How house keys affect your home insurance

We’ve (probably) all done it. The house keys are set down for a moment but are then impossible to find. The kids get blamed, then the cat. You hunt and hunt, but they have completely disappeared. It’s a mystery - potentially a problematic one too. 

But all is not… lost. (Ahem.) 

Find out how home insurance can help if you lose your house keys, get tips for keeping your keys safe and understand the potential insurance pitfalls of losing your keys. 

We’ve (probably) all done it. The house keys are set down for a moment but are then impossible to find. The kids get blamed, then the cat. You hunt and hunt, but they have completely disappeared. It’s a mystery - potentially a problematic one too. 

But all is not… lost. (Ahem.) 

Find out how home insurance can help if you lose your house keys, get tips for keeping your keys safe and understand the potential insurance pitfalls of losing your keys. 

Kate Hughes
Insurance expert
4
minute read
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Posted 26 FEBRUARY 2020 Last Updated 16 MARCH 2022

Are lost house keys covered by insurance? 

Losing your house keys can be stressful and very expensive, but the good news is that home insurance can help. Your policy may include cover for replacement locks and keys, and if it doesn’t, you may be able to add it. 

Home emergency cover, which you can also add to your policy, may include locksmith services if you’re locked out or if your home is not secure. In fact, your insurance provider may be able to contact a locksmith on your behalf.  

If you do lose your keys or they’re stolen, it’s really important to get the locks changed as soon as possible – not just for security, but to make sure your home insurance remains valid. 

If you move into a new home, you should also add changing the locks to your to-do list. There have been instances of previous owners returning to help themselves to the new owners’ valuables. And anyway, how many spare keys did the people you bought from or rented after give out to friends and family?  

If your home is burgled, your insurance provider will usually look for signs of forced or violent entry, like a broken window or a smashed door. So if an intruder gets into your home using a key, and there’s no sign of forced or violent entry, it’s possible that your claim will be rejected. 

Keep your keys somewhere safe 

Leaving a spare set of keys in an obvious place around your property is an open invitation for burglars. And yet, so many of us do it, even though it’s a risk to home security.

Criminals are more than wise to it too. Under a plant pot, the doormat or a brick are often the first places an opportunistic burglar will check - it’s far easier, quicker and quieter to waltz in with the key than it is to smash a window. 

Hiding spare keys in your garden not only increases your chances of being burgled, it could also invalidate your home insurance policy. 

That said, a second set available outside the property can be useful for a range of circumstances including Airbnb guest access or simply being locked out. In which case, a key safe may be the answer. 

Is a key safe secure? 

Key safes, or lock boxes as they’re also known, can offer a reliable key storage solution. Prices range from around £10 to £100+ and include smart key safes, which can be controlled remotely via an app.  

As is often the case though, you get what you pay for. Not all models are as safe as the name suggests. If your insurance provider is happy for you to use one, they’ll need evidence that it meets the necessary security standards.  

Look for one of the following certifications before you buy:  

  • Secured by Design approval – a ‘police preferred’ accreditation. 
  • Loss Prevention Standards (LPS) – look for key safes with the LPS1175 standard. You’ll find a list on RedBookLive, a regularly updated database of approved and accredited products and services. 
  • Sold Secure Approval – which uses three main classifications: bronze, silver and gold. You can search for certified key safes on their site too. 

Don’t forget to also check that the manufacturer is ISO-accredited. 

The best place for a key safe 

Some retailers will fit your key safe for you, although they’re not difficult to install. But always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the approved fittings.  

Of course, the most important consideration is where to put it, and advice from local councils includes: 

  • Keep it well away from the front door. 
  • Install it above or below eye level. 
  • Ensure it can’t be seen by passers-by – for example, hiding it behind a pipe, window box or foliage. 
  • Make sure it’s not easily identifiable as a key safe.  

Check with your home insurance provider too, as they may have specific installation requirements you’ll need to follow to avoid invalidating your policy.  

Like all passcodes and passwords, change your key safe code regularly. Use a secure, difficult to guess code rather than a date of birth or 1,2,3,4 and keep the number of people who need to know it to a minimum. 

Be wary of giving out spare keys 

Always be careful about giving out your house keys. If a friend, neighbour or your child has an extra set, there’s always a possibility those spare keys could fall into the wrong hands.   

Lodgers or Airbnb guests will likely have spare keys, but you must tell your insurance provider if you’re renting out rooms. Otherwise, you could find that your policy is invalid if you need to make a claim. 

Be aware that the person who lost the keys could be important too. If a friend or family member loses the key, for example, and they’re not named on the policy, any claims may be rejected. 

Keep your keys out of sight 

Always remove your keys from inside locks, keep them stored out of sight and away from windows. This is especially important if you have a dog or cat flap, as intruders might be able to reach in and grab your keys.

Going keyless 

Keys themselves may quickly become unnecessary altogether, and installing a smart door lock could be an option if you’re worried about your keys getting lost or stolen.  

Smart door locks work using a code, fingerprint scan or app and many are also compatible with Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant so you can use voice commands too.  

If you’re using your phone to trigger a signal to open the door, you don’t even need to take it out of your pocket or bag to get inside. But this does mean that if your phone is stolen or hacked, your home could be at risk.  

Make sure you tell your insurance provider if you get a smart door lock, in case it affects your policy. 

What about your car keys?

Replacing a lost, broken or stolen car key usually costs around £250, but that could climb to £1,000 depending on the make and model of the car and the type of key it uses. 

This cost may be covered by your car insurance, your home insurance or even your breakdown cover, but always read the small print to make sure.   

Some insurance providers offer lost car key cover as an optional extra on car insurance. This could include your house keys if they’re on the same fob, and they may pay for car hire if you’re stranded while away from home. 

Compare home insurance with key cover 

If you’re looking for home insurance with the added protection of key cover, use our comparison tool to find the right deal for you.  
 
Get a quote today and see if you can save.  

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