ROCHESTER N.Y. (WROC) — Since last summer, more and more vehicles stolen in the Rochester area. Many of them are the result of a social media trend targeting Kias and Hyundais.
Due to the crime frequency, insurance companies are monitoring thefts on those vehicles and making daily changes to the policies and eligibility. Some go as far as refusing to cover those vehicles.
According to Senior AAA insurance Specialist David Kirst, that has not yet been the case yet in New York but it’s likely potential rates will change.
“Because they are just so easy to steal the insurance companies have been adjusting rates at least on the new policies. I don’t know if it’s going to be coming down the road for people who already have had those vehicles but I know it’s going to be more difficult and higher to insure going forward for at least the new stuff if not retroactively to existing policies,” says Kirst.
Coverage is one thing, getting your car back is another.
Oftentimes the vehicles that are stolen are also being used as getaway vehicles for other crimes, which only adds to the recovery time a headache for the sole owner.
According to SGT Keith Woodward with the Brighton Police Department, the amount of time it would take for you to get your car back depends on the level of the crime.
“The smallest amount of time, you could have the vehicle back immediately you know as soon as it’s recovered. If it’s determined there’s no reason for us to keep the vehicle. I’ve seen vehicles stay here in perpetuity. There’s some in our impound lot that haven’t gone anywhere,” says Woodward.
AAA says in situations like these, you’ll need comprehensive coverage beyond collision and everything should be covered minus your deductible, which will cover any damage done to the car or if the car is never found. The insurance company will replace the car or at least give you the value of it on the date it was stolen.
The Rochester Police Department said they’ve dealt with over 200 car thefts in the month of January alone. Local law enforcement is also working to get more steering wheel locks to hand out to people. We’ll keep you updated with more as information develops.