COLUMBUS, Ohio — Car insurance rates could increase as Hyundais and Kias continue to be stolen across central Ohio.
According to statistics from the Columbus Division of Police, there were 273 Hyundais and 224 Kias stolen between Jan. 1, 2021 and Oct. 15, 2021. In that same time frame for this year, there have been 1,497 Hyundais and 1,243 Kias stolen.
CrimeTracker 10 has been reporting on the thefts of Hyundais and Kias since the beginning of the year. The cars are targeted because they are easy to steal, according to police. The basic models have a key and don't have an anti-theft component that Kia says was added to its newer models.
Gerry Kennedy, an insurance broker, believes insurance rates for everyone will rise to offset the cost of stolen Hyundais and Kias.
“Will rates increase as the data comes in? Inevitably yes. New perils require new premiums. Will it become more difficult? It depends on scale and severity,” Kennedy said.
Gladys Young, who lives on the city's west side, had her 2020 Hyundai Elantra was stolen twice in four months. Once on July 27 and again on Oct. 25. Her car had only been back from the shop after the first theft for a month before it was swiped again.
Young's insurance adjustor hasn't told her how the latest theft will impact her bottom line, but she isn't letting it impact her job or her attitude.
“I'm going to fight to the end until something is done because there's no sense in hard working people out here trying to keep a car running to go to a job or doctor's appointment or something and then the kids coming and stealing it,” Young said.