Progressive, State Farm drop some Hyundais, Kias
The change comes after a social media trend where people stole the cars.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Kia and Hyundai issued statements to WSMV4 after State Farm and Progressive, reportedly, will not be writing new policies on certain models because they’re too easy to steal.
The affected models, built between 2015 and 2019, don’t have immobilizers software preventing the vehicle from starting if a key isn’t present. A 2021 social media trend involved people stealing the cars.
Eric Stewart, with Stewart Insurance Group, says it’s very unique for large insurance companies like State Farm and Progressive to make this decision.
His advice for anyone affected is to look at independent agencies like his, that offer multiple carriers.
“The great thing about working with independent insurance agencies (is) we offer 20-30 different carriers,” Stewart said. “So unlike State Farm, you have one carrier, and once that one option is gone, you don’t have anywhere to go.”
State Farm released a statement to WSMV4 on Friday, writing:
State Farm has temporarily stopped accepting new customer applications in some states for certain model years and trim levels of Hyundai and Kia vehicles because theft losses for these vehicles have increased dramatically. This is a serious problem impacting our customers and the entire auto insurance industry.
We take seriously our responsibility to manage risk and the impact of excess claim costs on all our customers. In this case, it became necessary to take action to protect our policyholders and our business.
We are monitoring this situation very closely and will adjust our approach as appropriate.
For information on auto theft, we recommend reaching out to the Insurance Information Institute and the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
Kia’s statement reads as follows:
Kia America regrets this decision by certain insurers and its impact on owners and lessees of select Kia vehicles, which we anticipate will be temporary. Engine immobilizers are now standard on all Kia vehicles and have always been standard equipment on Kia vehicles with push-button ignitions. Additionally, Kia has taken a series of actions to reduce the claim frequencies associated with affected vehicles. Kia 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. Kia anticipates that it will make software upgrades available for most affected vehicles by mid-2023. Kia is also continuing to provide free steering wheel locks, as available, to interested law enforcement agencies across the country for distribution to local residents who own or lease affected models. Kia owners with questions regarding their vehicle may contact our Customer Care team directly at 1- 800-333-4542 (4Kia) or online via the Owners Portal on kia.com.
Hyundai’s statement reads:
Hyundai Motor America regrets this decision by insurers and its impact on select Hyundai vehicle owners and lessees, which we anticipate will be temporary. Engine immobilizers are now standard on all Hyundai vehicles produced as of November 2021 -- and have long been standard equipment on all Hyundai vehicles with push-button ignitions.
Additionally, Hyundai has taken a series of actions to reduce the claim frequencies associated with affected vehicles, including an upcoming software update, which will be available beginning next month and provided at no cost to customers.
Hyundai is also providing free steering wheel locks, as available, to select law enforcement agencies across the country for distribution to local residents who own or lease affected models. Owners may also bring their vehicles to a local Hyundai dealer for the purchase and installation of a customized security kit. We apologize for the inconvenience to affected customers.
Hyundai is committed to ensuring the quality and integrity of all our products through continuous improvement. Hyundai quality is among the best in the industry, ranking third among all brands in the 2022 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) and historically above the industry average in J.D. Power’s U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS).
WSMV4 reached out to Progressive but did not hear back.
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