State Farm pauses accepting new applications from some Kia, Hyundai drivers

PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) — State Farm Insurance has temporarily stopped accepting new policy applications from some Kia and Hyundai drivers in five states including Oregon, according to a report from WWL-TV.

The change comes amid a spike in Kia and Hyundai thefts across the U.S. Viral videos have circulated on social media pointing out vulnerabilities with the vehicles and showing detailed instructions for stealing them.

WWL-TV in New Orleans, Louisiana, reported on the policy change last week, citing two State Farm Insurance agents. The employees told WWL that as of Jan. 25, 105 Kia and Hyundai models have been blacklisted in Oregon, Washington, Georgia, Louisiana and Pennsylvania due to their vulnerability to theft.

The employees said that they were given a chart showing Kia and Hyundai models and years with an ‘x’ noting which vehicles are ineligible for insurance. The chart indicates that vehicles verified to have a passive engine immobilizer are eligible for new insurance. Older Kia and Hyundai vehicles don’t include an immobilizer system as an anti-theft feature.

KGW reached out to a spokesperson for State Farm Insurance in Oregon, who released the following statement:

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.

KGW asked the spokesperson to confirm whether the restriction applies to Oregon, but have not heard back yet.

The VERIFY team also reports that Progressive has also limited the sale of new insurance policies on some Kia and Hyundai models.

The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) keeps track of stolen vehicles in an online dashboard, and both Kia and Hyundai landed in the top 10 stolen models in the city. According to PPB’s data, 103 Hyundai’s were stolen in December 2022 alone compared to 10 in December 2021. PPB reported 198 Kia’s stolen in December 2022 and just nine during the same month the previous year.

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