One of the worst things that can happen in your day is losing your car keys. Whether you’re at home and need to get to work or to go somewhere or, even worse, if you’re out and about, get back to your car and can’t get back in it, leaving you stranded and unsure what to do next.
The chances are this is going to happen to you at some point in your life, but with a little preparation, it doesn’t have to be as stressful as it may first seem. By investing in lost car key insurance cover, and with a little knowledge we’re going to share with you below, the panic and worry from losing your car keys will be a thing of the past.
Table of Contents
What is lost car key cover?
As the title of the policy suggests, if something is to happen to your car keys, your lost car key cover will protect you and compensate your lost car key replacement costs, so you’re not left out of pocket.
Some of the things you may be covered for, depending on what your policy provider is offering, can include;
- Replacing your lost keys
- Paying a locksmith to get back into your vehicle
- Covering the cost of stolen keys
- Providing you with a courtesy car until you get new keys
- Covering the cost of remapping your keys
Compare lost car key cover policies
If you’re wondering how much is a new car key, or what car key cover is going to cost you, you’ll be happy to know that most car insurance policies include car key cover as standard. To find the best policy that include is for you, check out this comparison table below;
|Provider||The average price for a comprehensive policy (annually)||Features of the Policy||Opinion on the policy|
Prices are based on a standard Vauxhall Corsa for a 30-year-old male living in London. Prices are to be used as a guideline only and will always be subject to change depending on your personal information, the car you’re driving, and the trends of the insurance industries.
Is lost car key cover essential?
While lost car key cover is not an essential add-on to your car insurance policy, and there’s always a chance you’re never going to use it if you look after your keys well, it’s one of those situations where you’ll be glad you have the cover if you ever need it.
For example, most modern cars nowadays come with fancy keys that can do all kinds of things, such as control windows, central locking, keyless entry, and more. This means that keys are becoming more and more expensive, which the average car key replacement price sitting around the £250 per key mark.
Now, if you don’t have lost car key cover, this is how much you’re going to need to pay out fo your own pocket to get a new car key. What’s more, to get into your car in the first place, you’re going to need to pay a locksmith to open the locks, which can cost you another few hundred pounds in the process.
This can be very expensive, especially if you’re already on a tight budget. This is why lost car key cover is such a highly recommended type of cover to add to your policy. Keys can be lost so easily, even if you’re just putting them down for a few seconds while thinking about something else.
What is covered with lost car key cover?
Depending on what your preferred insurance provider is offering, you will get different benefits with your lost car key cover policy, so let’s find out what the basics are.
|Replace your keys||If you lost your keys and you need to pay for a new one, whether this is a standalone claim or linked with any of the points below, you know the lost car key cost is covered, even if you’re quoted £1,500 or more!|
|Recode your locks||If your keys have stopped working, especially those keys with remote locking, you’ll to have your keys recoded by a professional which can cost a lot of money. However, all car key replacement costs will be covered and compensated by your provider with lost car key cover.|
|Cover locksmith charges||If you need to use a locksmith to gain entry to your vehicle when you’re without a key, all the costs and charges will be covered by your insurance provider, which can cost hundreds of pounds.|
|Provide a courtesy car while waiting||If you need to get somewhere and you don’t have access to your vehicle, or you need to wait until you get a replacement, some providers will grant you access to a courtesy car in the meantime.|
|Emergency helpline access||When you’re stuck and the sudden realisation creeps in that you’ve lost your keys, you can gain complete peace of mind with lost car key cover since you know you’ll always have access to your insurance provider’s emergency claims line who can help get the problem resolved quickly.|
|Alternative transport costs covered||If you need to take alternative modes of transport to wherever you’re going, such as a bus, train, or taxi, and this is as a result of losing your car keys, as long as you keep the receipts, you should be able to get your money back from your insurance provider.|
What is not covered with lost car key cover?
While there is a lot covered by a typical lost car key cover policy, you’ll need to be aware that not everything is covered, and you may need to take a different approach.
For example, if you lock your keys inside your car and need to get access to them, you may not claim on your lost key cover, but instead will simply call your breakdown service provider who will be able to get in and get your keys back.
What’s more, if you report that your keys have been stolen, you will need to provide proof that you’ve contacted the police and filed a report. Otherwise, your claim may be void and you can be reported for fraud.
What do I do when I’ve lost my car keys?
If you’ve found yourself in a position where you’ve lost your car keys and you don’t know what to do, you’ve come to the right place. Firstly, don’t stress; you can get the problem sorted out quickly and easily by following the steps below.
