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.