Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

How car thefts in Shelby County are affecting your car insurance rates

 Jay Jones

Memphis Police said there was a 1000% percent increase in car thefts in 2022 compared to 2021; most of the cars stolen being Hyundais and Kias.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — State Farm, one of the United States’ largest auto insurers, is refusing to write policies in certain cities for some older Hyundai and Kia models that have been deemed too easy to steal.

In a statement to ABC24, State Farm 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.” 

MPD said there was a 1000% percent increase in car thefts in 2022 compared to 2021; most of the cars stolen being Hyundais and Kias.

It’s a serious problem insurers and experts say is impacting customers and the entire auto insurance industry.

“These vehicles are often significantly damaged; making repairs much more costly,” Loretta Worters from the Insurance Information Institute said. “So that impacts the insurance industry, and it impacts the consumer.”

Hyundai and Kia rolled out software updates earlier this year to combat the increase in thefts related to a TikTok challenge. The software will extend the length of the alarm sound from 30 seconds to one minute and require the key to be in the ignition switch to turn the vehicle on.

About four million Hyundais and five million Kias are eligible for the update. But Worters and others recommend drivers push for other safety measures, namely immobilizers.

“Believe it or not, some simple things, like some people, leave their car running, with the key in the car. It’s an area that’s well-lit if it’s not in a garage and having anti-theft devices,” Worters said.

 

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