INDIANAPOLIS — Some insurance companies will not write a new auto policy for cars deemed easy to steal.
It comes on the heels of a social media trend that shows people how to steal cars using a USB cord.
Certain Hyundais and Kias are being targeted because they're missing a security feature now standard in their vehicles.
The security feature security feature is called an immobilizer. It tells the car that it's a key in the ignition, not another tool.
Kia tells 13News that the vehicles being targeted by this crime wave are from 2011 to 2021 and those that use a steel key and "insert/turn-to-start" ignition systems. Key fob and "push-button-to-start" vehicles are not being targeted.
While Hyundai did not specify the model years, they said in a statement that engine immobilizers are standard on all Hyundai vehicles produced as of November 2021.
Now, State Farm won't write new policies in some cities for the car types affected.
State Farm told 13News, in part, that they "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."
The spokesperson added, "In this case, it became necessary to take action to protect our policyholders and our business."
CNN reports Progressive is doing the same.
Neither company said if Indianapolis is on the list of affected cities.
Scott Holeman with the Insurance Information Institute said this is an unusual move by insurers.
"I can't think of a time where we've seen that certain makes and models were eliminated for coverage," Holeman said.
However, there are other coverage options.
"The good news is, insurance is highly competitive. There are a lot of people that want your business," Holeman said.
Kia and Hyundai both say that a software update is coming. Until then, owners may want to consider a steering wheel lock.
To find out if your car is affected, read your owners manual and confirm your findings with the car maker.
Full statement from Kia:
Kia America regrets this decision by certain insurers and its impact on owners and lessees of select Kia vehicles, which we anticipate will be temporary. Engine immobilizers are now standard on all Kia vehicles and have always been standard equipment on Kia vehicles with push-button ignitions. Additionally, Kia has taken a series of actions to reduce the claim frequencies associated with affected vehicles. Kia has been developing and testing enhanced security software for vehicles not originally equipped with an immobilizer and has started notifying owners of certain models of the availability of this software upgrade at no cost to consumers. Kia anticipates that it will make software upgrades available for most affected vehicles by mid-2023. Kia is also continuing to provide free steering wheel locks, as available, to interested law enforcement agencies across the country for distribution to local residents who own or lease affected models. Kia owners with questions regarding their vehicle may contact our Customer Care team directly at 1- 800-333-4542 (4Kia) or online via the Owners Portal on kia.com
Full statement from Hyundai:
Hyundai Motor America regrets this decision by insurers and its impact on select Hyundai vehicle owners and lessees, which we anticipate will be temporary. Engine immobilizers are now standard on all Hyundai vehicles produced as of November 2021 -- and have long been standard equipment on all Hyundai vehicles with push-button ignitions.
Additionally, Hyundai has taken a series of actions to reduce the claim frequencies associated with affected vehicles, including an upcoming software update, which will be available beginning next month and provided at no cost to customers. Hyundai is also providing free steering wheel locks, as available, to select law enforcement agencies across the country for distribution to local residents who own or lease affected models. Owners may also bring their vehicles to a local Hyundai dealer for the purchase and installation of a customized security kit. We apologize for the inconvenience to affected customers.
(Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include more detail about the affected model years that was shared by the carmakers.)