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Certain Hyundai and Kia cars are not covered by some auto insurance companies.

Sherif Saad
Auto InsurersPhoto byRui AlvesonUnsplash

( CNN ) - Two of America's top motor insurers, Progressive and State Farm, claim that some older Hyundai and Kia models are too easy to steal for them to provide coverage in specific locations.

According to several stories, the firms no longer provide insurance for these automobiles in areas like Denver, Colorado, and St. Louis, Missouri. The cities and/or states involved were kept a secret from CNN by the insurance firms.

According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, some 2015–2019 Hyundai and Kia models are roughly twice as likely to be stolen as other vehicles of a comparable age because many of them lack some of the basic auto theft prevention technology included in most other vehicles in those years.

This information was released in insurance claims data last September, confirming what various social media accounts had been saying.

These SUVs and automobiles specifically lack electronic immobilizers, which depend on a computer chip communicating between the car and the key to verify that the key belongs to that vehicle. A car's immobilizer should prevent it from moving if the proper key is not used.

According to the HLDI, immobilizers were a standard feature on 96% of cars sold for the 2015–2019 model years, but only 26% of Hyundai and Kia vehicles had them at the time.

Immobilizers are present in vehicles with push-button start systems, as opposed to those that need turn-key ignitions and metal keys that must be inserted and twisted.

According to HLDI, car thieves started publishing recordings of their thefts, joyrides, and even instructional films on how to steal automobiles in 2021, which led to the crime becoming a social media craze.

Theft claims for Hyundai and Kia vehicles increased to more than 30 times 2019 levels in Wisconsin, where the crimes first became common.

According to a statement given to CNN by the insurer, "State Farm has temporarily halted writing new business in some areas for specific model years and trim levels of Hyundai and Kia automobiles because theft losses for these vehicles have escalated drastically."

"Our consumers and the whole car insurance business are being negatively impacted by this severe issue." In some locations, Progressive is also reducing the number of these vehicles it insures, according to spokesman Jeff Sibel in an email.

In some regions, these vehicles are over 20 times more likely to be stolen than other vehicles, according to his report. "During the past year, we've seen theft rates for some Hyundai and Kia vehicles more than quadruple."

"Given that we base the cost of our insurance on the degree of risk they pose, this enormous rise in thefts makes it very difficult for us to insure these vehicles in many circumstances."

In response, we have banned the sale of new insurance policies on some of these models and raised our prices in specific geographic locations.

According to him, Progressive keeps providing insurance to those who already have coverage with the firm. Additionally, Progressive is offering them tips on how to keep their vehicles safe from theft.

It is extremely uncommon for auto insurers to abruptly stop issuing new insurance for a certain make or model of car, according to Michael Barry, a representative for the Insurance Information Institute.

Depending on where they are conducting business, "they normally seek to grow their market share," he added. Although Hyundai Motor Group holds a sizable investment in Kia and many Hyundai and Kia models share a great deal of their engineering, Hyundai and Kia are independent businesses in the United States.

According to independent declarations from Kia and Hyundai, engine immobilizers are now standard equipment on all of their vehicles.

Both manufacturers added that they are creating security software for cars without immobilizers as standard equipment.
auto insurancePhoto byErik McleanonUnsplash

Kia stated that it has started informing owners of the software's availability and that it will be free to download. Next month, according to Hyundai, a free software upgrade will be made accessible.

Additionally, Hyundai said that it is giving away free steering wheel locks to various law enforcement agencies across the nation to help locals who own Hyundai models that are susceptible to theft.

According to the manufacturer, security kits for the cars are also being sold and installed by Hyundai dealers.

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