Progressive and State Farm, two of America’s largest auto insurers, are refusing to write insurance policies in sure cities for some older Hyundai and Kia models which were deemed too straightforward to steal, in accordance to the businesses.
Several reviews say the businesses have stopped providing insurance coverage on these autos in cities that embody Denver, Colorado and St. Louis, Missouri. The insurance coverage corporations didn’t inform CNN which cities or states had been concerned.
The Highway Loss Data Institute launched insurance claims data last September that confirmed what varied social media accounts had been saying: Some 2015 by means of 2019 Hyundai and Kia models are roughly twice as possible to be stolen as different autos of comparable age, as a result of lots of them lack some of the essential auto theft prevention know-how included in most different autos in these years, in accordance to the HLDI.
Specifically, these SUVs and vehicles don’t have digital immobilizers, which depend on a pc chip within the automobile and one other in the important thing that talk to affirm that the important thing actually belongs to that automobile. Without the precise key, an immobilizer ought to do exactly that – cease the automobile from transferring.
Immobilizers had been customary gear on 96% of autos bought for the 2015-2019 mannequin years, in accordance the HLDI, however solely 26% of Hyundais and Kias had them at the moment. Vehicles which have push-button begin programs, somewhat than counting on steel keys that should be inserted and turned, have immobilizers, however not all models with turn-key ignitions do.
Stealing these autos grew to become a social media development in 2021, in accordance to HLDI, as car thieves began posting videos of their thefts and joyrides and even movies explaining how to steal the vehicles. In Wisconsin, the place the crimes first grew to become prevalent, theft claims of Hyundais and Kias spiked to greater than 30 occasions 2019 ranges in greenback phrases.
“State Farm has quickly stopped writing new enterprise in some states for sure mannequin years and trim ranges of Hyundai and Kia autos as a result of theft losses for these autos have elevated dramatically,” the insurer stated in a press release offered to CNN. “This is a significant issue impacting our clients and all the auto insurance coverage business.”
Progressive can also be chopping again on insuring these vehicles in some markets, spokesman Jeff Sibel stated in an emailed assertion.
“During the previous 12 months we’ve seen theft charges for sure Hyundai and Kia autos greater than triple and in some markets these autos are nearly 20 occasions extra possible to be stolen than different autos,” he wrote. “Given that we value our insurance policies primarily based on the extent of danger they symbolize, this explosive enhance in thefts in lots of circumstances makes these autos extraordinarily difficult for us to insure. In response, in some geographic areas now we have elevated our charges and restricted our sale of recent insurance coverage insurance policies on some of those models.”
Progressive continues to insure those that have already got insurance policies with the corporate, he stated. Progressive can also be offering them with recommendation on how to shield their autos from theft.
Michael Barry, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute, stated it was very uncommon for auto insurers to merely cease writing new insurance policies on a given make or mannequin of auto.
“They usually need to develop their market share relying on the place they’re doing enterprise,” he stated.
Hyundai and Kia function as separate corporations within the United States, however Hyundai Motor Group owns a big stake in Kia and varied Hyundai and Kia models share a lot of their engineering.
Engine immobilizers are now customary on all Kia and Hyundai autos, the businesses stated in separate statements. Both automakers additionally stated they are creating safety software program for autos that weren’t initially geared up with an immobilizer. Kia stated it has begun notifying homeowners of the provision of this software program, which will likely be offered at no cost. Hyundai stated its free software program free replace will likely be obtainable subsequent month.
Hyundai additionally stated it’s offering free steering wheel locks to some police departments across the nation to give native residents who’ve Hyundai models that might be simply stolen. Hyundai sellers are additionally promoting and putting in safety kits for the autos, the corporate stated.
Correction: A earlier model of this story misstated the price of Hyundai safety kits.