Does car insurance cover key replacement?

Lost or stolen car keys may be covered under your insurance policy or by a roadside assistance plan called key car insurance, but not always.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 18, 2022

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Things to Remember...

  • Car keys can cost anywhere from $20 to $500 to replace
  • The type of car insurance you have will dictate whether car key replacement is covered under your policy
  • Certain roadside assistance plans may cover car key replacement

If you’ve ever lost your car keys, you know how stressful it can be to get a new set. Unfortunately, the stress of replacing lost or stolen car keys can multiply if you have to get a new key fob, which can cost hundreds of dollars.

Depending on the type of car insurance coverage you have, your car insurance company may cover the cost of replacing lost or stolen car keys. Additionally, if you have a roadside assistance plan through your insurance company or with another group, your plan may include key replacement up to a certain amount.

Does car insurance cover key replacement?

In most cases, your car insurance coverage will not pay for you to replace your lost car keys. The same is often true if someone steals your keys, but some car insurance companies will cover the cost of replacing your key if you have comprehensive car insurance.

Comprehensive car insurance covers the cost of repairs to your vehicle if it is damaged by something other than a collision. For example, a comprehensive policy will cover the cost of repairs if your car is damaged by inclement weather, if someone vandalizes your vehicle, or if your vehicle is stolen. 

Because comprehensive insurance covers your car if someone steals it, the same goes for your car keys. But some insurance companies will only cover the cost of your stolen keys if your keys and your car were stolen at the same time. Otherwise, you will still have to pay to replace your keys or key fob with your own money.

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Insurance Deductibles and Stolen Keys

If someone steals your car keys and you have a comprehensive policy that will cover the cost of replacing your keys or key fob, you will still likely need to pay to have your keys replaced with your own money. Here is a look at the average costs associated with key replacement.

Key TypeCost Range
Standard Keys and Fobs$50 - $100
Transponder Keys$200 - $235
Laser-Cut Keys$150 - $200
Switchblade Keys$200 - $300
Keyless Entry Remote or "Smart Key"$220 - $600
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The average amount of an insurance deductible is $500. But most car keys and key fobs cost less than $500 to replace. So unless you have a much lower deductible, it may not be worth filing a claim, and you’ll still need to pay the replacement cost for your car keys.

Can I buy replacement key car insurance?

Some insurance companies might offer add-ons under a comprehensive policy that you can purchase, which would cover the cost of replacing your car keys if someone steals them. 

However, keep in mind that this type of coverage would likely not help you if you lost your car keys. 

Will my insurance go up if I have my keys replaced?

If you pay to replace your car keys without filing a claim with your insurance, you will not have to worry about your insurance rates going up. Your insurance company will not know or care that you lost your keys and had to replace them. 

However, if you plan to file a claim with your insurance company, you may find that your car insurance rates increase. 

In many instances, car insurance companies increase clients’ monthly rates after filing a claim. Subsequently, your rates might increase because your insurance company now sees you as a higher risk when it comes to paying for damages or repairs.

It can be annoying to pay hundreds of dollars to replace one key fob for your car, but you should consider whether filing a claim is worth the potential of higher car insurance rates when you would probably still have to pay out of pocket to replace your keys.

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Will insurance cover lost car keys?

Regardless of the types and amounts of coverage you have, most insurance policies will not cover the replacement costs associated with a lost car key. 

If you lose your car key, it will be your responsibility to pay to have it replaced. The exception to this rule could be if you have a roadside assistance plan that covers lost keys or pays for a percentage of the cost of replacing lost car keys.

Roadside Assistance and Car Key Replacement

Certain roadside assistance plans will cover a portion of the cost of replacing a lost or stolen car key. 

If you realize you have lost your car keys, especially if you are in a public place, it’s a good idea to call the company associated with your roadside assistance plan. The company can send a representative to help you as soon as possible.

Even if your roadside assistance plan does not cover car key replacement, it may include lock-out services which could help you get into your car to look around and make sure you didn’t lock your keys inside. 

What should I do if my car keys are lost?

If you lost your car keys, you should get your keys replaced as soon as possible. If your roadside assistance plan covers the replacement cost associated with lost keys, you will want to call and speak to a representative who can help you understand how to have your keys replaced.

Otherwise, you will need to find a locksmith or have your car towed to the nearest dealership to have your car keys replaced. If the fee of purchasing a replacement set of keys is relatively inexpensive, consider purchasing more than one set so you have a backup if your keys are ever lost again. 

It’s a good idea to get quotes on the cost of replacing your car key if you have the time to do so. Some companies or locksmiths may charge a good bit more than others. Taking the time to compare replacement key costs could save you a lot of money.

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What should I do if someone stole my keys? 

If someone has stolen your car keys, the first thing you should do is call the police. 

You will want to report the theft to local law enforcement so that you can get your keys back and prevent your vehicle from being stolen. Notifying the police will also help your case if you have to file a claim with your insurance company. 

Once you’ve notified the police, you may want to consider purchasing a new set of keys, especially if you don’t have a spare set. If you decide to file a claim for your keys later, your insurance company can reimburse you for the money you spent. So save your receipts. 

The Bottom Line with Insurance and Car Key Replacement

Your auto insurance will not cover lost or stolen car keys in most cases. However, car key replacement may be covered under your plan if you have a comprehensive car insurance policy. This is especially true if you purchased an add-on for replacement key car insurance.

When you lose your keys, you are almost always responsible for replacing them yourself. 

Your roadside assistance plan may cover a portion of the cost, depending on the circumstances. In addition, your roadside assistance plan could also help you get into your car if you’ve locked yourself out and then lost your keys or if you locked your keys in your vehicle.

When you pay to replace your car keys, try to get prices from a few companies before deciding which one to use. Calling around and comparing prices could save you a good bit of money. And if at all possible, purchase multiple sets of car keys to keep them in a safe place to avoid any future stress over lost or stolen keys.

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