Michigan Insurers Must Offer Coverage for All Eligible Vehicles Despite TikTok-Related Thefts

Despite the rising theft trends of certain makes and models, insurance companies in Michigan are reminded that they must offer insurance to all eligible Michiganders, regardless of the vehicle make or model. The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) issued a bulletin on to remind insurers of this stipulation in the Michigan Insurance Code. The code allows only a few exceptions for insurers to deny, refuse or limit coverage of certain types of vehicles, and when an insurer fails to follow the law, DIFS is permitted to take regulatory action against the company.

According to DIFS Director Anita Fox, in other states, some insurers have attempted to deny or limit auto coverage for certain types of vehicles, including certain Kia and Hyundai models. She said, “Our new bulletin clearly states that such actions are not allowed in Michigan. DIFS will continue to ensure that every eligible Michigan driver can get the auto insurance they need to legally drive on Michigan roads.”

If consumers believe they have been denied auto insurance or had their options limited because of their vehicle’s make or model, they should contact the DIFS’ Office of Consumer Services

Auto theft is a growing concern across the country, and certain makes and models are particularly vulnerable. In response to this issue, Hyundai and Kia have developed free theft deterrent software for millions of their vehicles that lack an immobilizer. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently urged owners of these vehicles to contact the respective companies for information on the free update.

The software updates the theft alarm software logic to extend the length of the alarm sound from 30 seconds to one minute and requires the key to be in the ignition switch to turn the vehicle on. In addition, Hyundai will provide its customers with a window sticker alerting would-be thieves that the vehicle is equipped with anti-theft protection. The company will send the stickers and roll out software updates in a phased approach beginning later this month, with subsequent phases over the next several months. Kia is also rolling out its free software updates in a phased approach, with the company updating vehicles later this month and ensuing phases throughout the next several months.

In addition to software updates, Hyundai and Kia have been working with law enforcement agencies to provide more than 26,000 steering wheel locks since November 2022 to 77 law enforcement agencies in 12 states. NHTSA encourages interested vehicle owners to contact local law enforcement to see if a wheel lock is available.

Auto theft is a serious issue that can result in significant financial and emotional distress for victims. The actions taken by Hyundai and Kia, as well as the reminder from the Michigan DIFS, emphasize the importance of taking proactive steps to protect against theft. Owners of certain Kia and Hyundai models should contact the respective companies for information on the free software update, and Michigan drivers should be aware of their right to obtain auto insurance regardless of their vehicle’s make or model.

This entry was posted in News. It was first published in March 2023 and updated on January 14th, 2024 (4 months ago).