KENTWOOD, Michigan (WOOD) — The nation’s two top insurance agencies are reportedly dropping coverage for some Kia and Hyundai cars because vehicle thefts are common across the country.
Kent County is no exception in the new year.
When Cindy Christian bought her new Kia in 2020, she didn’t think she’d have to buy another car for a long time. Now, she wishes she had made a different decision.
“I just wanted this to be my forever car,” said Christian.
Instead, it’s been a nightmare.
“I don’t want it anymore,” she said.
Not just once, but twice now, Christian’s 2019 Kia Optima has been stolen outside his old apartment complex in Kentwood. For the third time also someone tried to steal.
It all started in July last year when someone broke the rear window and removed the steering column, but ultimately the car was not stolen. He still had to take it in for repair and got it back a month later.
In August, his car was taken in the middle of the night.
“I don’t want to wake up in the morning and my car is gone,” Christian said.
When she went to her leasing manager the next morning, she learned she wasn’t alone.
“While I was there, there were two or three other people who were reporting their cars stolen that same night,” Christian said. “speculation”.
He got the car back in October before it was stolen again the following month. Both times, the car was gutted, with windows broken, wood strippers inserted on the roof and doors damaged. The registration of the vehicle was also taken both the times.
Christian paid over $1,500 for repairs.
“If I want to go to the grocery store, if I want to go to the mall, I’m very cautious about where I park to make sure I’m expecting under a light that has There’s the camera,” Christian said. “There’s no way to live to be thinking about it all the time.”
Now, she’s about to lose her insurance. Last week, Progressive sent him a letter saying his policy would expire on February 19.
“I don’t want the car payment,” Christian said. “But I don’t have a choice if I don’t have an insurance company to cover me.”
She’s not the only one to lose insurance. progressive and State Farm is now reportedly stopped giving new insurance policy Citing rampant thefts nationwide, for certain models of Kias and Hyundais.
State Farm confirmed the news in a statement to News 8, saying, “It has become necessary to take action to protect our policyholders and our business.”
“State Farm has temporarily stopped accepting new customer applications for certain model years and trim levels of Hyundai and Kia vehicles in some states because theft losses for these vehicles have increased dramatically. There is a serious problem affecting customers and the entire auto insurance industry.
“We take seriously our responsibility to manage risk and the impact of additional claim costs on all of our customers. In this case, it became necessary to act to protect our policyholders and our business.
“We are monitoring this situation very closely and will adjust our approach as appropriate.
For information about auto theft, we recommend contacting Insurance Information Institute And this National Insurance Crime Bureau,
State Farm said it is doing this in “some states,” but did not say whether Michigan is included or which models are affected.
News 8 has reached out to State Farm and Progressive asking if Michigan is affected by the changes both companies are making.
Brian Boer, a consultant with Boer Insurance Group in Plainfield Township, said large insurers taking such a step is particularly unusual.
“Some of the regional, smaller insurance companies, they try to differentiate themselves a little bit more,” Boer said. “But for two large companies like that, it’s very unusual.”
“You’ll see insurance companies say, ‘I don’t want to insure that type of Lamborghini, we’re not going to insure that Maserati,'” Boer said. “It’s not just their market. They’re not going to go for expensive luxury vehicles. But we’re hearing about everyday vehicles like Kias and Hyundais, it’s very unusual to see insurance companies just putting the brakes on and saying is, ‘We are not offering coverage going forward.'”
Boer said insurance companies that cover Kias and Hyundais could still raise prices.
“They’re going to see increased insurance costs for those vehicles based on all the claims that are being paid,” Boer said. “Even with the companies that are still offering coverage on those vehicles, wherever you have more claims being paid, that money has to come from somewhere. It’s reflected in the insurance costs for that vehicle.” It is going to happen.
In Kent County, Kia and Hyundai thefts remain high into the new year.
This month, the Grand Rapids Police Department has responded to 109 vehicle thefts or attempted vehicle thefts, about half of which are Kias and Hyundais. The Kent County Sheriff’s Office has dealt with 41 stolen cars so far this month, 12 of which are Kias or Hyundais.
In 2022, the GRPD responded to a total of 1,316 vehicle thefts, and 765 of them involved Kias or Hyundais. The Kent County Sheriff’s Office disposed of 415 stolen vehicles, 112 of which were Kias or Hyundais.
“I go from being very angry to being frustrated and then sad,” Christian said. “Because I can take care of it. But there are probably people who can’t take care of it if their car is stolen. Or if they can’t pay the deductible. Or renter’s insurance or car rental insurance No. I try to count myself lucky that I can take care of it, but it still drives me crazy.