Owners of Hyundai and Kia vehicles can obtain coverage, according to a policy analyst with the Insurance Commissioner’s Office.
The Auto Theft Task Force-Puget Sound reports that 31,011 cars have been taken this year in Washington. The law enforcement organization singled out Hyundai and Kia as vehicles that are susceptible to theft in a Facebook post.
KING 5 has reported on many automobile thefts for over a year. Some of them wind up being employed in criminal activities, such as breaking into tobacco shops and stealing merchandise. Kias and Hyundais make up a large portion of the stolen vehicle fleet.
The rise in thefts has been attributed to a TikTok challenge. Videos demonstrate how to start an automobile with only a USB cable and a screwdriver. The vehicles, which are 2011 models, are devoid of theft immobilizers.
Due to the higher danger of automobile theft, Progressive and State Farm both said at the beginning of the year that they would not be offering new coverage to owners of Kias and Hyundais. Allstate has done the same.
We told the tale of a Kia owner whose 2019 Sorento was taken over the weekend on Monday. Tony, who would rather not have his last name used by KING 5, stated he purchased the vehicle in March and found it easy to transfer his coverage. Progressive, however, told him he could not renew the insurance when it was time. Tony claims he was able to obtain liability insurance, but not comprehensive, which would have allowed him to pay for the replacement of his vehicle in the event that it was stolen.
The Office of the Insurance Commissioner for the state of Washington is keeping a close eye on this persistent issue. The agency employs Andrew Davis as a policy analyst. Owners of Hyundai and Kia vehicles shouldn’t give up, he argues.
“We would strongly encourage consumers to talk to their local agent and get a few quotes. There are still companies willing to provide coverage for these vehicles,” Davis stated. “The best tool consumers have to address coverage and pricing concerns is to shop around.”
According to Davis, there are still options for auto owners to obtain insurance if they are having problems locating coverage they desire or can afford.
“Look into increasing your deductible, bundling your home and auto insurance, and talking to your agent about special discounts,” Davis said.
The Market Watch Guides Team shared their views on why Kia and Hyundai are so easy to steal.
A straightforward explanation for why certain Kia and Hyundai models are so easy to steal is that they lack engine immobilizers. This indicates that they can start the engine without a key or key fob. Whether or not these particular Kia and Hyundai cars are being stolen for a social media prank, thieves don’t have much trouble getting away with it.
This security problem affects around 3.8 million Hyundai cars and 4.5 million Kia cars from 2011 to 2022, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A car burglar only has to pull down on the steering column housing to take it off, rip out the ignition cylinder, and use the end of a regular USB cable to switch on the ignition once inside one of these automobiles.
Only around 26% of 2015 Kia and Hyundai cars come with standard immobilizers, compared to 96% of all other combined manufacturers, according to research from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI). Since then, the percentage has gradually increased: 78% of 2021 Kia and Hyundai vehicles are equipped with basic immobilizers. All cars manufactured after November 2021 are now equipped with standard immobilizers. Even still, there are a lot of cars lacking this basic security device on the road.
Late in 2021, the HLDI saw a sharp increase in theft claims involving Kia and Hyundai automobiles. The total amount of theft-related losses more than quadrupled from 2019 figures, with alarming highs in several jurisdictions. Wisconsin was particularly severely affected; total losses and theft claims increased by more than 30 times between 2019 and 2021.
Milwaukee was included among the top 10 American cities for per-capita vehicle theft in 2021 and is credited with starting the TikTok movement. In the city in 2021, an alarming number of Kias and Hyundais were reported stolen. Almost 7,000 Kia and Hyundai cars were reported stolen in the metro region that year, up from about 900 in 2020.
Free theft prevention software has been created by Kia and Hyundai for their non-immobilized automobiles. With the help of this software, the alarm system is enhanced, and the car can only start when the key is in the ignition switch. Additionally, window stickers alerting potential thieves to the improved anti-theft technology are being sent by Hyundai. Regarding insurance, Hyundai has teamed up with AAA to give coverage to owners of impacted vehicles. This is a positive step because several large insurance companies won’t cover these vehicles under new plans.
In order to provide impacted drivers with steering wheel locks, the manufacturers have also partnered with law enforcement authorities in twelve states. Because some Kia and Hyundai models cannot be rectified with a software update, this precaution is very crucial. In order to find out if a lock is available, the NHTSA advises worried drivers of Kia and Hyundai vehicles to get in touch with their local police agency.