Sicily Road trip - October


My wife are planning a 10 day road trip in Sicily in early October. I have been reading a few forums and am a bit concerned about the car rental and driving. Apparently insurance costs more than the rental, there are add ons (not previously disclosed) at time of pick up.One doesn't get a chance to check the existing damage(common) on the car at pick up. Then there is mention of speeding motorcyclists, cops waiting to hand out speeding tickets etc.

1).If someone has done a road trip in the last year or two could you please share your experiences. How much of the above is true ?

2). How much should I expect to pay (including insurance) for a ten day car rental in early October? Its not the peak season.I plan to pick the car in town in Palermo and drop at the airport at Catania.

3). Which car rental companies are good and which to avoid?