By Ursula Nizalowski
During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, there were a lot of crazy things that happened. But
one concerning trend that came out of this chaos was the increase in car thefts. Particularly, the
kind manufactured by Kia and Hyundai. For this reason, some companies have decided to put
restrictions on the insurance of these vehicles. Now with that said, the issue is not so simple as
this article will hopefully clarify.
Which Models are Being Affected the Most?
According to a report made by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) in December 2021, the
particular model of Hyundai and Kia cars/SUVs that had a higher rate of theft were 2015-19
models. The report also stated that less than 30 percent of these models had an electronic
immobilizer, which prevents a car from moving if the wrong key is used to turn it on. So that
would make these cars pretty easy to steal compared to others. In fact, the “overall losses from
Hyundai-Kia thefts” in the state of Wisconsin went up “more than 30 times the 2019 level” in
2021 as stated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Which Insurance Companies are Enforcing the Restrictions?
Currently, only two major insurance companies have responded to this car theft issue. For
instance, State Farm has decided to temporarily halt new customer applications for Kia and
Hyundai cars “to protect our policyholders and our business” as quoted by CBS Chicago . By
contrast, Progressive will still insure these cars for those who already own them. Although a
statement from Progressive claims “in some geographic areas we have increased our rates and
limited our sale of new insurance policies on some of these models”.
How are the Car Manufacturers Responding?
While Kia and Hyundai claim that all of their models from 2020 onward have electronic
immobilizers equipped, they are also “developing security software for vehicles that were not
originally equipped with an immobilizer” according to CNN Business . On top of that, each
company is taking further measures to decrease the car thefts. Kia, for example, will provide the
software for the immobilizer at no extra charge. Then Hyundai is giving away steering wheel
locks to police departments throughout the country so they can give them to drivers whose
Hyundai models have a higher risk of being stolen than newer ones.
For more information on car thefts and insurance, feel free to contact attorney Rick Wagner .