Some car insurers refuse to cover some Hyundai and Kia models


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 deemed too easy to steal, according to one of the insurance companies and media reports.

Multiple reports state that companies in cities like Denver, Colorado and St. Louis, Missouri have stopped offering insurance for these vehicles. The insurance companies did not tell CNN which cities or states were involved.

The Highway Loss Data Institute released data on insurance claims last September that confirmed what various social media accounts were doing say: Some 2015-2019 Hyundai and Kia models are about twice as likely to be stolen than other vehicles of a similar age, there Many of them lack some of the basic anti-theft car technology found in most other vehicles of those years. according to HLDI.

These SUVs and cars in particular don’t have electronic immobilizers that rely on a computer chip in the car and another in the key communicating to confirm that the key really does belong to that vehicle. Without the right key, an immobilizer should do just that – stop the car from moving.

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

Stealing these vehicles has been according to HLDI, a social media trend in 2021 when car thieves started posting videos of their thefts and jaunts and even videos explaining how to steal the cars. In Wisconsin, where the crime first became widespread, theft claims from Hyundais and Kias rose to more than 30 times the 2019 dollar level.

“State Farm has temporarily stopped writing new business for certain model years and trim levels of Hyundai and Kia vehicles in some states due to a dramatic increase in theft claims for those vehicles,” the insurer said in a statement provided to CNN . “This is a serious issue affecting our customers and the entire auto insurance industry.”

A spokesman for Progressive Insurance was quoted in other media as confirming the change, but the company has not yet provided CNN with a statement.

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

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

Hyundai and Kia operate as separate companies in the United States, but Hyundai Motor Group owns a large stake in Kia, and various Hyundai and Kia models share much of their engineering.

According to the automaker, engine immobilizers are now standard on all Kia vehicles tThe company says it developed and tested security software for vehicles that weren’t originally equipped with an immobilizer. Kia said it has started notifying owners of the availability of this software, which is being made available free of charge.

Hyundai said it is providing free steering wheel locks to some police departments across the country to give to local residents who have them easy Stolen Hyundai models. Hyundai dealers are also installing free safety kits for the vehicles, the company said.