles per day.He’s married and has only one car, meaning he gets no discount for having more than one insured vehicle. He has no tickets or accidents, nor does his wife.The car has anti-lock brakes, driver- and passenger-side airbags, automatic everything and a car alarm that disables the ignition when it’s triggered.The policy has a $250 deductible.Many agencies asked about different features when asked for “full coverage” quote. Most asked about the car alarm, but one went so far as to ask about the driver’s health conditions. Here are quotes for one year of coverage.
Naples, Italy: GEICO — $1,722.19Aviano, Italy: GEICO — $1,219.36Vicenza, Italy: GEICO — about $1,450Sigonella, Sicily: GEICO — $1,376RAF Mildenhall: Kent’s Insurance Co. — about $1,300Darmstadt, Germany: Bohling Insurance Co. — about $1,241—Jason Chudy