What does high risk mean in insurance?

In insurance, risk is everything. Risk is what an insurance company “accepts” in exchange for your monthly, semi-annual, or annual payments – or “premiums,” as they’re referred to in the insurance world. When you’ve been labelled high-risk, you’re someone whose risk is greater than the average. Often, as a result, your premiums will be higher (but that’s not the only impact).

Being high-risk isn’t a good thing, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get affordable insurance. Let’s dig in a little more into what being high-risk might mean for you.

Why was I labelled as high risk?

High-risk usually applies to auto insurance, but it can apply to home insurance as well. To have been labelled as high-risk, it’s likely that you’re someone who:

  • Has been involved in multiple at-fault accidents
  • Has received multiple speeding violations or tickets
  • Has been cancelled previously due to non-payment
  • Has been convicted of insurance fraud
  • Has been convicted of major violations, like DUI
  • Has a rural or non-standard property
  • Has a home that’s 100 years or older

If you’ve ever been told that you’re a high-risk driver or have a high-risk home, odds are it’s because of one or more of the reasons listed above. Sometimes, young drivers or inexperienced drivers (including immigrant drivers, who may not have had their driving history carry over from their country of origin) may see similar rate hikes as high-risk drivers, but may not have the same high-risk label.

What happens if I’ve been labelled high-risk?

Being high-risk means you do not qualify for standard insurance. You’ll probably end up paying more for your insurance, sometimes two or three times as much. You’ll be required to purchase non-standard insurance, otherwise known as “high-risk” insurance.

What happens if you’ve been labelled high-risk? How is it different than ordinary insurance?

  • High-risk insurance always costs more than standard insurance. It can cost a minimum of 20% more, but sometimes up to 2-3x as much. It depends on your insurance company and why you’ve been labelled as high-risk.
  • Your payment options may be significantly limited. The most common reason why drivers are labelled as high-risk is due to non-payment. As a high-risk policyholder you may only be able to pay via certain means, or may be forced to pay for your policy upfront.
  • Your coverage will be limited. You may not be able to customize your policy nearly as much as if you had standard insurance. You’ll usually have capped liability limits, higher deductibles, and your policy may have certain conditions placed on it.

Being high-risk won’t just affect you. If it’s for your auto insurance, every other driver listed on your policy will also be impacted. It may also impact others living in your household.

How long will I be considered high-risk?

It depends on why you were high-risk in the first place.

For homes, it’s a little more difficult. Usually, if you weren’t cancelled due to non-payment in the past, your home is high-risk due to its infrastructure or where it’s located. You may be stuck with your high-risk label, unless you make certain modifications to your home, such as renovating its roof, older features, etc. Ask an agent for ways to save on high-risk home insurance, or discuss your situation with us and we’ll see if we can make some suggestions.

For cars and auto insurance, it boils down to time. Whether you were cancelled due to non-payment or for an at-fault accident, usually your high-risk label will fall off after 3-6 years. During this time, we recommend reviewing defensive driving habits, avoiding impaired driving, setting up automatic withdrawals or being upfront and honest with your broker if you’re ever unsure if you can make your insurance payments on time. If your financial situation is especially tight, you may wish to consider alternative transportation until your rates can come back down with time.

Who are the best insurance companies for high-risk?

Not every company offers high-risk insurance, but it’s important to find one that works for you and your budget if you are ever labelled as high-risk. The right company will offer decent coverage options at low rates (low as far as high-risk goes) and potentially even offer discounts to help you save even more.

Here are some of the best insurance companies if you’ve been labelled high-risk:

  • Progressive
  • State Auto
  • SafeCo
  • American Modern

To discuss more about high-risk insurance, or recommendations on how to save money despite a high-risk label, give us a call at 913-839-1478 today or get a free quote. AHI Group is more than happy to walk you through your new circumstances or connect you with an insurance company who specializes in high-risk insurance policies, saving you money and time.

Auto theft trends in 2024

Auto theft is on the rise. Just 2 years ago, it was estimated that there was 283 auto theft cases for every 100,000 people, which equates to around one motor vehicle theft for every 31 seconds. Unfortunately, as criminals indulge more and more in trends like street racing and the practice of stripping cars for parts and reselling them internationally, more and more vehicles are beginning to vanish off the road.

Part of the reason why theft has increased was due to the pandemic-related stay-at-home orders, but in 2024 the majority of us have returned to office and resumed life “as per usual.” So why should you still be concerned about auto theft in 2024? Why is motor theft still such a huge issue?

Is auto theft on the rise?

While we’re still in the early stages of 2024, it’s tough to say how auto theft will continue to evolve. What we do know is that theft had risen by almost 11% between 2021 to 2022, according to data from the FBI, and that it may continue to do so as manufacturers continue to pump out highly appealing vehicles and car theft cases continue to go unsolved.

Why are so few vehicles recovered in car theft cases?

Unfortunately, solve rates for auto theft have always historically been low, but the spike in auto theft incidents has caused them to drop even more. Public data from New York City shows that police make 14 arrests per every 100 car thefts and in Denver that number’s even lower with 7 arrests for every 100 reported car thefts.

