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TikTok Trend Leads to More Bad News for Kia, Hyundai Owners

State Farm, Progressive drop new policies for some models
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2023 2:00 AM CST
Bad News for Kia, Hyundai Owners After TikTok Challenge
The company logo adorns the roof of a Hyundai dealership Monday, Oct. 17, 2022, in Loveland, Colo.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Following the TikTok challenge involving joyrides in Kias and Hyundais that are shockingly easy to steal, State Farm and Progressive will no longer be issuing new auto insurance policies for certain Kia and Hyundai models. The model years involved are 2011 to 2021, and the vehicles involved don't have engine immobilizers, allowing them to be hotwired with a screwdriver and a USB cable, Money reports. The denials are so far only taking place in certain cities, however, and the insurance companies say the move is temporary, CNN reports. The statements:

  • State Farm: "State Farm has temporarily stopped writing new business 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.”

  • Progressive: “During the past year we’ve seen theft rates for certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles more than triple and in some markets these vehicles are almost 20 times more likely to be stolen than other vehicles. Given that we price our policies based on the level of risk they represent, this explosive increase in thefts in many cases makes these vehicles extremely challenging for us to insure. In response, in some geographic areas we have increased our rates and limited our sale of new insurance policies on some of these models."
Nationwide says it is monitoring the situation but is still insuring the vehicles involved, and industry experts say it's not clear how many other insurance companies might be raising rates or denying new policies because the rest of them are staying mum for now. Kia and Hyundai issued their own statements expressing disappointment in the insurance companies' moves and saying steps are being taken to prevent thefts, including software updates and free steering wheel locks. (The TikTok challenge may have led to a crash that killed four teens.)

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