WASHINGTON, DC (DC News Now) — Two major auto insurers are reportedly dropping coverage for certain Kia and Hyundai models because of an alarming increase in vehicle thefts.
State Farm said they have “temporarily stopped accepting new customer applications in some states for certain model years and trim levels of Hyundai and Kia vehicles,” because of the thefts. Several reports in major US cities have reported Progressive customers are impacted as well.
In Maryland, Prince George’s County Police said five juveniles were arrested for a stolen Hyundai, and eight juveniles have been arrested for three stolen cars in the last month, including three young people for stealing a Kia.
Recent videos on TikTok ‘challenge’ people to break into these Kias and Hyundais due to the lack of anti-theft systems.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety sounded alarm on the uptick of thefts of the vehicle models last fall, indicating the 2015 to 2019 Kia and Hyundai models saw almost twice as many thefts compared to all other manufacturers.
The cars are not equipped with “electronic immobilizers” to stop people from breaking in and bypassing the ignition, according to the report.
The IIHS added that in 2015, these devices were standard on 96% of other vehicles, but only on 26% of Hyundai and Kias had the tech.
While State Farm and Progressives did not answer our several requests to hear specifically where in the DMV coverage would be interrupted, there are ways consumers can save with other policies. Usage-based insurance coverage rewards drivers for safe driving.
Nationwide offers ‘Smartride.’ Liberty Mutual has ‘RightTrack,’ which USAA offers ‘SafePilot,’ and Allstate has ‘Drivewise,’ for example.
A spokesperson for KIA told DC News Now Thursday that they regret decisions by certain insure and the manufacturer, “has been developing and testing enhanced security software for vehicles not originally equipped with an immobilizer and has started notifying owners of certain models of the availability of this software upgrade at no cost to consumers.”
The spokesperson added they will give police departments free steering wheel locks, as they’re available, to distribute to people locally who have vehicles more susceptible to break-ins.