Did you know the type of car you drive may impact whether you can get insurance? Like how a smoking habit may affect your health insurance, a lack of safety features might put you in a pickle. If you drive certain Kia or Hyundai vehicles, pay attention. Some insurance companies are refusing these car owners a policy at all.
Progressive and State Farm both dropped this bomb recently. Read on to see if your car insurance policy is in jeopardy.
Here’s the backstory
The issue causing vehicles to lose insurance coverage arose on social media. Ohio’s Forest Park Police Department shared “tutorials” on its Twitter feed, showing people how to start older Kia and Hyundai models without using a key. That obviously makes the cars easy to steal.
Additionally, the decision was also informed by this data on the vulnerability of South Korean vehicles when compared to others manufactured at the same time. After 2021’s notorious “Kia Boys” incident, where a small gang of Milwaukee thieves stole local Kia vehicles in droves, something had to give. Now, it finally has.
The cars in question? Kias produced after 2011, and Hyundai cars made after 2015. Vehicles manufactured in 2022 and later should be fine.
The vehicles with issues all have one dangerous oversight in common. They were manufactured without emergency engine immobilizers that would prevent criminals from activating the engine without a key.
Because of this, State Farm and Progressive consider these vehicles too much liability to insure. Progressive claims that theft rates for these cars are nearly 20 times greater than other vehicles.
How to protect your vehicle from theft
An existing policy should be safe, albeit with a higher premium than you’re probably used to. However, taking out a new policy for any affected vehicles might be tricky. Here are tips if you need coverage: Shop around for the best plan and premium and compare every policy and quote you receive.
Stay informed on any recalls or updates that may improve your eligibility and rate. Kia and Hyundai have confirmed they will be issuing a software update, as well as free steering wheel locks that might be able to protect the vehicles in question.
In some cities, thefts of these model years and trim levels have tripled. Anybody seeking a new vehicle would be well-advised to avoid any included in this list.
If you already own one of these vehicles, there are some things you can do to minimize theft. Here are suggestions given by the LAPD:
- Install a steering wheel locking device.
- Install a battery disconnect switch.
- Have a kill switch installed. (NOTE: This may require professional installation.)
- Install an aftermarket anti-theft system.
- Keep all windows and doors locked while parked.
- Park in well-lit areas.
- Park in secured locations.
- Install a GPS tracking device.
Here are some of the safety products mentioned that can help.
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