This is for a number of reasons. One is that, typically with property crimes, law enforcement resources are minimal. Budget, staffing, and technology can’t keep up with the rate of auto thefts. Worse still, car theft is often associated with worse crimes. Many thieves will use vehicles to commit worse crimes as they can later ditch the vehicle and law enforcement can’t track them down using a single license plate.

Hyundai and Kia motor thefts in the country

If you didn’t read our previous blog on the latest Hyundai and Kia news, here’s the quick rundown: many major insurers, like State Farm (as the biggest example) are no longer insuring Hyundai and Kia model vehicles due to their high “theftability.” This “theftability” comes from a TikTok demonstrating how certain models of Hyundai and Kia cars could be broken into with a USB cord and a screwdriver. As a result, these vehicles were being lifted off the streets left, right, and center, and insurers no longer wished to stay on risk due to the high chance of a theft claim.

This isn’t old news. Tons of vehicles are considered higher theft than others, whether because of their specific luxurious features that are appealing for resell, their prevalence on the roads, or vulnerable points that allow hackers to steal them easier.

OLBG did a good “prediction” list of what will be the most stolen cars in 2024. When purchasing a car, we recommend drivers to be conscious of the cars on this list. Many insurers will hike the rates of vehicles with high theft appeal; to combat that hike, drivers can either consider alternative models or invest in aftermarket security products.

What are the expectations for auto theft in 2024?

It’s very early to see how trends will shape up in 2024, but we’re already starting to see some shifts that could suggest what we’ll see throughout the year.

One trend that may start to increase in frequency is the use of specific electronic locksmith tools, i.e. ProPads, to steal high-performance vehicles. Vehicles with keyless entry features can be stolen through relay attacks via a blank key FOB and tech found on the Internet. This seems to occur the most with high output engine vehicles, like Dodge Chargers, Durangos, and Challengers, as well as Jeep Grand Cherokees. These vehicles are usually stolen for the purpose of being re-tagged and then sold to unsuspecting buyers, or even later wrecked in street races.

Education in 2024 will be as important as it has ever been for decreasing the risk of auto theft. Vehicle thefts for cars that have been left with their key inside was extremely common in 2022 and 2023, and may be no different for the coming year. Even if you feel you live in a “safe” community, you never know. Never leave your vehicle running and unattended (yes – even in the cold!) and always take your keys with you when you leave your vehicle.

As always, regular auto theft methods such as key swaps at dealers following test drives, car-jackings, and vehicles being stolen at service centers by accessing key boxes continue to be an issue. This is likely to continue into 2024 as well.

With all these trends on the rise and new ones continuing to evolve on the horizon, it’s important to stay vigilant, to stay informed, and to keep in mind all the best ways to protect yourself and your vehicle against the risk of auto theft.

How do you protect yourself against auto theft?

Car theft happens even to the most secure vehicles. While you can’t 100% of the time ensure your car is safe from auto theft, there are a few things you can do to hugely decrease your risk.

Here’s our tips:

  • Always lock your car doors and close the windows when leaving your vehicle.
  • Park in well-lit and populated areas, especially at night.
  • Install an anti-theft device such as an alarm system, steering wheel lock, or immobilizer.
  • Don’t leave valuables visible inside the car; store them in the trunk or take them with you.
  • Use a visible deterrent like a “Car Alarm” or “Protected by [Security Company]” sticker.
  • Consider installing a GPS tracking device to help locate your car if it’s stolen.
  • Don’t leave spare keys inside or around your vehicle, even if it’s hidden.
  • Be cautious of where you leave your car keys, and avoid leaving them in obvious or easily accessible places.
  • If possible, use a garage or secure parking facility rather than street parking.
  • Be vigilant and report any suspicious activity or attempted theft to the authorities.

Note that certain aftermarket car security products can qualify you for a discount on your auto insurance. Call AHI Group to discuss insuring a high-theft vehicle or for tips on how to protect your vehicle better – and save at the same time.

Could EV remote control features be a security risk?

There are 2,442,270 electric vehicles, or EVs for short, registered in the United States as of 2024. With the electric vehicle market estimated to sit around $49.1 billion in 2023, it’s no surprise that we’re starting to see more and more of these vehicles on the roads nowadays. EVs are all the rage, but one of the latest advertised features, “remote control,” is starting to raise some questions.

Auto theft is on the rise, and thieves are becoming more successful in leveraging certain aspects of cars as more and more manufacturers start to offer more interesting “perks.” Let’s explore how EV remote control features could be a potential security risk.

How does remote control work?

Many electric vehicles today can be controlled remotely by using mobile applications or web-based systems. This allows the owners of EVs to perform a variety of tasks, from maintenance and assessing battery life to even monitoring the status of a vehicle’s charging, adjusting temperature, and locating the vehicle on a map. These features have greatly improved as newer models roll out, adding on additional hardware and software to improve user experience greatly.

