Insurance Companies No Longer Covering Some Hyundai and Kia Models

In light of an observed increase in the theft of Kia vehicles from model years 2011 to 2021,
and Hyundai vehicles from model years 2015 to 2021, some insurance companies are no
longer offering rates for these vehicles.

The Highway Loss Data Institute conducted a study last September that examined the
insurance claims data, which confirmed what had been circulating on social media – that
certain 2015 to 2019 Hyundai and Kia models had roughly double the amount of theft
claims compared to other vehicles of similar age.

This is due to the lack of basic auto theft prevention technology that is included in most
other vehicles from those years. Specifically, these SUVs and cars lack an electronic
immobilizer system, which works by having a computer chip embedded in both the car
and its key. This chip-to-chip communication ensures that the key is the genuine one for
that vehicle. With the wrong key, the immobilizer will kick in and prevent the car from
being started.

According to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), immobilizers were present in 96% of
vehicles sold in the 2015-2019 model years. However, only 26% of Hyundais and Kias had these features during that period. Immobilizers are often found in vehicles with push-button start systems, but this is not always the case as some models with turn-key ignitions do not have them.

In 2021 the theft of these particular vehicles became a social media trend to post videos of
joyrides and tutorials on how to steal the cars with just a screwdriver and a USB cord. In
Wisconsin, where the crimes first became prevalent, theft claims of Hyundais and Kias
spiked to more than 30 times 2019 levels in dollar terms.

Kia and Hyundai recently announced that all their vehicles come with an engine
immobilizer as standard. Additionally, the automakers are developing security software
for models that were not originally equipped with an immobilizer. Kia has started alerting
owners of its availability, which will come at no cost. Hyundai’s free update is expected to
be released next month.

To further enhance security, Hyundai is supplying local police departments with steering
wheel locks and dealers are now selling and installing security kits.
Software Updates Hyundai and Kia are offering free security software updates to owners of the affected

Hyundai owners can contact Hyundai at (800) 633-5151 for information on the free update
or at https://link.edgepilot.com/s/bbc4eb92/FeOCQ7MU0U6fCxOROEra3g?
u=https://www.hyundaiantitheft.com/, where customers can enter their Vehicle
Identification Number (VIN) to find out when it is eligible for the software upgrade.
Hyundai dealers will provide a complimentary upgrade to your vehicle. Once the upgrade
is complete, a window decal will be attached to your car to let potential thieves know that
your car is now equipped with improved anti-theft technology.

Kia owners with questions may contact the Kia Customer Care team (800) 333-4542
(4Kia). In addition, a special section of the Owner’s Portal at Kia.com lets owners research
software upgrade availability.

Is your car affected?

If you are in need of insurance for a vehicle in this classification you will be prompted to

contact underwriting to discuss the risk and communicate if there have been any anti-
theft devices used or installed. Examples of such devices include:

  • An installed security kit provided by the manufacturer
  • Secondary alarm system
  • Anti-theft feature or immobilizer (steering wheel lock, steering column lock, wheel

Vehicles with a push button start do not pose an increased risk of theft and thus there is
no need for additional measures to protect against it. If your vehicle has a push button
start, be sure to communicate this information to your insurance agency as it may affect
the pricing.

Still have questions about whether or not you’ll qualify for coverage? Contact us today.

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