When your keys are stolen
If, for example, your car keys were in your bag and your bag was obviously stolen, the first thing you need to do is call the police and give a statement to what happened and what the situation was. This is essential to start the claims process and to prevent claims of fraud happening against you.
When you’ve lost your keys
Let’s say you get back to your car and look everywhere and you’ve realised you’ve lost your keys and have no idea where they are. Of course, you’ll want to think about to where you may have left them, and have a look around the local area to see if you can find them. Perhaps if you went into a shop, someone may have found them and handed them in and it’s always worth checking.
However, if you can’t find them, follow the points below.
Contact your insurance company
Whichever provider you have lost car key cover with, contact them on their claims line and explain everything that’s happened. They will then guide you through the process of how best to proceed, depending on the situation.
They may sort out a locksmith to come and visit your vehicle to stop your lost keys from working on your car, and will gain you access to the vehicle, should you need to retrieve anything inside it.
They will then guide you through the process of getting a replacement key sorted, depending on how they deal with these situations. They may request the manufacturer to send you a new key, or if you have a spare key at home, they may pay for you to get another copy cut from the spare.
However, this can be time-consuming and may take up to 10-days to receive a new key. With this in mind, your car key insurance cover provider may offer to cover the costs of getting a courtesy car, so you can still get about or may cover public transport costs to help you get to where you need to be.
Contact your breakdown provider
If you have locked your keys inside your car and haven’t actually lost them, or you know you’ve got a spare key inside the car you could use, you may not need to claim on your lost car lost key insurance policy, but instead your breakdown service provider.
In most cases, they will have all the expertise, knowledge, and tools needed to get inside the car and get your keys back.
If you have a spare key
Even after everything has been sorted out and say you’re now using your spare key, you can take this key to a high street store or outlet who will then be able to cut you another key. The cost of this can be claimed back on your lost car key cover, so you’re not out of pocket.
If you’re in a lost car key no spare situation, follow the steps above to order a new key.
How to get a replacement car key without the original?
If you don’t have the original car key to get a replacement cut, you’re going to need to order a new one from your manufacturer, or from a franchised car dealer in your local area.
However, as we’ve mentioned above, modern-day car keys can be expensive due to all the features that come with them and can take up to 10-days to arrive.
How much does lost car keys cover cost?
The cost of replacing a lost car key yourself can vary depending on the make and model of your car, but you can expect to pay around £200 upwards.
Typically, a really basic key with no features like remote locking or door window control can be as little as £25, but cars with this lack of features are nearly non-existent. Instead, you’ll be paying the larger fee.
How much does a replacement key cost?
To give you an idea on how much a replacement key is going to cost, check out the table below;
|Car model||The average price for a replacement key|
How long does this take to replace car keys?
Of course, how long it takes to get a replacement car key will depend on the manufacturer and how quickly they can create and code you a new key, but the typical wait is between five and ten days.
If you have a spare key and you’re getting it cut a professional, such as one in a store on the high street, this can work out cheaper, and may only take several hours. However, you’ll need to remember to take your V5C documentation as proof of ownership of the vehicle. Otherwise, they may refuse to cut the keys.
Where can I get car keys replacement?
Just to recap where you can get your cheap car key replacements from quickly and easily;
- A specialist auto/vehicle locksmith
- Your car insurance provider
- A franchised or chained car dealership
- Your local car garage
- Your vehicle breakdown service provider
- A high street car key cut service
Tips to keeping your car keys safe
While having lost car key cover is a great idea that can help you get through an emergency situation, it is, of course, much better if you can avoid a lost car key situation entirely. Here are some easy tips to help you protect your keys in the first place.
- Keep them hidden - Always make sure you keep your belongings hidden and out of view. If a thief cannot see your car keys, they’re not about to go hunting around for them. This point should be remembered both while you’re out and about and keeping your keys at home, such as leaving them on the kitchen table.
- Never leave them in glove box - If you leave your spare keys in your glove box, if someone was to break into your car with brute force, they can easily turn your alarm off and steal your car simply by searching around. Always keep your spares at home and safe, so you can access them if you need them.
- Don’t keep all keys on the same fob - Never keep your keys on the same fob, especially your main car key and your spare key. If you lose the fob, you’ve obviously lost both keys at the same time, and this can be easily avoided if you keep your keys separated.
- Always get a spare when you can - When buying a new car, whether privately or from a dealership, always make sure you’re asking them to give you a spare key if they have it. While not all cars have a spare, you need to make sure you have one if possible.
- Routinely check your belongings - Get into the habit of checking your belongings to ensure you’ve always got them. Whether you’re just patting your pockets when you leave somewhere, or always keeping your belongings in the same places, this can be a great way to keep track of everything, and if you do lose something, you can easily retrace your steps.