Tesla is one such vehicle that offers remote control. Here’s an overview of what the system entails:

  • Locking and unlocking vehicles
  • Enabling or disabling AC and heating, as well as monitoring cabin climate
  • Checking vehicle’s charging status
  • Viewing vehicle’s estimated driving range
  • Opening the front trunk
  • Opening or closing the charging port
  • Seeing where the vehicle is located
  • View the vehicle’s VIN and current software
  • Flash lights/honk horn to find where car is parked
  • Park and retrieve the vehicle using the “Summon” feature

Electric vehicle safety features

Most electric vehicles, like Tesla, feature numerous security features to prevent or reduce the risk of auto theft. For example, Tesla features a Security tab on its mobile app which enables drivers to:

  • Pair their phones to the vehicle
  • Enable and disable autopilot and autopark modes
  • Enable notifications that trigger when the vehicle’s driving speed is within 5km/h of the maximum selected speed. You can disable or enable this mode as well

Although these modes may help reduce your odds of theft, they don’t prevent your chances altogether. Electric vehicles may be the most at risk due to their luxury appeal and high value. We recommend investigating aftermarket products to buff your security. Some products may even qualify you for a discount on your auto insurance!

How is remote connectivity a security risk?

For any vehicle that has remote connectivity and a computer chip, there’s a vulnerable point. In today’s tech-powered world, car thieves need to think beyond the old-school “bash in the window” in order to steal cars, and that’s just what they’ve done. Modern hackers have found EVs to be particularly vulnerable.

Connectivity features using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or cellular networks are the number one way hackers access electric vehicles. Even having a remote starter can serve as an entryway for hackers to gain access to your vehicle (and this applies to gas-powered vehicles, too!)

Another prominent vulnerability for EV security is public charging stations. The United States alone is home to well over 60,000 public charging stations, a majority of which are connected devices. These devices are, unfortunately, prone to being hacked as well and can be an entryway for thieves to steal away with electric vehicles – especially those that are left unattended by the owner. Public charging stations are also a vulnerability when it comes to identity theft, as to use these stations you’ll need to use an app or frequency ID card which houses IP addresses, network info, and location data. Hackers can manipulate this data and use it for personal gain.

Most vulnerable vehicles

The list of most commonly stolen vehicles changes each year based on statistics and trends. However, statistics aside, these vehicle manufacturers were found to house the most vulnerabilities:

  • Hyundai
  • Acura
  • BMW
  • Ford
  • Ferrari
  • Genesis
  • Infiniti
  • Kia
  • Jaguar
  • Land Rover
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Porsche
  • Rolls Royce
  • Toyota
  • Nissan

How do you protect your electric vehicle?

There’s still a ton of work for manufacturers to do in order to protect electric vehicles against thieves. Remote control features are a great addition to have and enjoy for ease of access and convenience, but they do pose a serious risk as of where they’re at right now. Here are some ways you can reduce the risk of your EV (or any vehicle) getting stolen or hacked:

  • Consider using an at-home charging station as opposed to a public one. If you need to use a public station, choose a busier location where your car is more in the “public eye.”
  • Install a traditional anti-theft device that locks to your steering wheel. As old-school as these might be, they’re still a true and tried means of deterring thieves.
  • Avoid or limit the use of third-party apps that connect to your vehicle.
  • Always install the latest patch or software update from your vehicle’s manufacturer.
  • Park your car in a secure location, such as in a garage or private driveway.

For additional questions about protecting EVs or to talk about insuring an EV, give AHI Group a call.

What do I do if I’ve been hit in a parking lot?

When you think “car crash,” you might think Highway 50 side-swipe or getting T-boned turning left after someone runs a red light, but not all crashes are as dramatic as that. You might be surprised to learn that many collisions happen in public (and private) parking lots.

Busy parking lot, people backing out without looking, rushing to turn left before oncoming traffic—the hustle-and-bustle nature and close confinement in parking lots can lead to some unfortunate scenarios. As careful as we try to be, we can’t control the behaviour of others. So, what do you do if you’ve been in a parking lot crash?

Things you need to know about getting hit in a parking lot

Getting hit in a parking lot is more common than you might think, but you’d be surprised at the potential severity of injuries and property damage, even with the low speeds. If you’re in your car at the time of the incident and there are injuries, the first thing you’ll need to do is call 911. If no one’s injured, then you’re safe to exchange information with the other driver. Make sure to get their registration, auto insurance, and driver’s license information on the scene.

Preparing to file a claim for a parking lot accident is no different than filing a claim for an accident that took place on a major highway. You’ll want to document the accident, take as many photos as possible, and possibly even call the police if there are injuries or the estimated damages exceed $2,000. If there are witnesses around, you’ll want to get their statements. If the parking lot where you were hit was outside a store, ask the store owner for any possible security footage they may be able to produce.

What if I don’t know who hit me?

Imagine you ducked inside a store to do a little post-work shopping and you came back outside to find the front of your car had been backed into. No other car in sight, and no one nearby seems to know who hit you. In this unfortunate scenario, sometimes known as a “hit-and-run accident,” an incident where a driver who is unidentified or even a driver who is identified but has insufficient insurance hits your car may be covered under collision insurance.

In the even more unfortunate scenario where you or even a passenger were still inside the car when it was hit and the driver is unable to be identified, you may have some coverage for their or your injuries under a section of auto insurance known as uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage.

Still, before you go through insurance, it’s important that you take a few steps to ensure you and your passengers are safe and your car isn’t in any further risk of being damaged:

  • Move your car to the side of the road, if possible
  • Turn on your hazard lights and try to mark out the area to avoid further accidents.
  • Once everyone’s safe, get in touch with law enforcement. If your car is OK to drive or the damage was only minor, you can drive to the nearest station to file a report.
  • You may also consider asking nearby shop owners if there are any security cameras overlooking the parking lot. This can help to identify the driver who hit you.

