ST. LOUIS — Some insurance companies are refusing coverage for people who own Kias and Hyundais.
This surge in stolen vehicles is the reason for the restrictions.
5 On Your Side was able to confirm that two major insurance companies will not issue policies to new customers who own a Kia or Hyundai.
It's not just any new customer though, according to a local insurance agent, it's very specific on exactly who will get refused and it's all based on where they live and the make and model of the car.
Jason Kennedy said he constantly lives in fear that his car will be stolen at any moment as a 2018 Kia Optima owner.
"I was always kind of waiting for that to happen anytime I left somewhere in St. Louis to go visit a friend or go out to dinner," he said.
While Kennedy isn't a new insurance customer and won't be affected by the restrictions, it still frustrates him.
"The fact that some insurance companies are making it even harder to be a Kia or Hyundai owner is upsetting," he said.
Kirk Faubel, Kirk D Faubel Insurance Advisors owner said, not only do drivers have to worry about their cars potentially getting stolen, but now they may not have coverage.
"An insurance policy is a legal contract, so it’s not a situation where all of a sudden out of the blue your policy is going to be canceled. The important thing is if you get email notifications from your carrier or if you get letters in the mail please open them, read them, understand and if you do have a local agent please reach out to that agent and ask questions," he said.
5 On Your Side confirmed both Progressive and State Farm won't accept new consumers depending on where they live in the country and if their vehicle is one of the make and models that are at risk for theft.
According to Faubel, if someone is buying a brand-new vehicle they won't be affected.
"It's only that 2015 to 2021 range, if they're in certain zip codes and that's where the car is kept, then it might come back to a decline on that particular policy," he said.
Some carriers Faubel works with are offering new customers reduced coverage, where theft isn't included.
He said Progressive is rejecting new customers completely if they fall under the specific location and vehicle type.
It's not affecting current policyholders though, according to Faubel.
"I think it's just to make it easier for the client that, 'Hey we're not interested in insuring these vehicles right now. It's ok for you to go somewhere else and find a different carrier,'" he said.
That's exactly Faubel's advice too. He said if this happens to you, the best thing to do is shop around.
"I represent 20 different auto carriers, out of that, only one in St. Louis is currently affected by the losses, so I have 19 other carriers I can work through. Again, best bet is talk to your agent, if they don’t have a solution for you, shop around," he said.
A Progressive spokesperson sent 5 On Your Side this statement:
We’re committed to providing affordable insurance solutions for consumers based on the level of risk that they represent while also ensuring our policies are accurately priced. Due to the theft risk that some Hyundai and Kia vehicles present, in many cases it makes these vehicles difficult to insure, so in certain areas of the country we have adjusted our acceptance criteria for new business (there is no change for existing customers) on some of these models. We’ll continue to monitor how this issue plays out and are hopeful to be able to revisit our decision as the theft risk diminishes and community awareness improves.
According to St. Louis police, 2,105 Hyundais and 1,943 Kias were stolen in 2022.