The last time I headed home to Chicago my Mother wanted me to park my Kia Soul in her garage, not on the street. Why? She had noticed that a lot of car thefts in her part of the city were Kia and Hyundai vehicles. She was concerned enough that she called the police department to get some advice.

They said her vehicle, another popular vehicle among car thieves, was less likely to be stolen than mine so mine was better in her garage. Now the rampant thefts of some Kia and Hyundai vehicle models are being stolen so frequently that they're getting hard to insure in different cities, including one in Missouri.

That city is St. Louis. KSDK television is reporting that two insurance companies have started to not issue new policies to people seeking coverage for a Kia or Hyundai. That said, the television station said it isn't a general policy against insuring those vehicles. It's very specific based on whose looking into insuring the vehicle, where they live, and the make and model year of the vehicle.

So what's going on? Some models of Kia and Hyundai vehicles are easy for thieves to steal. The problem, which was reported by KSDK and I wrote about in July of last year, is some Hyundai cars model year 2012 and newer and some Kia cars model year 2015 and newer don't contain an engine immobilizer. Yaknow, chip in the key that makes your vehicle difficult to start.

How bad is the problem in parts of St. Louis? Well as of this past July, if you take Kia and Hyundai vehicles out of St. Louis car theft data, car thefts would be down from 2021. Include Kia and Hyundai vehicles in the data, thefts are up 6%. Thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles are up 400%. This is according to data KSDK provided in their July article on the rash of Kia and Hyundai thefts. St. Louis police told KSDK that 2,105 Hyundais and 1,943 Kias were stolen in 2022.

Now according to KSDK, Progressive and State Farm are declining to insure new customers who own those easy-to-steal Kia and Hyundai models that don't have the engine immobilizer on them who live in certain cities, including parts of St. Louis.

Customers already insured by the two companies aren't at risk of losing their coverage, and owners of brand-new Kia and Hyundai vehicles seeking insurance are not impacted as the car manufacturer has made engine immobilizers standard on the latest vehicles rolling off the assembly line.

There is one solution to discourage thieves from targeting your vehicle. St. Louis Police told KSDK that Kia and Hyundai owners invest in a steering wheel lock like The Club. Apparently, it's as effective a deterrent today as it was in the late '90s. At least that'll keep your vehicle safe. It won't however keep you from dealing with the hassle of owning a hard-to-insure vehicle.

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