If you don’t have collision car insurance, the odds are you may have to pay out of pocket for the incident. If you do have collision coverage, you’ll need to pay your deductible before insurance covers the rest.

Travelers, one of AHI’s partners, has some good information on car insurance and covering hit-and-runs.

Getting in touch with your insurance provider

Call your insurance provider as soon as you’re done dealing with the police (if applicable) after an accident. Even if you’re not at fault, it’s important to let your insurer know to avoid delaying your coverage and/or repairs. Remember, you are not responsible for contacting the other party’s insurer, whether you’re at fault or not! In an accident where you’ll need to file a third-party car claim (such as where the other driver was at fault) you may need to file a claim with them, but you can do so virtually or by simply reaching out to your own provider to consult about next steps.

Calling your own insurance company is recommended because of these reasons:

  • It can help expedite the claims process
  • It can assist in providing coverage ASAP for injuries or damages (especially for families and individuals who are struggling financially)
  • You may end up having out-of-pocket costs if you fail to report the accident right away
  • The other driver involved in the accident could allege damages or injuries later, which could cause the story to not correlate with what you said initially at the scene

You should always inform your car insurance company, even if there’s minimal damage/no injuries at a collision or accident. We recommend doing so even if you’re not technically obligated to do so, as it’ll ensure that they have a record if you need to file a claim later or even if the other driver ends up filing a claim against you.

If you’re confused about what to do following a parking lot crash, not to worry. AHI Group is here to help answer any questions that you may have and help alleviate your concerns or worries. At some point, the majority of us will have been involved in a car accident. It can be stressful, but knowing what to do can be a huge aid. Give us a call today.

What does it mean to have full car coverage?

When it comes to auto insurance, you have options. Nearly every state in the USA has mandatory auto insurance, and of those states there’s a certain kind of auto insurance you are required to buy. You may be eligible, depending on your record, to purchase insurance add-ons to further customize your coverage, such as comprehensive and collision. Some consumers opt for what’s known as “full car coverage” – but what is that, really?

What is full car coverage?

To break it down briefly, full car coverage doesn’t actually exist. There’s no way to buy auto insurance coverage that fully insures your vehicle against every potential risk out there. Full car coverage generally refers to an automobile owner who drives a vehicle that is insured with collision, comprehensive, and liability coverage. Insurance companies may also offer additional protection, such as coverage for rental cars or even ticket forgiveness.

While it’s not “full car coverage” in the sense that it insures against every possible risk, it’s the fullest available car coverage there is. So, when you see the term “full car coverage,” this is actually referring to the combination of insurance coverages designed to protect a driver financially for damages done to their vehicle, the passengers or occupants of that vehicle, and any other individuals involved in the accident.

*Key takeaway here: there is no definition for full coverage auto insurance. Your best bet is to work with an agent to determine what options give you the fullest, most attainable peace-of-mind.

What are all the coverages included in full car coverage?

While the definition of full coverage may differ from insurer to insurer, here are the coverages you may expect to have included in a “full car coverage” plan:

Liability Insurance

If you are in your vehicle and get into an accident, this coverage helps pay for the damages and injuries. It is required in virtually every state in the USA, with the exception of New Hampshire. Certain states will mandate certain levels of coverage, usually between $200,000 and $1 million. Most insurers offer the option to increase your coverage.

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Insurance

In states where it’s mandatory to have insurance, some drivers still opt to go without. If you get into an accident with an uninsured driver, or perhaps a driver who flees the scene, this coverage will protect you from the damages to your vehicle, or even medical expenses you incur in the accident.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Depending on the state, PIP or personal injury protection may be mandatory to protect you from the cost of medical expenses for you or others in your vehicle. Some types of PIP can include coverage for lost wages and other expenses for injuries in an accident.

Collision Insurance

Collision insurance is optional and may be purchased to increase your coverage to protect against damages done to your vehicle in an accident, even if you were responsible. It may also protect against damage to your vehicle if you hit something stationary or if your vehicle rolls over.

Comprehensive Insurance

Comprehensive coverage is optional as well and insures your vehicle against damages due to things other than accidents, specifically when your vehicle is not moving. An example of this is if a tree falls on your vehicle in a storm or if someone breaks your window attempting to steal something in your car.

With some optional coverages, specifically collision and comprehensive, a deductible will apply. This means that to have a claim paid out, you’ll need to pay your deductible amount towards the repairs before your insurance company pays for the remainder.

Other auto insurance options

Depending on your state and your insurer, you may be eligible for additional insurance options to help further “round out” your policy. Some examples include:

  • Gap Insurance: Aka loan or lease payoff insurance, this insurance helps to pay for the gap left on what you owe for your vehicle if it’s wrecked in an accident.
  • Car Rental Coverage: This insurance option offers car rental reimbursement, as rental shops will often offer insurance, but at a very high price with very minimal coverage.
  • Towing and Roadside Assistance: Some insurers will automatically offer this coverage, where for others it’s an option to include it. Roadside assistance coverage, to cover the costs of towing and changing flat tires, can be a great asset to have.
  • Glass Breakage: Glass damage regularly falls under comprehensive coverage, but if you have a high deductible that could wipe out any glass coverage you’d get. With full coverage, you might have the option to get better protection for glass coverage with no deductible (but a slightly higher premium).

