Missing key? We deal directly with insurers
If you lose your car key or it gets stolen, we’re here to create and program a replacement for you – quickly and economically. Not only that, we also deal directly with your insurers, saving you the hassle of having to deal with them yourself.
Lost key facts
A company selling Bluetooth devices to help you find lost items tells us that on average people mislay around nine items every day and spend a quarter of an hour searching for them all … and the most commonly lost items?
The RAC tells us that one in twenty drivers spend an average of fourteen hours a year looking for their car keys before they decide they’ll never ever see them again, while sixteen million drivers temporarily mislay their keys.
The cost of car key replacement, according to the RAC, is £180 million.
How they came to these conclusions we can’t say, but what we can say is that an awful lot of car keys go missing, and whether they ever get found again or not, it’s a real inconvenience for their owners.
The police won’t help
These days, after the National Police Chief’s Council decision that such matters are just a waste of police time, popping into your local police station either to report a lost car key or hand in one that you’ve found is no longer a viable option.
If you try it though, you’ll most likely be advised to announce the loss of your key on social media, or post a photo of the one you’ve found on an online notice board.
But if your car key does go missing, there may well be the chance that your car insurance covers you for such an eventuality – but there’s no guarantee.
So many key insurance variations
In fact, the matter of car key insurance is somewhat of a minefield: you won’t find it included in 3rd party fire and theft policies, and Go compare did some research into nearly three hundred fully comprehensive insurance policies to come up with the following key insurance facts:
- 87% of those policies covered key theft (as opposed to key loss) as standard
- 56% provide over £500 when keys are lost (remembering that it’s a time-consuming and expensive process to replace them these days)
- And 22% of those policies don’t provide any kind of key cover at all
So now would be a good time to look over your insurance policy to see exactly where you stand should your keys go missing. And you may well be covered if you yourself lose them … but you might not be so fortunate if someone else loses them for you. So read through the small print very carefully!
Key insurance cover
As for exactly what you’re covered for with key insurance, that varies from policy to policy: some insurers will cover the cost of a taxi for you to go home and pick up your spare set of car keys (you do have one, don’t you?). Others will cover the cost of car hire for however long it takes to get a new set of keys from your dealership.
And as for getting that new set of keys, it’s not just the cost of replacing them that needs to be taken into consideration, as it’s no longer a case of merely creating a new key blade: there’s also re-coding and re-programming key fobs that remotely operate the vehicle’s alarm, immobiliser and ignition.
It appears most lost key policies provide between £500 – £1,000 of cover, while some go up to over £1,500 towards the cost of re-programming the engine control unit, immobiliser, and alarm system.
What you’re not covered for
Key insurance doesn’t usually cover lock damage if caused by cleaning, electrical breakdown or general wear and tear. That includes lock damage when the keys are still intact. And, of course, if you leave your keys on or in the car (like, say, when you’re paying for fuel at a garage) and they and/or your car ever get stolen don’t expect any payout or even any sympathy from your insurer.
Add-on key cover
If your insurer doesn’t automatically include key cover, there’s still the possibility of an add-on to your existing policy. Of course that will increase your premium, and that addition is, we’re told, going to be anywhere between £12 and £26.50.
Standalone key insurance
Some companies provide specialist standalone insurance policies just for key loss and theft. Often they’ll cover your house keys as well. You’d be looking at anywhere up to £35 a year but be warned: some insurers’ policies state your keys have to be missing for a certain amount of time before you can put in a claim.
If you’re lucky enough to have automatic key insurance as part of your policy, or if you’re careful enough about such matters to have taken out a standalone policy, there’s always the possibilities of a payable excess, the loss of your no claims bonus and an increased premium to pay in the future – which could end up being very expensive over time.
How we can help
Then of course there’s the to-ing and fro-ing between yourself and your insurer, and the wait for your expenses to be reimbursed.
If you’re unfortunate enough to have to claim for your key we can deal directly with your insurers for you, meaning that there’s no need to wait for contact from them – and you won’t be out of pocket.
Not only that, there’s no need to wait days or weeks for a new key to be created and programmed at a garage or dealership … and there’s no need to pay someone to transport your keyless vehicle to that garage or dealership, because we can be with you anywhere in London and the Home Counties within an hour of your calling us.
We can unlock your car for you, and if necessary, create and program a replacement key for you right there on the spot.
And when it comes to the cost of a replacement, the quote we give is the price you’ll pay. It will be much lower than dealership or garage charges – which you know are going be reflected in the increase in your insurance premiums over the following years. So it may even be worth it not to put in a claim in the first place.
So before you call your insurance company, call us first. We offer a faster, more economical service which will save you money in the long run. But if you feel you do need to put in a claim for a replacement key, we’ll deal directly with your insurers for you and save you the time and energy you’d otherwise have to put in to get things sorted.
But our final – and most valuable – a piece of advice is to make sure you always have a spare set of car keys available to save yourself all kinds of problems. We can create them for you quickly and inexpensively, either with you on the road or wherever you’re parked, or at one of our three London workshops.