Expired insurance: fine, times, fifteen days and what you need to know

Compulsory by law for all vehicles, even if not circulating, insurance is one of the most frequent reasons for fines for car and motorcycle owners. Responsibility and renewal methods, what the Highway Code says

Joseph Cross

March 22, 2023 (change March 22, 2023 | 10:03 am)

One of the most important tasks for motorists and motorcyclists, as well as one of higher fixed expensesis that relating toRCA insurance: Motor vehicle liability. Without RC cars (or motorcycles) not only can you not circulate by law, but you can’t even leave your car parked in a public place. For this reason, expired insurance is one of the nightmares of many road users, also because they often, involuntarily, you forget about the renewal.


The insurance policy Motor vehicle liability is a contract by which, upon payment of a sum of money called prize, the insurance company undertakes to repay any economic damages deriving from an accident caused (even only in part) by the insured. Compensation is limited to a maximum amount, called insurance ceilingwhich by law is at least 6.07 million euros for personal injury and 1.22 million euros for damage to property. If, as a result of the accident caused by the insured, the damages should be higher than the maximum amount, all the excess must be paid by the insured himself. RC insurance for cars and motorcycles is mandatory by law: is foreseen fromarticle 193 of the Highway Code, which also sets the fines in the event of non-renewal of the policy. So, yes: expired insurance causes a fine, which is not contestable in any way.


Expired insurance is not tolerated by the Traffic Laws in any case: it is not necessary to have a claim to trigger the fine. You don’t even need to drive your car with expired insurance to risk it. If the car has the RCA policy expired, in fact, the owner can be fined even if the car is stationaryparked on the street or in a public car park.


It is useful to clarify that, in principle and by law, there is no difference between the obligations relating to car insurance and those relating to motorcycle insurance: the law is the same for both. The only detail to pay attention to is the type of policy. Unlike car policies, which usually have an annual term, motorcycle liability policies very often have different mechanisms and can be activated or deactivated as desired. This may affect the so-called period of ultra-activity of the insurancei.e. the famous 15 extra days of coverage starting from the expiry day of the policy.


The expression period of ultra-activity of the insurance means i fifteen days following the expiry of the policy, during which the policy is still active even if it is not renewed. This period is automatic and required by law, but only if the insurance contract has an annual expiry. During these fifteen days of ultraactivity it is as if the policy had not really expired: in the event of an accident, the insurance covers the damage (up to the ceilings) and in the event of a police check you do not risk any sanctions.


Once the fifteen (possible) days of overactivity of the policy have elapsed, the insurance is to be considered expired to all intents and purposes. In this case the owner of the vehicle with expired insurance risk having the vehicle confiscated (in case of recurrence), and a fine from a minimum of 841 euros to a maximum of 3,287 euros. This penalty can be reduced by 25% if the car owner renews the policy by thirty days from the expiry date of the contract (attention: not within 30 days of the police check), or if you scrap the vehicle within 30 days of the police check (and not after the contract expires).


What is the risk in the event of an accident if the car (or motorbike) is no longer covered by the insurance policy because it has expired? Clearly the sanctions provided for by article 193 of the Highway Code are triggered, but for the rest there is a big difference based on whether victim or cause of the accident. If the person with expired insurance is the victim of the accident and is not at fault, then he will still be compensated by the other driver’s insurance company (provided the other vehicle is insured). If the uninsured person causes an accident, however, the damages will be paid by the Guarantee fund for road victims. In the latter case, it is possible that the Fund will subsequently bring a civil lawsuit against the uninsured motorist to try to recover what was paid to the victim of the accident.


Many times the motorist, or the motorcyclist, simply does not notice that the vehicle liability insurance has expired and circulates with expired insurance without even knowing it, only to have the surprise at the first police check. The law does not provide for any excuses, nor discount, because it obliges the insurance companies to notify the insured of the imminent expiry of the policy at least 30 days in advance. This is because, starting from DL 179/2012, it has been abolished the so-called tacit renewal of car insurance, then the renewal is no longer automatic. The expiry date of the insurance policy is written on the documentation of the policy itself, as well as on the coupon (the one that is no longer mandatory to display). In case of loss of these documents, then, it is possible to manually check the expiry date of the RC policy of your car or motorbike by connecting to the website www.ilportaledellautomobilista.it.


To check the expiry date of your RC insurance policy yourself, simply open the website www.ilportaledellautomobilista.it of Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and then go up Check by yourself > Check RCA coverage > Go to the service. At this point, just choose between “Vehicle” or “Moped” and enter the required fields, including the license plate. If the data is correct, the system will return the type of vehicle, license plate, insurance company, coverage expiration date and RCA coverage status.