Ask an agent about these coverages for more information, or for more suggestions on what to include to have fuller car insurance.

Should I have full car insurance coverage?

In no situation is full car coverage beyond the state mandatory technically required, although certain coverages may be asked of you if you’re lending or leasing a car. Otherwise, optional coverages are entirely up to your preference.

We would recommend considering additional protections, specifically collision and comprehensive, especially if you don’t have enough money saved to cover yourself in the event of an accident. You are best off purchasing coverage which addresses the biggest likelihoods. Note that having a low deductible may result in high premiums, so if you want to save on your premiums you’ll choose a lower deductible.

Talk with an agent if you aren’t sure. A representative from AHI can help you decide on what options are best suited to your needs, what makes the most sense, and what’s the most affordable. Call us today!

What’s Driving Up the Cost of Auto Insurance?

Auto insurance rates are on the rise. Just in the last year alone, auto insurance rates have risen by 18.9%, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics. For states whose rates were already on the higher end, it seems like there’s no relief in sight. For many vehicle owners, this can be incredibly discouraging. Auto insurance is a must-have purchase, but why is it becoming so expensive?

In previous articles, we’ve covered topics related to rising auto insurance prices like the hard market its relation to insurance rates as well as high auto insurance pricing for teens and new drivers. In this blog post, we dig a little deeper into the issue with data from SafeCo. We aim to take a look at some global events causing significant ramifications to auto insurance pricing, stats, and more to help broaden your understanding of the current issue as a policyholder, and perhaps give you a starting point on how best to manage your premiums.

Ripples from the COVID-19 Pandemic

This article was written in 2023, and so while the initial outbreak is long behind us and it isn’t looking like we’re going to be seeing any unexpected closures for some time, COVID-19 has had a ripple effect on the economy. During COVID-19, we saw a tremendous depletion in the supply of both new and used vehicles, and even now we have yet to see those inventories come back to what they were. Since 2020, the price of new cars has risen by 20%, and the price of used cars has increased by 37%. 

*Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Consumer Price Index.

What does this mean when it comes to insurance? Well, it’s not really about the number of used or new cars available on the market – it’s about the same market dynamics impacting the number of car parts available to do repairs. Since the end of 2022, car parts and equipment have been about 22.3% This means that the cost to repair vehicles has increased, resulting in higher claim payouts for insurance companies. As a result? Higher claim payouts = the need to raise rates to ensure an adequate pool of payout money for insured losses. 

*Sources: Consumer Price Index, 2022 TechForce Foundation Technician Supply & Demand Report.

Medical Care Costs on the Rise

During COVID-19, work-from-home and stay-at-home orders had fewer vehicles driving on the road, and therefore the number of fatalities and injuries declined – severely. That spiked when many orders were lifted in 2021, peaking, before somewhat falling again. With the rising cost of medical care, personal injury protection and bodily injury liability claim costs continue to spike. Between 2020 and 2022 alone, the cost of medical care in the U.S. jumped by 6.8%.

*Source: Producer Price Index, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

The Higher the Cost of Losses, the Higher the Premiums

Although it might seem unfair, especially if you have not made a claim or been in an accident, the way insurance works is that to afford the high cost of claim payouts, insurers need to raise rates. It’s a hard hit for low-income and otherwise vulnerable drivers, some of which may need to weigh the cost and benefits of car ownership altogether. 

Premiums Vary State-by-State

Although the average change in car insurance premiums between 2022-2023 was around 17% on average across the United States, that number has varied drastically between each state. An infographic from FINN America at the Washington Post gives us the breakdown, the most notable of which we will highlight in a list below:

  • Minnesota: 4% increase
  • Kansas: 11% increase
  • Colorado: 53% increase
  • Florida: 88% increase
  • Texas: 21% increase
  • Nevada: 51% increase
  • California: 16% increase
  • Nebraska: 46% increase
  • Iowa: 29% increase

State-specific increases can be due to a number of reasons, for example: Colorado’s car insurance premiums have seen a tremendous increase of 50%+, largely in part due to the huge number of tornadoes, blizzards, and hailstorms resulting in an increased number of claims. Florida, by the same token, has increased its premiums due to insurers needing to make up for losses resulting from hurricane damages. All states have been impacted by payouts driven by natural disasters, the high cost of replacements and repairs, inflation, the higher cost of luxury vehicles, and more. 

What Do We Do?

To many, it might seem like there’s really no escape from higher premiums, since many of us are dependent on our vehicles to get to work and manage family affairs. Car insurance is required by law, so to drive, you must have it. Getting caught driving without is oftentimes costlier than a year’s average premium, so it’s just not worth the risk. 

In the face of rising auto insurance premiums, it’s good to have a subject-matter expert in your corner. Working with an agent, like any representative from AHI, can help you gain industry insights and arm you with knowledge on how best to save. We’ll recommend different discounts you may be eligible for and offer personalized advice to help you cut costs.

Navigating a Costly Insurance Landscape

The matter of factors influencing auto insurance rates demands a nuanced understanding, and although we hope that our exploration has shed some light on key contributors, the field is ever-changing.

