CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Due to a sharp rise in vehicle thefts that target certain KIA and Hyundai vehicles, State Farm and Progressive have put a temporary halt on insurance coverage for new customers who drive specific models.
KIA and Hyundai models made between 2015 and 2019 have become among the most stolen vehicles, due to a lack of anti-theft technology inside them.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that 26% of Kia and Hyundai vehicles produced in 2015 had immobilizers, a mechanism that prevents theft, compared to 62% of other vehicles produced during the same timeframe.
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It also reports that KIA and Hyundai vehicles produced during this time were two times more likely to be stolen.
In a statement to Queen City News, State Farm Representatives said:
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.
A Charlotte area State Farm representative told Queen City News that they have not been notified of any changes to policies and, as of Monday, they will still offer coverage to new customers with KIAs or Hyundais produced during this time.
However, if there were a change, they explained that it would most likely impact the state.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has seen a rise in thefts of this magnitude in 2022.
At a city council work session meeting in January, law enforcement leaders stated that 8 out of 10 vehicles stolen are KIAs or Hyundais.
KIA representatives have said they have begun to work on a solution for the lack of anti-theft technology in their models.
Queen City News reached out to Hyundai, Progressive, State Farm, and KIA for a list of locations and specific models impacted and what would need to be fixed to roll back the temporary hold.
The companies have not responded.