Car insurance lost keys

Car insurance can cover lost or stolen car keys – it's standard in some comprehensive policies.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

Car insurance can cover lost or stolen keys – you'll find it included with some comprehensive car insurance policies. It might not cover you if you just misplace your keys though.

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.

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 2021 Finder Award for Car Insurance - Value in QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA and Car Insurance - Features in NSW, VIC, WA, 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.

⭐ Current offer: Get 15% discount on first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Youi Comprehensive Car Insurance is one of the few providers to include roadside assistance in its policy. You'll also get access to YouiRewards which gives you discounts on furniture, parking and more. Youi also has a live chat feature on its 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.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You'll be able to choose how comprehensive you want your cover to be with optional extras like choice of repairer and the option of agreed or market value.

⭐ Current offer: Earn Qantas Points for joining and paying your premium. Sign up today and earn up to 20,000 Qantas Points (points awarded will be based on your premium). T&Cs and eligibility apply.

Who it might be good for: People who'd like to earn Qantas Points.
Coles Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: With Coles comprehensive car insurance, you could 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 your car is damaged, you could benefit from a one-week turnaround on repairs.

⭐ Current offer: Get 10% off your first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Coles customers and Flybuys collectors.
QBE Comprehensive
Green Company
QBE Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: QBE is a sustainable insurance company and also Finder's Green Insurer of the Year 2021 award winner. This policy offers the highest level of protection available from QBE including three-year new car replacement.

⭐ Current offer: Save $75 when you purchase a new comprehensive policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those that are looking for a more environmentally friendly insurance choice.
Huddle Black Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Huddle's black comprehensive is its cover with highest limits and exclusive benefits. It includes roadside assistance. You can also get up to $2,000 for emergency travel and accommodation and up to $30 million legal liability cover.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a 24/7 claims processing.
ahm Comprehensive
Optional
Both
Finder’s summary: ahm comprehensive car insurance lets you choose higher excess to reduce your premiums. Its Fixed Kilometre Plan can save you up to 30% compared to its standard comprehensive cover.

⭐ Current offer: Sign up for ahm car insurance and you'll enjoy a $50 Visa e-gift card*. Offer ends 30 Jan.

Who it might be good for: People who drive less than 15,000 km per year.
Australia Post Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Australia Post car insurance offers comprehensive cover for things like theft, fire, new for old replacement and emergency accommodation and transport. Cover also extends to anyone who uses your car, not just you.

⭐ Current offer: Get $75 off your first year’s premium when you buy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: If multiple people use the one car and you don’t want to worry about listing all drivers.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Picture: Shutterstock


Get the latest car insurance news

Surge pricing: Aussie parents providing $20bn worth of free rides
Compare Car Insurance

Surge pricing: Aussie parents providing $20bn worth of free rides

According to Finder’s Parenting Report 2021, parents are spending millions of hours a year driving around their kids.

Read more…
As lockdowns ease, car insurance costs will rise. But why?

As lockdowns ease, car insurance costs will rise. But why?

Read about the 3 key reasons that lockdown easing could drive up the cost of car insurance.

Read more…
Car warranty insurance: What you didn’t know, and what you should know in 2021

Car warranty insurance: What you didn’t know, and what you should know in 2021

[SPONSORED] Car warranties sometimes come with a bit of a bad reputation, but data shows they can actually save you a lot of money. Read more…

More guides on Finder

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 of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.

2 Responses

    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

Go to site