SAN ANTONIO – A TikTok trend teaching people how to steal KIA and Hyundai cars has not only increased the rate of theft of those vehicles but has also caught the eye of car insurance companies, some of which will no longer provide coverage for those vehicles.
“If you already have a vehicle, the insurance company wasn’t dropping you. But if you were going to be one of their new customers and had one of those vehicles, they weren’t going to cover it because of the ease of stealing it,” said Rich Johnson with the Insurance Council of Texas.
The rare move by agencies like State Farm and other companies comes as a first to Johnson.
“I’ve been in the insurance industry for the better part of a decade. I can’t recall any time where companies were refusing to insure what we would call an ‘average consumer vehicle,’” Johnson said.
The bad news goes beyond just trying to get new insurance. KIA and Hyundai owners are paying more to renew their policies, with insurance rates across the board also up due to the increase in thefts of those vehicles.
“There are communal factors that you look at. Are cars being stolen in your area? Are there a lot of thefts in your area or state or county?” Johnson said.
Texas leads the country in theft claims for USAA. The insurance company said claims are up 8% since 2021, and thefts continue to rise monthly.
Johnson advises people to shop around when looking for the right insurance agency. He also recommends looking for discounts for students, the military, or those who have taken defensive driving courses.
Officials with State Farm sent KSAT this statement in response to thefts:
“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 our responsibility seriously 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.”
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