Two insurance companies refuse to cover some Kia and Hyundai drivers | News

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Ashley Stewart woke up on Friday to learn her 2021 Kia Sorrento was missing.

“I was shocked,” she said. “I was kind of numb.”

Stewart was grateful to have insurance, but not every Kia driver can say that. Progressive and State Farm have stopped covering drivers of certain Kia and Hyundai models in parts of the country, according to CNN.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Shade Sullins, an independent agent who co-founded A and S Insurance Solutions. “The rate for theft coverage has gone up dramatically.”

A spokesman for State Farm told FOX13 that the company has “stopped accepting new customer applications in some states” for certain models of Hyundai and Kia vehicles because of the high theft.

However, there is no indication this is happening in Tennessee just yet.

“(The state) not been notified by either State Farm or Progressive about plans to discontinue coverage for owners of these vehicles who might live in Tennessee,” wrote a spokesman for the Department of Commerce and Insurance in a statement.

In statements to FOX13, representatives from both Kia and Hyundai said they regret the decision by certain companies to not insure their customers. Both companies also stated their vehicles now have engine immobilizers and that they have distributed wheel locks to law enforcement.

According to the Memphis Police Department, criminals stole 1,822 Hyundai vehicles and 1,725 Kia vehicles in 2022.

Thankfully, Stewart’s truck was found on the expressway days after it was stolen.

However, she told FOX13 she will think twice about her next vehicle purchase.

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Some Insurance Companies Drop Certain Hyundai and Kia Models Due To Theft

Last September, we covered the rise in car thefts during the pandemic, especially among certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles. The report came from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) and you can read our previous post here.  

2015-2019 Hyundai and Kia Models

So what vehicles are we talking about? Certain 2015-2019 Hyundai and Kia vehicles. HDLI says the issue is that unlike most other vehicles from other manufacturers during that time frame, the Hyundai and Kia vehicles with key-turn ignitions don’t have electronic immobilizers that prevent thieves from breaking in and bypassing the ignition, making them easier to steal.

 In 2015,  when immobilizers were standard on 96 percent of other manufacturers’ vehicles, HLDI says they were standard on only 26 percent of Hyundai and Kia vehicle models.

“Our earlier studies show that vehicle theft losses plunged after immobilizers were introduced,” said HLDI Senior Vice President Matt Moore. “Unfortunately, Hyundai and Kia have lagged behind other automakers in making them standard equipment.”

HDLI noted the trend in thefts with those particular Hyundai model years following its analysis of 2021 insurance claims that found a rise in car thefts among certain brands during the pandemic.

The issue also made its way to social media in 2021, making the theft problem worse.  

Here is the list of affected vehicles according to State Farm:

2015-2021 Hyundai Accent

2015-2021 Hyundai Elantra

2015-2021 Hyundai Kona

2015-2021 Hyundai Santa Fe

2015-2021 Hyundai Tucson

2015-2021 Hyundai Veloster

2015-2021 Kia Forte

2015-2021 Kia Optima (including hybrid models)

2015-2021 Kia Rio

2015-2021 Kia Sedona

2015-2021 Kia Sorento

2015-2021 Kia Soul

2015-2021 Kia Sportage

 

New Federal Lawsuit 

Some Kia and Hyundai owners have filed a class action lawsuits against the sibling automakers. There is also a national class action lawsuit that was filed in California.

But owners aren’t the only ones

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2 insurance companies blacklist some Kia and Hyundai models over theft worries

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

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Insurance companies dropping new Kia, Hyundai policies

At least two major insurance companies are not issuing new policies in some areas for certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles. Here’s what drivers need to know.

If you own a vehicle from two manufacturers, you may not be able to have it insured by some major companies, a social media post claims. 

“Major car insurance companies plan to drop Hyundai and Kia from their plans due to thefts!” the poster claimed in a viral tweet on Jan. 30.

Recent online search data also show that Hyundai and Kia drivers are looking for information about insurance policies. 

THE QUESTION

Have some car insurance companies stopped covering Hyundai and Kia models due to thefts?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is true.

Yes, some car insurance companies have stopped covering Hyundai and Kia models due to thefts. The change applies to new policies, not those for existing customers. 

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WHAT WE FOUND

Progressive and State Farm are not issuing new policies in some areas for certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles due to an uptick in thefts involving the cars. 

Both insurance companies say they will continue to insure existing customers who own these types of vehicles. 

Scott Holeman, a spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute (III), also confirmed the institute is only seeing the suspension of new customer applications in some states, not the dropping of existing customers.

The insurance companies did not provide a list of vehicles that they will not insure right now. But a spokesperson for Kia said the impacted models include “2011 to 2021 Kia vehicles equipped with a steel ignition key for turn-to-start operation.”

Hyundai didn’t provide information about impacted models, but a spokesperson said in a statement that the company “regrets this decision by insurers and its

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