Lost car key cover through your insurance

Losing your car keys can be a massive hassle. And with modern car keys involving microchips, programming and coding, it can also be expensive.

It’s no surprise that some insurance providers now include key cover in their car insurance policies or offer it as an optional extra.

Losing your car keys can be a massive hassle. And with modern car keys involving microchips, programming and coding, it can also be expensive.

It’s no surprise that some insurance providers now include key cover in their car insurance policies or offer it as an optional extra.

Daniel Hutson
Motor insurance expert
minute read
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Posted 6 NOVEMBER 2019

What is car key cover?

Car key cover, also known as car key insurance, either comes as part of a car insurance policy or can be added on for an additional cost.

Key cover typically covers the cost of replacing and reprogramming your car keys if they’re lost or stolen. It can also cover the cost of replacing the locks and immobiliser,  which you’ll need to do if you suspect your keys have been stolen.

Replacing lost car keys is an expensive business. Around 16 million drivers regularly misplace their keys, while the overall cost of replacing car keys across the UK is a staggering £180 million.

Average replacement costs range between £200 and £500, so having valid insurance cover could prove very useful.

Did you know?

When it comes to misplacing objects, we Brits are an incredibly forgetful bunch. Along with smartphones, glasses and TV remotes, car keys are one of the most common items to go missing around the home.

Does lost key cover come as standard with car insurance?

It depends on the policy. Some car insurance providers may include key cover as standard with their comprehensive car insurance but not all do. If you have third party, fire and theft or third-party only insurance, it’s unlikely you’ll have key cover included. However, you can usually get it as an optional extra. Just be aware that you might need to pay an agreed excess

Even if key cover is included, check the terms and conditions. Some policies will only cover your car keys if they’re stolen – not if you simply misplace them.  

What does car key insurance cover?

Cover can vary between insurance providers, but most will include:

  • The cost for replacement keys – typically up to £1,500 
  • The cost of reprogramming your alarm and immobiliser 
  • Taxi or public transport costs to help you get to your destination if left stranded – just remember to keep all the receipts
  • Car hire costs – usually up to three days with a maximum limit if you’re unable to use your car because of lost or stolen keys
  • Locksmith’s charges
  • An emergency 24/7 helpline so you can get immediate help if your keys go missing.

What’s not covered by car key insurance?

Check your policy wording carefully, as car key insurance may not cover:

  • Stolen car keys without a crime reference number – you’ll be given one when you report the theft to the police
  • Costs for full replacement of locks if only one part needs to be fixed 
  • Key or lock damage due to wear and tear 
  • Additional keys 
  • Locks that were already damaged before the theft took place 
  • An upgraded version of the original locks or keys.

How much does extra car key insurance cost?

If it’s not already included in your car insurance policy, key cover costs from around £20 a year to add as extra cover.

When you consider that today’s modern car keys could cost between £200 and £500 to replace – not to mention alternative transport costs while you’re waiting for a replacement set – you could find that key cover is worth the extra expense.

What should I do if I do lose my car keys?

Don’t panic. Call your insurance provider who will be able to advise you what to do next.

If you don’t have key cover or decide not to make a claim, you’ll need to contact an auto locksmith. You’ll need proof that the car belongs to you, so make sure you have your driving licence and vehicle registration documents to hand.

Alternatively, if you have breakdown cover you might want to call for assistance.

If your keys have been stolen, report it to the police straight away. You’ll need the crime number they give you to make a claim with your car insurance provider. If a set of keys has been stolen, including your house keys, you’ll also need to contact your home insurance provider.

How can I find out which insurance providers offer lost car key cover?

We’re here to help you compare your options. Use our car insurance comparison to see which policies offer key cover.

When you visit our quotes page, simply click the ‘more details’ button next to each policy to see if key cover is included as standard or whether you need to add it as an extra.

Frequently asked questions

Do I already have key cover?

You might have. Some home insurance policies include key cover and will typically cover both your house and car keys. Also, check your breakdown cover if you have it. Some policies have key replacement cover for keys that are lost, stolen or damaged. Check with your provider if you’re not sure – there’s no point in doubling up on cover if you already have it.

Does lost car key insurance cover broken keys?

It depends on your policy. Check carefully as you may not be covered for broken keys due to wear and tear.

Can I claim for both lost and stolen keys?

Car key insurance should cover the cost of replacing your keys if they’re stolen – losing them could be a bit more difficult to explain. Some policies won’t let you claim if you’ve simply misplaced your keys at home and can’t prove they’ve been stolen.

It’s also unlikely you’ll be covered if the keys were stolen by a family member or someone who lives in your house – such as a lodger.

Check your policy wording carefully for your insurance provider’s definition of lost or stolen and whether you’ll be eligible to claim or not.

How long does it take to get a replacement key?

It depends on the car model, type of key and the outlet, but you might need to wait at least 5-10 days for your replacement key to arrive.

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