COLUMBUS, Ohio — Satoya Houston was one of the thousands of car theft victims in the city of Columbus last year.
What You Need To Know
- Kia and Hyundai car thefts rose dramatically in Columbus in 2022
- State Farm and Progressive are no longer writing new policies for certain models of Kias and Hyundais
- This change will not affect existing customers
- Progressive said that in certain areas around the country, Kia and Hyundai thefts have tripled
Houston moved to Columbus from Cleveland on a Sunday in September, but when she woke up the next day she noticed that her 2016 Hyundai Sonata was nowhere to be found. Thanks to a tracking system she had Hyundai add to her car, Houston was able to retrieve it the next day, but said safety and prevention measures should’ve been the main priority.
“I can’t sleep because I’m constantly checking and making sure my car is there,” said Houston. “I got myself paranoid. I can’t drive my car to the store peacefully. I have to rush because I don’t know if I’m going to come outside and it’s going to be gone”
Citing the rise in thefts, insurance companies State Farm and Progressive recently announced they would no longer write new policies for certain models of Kias and Hyundais. In a statement, Progressive said that in certain areas, theft rates for Kias and Hyundais have tripled and “given that we price our policies based on the level of risk they represent, this explosive increase in thefts in many cases makes these vehicles extremely challenging for us to insure.”
“We take seriously our responsibility to manage risk and the impact of excess claim costs on all our customers,” said a spokesperson for State Farm. “In this case, it became necessary to take action to protect our policyholders and our business.”
The insurance companies aren’t ending their relationships with existing policy holders, so Houston remains insured by State Farm, but at the same time, she understands the companies’ decisions.
“I really can’t get mad at them for protecting themselves because of what Hyundai is failing to do,” said Houston.
Houston said she has spent around $3,000 for repairs to her car. After reaching out to Hyundai, she said that the company has offered safety feature kits, but said customers have to pay $170 for the kits and also pay the installation. Houston said she just wants justice.
“I want them to reimburse me for everything because of the level of stress that I have to deal with, just in regards to my car,” said Houston.
Houston has joined the lawsuit the city of Columbus filed against Hyundai and Kia. She also hopes to get a new car that’s not made by either company.
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