Worried about the rising cost of car insurance? Then you need to ensure you don’t own one of these vehicles.
Thanks to inflation, just about everything these days is more expensive. But that’s not why car insurance rates have increased drastically in the last few years. Instead, that can be laid squarely at the feet of rising crime rates.
As I’m sure you’ve heard, crime has skyrocketed throughout many of the United State’s larger cities. And one of the growing problems is that of car thefts.
As the Chicago Sun-Times reported back in 2020, youths as young as ten years old are being found participating in car theft rings. And according to Fox News, this has the potential to have six times more carjackings than there were in the Windy City in 2014.
Of course, Chicago isn’t the only metropolis to see such a rise in car thefts as of late. It seems all across the country, these crimes are way up.
Part of that is believed to be the fault of car manufacturing companies Hyundai and Kia.
According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, particular models produced between 2015 and 2019 don’t come equipped with a specific and very important anti-theft device that usually comes standard both for vehicles made in those years and those made now.
As CNN Business reported, most of those lacking devices are what is called an immobilizer. Basically, it’s the existence of a small chip in the car and a matching one found in its ignition key. When paired, the car works as it should and starts right up. But when one chip is missing, say someone is trying to steal the vehicle and is using the wrong key or no key at all, the car will refuse to turn on.
Sadly, HDLI has noted that many of the Hyundai and Kia models made between these years simply don’t come equipped with either chip. And so there is no real anti-theft device.
As CNN Business points out, about 96 percent of all other car makers include these vital anti-theft devices in all of their cars. But they are only found in about 26 percent of those made by Hyundai and Kia during those years.
Naturally, this has made car thefts a hell of a whole lot easier for these models, and criminals know it. And thanks to the all-present internet and massive spread of information, numerous videos exist online about just how easy it is to steal one of these ill-equipped cars.
In fact, according to police data and crime rates throughout the US, these models are more than twice as likely to be stolen than all other car models on the market.
And so it should be no surprise that insurance companies are taking note of all this and either raising rates for these models or refusing to insure them altogether.
According to State Farm, the company has decided to temporarily stop any “new business in some states for certain model years and trim levels of Hyundai and Kia” as a result.
Similarly, Progressive has also recently made a statement about restricting or increasing rates in some areas and for these models “based on the level of risk they represent.”
Now, so far, neither company has begun dropping insurance policies for already insured owners. However, according to CNN Business, they may see an increase in their rates.
Additionally, it is noted that both Hyundai and Kia, which is owned in large part by the Hyundai Motor Group, are aware of the issues with these models and, as a result, are offering a number of free upgrades and security kits. Hyundai is also reported to be handing out free steering wheel locks to police departments in the hopes that these car owners can more likely prevent thefts.
But it’s not like those efforts will make the problem disappear. They also won’t do much to these models’ already lowering used car market value.
So if you’re looking for a new, used car, I recommend avoiding Hyundai and Kia models made between 2015 and 2019.