Fact Check: Will insurance carriers continue to cover Kias and Hyundais?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. News10NBC has been telling you about the rampant thefts of certain Kia and Hyundai car models.

There are now reports that certain insurance carriers won’t continue to cover those cars. You may have seen the tweet. It’s gone viral, with nearly a million views. It says major car insurance companies plan to drop Hyundai and Kia from their plans due to thefts.

If you own one of these makes you’re probably concerned. There’s no debating whether the issue of stolen Kias and Hyundais is a national problem. News10NBC has reported on it extensively here. Thieves are targeting older models that don’t have push-button ignitions.

The sheriff’s office says more than 400 have been stolen in Monroe County since October. For insurance companies, thefts have been costly. I found this research bulletin from the highway data loss institute. Insurance claims for Hyundais and Kias were in line with other car makers until early 2020.

By mid-2021, the frequency of claims was almost 80 percent higher. Michael Barry is with the insurance information institute.

Michael Barry: “If you look at the publicly traded auto insurers, they’ve disclosed it’s been very tough economic headwinds for them.”

As a result, Barry confirms that two major insurance carriers are taking action.

Michael Barry: “State Farm and Progressive are the two carriers who have said they are not going to take on new policyholders in certain states.”

So, yes, State Farm and progressive have temporarily stopped accepting new applications to cover certain Hyundai and Kia models. But again, the change only applies to new policies. Existing customers will continue to be covered.

I reached out to those companies. Both said, in statements, that they are monitoring the situation and will adjust their criteria accordingly. but for now, when it comes to halting new applications in some states, that is a fact.

The insurance information institute says no other insurers it is aware of are taking action. In the meantime, Hyundai and Kia say they have developed theft deterrent software for the affected vehicles and will be providing them free of charge starting later this month.

You can learn how to get free steering wheel locks from local police agencies to prevent theft here.

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