As policyholders try to make sense of the shifting dynamic, AHI Group stands as a steadfast partner committed to providing tailored solutions for residents of Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, and beyond. AHI is poised to guide you through the intricacies of your coverage. We encourage you to take an active role in managing your insurance costs by reaching out to our dedicated team. Contact AHI today to discover potential avenues for cost reduction, discount opportunities, and more. 

State Farm No Longer Insuring Hyundai or Kia

Car owners across the country have started to see what the impacts of auto theft are doing to their insurance rates, and some more than others. Certain vehicles are stolen more frequently than others, which can cause insurance rates for drivers of those cars to appear much higher. Among the list of most stolen vehicles includes Hyundai and Kia; in some instances carriers are removing them from their “insurable” list altogether, refusing to insure new customers and non-renewing current ones. State Farm, the largest provider of property and casualty insurance in the United States, has done the very thing.

Why is this? What are the options for drivers of Kia and Hyundai vehicles? How can we still get affordable auto insurance, even if we drive these vehicles? We cover this topic – and more – below.

Kia and Hyundai vehicles as top targets for auto theft

Kia and Hyundai vehicles are both being sought after by auto thieves due to their ease of access. Back in 2021, a social media “craze” popped up wherein it was demonstrated how easily these vehicles’ manufacturers’ anti-theft tech could be overridden. The easier vehicles are to steal, the likelier they’ll be stolen – and this logic applies to any vehicle, which is why we so heavily stress the importance of making your vehicle more difficult to thieves.

Now, the manufacturer oversight is being remedied. Before this, all that a thief needed to steal a Kia or Hyundai vehicle was a USB cord and a screwdriver. This was due to the fact that the vehicles being targeted did not have a specific immobilizer safety feature, leading to the hike in thefts and the vulnerability of these specific cars.

Which models of Kia and Hyundai are being targeted?

This list is subject to change as situations evolve and can depend on your specific carrier. As it stands, the following list of Kia and Hyundai are the ones being targeted by auto thieves due to their lack of immobilizer safety feature and ease of access.

The following models of Kia being targeted include:

  • 2011-2022 Sorento 
  • 2011-2022 Seltos 
  • 2021-2022 K5 
  • 2011-2021 Forte 
  • 2011-2020 Optima 
  • 2012-2021 Rio 
  • 2011-2021 Sedona 
  • 2011-2022 Sportage 
  • 2020-2022 Soul 

The following models of Hyundai are being targeted:

  • 2013-2020 Elantra GT 
  • 2020-2021 Venue 
  • 2011-2019 Sonata 
  • 2011-2022 Elantra 
  • 2013-2014 Genesis Coupe 
  • 2011-2022 Tucson 
  • 2011-2022 Kona 
  • 2019 Santa Fe XL 
  • 2020-2021 Palisade 
  • 2013-2018 Santa Fe Sport 
  • 2013-2022 Santa Fe 
  • 2018-2022 Accent 
  • 2012-2017 and 2019-2021 Veloster 

How to protect your vehicle from car thieves

In a world where car theft remains a persistent concern, safeguarding your vehicle is an essential aspect of car ownership. Whether you own a popular model or a prized possession, taking proactive measures to protect your vehicle from potential theft is crucial. From leveraging advanced security technologies to adopting simple yet impactful habits, we have some key steps to help you fortify your vehicle against the ever-present threat of car thieves.

Use steering wheel locks

Consider using a steering wheel lock as an additional physical deterrent. These devices make it more challenging for thieves to steer the vehicle, even if they manage to start it.

Install a car alarm system

Invest in a reputable car alarm system that includes loud sirens and flashing lights. Visible deterrents can discourage thieves from attempting to steal your vehicle.

Be mindful of keyless entry vulnerabilities

If your vehicle has keyless entry, be aware of potential vulnerabilities. Consider using a Faraday pouch to block signals and prevent relay attacks.

Park strategically

When parking, turn your wheels toward the curb, making it more difficult for thieves to tow your vehicle. If you have a garage, use it to secure your car.

Register with a vehicle recovery service

Enroll in a vehicle recovery service that works with law enforcement to track and recover stolen vehicles. Check if your insurance provider offers such services.

Stay informed about local crime trends

Stay updated on local crime trends and be aware of any specific risks in your area. Knowledge about recent thefts can help you take extra precautions.

Educate family members

Ensure everyone in your household is aware of security measures and follows them consistently. A collective effort enhances overall vehicle security.

Can you still get insurance with a Hyundai or Kia vehicle?

There are still carriers who will insure Hyundai and Kia, so if you have been non-renewed there are options available for you. You may have to take your vehicle to your nearest dealership and request that they make theft deterrent upgrades, as well as keep the documentation to show your insurer.

Working with AHI Group can help you find the best, most affordable insurance for your Hyundai or Kia. We work with a variety of carriers, many of which are still willing to insure your Hyundai or Kia vehicles.

What you need to know to insure a Hyundai or Kia with carriers like State Farm

While State Farm and similar carriers may be refusing to insure Hyundai or Kia vehicles, there are some exceptions. To be insurable through your current carrier, whether State Farm or similar, you may need to follow one or more of these criteria:

  • Have the anti-theft security kit or software installed, plus have a copy of the service record as proof for your insurer to see.
  • Have a push button start. Usually push button models will not be affected by this new ruling. You may need to supply a photo of the push button as well as your vehicle’s VIN number.
  • Have a kill switch installed. You will need to supply documentation of this.

