We are hearing from several of our insurance carriers that they have suspended placing physical damage coverage on certain model years of Hyundai and KIA. These vehicles are now being stolen at a much higher rate. This is a result of a social media challenge that informed viewers how to bypass security and start these vehicles using only a screwdriver and a USB cord. The result of which has caused large property damage payouts with insurance carriers and placed a strain on area law enforcement.
Insurance carriers restricting coverage with Hyundai and KIA
As a result, there are several insurance carriers that will not provide physical damage coverage to these specific vehicles. Physical damage is more commonly known as collision and comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive covers the vehicle, up to the actual cash value, for damage that arises out of animal contact, falling and flying objects, and theft or vandalism. It is the latter that is creating the most issue for insurers and making it difficult to cover the specific Hyundai and KIA models. While some carriers will accept these vehicle models under the provision that physical damage coverage is not provided, there are yet others that are declining to insure the autos at all.
The autos at highest risk are Hyundai model years 2015–2021 and KIA model years 2011–2021. These vehicles without an engine immobilizer are now nearly 20 times more likely to be stolen than other autos.
Fortunately, Hyundai and KIA vehicle manufacturers are beginning to rectify these situations with their consumers. There are options available to close this security gap and the information to assist you in doing so is as follows.
Is there a way to fix the issue?
Hyundai owners can inquire about the free update by calling Hyundai at (800) 633-5151 or visiting www.hyundaiantitheft.com. There owners can input their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to learn when their vehicle qualifies for the software update. In many cases, the upgrade is free upgrade and takes less than an hour. Once this modification is completed, the vehicle will have a window decal affixed to inform potential violators that the vehicle is equipped with advanced anti-theft equipment.
Owners of KIA vehicles can reach the KIA Customer Care team by calling (800) 333-4542 (4KIA). Moreover, owners can investigate software upgrades availability in a specific portion of the KIA Owner’s Portal at owners.kia.com.
How can I cover my Hyundai or KIA?
Once you have these fixes applied to an affected model that you own, you can work with us as your insurance agent to provide evidence of the upgrade to your carrier. In many cases, this will allow your vehicle to become eligible for physical damage coverage again.