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Kia thefts hurting the pocketbooks of Kia owners due to insurance premiums

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Maria Bulger thought she was making a good business decision when she purchased a 2017 Kia Soul Plus.

The vehicle had ample storage space and good gas mileage, perfect for someone with a catering business.

“You drive off the lot with the car, you have no problem. But then later, you’re insurance is going up and up and up,” Bulger told Channel 2′s Michael Doudna.

Last April, Bulger says she was paying $246 monthly to provide full coverage for her Kia Soul and a Toyota. She sold the Toyota late last year, but then her insurance premiums went up.

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Now, the best offer is $465 a month to provide coverage for her Kia.

“I’m a single woman with a business,” Bulger said “This doesn’t work for me.”

Bulger says she has a clean driving record, but thanks to the so-called Kia Challenge, her insurance premiums are now higher than her car payment,”

“This is horrible. This is when bad things happen to good people,” Consumer Advisor Clark Howard said.

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Kia and Hyundai models made up six of the top ten most stolen vehicles in 2023, including taking up the top three spots.

Howard says that has added onto the insurance premiums for owners--at no fault of their own.

“People are doing nothing wrong other than other than owning a car that the marketplace has decided this is going to be fun to steal,” Howard said. “And then the consequence is insurance costs go crazy, and the consumer loses.”

Bulger’s car is a Kia Soul Plus. The “plus” comes with added security features that remove the security defect that makes Kia’s susceptible to theft. However, she says insurance agents told her it does not matter.

“They don’t know the difference between your Kia and another Kia. It’s just a Kia,” Bulger said.

Bulger told Channel 2 Action News that when faced with either paying unaffordable premiums or letting her coverage lapse, she picked the latter. The Kia now sits in a driveway as she drives her son’s car. However, she hopes something will be done to fix the problem.

“It’s like an endless circle. It’s like no one wants to take responsibility for anything. Not the folks who sold me the car, not the insurance companies, and certainly not Kia,” Bulger said.

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