Lost car key insurance

Will your car insurance cover lost car keys?

Losing your car key is not only stressful and frustrating, it can also be quite expensive. Modern electronic key fobs are a whole lot more costly to replace than traditional keys, so a simple bout of forgetfulness could leave you significantly out of pocket.

So, will your car insurance help cover the cost if you lose your car key? Let’s find out.

Want peace of mind? Compare car insurance policies

Name Product Name Agreed or Market Value New Car Replacement Pay Monthly At No Extra Cost Choice Of Repairer Roadside Assistance Hire Car After Theft
Market
Optional - If your car is written off in the first 3 years
No
No
No
Optional - Up to $50 a day until your claim is settled
Save 24% on your policy if you've been claim free for 3 years.
Agreed
Yes - If your car is written off in the first 2 years or is under 40,000 km
No
Yes
Optional
Yes - Up to $1,000 (Max 14 days)
Buy online and save 15%.
Agreed
Yes - If your car is written off or stolen in the first 2 years
No
Yes
Yes
Yes - Reasonable costs (Max 14 days)
Emergency roadside assistance included in Comprehensive policies.
Agreed
Yes - If your car is written off in the first 2 years
Yes
No
Optional
Yes - Up to $70 per day (Max 14 days)
Save up to 10% when you buy online.
Agreed
Yes - If your car is written off in the first 2 years or is under 40,000 km
No
Yes
Optional
Yes - Up to $1,000 (Max 14 days)
Save 15% when purchasing online. Eligible customers can earn 5,000 Velocity Frequent Flyer Points when purchasing a new policy by 31 Dec 2018. Excludes NT. T&CS apply.
Agreed
Yes - If your car is written off in the first 2 years
Yes
No
No
Yes - Up to $70 per day (Max 14 days)
Transforms your driving so it's 100% carbon neutral.
Agreed
Yes - If your car is written off in the first 2 years
Yes
Yes
No
Yes - Up to $100 per day (Max 30 days)
Buy online and save up to 10% on your policy.
Agreed
Yes - If your car is written off in the first year or is under 20,000 km
No
No
Optional
Optional - Up to $60 per day (Max 14 days)
Save up to 20% on car insurance when you purchase cover online.

Compare up to 4 providers

father-and-daughter (1)

Are lost car keys covered by insurance?

Sometimes. Not all comprehensive car insurance policies will cover lost car keys; some will include it as standard, some will offer it as an optional extra and others won’t cover it at all. With this in mind, check the PDS to find out whether your insurer provides any cover.

If your policy does cover lost keys, you’ll be covered (up to a specified limit) for the cost of replacing the keys or recoding the locks on your vehicle. Some insurers will also provide protection for lost car keys as part of their roadside assistance package, for example by delivering a spare key or sending out an automotive locksmith.

Does it matter if my keys are lost or stolen?

While lost car keys aren’t necessarily covered by car insurance, most policies will provide some cover if your keys are stolen. Comprehensive insurance and third party fire and theft policies generally include cover for stolen keys, providing a benefit to help cover the cost of replacing or recoding the keys and locking mechanisms of your vehicle.

However, you won’t be covered if the keys are stolen by a family member or someone who lives with you, while you’ll still need to report the theft to the police.

While stolen car keys are commonly covered, cover for lost car keys is much harder to find. So if you simply misplace your keys and can’t prove that they were stolen, many policies will refuse to provide any cover.

What's covered by replacement key insurance?

Car insurance policies that cover lost or stolen keys will usually provide cover for the cost of:

  • Replacing the keys
  • Recoding the car’s locks
  • Locksmith charges

It’s important to remember that cover limits apply to lost or stolen car key benefits. For example, many insurers will pay a maximum benefit of $1,000, which may be enough to cover the cost of one replacement key but may not provide enough protection if you’ve lost both your electronic keys.

If you add optional roadside assistance to your policy, you’ll also be covered for spare key delivery or locksmith attendance when required.

How much does it cost to get a replacement car key?

A whole lot more than it used to. Replacing old-school car keys was relatively cheap and easy – it was a simple matter of getting new keys cut to match the lockets for your doors and ignition.

However, because modern electronic keyless entry remotes are coded to match your car’s computer and anti-theft immobiliser, they’re much more difficult (and therefore expensive) to replace. How much money are we talking about?

In 2014, a CHOICE study found that the cost of a single replacement key for 11 popular car models across car dealerships in NSW and SA ranged from $267 to $740. However, this figure skyrockets if you lose not one but both master keys to your car, as this means the vehicle’s computer has to be reset or even replaced so that it matches the new keys. As a result, the cost of losing both keys could be as much as $5,000.

However, it’s worth noting that you may be able to find a cheaper way to cut and recode keys by shopping around to find a dedicated automotive locksmith.

What to do if you lose your keys

Most new cars come with two electronic master keys that are programmed specifically for your vehicle. With this in mind, if you lose one of your keys, the safest (and most cost-effective) thing to do is to get it replaced as soon as possible.

This is because replacing one key is a relatively simple and inexpensive process. Car dealers or auto locksmiths can clone your spare key to create a new one, with no need to change anything inside your car.

However, if you lose both master keys, the computer in your car that controls the locking system and immobiliser will either have to be reset or replaced. This is significantly more expensive and time-consuming, so it pays to make sure that you always have a spare.

Another important piece of advice to remember is to get quotes for replacement key costs. While you could get it done by your local dealer, it might be worth shopping around at a few auto locksmiths to see if they can offer a better deal.

What do you do when someone steals your car keys?

If someone has stolen your car key, the first thing you should do is phone the police. Not only does this maximise the chances of getting the key back and prevent your car from being stolen, but it’ll also come in handy when you make a claim with your car insurer.

Before paying any claim for stolen car keys, your insurer will request proof of the theft in the form of a police report. So when you notify police that your key or keys have been stolen, make sure to request a copy of the report.

You should then notify your insurer as soon as possible to get the claims process started.
Picture: Shutterstock


Get the latest car insurance news

Tim Falk

A freelance writer with a passion for the written word, Tim loves helping Australians find the right home loans and savings accounts. When he's not chained to a computer, Tim can usually be found exploring the great outdoors.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    LesApril 28, 2018

    I lost one car key and just wondering what if my car will be taken with that key in the future? Will my comprehesive car insurance cover that?

    • Staff
      JhezelynApril 28, 2018Staff

      Hello Les,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Yes, comprehensive policy can generally cover you for theft, vandalism, storms, floods, hail damage, fire, key replacement, emergency accommodation and accidental damage to your car.

      Moreover, it’ll be best to check with your insurer to verify any details.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

Ask a question
Go to site