Two of the country’s largest auto insurers are refusing to write policies for some car models in certain cities because the vehicles are considered too easy to steal.
Progressive and State Farm are not insuring older Hyundai and Kia models in cities that reportedly include Denver, Colorado, and St. Louis, Missouri, CNN reported.
According to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) in September, some 2015-19 Hyundai and Kia models are nearly twice as likely to be stolen as other vehicles of similar age. That’s because many of the vehicles lack some of the basic auto theft prevention technology included in most other vehicles in those years.
“State Farm has temporarily stopped writing new business in some states for certain model years and trim levels of Hyundai and Kia vehicles because theft losses for these vehicles have increased dramatically,” the insurer told CNN in a statement.
“This is a serious problem impacting our customers and the entire auto insurance industry.”
Progressive also is cutting back on insuring the models in some markets.
“During the past year we’ve seen theft rates for certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles more than triple and in some markets these vehicles are almost 20 times more likely to be stolen than other vehicles,” spokesman Jeff Sibel wrote to CNN.
“Given that we price our policies based on the level of risk they represent, this explosive increase in thefts in many cases makes these vehicles extremely challenging for us to insure. In response, in some geographic areas we have increased our rates and limited our sale of new insurance policies on some of these models.”
The cars and SUVs specified don’t have electronic immobilizers, which rely on computer chips in the car and in the key to confirm that the key really belongs to that vehicle.
Without the right key, an immobilizer should stop the car from moving.
Although immobilizers were standard on 96% of vehicles sold 2015-2019, only 26% of Hyundais and Kias had them at that time, according the HLDI.
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