Increase in Hyundai and Kia thefts could drive up insurance costs for all drivers

CHARLOTTE — Thieves stealing Hyundais and Kias can have an impact on all drivers, Channel 9 has learned.

Nicole Morris is glad to have her Kia back. She says someone stole it in February and crashed it. “They took my peace. It literally took my peace,” Morris said. “I hate the fact that (thieves) feel like (they) have to come out here and ruin other people’s lives.”

Now, she’s worried about her car insurance going up. “I was already paying an expensive rate,” she said.

The Insurance Information Institute says we could all end up paying more, no matter what make car we drive.

Insurance companies use multiple factors to figure out how much you pay.

Scott Holeman with the Insurance Information Institute says auto theft in your community is one of those factors. So, if the number of stolen cars in the Charlotte area goes up, which it has, your premiums could too.

“If something is happening in your location at a drastic level, that could impact everyone,” Holeman told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke.


The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department recently said the number of stolen Hyundai and Kia cases has jumped 1,800% since last year. Police across the country blame a social media trend that started last summer showing a simple way to steal those cars.

“If we’re seeing a lot of auto crimes, chances are it’s going to be harder for insurance companies to make money in a community where they’re insuring if the threat of crime is higher,” Holeman said.

It’s hard to say how much more you may have to pay, but it’s more reason to shop around and ask about discounts:

1. Anti-theft features on your vehicle: “Multiple companies offer car insurance discounts for having protective devices like alarms or steering wheel locks,” NerdWallet says.

2. Autopay: “If you have opted for electronic billing, there is a chance you can qualify for some savings on your premiums,” ValuePenguin/LendingTree says.

3. Bundling (home, auto, etc.) or multiple cars.

4. College student who left car home: “As a parent, you can save on your policy if your child driver left their car at home when they went to college and the college is located more than 100 miles away from home,” ValuePenguin/LendingTree says.

5. Defensive driving: “Defensive driving classes typically cost around $25 and take a few hours to complete, but that defensive driving discount could save you an average of $154 per year on car insurance,” ValuePenguin/LendingTree says.

6. Employee or professional organizations may offer discounts.

7. Good driver: “The definition of a good driver varies but generally means not having any accidents or traffic violations in the past three to five years,” NerdWallet says.

8. Good students may qualify for discounts.

9. Homeowner: “Some insurers provide a homeownership discount even if the policyholder has not purchased homeowners insurance with them,” ValuePenguin/LendingTree says.

10. Low mileage: “The average person drives around 12,000 miles per year, but those who drive less than 7,500 can see some great discounts,” ValuePenguin/LendingTree says. “The definition of low-mileage varies by insurer, but if you drive fewer than 14,200 miles a year (the national average) it’s worth asking your insurer about potential discounts,” U.S. News & World Report says.

11. Loyalty: “Insurers reward loyalty with discounts for longtime customers and those who have multiple policies or cars insured under the same policy,” NerdWallet says.

12. Active or retired military members may qualify for a discount.

13. Pay in full.

14. Senior drivers may qualify for a discount.

15. Telematics: “Telematics is a technology that lets insurers track your driving behaviors in real-time through an app or device that plugs into your car’s diagnostic port.

“If you don’t mind being tracked by your insurer and consider yourself a safe driver (avoiding speeding and hard braking, for example), then a telematics program may help lower your premium. However, it can just as well raise it,” NerdWallet says.

(VIDEO: CMPD: Kia, Hyundai thefts up 1,800%; violent crime trends down)

Comments on this article