What is Car Key Insurance?

Car key insurance is worth considering if you want to protect yourself from the costly and frustrating experience of losing or having your car keys stolen. It provides coverage for the expenses involved in replacing your keys and may even offer benefits like access to a courtesy car while your vehicle is temporarily out of action.

However, like any insurance product, there are pros and cons to consider before making a decision. If you are looking to combine key cover with breakdown cover, then you may want to compare prices first at BreakdownCover.

What is car key cover?

Car key cover is like having a safety net for those moments when you lose or have your car keys nicked. It’s an insurance policy that’s either added onto your car insurance or bought separately. The whole point of car key cover is to save you from the hassle and expense of replacing your keys, which can be a real pain in the neck.

With car key cover, you can expect it to cover the cost of getting new keys and even the reprogramming of alarms and immobilisers. It’s a lifesaver when you’re stuck without your wheels because it may also pay for alternative transport, like taxis or buses.

Some policies are even generous enough to give you a courtesy car while you wait for your shiny new keys to arrive. Plus, there’s usually an emergency helpline to call for immediate help.

What are the pros?

On the positive side, car key insurance (or ‘cover’) can save you from unexpected costs that can run into hundreds of pounds. Replacing modern car keys, especially the hi-tech ones with remote or keyless entry features, can be a pricey affair, often exceeding £1,000. By having car key insurance, you can avoid these financial burdens and enjoy peace of mind knowing that your keys are protected.

I recently had to pay for my car key replacement after one was stolen in a burglar and BMW quoted me almost £450 for ONE key. Mental.

Another advantage is the convenience it offers. When you lose your keys or they get stolen, the process of replacing them can be time-consuming, taking weeks rather than days. Car key insurance can help speed up the process by covering the expenses involved in obtaining a new set of keys. Some policies even provide access to a courtesy car during this period, ensuring that you can still get around while waiting for your new keys.

And what are the drawbacks of key insurance?

However, it’s important to weigh the pros against the cons. One potential downside is the cost of car key insurance itself. The price varies depending on factors such as the make and model of your car and the type of key you have. Sophisticated keys, like transponder or smart keys, tend to result in higher premiums due to their higher replacement costs. Therefore, it’s essential to assess whether the cost of the insurance outweighs the potential expenses of replacing your keys.

Additionally, it’s *so* crucial to carefully review the terms and conditions of car key insurance policies. Why? Because some insurers may include car key coverage as a standard feature, while others may require an additional fee.

The level of coverage can also vary, with some policies only covering theft and not loss or misplacement of keys. Understanding the exclusions and limitations is essential to ensure you have the desired level of protection.

How commonly are keys lost?

According to the RAC, around 2 million Brits lose their keys and never manage to find them again. These incidents contribute to a staggering annual cost of £180 million for replacing car keys across the country.

What’s not included in car key insurance?

As above, car key insurance, while providing valuable coverage for lost or stolen car keys, does have limitations on what it covers. It’s important to be aware of these exclusions to avoid any surprises when making a claim. Here are some common scenarios that are typically not covered by car key insurance:

  1. Damage to car locks: If there is damage to the locks of your car but not to the key itself, car key insurance may not provide coverage. The focus is primarily on the replacement or repair of the key rather than any damage to the car’s locking mechanism.
  2. Keys in the possession of someone outside your address: Car key insurance generally requires that the keys be lost, stolen, or damaged while in your possession or the possession of someone living at your registered address. If the keys are with a third party or someone not residing at your address, the claim may be declined.
  3. Damage due to wear and tear: Car key insurance policies usually do not cover damages that occur naturally over time due to regular use. This includes issues such as key buttons becoming worn out or key fobs losing their functionality with age.
  4. Extra set of keys: If you are looking to claim for an additional set of keys that were not the primary or original keys, car key insurance may not cover it. The coverage typically applies to the primary set of keys that came with the vehicle.
  5. Manufacturer recalls or defects: If the car keys are affected by a manufacturer recall or deemed defective, the responsibility for replacement or repair may fall on the manufacturer rather than the car key insurance policy.
  6. Keys locked inside the car: Car key insurance is primarily focused on lost or stolen keys, so coverage for situations where the keys are locked inside the vehicle may be limited or not included. In such cases, alternative solutions like locksmith services or roadside assistance may be more suitable.
  7. Stolen keys without a crime reference number: In case of theft, most car key insurance policies require a crime reference number provided by the police to validate the claim. Failing to report the theft promptly or not obtaining the necessary crime reference number within a specified timeframe may result in claim rejection.
  8. Full key replacement when only a repair is needed: Car key insurance generally focuses on the replacement of lost or stolen keys. If only a specific component of the key needs repair rather than a complete replacement, the insurance may not cover the repair costs.

Who might benefit from car key cover?

  • Busy Professionals: If you’re constantly rushing about, relying heavily on your wheels for work and personal stuff, car key cover might be a lifesaver. Losing or having your keys nicked can throw a real spanner in the works and mess up your schedule big time. But with car key cover, you can breathe easy knowing that you’ll be sorted with replacement keys pronto, and in some cases, they might even sort you out with a temporary motor to keep you on the road while they sort things out.
  • City Dwellers: Living in a buzzing city means your car is like your best friend, getting you from A to B in the hustle and bustle (or you use public transport). But in busy urban environments, the chances of misplacing or having your keys swiped are higher than a kite. That’s where car key cover comes in handy: it’s like having your back covered. It means you won’t have to stress about public transport nightmares or paying through the nose for a locksmith. With car key cover, they’ve got you sorted, making sure you’re back on the road in no time.
  • Families: Families with a bunch of drivers can really benefit from car key cover. Picture this: you’ve got multiple drivers in the house, and keys are flying around like nobody’s business. It’s only a matter of time before someone loses their marbles… I mean, keys. But fear not, car key cover is here to save the day. It means that each driver is covered, so if someone misplaces their keys or they’re nicked, no worries. They’ll sort you out with shiny new keys without any fuss. That way, you can keep the whole fam rolling smoothly and effortlessly.


In summary, car key insurance can provide valuable coverage and peace of mind, protecting you from the financial impact and inconvenience of lost or stolen keys. It offers convenience and can be a life-saver when you’re left without access to your vehicle.

However, it’s really quite crutucal to carefully consider the cost of the insurance and evaluate whether the benefits outweigh the premiums: reading the terms and conditions thoroughly is crucial to fully understand what is covered and any limitations of the policy.

Don’t forget that you can also get other types of insurance with your breakdown cover too now… These include:

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