Car Insurance: Some Hyundai, Kia models not covered Pipa News


Car Insurance: Some Hyundai, Kia models not covered

Progressive and State Farm, two of America’s largest auto insurers, are refusing to underwrite policies in certain cities for some older Hyundai and Kia models that some insurance companies and media reports say are too easy to steal.

Several reports say the companies have stopped offering insurance for these vehicles in cities like Denver, Colorado and St. Louis, Missouri. The insurance companies have not told CNN which cities or states are involved.

The Highway Loss Data Institute released insurance claims data last September that confirmed what several social media accounts had said: Some 2015 through 2019 Hyundai and Kia models are about twice as likely to be stolen as other 2019 vehicles. similar age, because many of them lack some of the basic auto theft prevention technology that was included in most other vehicles during those years, according to the HLDI.

These SUVs and cars in particular do not have electronic immobilizers, which rely on a computer chip in the car and another in the key communicating to confirm that the key really belongs to that vehicle. Without the right key, an immobilizer should do just that: stop the car from moving.

According to the HLDI, immobilizers were standard on 96% of vehicles sold for the 2015-2019 model years, but only 26% of Hyundais and Kias had them at the time. Vehicles with push-button ignition systems, rather than relying on metal keys to be inserted and turned, have immobilizers, but not all models have ready-made ignitions.

According to HLDI, stealing these vehicles became a social media trend in 2021, as car thieves started posting videos of their thefts and joyrides and even videos explaining how to steal the cars. In Wisconsin, where crimes first became prevalent, theft claims from Hyundais and Kias rose to more than 30 times their 2019 dollar levels.

“State Farm has temporarily stopped closing new business in some states for certain model years and trim levels of Hyundai and Kia vehicles because theft losses for these vehicles have increased dramatically,” the insurer said in a statement to CNN. “This is a serious problem that affects our customers and the entire auto insurance industry.”

A spokesperson for Progressive Insurance has been quoted in other media as confirming the change, but the company has not yet provided a statement to CNN.

Michael Barry, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute, said it was very unusual for auto insurers to simply stop writing new policies for a particular make or model of vehicle.

“They generally want to increase their market share depending on where they do business,” he said.

Hyundai and Kia operate as separate companies in the United States, but the Hyundai Motor Group has a major interest in Kia, and several Hyundai and Kia models share much of their engineering.

Immobilizers are now standard on all Kia vehicles, according to a statement from the automaker, and the company says it has developed and tested security software for vehicles not originally equipped with an immobilizer. Kia said it has begun notifying owners of the availability of this software, which is provided free of charge.

Hyundai said it is providing free steering wheel locks to some police departments across the country to give local residents who have easily stolen Hyundai models. Hyundai dealers also install free security kits for the vehicles, the company said.