If you fail to meet these eligibility criteria with State Farm-like carriers, then the vehicle may still be insured – however it will be insured with liability only and cannot be insured with physical damage coverage. You won’t be able to add collision or comprehensive coverage unless you have completed one of the above eligibility criteria.

To discuss more about insuring Hyundai or Kia vehicles today, or if you’re looking for a free auto insurance quote for your Kia or Hyundai, give us a call at AHI Group.

Should I cancel my auto insurance if I no longer have a vehicle?

Various circumstances could leave you without a vehicle.  Your car may have been totaled, and you don’t have the funds to purchase another immediately.  Maybe your vehicle has broken down or been repossessed, or you sold it.  No matter the circumstances behind your not having a car, you don’t have to cancel your auto insurance altogether.

When we think of an auto policy, we think of a car that we want to cover and protect.  However, in Kansas, you can purchase a non-owner insurance policy to protect you financially if you’re involved in an auto accident. 

How a non-owner policy works

A non-owner policy covers you when driving a borrowed or rented vehicle.  Suppose you are liable for causing an accident.  In that case, a non-owner policy covers your legal liability for auto accident-related property damage and injuries to the other parties involved.  A non-owner insurance policy is typically cheaper than most regular auto insurance policies.  If you don’t own a vehicle but want to protect yourself financially, you can work closely with our agents at AHI Group in Olathe, KS to discuss the appropriate non-owner insurance coverage that meets your needs. 

Coverages for non-owner insurance policies

Non-owner insurance policies in Kansas must cover the state’s minimum coverage that applies to a traditional car insurance policy.  Those coverages include up to $25,000 for bodily injury per person and $50,000 per accident.  They also cover up to $25,000 per accident for property damage. 

How to get a non-owner auto insurance policy

If you have found yourself without a vehicle and have to borrow a friend’s car, drive a rental, or operate a vehicle as part of a ride-sharing program, contact our agents at AHI Group in Olathe, KS to discuss a non-owner policy.  We can get you covered and protected financially with a personalized insurance policy. 

Do EVs Cost More to Insure Than Regular Cars?

A shock in high fuel costs seems to have caused the surge in electric vehicle purchases, with roughly 77% of respondents in a survey by AAA stating an EV would be their next car purchase due to a desire to save on fuel costs. However, gas prices are only a small fraction of the picture. Insurance, maintenance, upfront price, and electricity costs should all be considered when considering purchasing an EV – especially if you’re on a tight budget.

In this blog post, we talk electric car insurance prices. For the most part, electric car insurance tends to run more expensive than insurance for gas-powered vehicles. Here’s why.

Insurance Companies and Electric Cars

Some drivers are still hesitant to flip to electric cars due to concerns over the upfront cost and insurance costs. Yes, electric cars can be more expensive to insure than gas-powered vehicles of similar values. This is due to a combination of factors.

Here are some of the factors why insurers charge more for electric car insurance than regular car insurance:

Rising Cost of Parts

Primarily, electric car insurance is higher than regular car insurance due to the expensive cost to repair or replace damaged parts. Of all the parts that an electric vehicle is made up of, the costliest of all is the battery the vehicle runs off. Batteries for electric vehicles can run anywhere between $5,000 to as high as $50,000, in some cases.

Need for Skilled Repairmen

Electric cars require a skilled workforce to carry out the repairs they need when damaged. As there are fewer electric cars on the roads, there are consequently fewer mechanics trained in repairing electric vehicles. This added “skill” also means that mechanics trained in repairing electric vehicles can charge more for their services, adding to the overall costs.

Availability of Parts

Another factor (which technically ties into the rising cost of parts) is the availability of EV car parts. During the pandemic, drivers, mechanics, and insurers alike faced the issue of a lack of access to new and used cars, meaning there were also fewer car parts around for repairs. This, in turn, can hike the cost of insurance for electric vehicles as the demand for parts is high.

How Much Does Electric Car Insurance Cost?

Electric car insurance, just like regular car insurance, is based on factors such as the driver’s age, experience, and driving history, gender, postal code (or state), the claims history of the driver, the level of coverage they purchase, their deductible, and so on. Not much difference there. Electric car insurance is typically more expensive, as we’ve mentioned, due to the high cost of repair and replacement, but just how much more expensive?

In some instances, there’s very little difference. Forbes Advisor estimated the national average premium for electric vehicles was around $2,280/year based on the 41 top-selling electric car models. In the same analysis, the least expensive EV to insure was the Toyota RAV4 hybrid (averaging out to around $1,776$) and the most expensive EV to insure was the Porsche Taycan ($4,683).

According to the Forbes Advisor analysis of car insurance rates for top-selling vehicles, it was estimated that car insurance for EVs costs $100 more per year when compared to similar-value gas-powered models. Again, rates vary a lot depending on the individual car and driver. It’s also important to note that some insurers offer alternative fuel discounts (discounts for driving EVs) which, depending on the company, can range anywhere from 5% to as much as 15%.

