If you didn’t catch this earlier in the week, get ready to have your mind blown. Because there are now car models that you’ll find it difficult to buy insurance for in Louisiana anymore. They get stolen too often.
Beginning January 25th, State Farm insurance agents in Louisiana are no longer doing new business with owners of 105 blacklisted Kia and Hyundai models that are vulnerable to theft, according to State Farm employees who spoke to WWL-TV.
Employees say they were sent a chart of models and years that are included in the restriction. They include the 2015-2021 Hyundai Accent, Hyundai Elantra, Hyundai Kona, Hyundai Santa Fe, Hyundai Sonata, Hyundai Tuscon, and Hyundai Veloster.
The list also includes the 2015-2021 models of the Kia Forte, Kia Optima (4 door and hybrid models), Kia Rio, Kia Sedona, Kia Sorento, Kia Soul, and Kia Sportage.
The chart reads, “Kia and Hyundai models and years with an ‘x’ below will be ineligible, unless the sales associate has verified the presence of a passive engine immobilizer.”
Two State Farm employees tell us that the restrictions apply in Georgia, Louisiana, Oregon, Washington, and Pennsylvania.
These restrictions do not apply to current policyholders; only to drivers who are looking for new policies.
The Louisiana Department of Insurance tells WWLTV it has not been notified of this change. A spokesperson wrote Wednesday afternoon, “The LDI has not received anything from Progressive, State Farm or other insurer regarding this, and we have no reason to believe we are on that list.”
That there are four other states where State Farm won’t write insurance on those models doesn’t offer much solace.
The Department of Insurance employees might be telling WWL the truth, or they might not. This is obviously something they’re not going to want to advertise too much, especially in an election year, if it’s true.
But this isn’t their problem. LDI isn’t in charge of the police departments across the state.
And LDI has nothing to do with the fact that car thieves in New Orleans stole an incredible 728 vehicles in just 28 days to start 2023.
That’s like one out of every 500 cars in the city. in four weeks!
Every time one of these cars gets stolen it’s an insurance claim, and probably a good four figures the insurer will have to shell out for the damage the thieves do to the vehicle before they leave it somewhere. Or it’s a five-figure claim when the vehicle has to get totaled because it isn’t found or it’s been chopped up, etc.
This is going to break the car insurance market. That’s obvious. Before it does it’s going to break the market for Kias and Hyundais; you can’t buy one if you can’t get insurance on it. And if State Farm and Progressive won’t write insurance on those models it’s only a matter of time before the other insurers won’t do it either.
So this will take down the dealers who sell those vehicles.
You cannot run a functional economy when there is so much theft that it destroys the willingness of people to do business. This is just a macro version of what happens to a neighborhood when the criminals take over and the shopkeepers shut things down.
And it’s clear the people who govern Louisiana’s major cities don’t know and don’t really care how to fix the problem. If they did they’d be scrambling to hire as many cops as possible and sounding like mini-Joe Arpaios about crushing the criminals who are ruining everything.
Much less the lame-duck Democrat governor who’s interested in nothing more than feathering his nest for next year when he’s out of politics for the first time in nearly two decades.
This is going to have to be fixed at the state level and it’s going to require measures many will find extreme. But ordinary people are losing – perhaps have lost – the fight for our major cities to the criminals, and extreme actions might be the only way to save New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport and the other dying or dead cities in our state.