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Milwaukee Hyundai owner says car thefts are to blame for $3,800 annual insurance rate increase

Police data shows nearly 6,800 cars were stolen by this time last year. MPD data shows that 68 percent of those cars were Kias or Hyundais.
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Posted at 5:17 PM, Sep 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-07 19:28:08-04

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee has made an unfortunate top ten list. The National Insurance Crime Bureau says the city is ranked eighth in the country for the most car thefts per capita.

Auto insurance experts say the risk of car theft is one of many factors that are considered when providers set rates for customers. Some Milwaukee-area Hyundai owners tell TMJ4 News that they’re seeing major increases, especially those who have filed claims for theft damage repairs.

Jymuir Geter says he just bought a used Hyundai SUV despite knowing the make and model is a top target for thieves in the Milwaukee area.

"It was quick, it was nice, good bang for your buck type of thing,” he said.

What he didn’t know is that trend is going to cost him more for insurance. Geter says his insurance agency told him Wednesday that his car will cost 10 percent more than average to insure simply because of the high risk of theft.

“It comes with the territory, like, I kind of knew what I was getting myself into when I bought the car, but I just wasn't expecting 10 percent,” he said.

Austin, from Waukesha, says his 2020 Hyundai Elantra was stolen twice last year in Milwaukee. He says it was totaled the second time.

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"My two claims brought the insurance all the way up,” he said.

Austin says due to the prior thefts, his auto insurance is now costing him an additional $3,800 a year for coverage on a vehicle that’s a year older.

"I was actually really upset,” he said. “I literally lost all my savings because of 14-year-old kids that want to steal a car from what they see on TikTok."

The National Insurance Crime Bureau says Milwaukee saw the largest auto theft spike in the country from 2020 to 2021.

Police data shows nearly 6,800 cars were stolen by this time last year. MPD data shows that 68 percent of those cars were Kias or Hyundais.

This year, auto thefts are down 18 percent in Milwaukee, but one trend remains the same. A majority of the vehicle stolen in the city are Kias and Hyundais.

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"We know this is an issue in Milwaukee,” said Andy Franken.

Franken is the president of the Wisconsin Insurance Alliance. The trade association represents and advocates for hundreds of property and casualty insurers across the state.

"Because there are many factors in developing a cost of insurance, theft is one of those factors,” he said.

Franken says each insurance provider writes their auto rates differently. That’s why he says if your insurance is going up due to car thefts, it may be best to shop around for a better price when it’s time to renew your insurance.

It is important to note that liability and collision insurance do not cover car thefts. Only comprehensive coverage would help you with damages.

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