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 have been deemed too simple to steal, in accordance to the businesses.
Several studies 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 have been concerned.
The Highway Loss Data Institute launched insurance claims data last September that confirmed what numerous social media accounts had been saying: Some 2015 by way of 2019 Hyundai and Kia models are roughly twice as seemingly to be stolen as different autos of comparable age, as a result of lots of them lack some of the essential auto theft prevention expertise included in most different autos in these years, in accordance to the HLDI.
Specifically, these SUVs and automobiles don’t have digital immobilizers, which depend on a pc chip within the automotive and one other in the important thing that talk to verify that the important thing actually belongs to that automobile. Without the precise key, an immobilizer ought to just do that – cease the automotive from shifting.
Immobilizers have been customary gear on 96% of autos offered 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 techniques, reasonably 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 turned 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 automobiles. In Wisconsin, the place the crimes first turned prevalent, theft claims of Hyundais and Kias spiked to greater than 30 instances 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 mentioned in a press release supplied to CNN. “This is a significant issue impacting our clients and all the auto insurance coverage business.”
Progressive can be chopping again on insuring these automobiles in some markets, spokesman Jeff Sibel mentioned 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 virtually 20 instances extra seemingly to be stolen than different autos,” he wrote. “Given that we worth our insurance policies primarily based on the extent of danger they symbolize, this explosive improve in thefts in lots of instances makes these autos extraordinarily difficult for us to insure. In response, in some geographic areas we have now 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 mentioned. Progressive can be offering them with recommendation on how to defend their autos from theft.
Michael Barry, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute, mentioned it was very uncommon for auto insurers to merely cease writing new insurance policies on a given make or mannequin of car.
“They typically need to increase their market share relying on the place they’re doing enterprise,” he mentioned.
Hyundai and Kia function as separate corporations within the United States, however Hyundai Motor Group owns a big stake in Kia and numerous Hyundai and Kia models share a lot of their engineering.
Engine immobilizers are now customary on all Kia autos, in accordance to a press release by the automaker and the corporate says it has been growing and testing safety software program for autos not initially geared up with an immobilize. Kia mentioned it has begun notifying house owners of the provision of this software program, which is being supplied at no cost.
Hyundai mentioned it’s offering free steering wheel locks to some police departments across the nation to give native residents who’ve simply stolen Hyundai models. Hyundai sellers are additionally putting in free safety kits for the autos, the corporate mentioned.