PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Some car owners could soon get a letter from their insurance company that some vehicles are being blacklisted.
In fact, at least two insurers are declining to write new policies on some Hyundai and Kia models.
“I’d seen reports that Hyundais are fairly easy to steal. I didn’t think that that would happen to me,” said Amelia Dougherty of Philadelphia’s Spring Garden section.
You might remember Dougherty. She’s on the hunt for a new car after someone stole her 2020 Hyundai Tucson and then crashed it into the Schuylkill River on Monday.
“Luckily enough I have good insurance so I can get that taken care of fairly quickly,” she said.
The 6abc data journalism team found 820 Hyundais and Kias have been stolen in Philadelphia so far this year, making up 57 percent of all city vehicle thefts up until Jan. 25.
The Highway Loss Data Institute found that among 2015-2019 vehicles, theft claims were nearly twice as common for Hyundais and Kias compared to other makes.
“These vehicles are missing what’s called an electronic immobilizer, which prevents theft,” said Mark Friedlander of the Insurance Information Institute. “Most vehicles in the country have these. But these model Kias and Hyundais do not have them and that’s why they’re so easy to steal.”
So now two major U.S. insurers, Progressive and State Farm, are halting new policies on certain Kias and Hyundais – at least for now.
“My insurance company, they said going forward if you have a car that’s a Kia or Hyundai after 2019, they won’t insure it,” said Dougherty.
Dougherty said her State Farm agent told her letters were sent to customers at the end of January.
“We’re not aware of any other companies that have put a stop in place yet on these