Saving on Electric Car Insurance with AHI Group

As we’ve learned, electric car insurance does tend to cost more than insurance for regular, gas-powered vehicles. There are several practices that you, as an EV owner, can take to reduce your premiums. AHI Group is happy to go over any of these tips or discuss with you one-on-one to find strategies more befitting of your individual needs!

Here are some quick tips:

  • Keep a clean driving record. We can’t stress this enough, whether you’re an EV driver or the driver of a gas-powered vehicle. Avoid risky driving behaviours, avoid distractions, and follow the rules of the road.
  • Maintain a good credit score. Not all states allow credit scores to influence insurance ratings, but some will offer an opt-in model. If your score is good, opt in for better savings!
  • Work with an agency to compare rates. No driver’s circumstances or profile is the same, so working with an agency like AHI Group can help you shop between multiple insurers to find the best choice for your needs.
  • Opt for an annual payment. If finances allow, paying for your electric vehicle insurance all as one lump sum can result in a savings discount plus you avoid being charged interest/finance arrangement fees in the meantime.

As always, feel free to give us a call if you have any questions!

What is a Continuous Insurance Discount?

Nowadays, it seems like everything’s costing us more. Gas, rent, electricity, groceries – and auto insurance. To combat the rise in insurance rates, a lot of drivers are looking for alternative ways to save. Discounts are the easiest and most reliable means of saving on auto insurance, and virtually all drivers qualify for at least one.

Let’s look at one of the more common auto insurance discounts: a continuous insurance discount. This auto insurance discount rewards drivers for maintaining their insurance over a certain period of time. Most insurers offer this discount, although how much of a discount they offer and for what period of time the driver qualifies for the discount will vary.

What Does “Continuous Insurance” Mean?

Continuous insurance is as the name implies: time spent being continuously insured. Some insurers offer this discount on a graded scale, so drivers who have had 5 years of continuous insurance may be discounted 5%, where drivers with 10+ years of continuous insurance history might have a discount of 10%+ or more. This includes time spent with your current insurer, and oftentimes the time you spent with your previous insurer as well – assuming there’s no lapse in coverage between policies.

Why Do Insurers Reward Continuous Insurance?

Experience is key. The more experienced you are, the likelier you are to practice good driving behaviours and possibly even handle small damages yourself without filing a claim. If you’re newly insured, there’s a higher chance you’re a younger, less experienced driver who is likelier to file a claim versus dealing with the damages yourself. Having a strong, uninterrupted insurance history usually serves as a signal to potential insurance providers that you are a responsible driver who is low-risk and understands how important it is to have insurance.

Having a continuous insurance history goes beyond qualifying you for a discount. A good insurance history can mean more options for coverage from a broader range of insurers. It can also mean better rates, since a cancellation or even a lapse in coverage can hike your rates.

If you need to change insurers at any point in your policy period, whether because that insurer stops serving your area, because you’ve become uninsurable, etc., we advise finding a new policy ASAP to avoid a lapse in coverage. Contact an AHI agent to help you. The last thing you’ll need is to find yourself in a situation where you’re without insurance. Not only is it illegal to drive without auto insurance in many states, but it’s just not a good idea for your wallet or for your peace of mind.

Other Loyalty-Based Auto Insurance Discounts

A continuous insurance auto discount is just one of many auto discounts that exist – and just one of the several loyalty-based discounts that are out there. Here are several other types of loyalty-based discounts for auto insurance that you could be eligible for:

Multi-Policy

Also known as a bundle discount, a multi-policy discount is an opportunity to save when you have two or more policies through the same insurer. For example, if you have a home policy through one insurer, you might consider buying your auto insurance through the same insurer to enjoy a discount. Discounts can be anywhere from 5%-10%. Some insurers also offer discount opportunities for other insurance products, like RV insurance, motorcycle insurance, etc.

Multi-Car

Similar to above, you can save when you have more than one automobile on your policy. You don’t necessarily need to be the registered owner of both vehicles, either. You can add any vehicle to your policy that belongs to someone living with you, usually a spouse, roommate, or family member. The second vehicle must be kept primarily at the same address as the first vehicle.

Why Shouldn’t I Cancel My Auto Insurance?

Cancelling your auto insurance and having a lapse in your auto insurance history will void your continuous insurance discount. Most insurers recommend against cancelling your auto insurance, but in some glaringly obvious cases there isn’t much other choice.

There are many reasons why someone would cancel their auto insurance. Here are some of the most common:

  • Dissatisfaction with price: You may choose to cancel your auto insurance due to dissatisfaction with your price and the urge to shop elsewhere for a more cost-effective option.
  • Sold your vehicle: If you’ve sold your car, you’ll no longer need insurance.
  • Bundling policies: You may have discovered a bundle policy opportunity with another provider that will end up saving you more money. Ask an AHI agent about bundle discounts.

However, if you’re entering into a temporary situation where you may not have access to your car, whether due to an extended trip, a work-from-home arrangement, or because you’re putting away your car over the winter, hold off on cancelling. We advise you keep your insurance going to avoid any cancellation penalties, avoid a lapse in coverage on your record, and to maintain your continuous insurance history discount. You can reduce coverage temporarily, which will cost you less than if you maintained your full policy.

If you’re entering a period where you won’t have access to your vehicle or won’t be driving, ask an agent for their advice on your next steps. Everyone’s situation is different.