Used Kia, Hyundai Cars May Be Harder To Insure

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - January 31, 2023
2018 Kia Rio

A group out of Wisconsin that calls themselves the “Kia Boyz” on TikTok have made it even harder to own older Kias and Hyundais. The group released a video showcasing how easy it was to steal a 2011 to 2021 Kia and 2015 to 2021 Hyundais and it seems like everyone wanted to give it a try to get a few seconds of fame on social media. Obviously, thefts of Hyundais and Kias have skyrocketed over the past few years. Now, CNN reports that State Farm Insurance and Progressive Insurance are refusing to write policies in certain cities for some of Hyundai and Kia’s older models.

The outlet claims that both companies have stopped offering insurance policies on some older Hyundai and Kias in Denver, Colorado and St. Louis, Missouri.

“State Farm has temporarily stopped writing 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,” State Farm said in a statement to CNN. “This is a serious problem impacting our customers and the entire auto insurance industry.”

Progressive also sent CNN an emailed statement explaining why it has stopped insuring certain models. “During the past year we’ve seen theft rates for certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles more than triple and in some markets these vehicles are almost 20 times more likely to be stolen than other vehicles,” Progressive spokesman Jeff Sibel said in an email to CNN. “Given that we price our policies based on the level of risk they represent, this explosive increase in thefts in many cases makes these vehicles extremely challenging for us to insure. In response, in some geographic areas we have increased our rates and limited our sale of new insurance policies on some of these models.”

If you’re asking yourself if this is normal, the answer is no, this is not normal. Michael Barry, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute, told the outlet that it was “very unusual” for automotive insurance companies to stop writing new policies on specific makes and models of vehicles.

2016 Hyundai Veloster

While Progressive and State Farm Insurance are starting to deny insuring these vehicles, Nationwide and Geico are raising their premiums for some current policyholders with affected Hyundai and Kias, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The outlet noted that thefts involving a Hyundai or a Kia rose 1,450% in 2022. In 2021, a total of 273 Hyundais and Kias were stolen, while that number rose to 3,958 in 2022.

Theft rates are much higher in other cities in the country. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper, 66% of the 10,476 stolen vehicles in Milwaukee last year were Hyundais or Kias. Things slowed down in 2022, as 6,048 vehicles were stolen in Milwaukee in the first nine months of the year, but 58% of vehicles stolen during that period were from the South Korean automakers.

According to data from the Highway Loss Data Institute, engine immobilizers were standard on 96% of vehicles sold from 2015 to 2019. Immobilizers were only found on 26% of Hyundais and Kias from the same timeframe. Thieves are only targeting vehicles with a traditional key and not push-button ignitions. As CNN points out, engine immobilizers are now standard on Kias and Hyundais. Both brands claim that they’re working on new security software for older vehicles that thieves are targeting. Kia has started to notify owners about the availability of the software, while Hyundai claims that the software will be available in February.

At this point, one would assume that the vehicles would have to be recalled. It’s a huge red flag when insurance companies stop insuring vehicles. It’s also a shame that Kia and Hyundai haven’t done anything to step in and help affected owners. Hyundai is providing free steering wheel locks to some police departments across the country to give to local residents. CNN states that Hyundai dealers are selling and installing security kits for older models, but requiring consumers to purchase an aftermarket security system for a vehicle seems like a backhanded fix.

Hyundai and Kia are reportedly facing numerous lawsuits across the country, including a federal class action suit that was filed in California, over the theft risks that are associated with the vehicles.

Source: CNN

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, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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