In Colorado, Kia, Hyundai thefts chase away car insurance companies

In Colorado, Kia, Hyundai thefts chase away car insurance companies

With vehicle thefts spiking in Colorado the previous several years, a few automobile insurance policies carriers are now declining to go over specified motor vehicles, leaving at-chance owners with fewer options.

Allstate, State Farm and Progressive are passing more than new house owners of some Kia and Hyundai autos, as thieves steal individuals automobiles at higher costs. In 2021, Colorado held the No. 1 location in the country for motor car or truck thefts — and all those fees continued to skyrocket in the very first 50 percent of final calendar year, according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance policy Association.

In 2022, the best 10 U.S. metropolitan areas for motor vehicle thefts bundled Denver, Aurora, Westminster and Pueblo, in accordance to the nonprofit.

From July by September of very last calendar year, the greater part of the state’s most-stolen autos ended up either Kia types — Sportage, Optima, Sorento and Soul — or Hyundai — Tuscan, Sonata and Elantra. Truck proprietors had been also focused, with Chevy Silverados, Ford F-250s and GMC Sierras making the list.

Some of these thefts are blamed on a social media development teaching consumers how to conveniently steal Kia and Hyundai types, which robbers then take for joyrides. The Kia Boyz hashtag, popularized on TikTok and YouTube, yields video following online video of victims displaying the aftermath of their ravaged cars and even catching younger intruders in the act.

It’s a nationwide pattern, with recordings uploaded from Milwaukee, Atlanta, Memphis and other towns. Previous yr, four teens had been killed in close proximity to Buffalo, N.Y., when the stolen Kia they were being driving in rolled over. Authorities presume the teens ended up collaborating in the social media problem.

A manufacturer defect in these vehicles lets thieves steal them “with just a USB cable,” stated Carole Walker, Rocky Mountain Insurance Association government director. Outdoors of the Kia Boyz trend, these vehicles are hijacked to commit other critical crimes in a lot of circumstances, she added.

Walker termed the three corporations’ limits on new policies “an abnormal conclusion for insurance plan providers.” But they’re ultimately responding to the marketplace, even if the helps make and styles of the impacted cars are quite new, she explained.

This criminal offense trend impacts the wallets of all motorists, also.

“Unfortunately, that also affects what we pay back for car insurance plan,” Walker said. “We all foot the monthly bill for vehicle theft.”

Debbie McClung parks her 2017 Kia Sportage at her home on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. McClung said the car had been stolen twice. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)
Debbie McClung parks her 2017 Kia Sportage at her property on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. McClung explained the car or truck experienced been stolen two times, and her partner had foiled a further would-be thief. (Picture by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)

One Coloradan, three car or truck thefts

For 70-12 months-previous Debbie McClung, the financial blow of vehicle theft is outweighed by the psychological toll. The Environmentally friendly Valley Ranch resident endured three vehicle thefts more than the earlier 12 months and a 50 percent.

“The psychological influence on common, ol’ People in america is incredible,” she mentioned. Thieves with entry to garage doorway openers and residence addresses on insurance coverage paperwork depart victims “not recognizing if you are harmless in your household.”

The thefts of her grey 2017 Kia Sportage happened after day to day errands. In December 2021, she parked at an RTD light rail station in advance of ingesting lunch at Union Station. McClung returned to obtain her auto missing, only for it to be recovered times later on.

In July 2022, she finished a purchasing vacation at the Town Middle at Aurora, and realized her car or truck was stolen again. Immediately after it reappeared, McClung was pressured to wait around months to use her automobile, which was impounded as prison proof.

And this previous February, McClung’s spouse walked out of a cafe to locate a thief in the course of action of hijacking the car or truck for a third time. The suspect fled the scene, but the car or truck doorway lock and steering column have been left in disrepair.

The incidents “absolutely” make McClung rethink purchasing another Kia or Hyundai. “It, of program, offers you a creepy emotion.”

She’s not on your own. McClung belongs to “Colorado Stolen Cars and trucks,” a Facebook group with a lot more than 40,000 associates.

McClung acknowledges that she’s in a better placement than most theft victims, with superior insurance, rental protection and the usually means to purchase a further car, if important. But she’s study numerous anecdotes about uninsured and undocumented Coloradans remaining with out their vehicles, hindering their potential to travel to work, university and the doctor’s business office.

“It’s folks with out suggests that are becoming impacted,” she mentioned. “Insurance corporations should be just tearing their hair out.”

Debbie McClung said her 2017 Kia Sportage's key hole is damaged by motor vehicle thefts. McClung said the car had been stolen twice. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)
Debbie McClung mentioned her 2017 Kia Sportage’s critical gap is destroyed by motor car or truck thefts. (Photograph by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Publish)

“A significant problem”

The thefts have caused repercussions: Now, some new Kia and Hyundai owners can only select from restricted coverage solutions, as Allstate, Condition Farm and Progressive consider protecting measures and decline new guidelines.

Allstate resolved to pause new coverage of pick Kia and Hyundai model decades in certain states, together with Colorado, “due to unusually significant theft hazard,” explained spokesperson Tanya Robinson.

But present-day policyholders are in luck, as “we carry on to assistance existing insurance policies for these cars,” she extra.

Point out Farm took a similar strategy, as it’s “temporarily stopped accepting new consumer purposes in some states for specified model yrs and trim levels of Hyundai and Kia autos simply because theft losses for these vehicles have increased drastically,” mentioned spokesperson Sevag Sarkissian. He didn’t verify if Colorado is a single of the impacted states.

“This is a critical problem impacting our consumers and the total auto insurance policy market.”

The insurance plan enterprise is open up to changing its solution as the problem evolves, but, “in this case, it grew to become vital to get action to defend our policyholders and our company,” Sarkissian additional.

Progressive will also continue to insure its current clients possessing these designs, but, in specific locations, have confined revenue of new insurance policies or boosted charges, spokesperson Jeff Sibel stated.

Hyundai and Kia publicly acknowledged the rise in thefts, presenting answers in the meantime.