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Lost car key insurance

Will your car insurance cover lost car keys?

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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.

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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.

Who offers car key replacement?

CompanyLost keysStolen Keys
AI
  • No
  • Yes
Budget Direct
  • Not Stated
  • Yes
Huddle
  • No
  • Yes
Hume Bank
  • No
  • Yes
Real
  • No
  • Yes
Virgin Money
  • No
  • Yes
Youi
  • No
  • Yes

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, and 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.

Want peace of mind? Compare car insurance policies

Name Product Roadside Assistance Accidental Damage Storm Choice of Repairer Agreed or Market Value
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Awarded the 2019 Finder Award for the Best Value Car Insurance, this policy offers solid coverage at a low cost. Budget Direct’s claims service has received a 4.2/5 based on nearly 5,000 customer reviews.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary: Bingle consistently come up as one of the cheaper insurers out there. They only cover the basics, so you don't get to choose your own repairer, you're not covered for personal items in the car and you won't get a hire car if your car is stolen. But this keeps their premiums low.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a low cost option that covers them for the basics.
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Youi Comprehensive Car Insurance is one of the few providers to include roadside assistance in their policy. You'll also get access to YouiRewards which gives you discounts on furniture, parking and more. Youi also have a live chat feature on their site to talk through any questions.

Who it might be good for: People over 25 who want comprehensive cover with a focus on customer service.
Woolworths Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Woolworths catch our eye due to some unique perks like a price beat guarantee, where they'll beat any current comparable Comprehensive renewal notice if you're over 25. You'll also get 10% off your grocery shop once a month, and can add roadside assistance onto your policy for just $7.35 per month.

Who it might be good for: Woolworths shoppers and those that want to take advantage of their Price Beat.
Virgin Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Finalists for the 2019 Finder Awards for Best Value Car Insurance, Virgin Comprehensive provides a good level of cover for a decent price. You'll get 15% off on your first year’s premium when you buy online and get access to their hail hero service. Plus, get a $100 e-Gift card when you purchase a new policy by 30 November 2020 (T&Cs apply).

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy that's affordable.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You'll be able to pick and choose how comprehensive you want your cover to be thanks to optional extras like roadside assistance, choice of your own repairer, and the option of agreed or market value. Plus, you'll earn Qantas Points when you join and get access to the Qantas Wellness App.

Who it might be good for: People who love collecting frequent flyer points.
Poncho Comprehensive
Agreed
Finder's summary: Poncho works like a monthly subscription - you pay monthly and can cancel and leave at anytime. You can also list multiple cars and drivers under one policy, making it ideal for families and groups living together under one household.

Who it might be good for: People who want their car insurance month-to-month.
Coles Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Coles have two-tiers of comprehensive car insurance to choose from. You'll earn double flybuys points at Coles supermarkets and you can get $10 off your Coles grocery bill every time you redeem 2,000 Flybuys points. If you're over 30, you can get roadside assistance free for a year.

Who it might be good for: Coles customers and Flybuys collectors.
Stella Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Stella’s a female-focused insurer. They'll cover you if your car is damaged as a result of domestic violence. They offer higher cover for baby gear than most, with up to $2,000 cover for prams, strollers and child seats. You get a free Bauer magazine subscription when you sign up and a portion of your premiums go to supporting female-led businesses.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a female-centred car insurance policy (they'll cover men too!).
Kogan Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Kogan comes with all the perks that most comprehensive car insurance policies include but you'll also be entitled to some benefits on their online store. This usually comes in the form of a gift voucher or discount if you buy online. Plus, Kogan offer a pay as you drive option, which could be good if you're not on the road that much.

Who it might be good for: Kogan shoppers and those that don't drive much.
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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?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezApril 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

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