Your car key—have you ever given it a thought? Besides taking good care of your car and protecting it with vehicle insurance, have you ever considered getting your car key insured? If not, then it is time you think about it. Here’s why. Most car owners think it is unnecessary to get the car keys insured as the replacement of a lost key is not expected to cost much. However, it cannot be farther from the truth.
While it could have been true about traditional car keys, today, with modern electronic keys or Frequency Operated Buttons (FOBs), the cost of replacement can surprise you. Therefore, it is best to get your car’s remote locking or feature-laden locking system insured, especially if it is a high-end or expensive car.
Problems you may face if your spare car key is lost
- Rejection of claims
With the FOB, you do not need a car key to open the lock or start the car’s engine. It is electronically controlled with the push of a button. If you lose your spare car key and the car gets stolen, you may have problems related to claim settlement. The insurer may ask you to show all the car keys before processing the claim, and if you fail to produce the keys, your claim can get rejected.
- High cost of replacement
When your high-end car key gets stolen, you generally need to replace the complete remote-lock system of your car due to security concerns. This means you will also need a new set of keys. Usually, the cost of getting your remote-lock systems replaced at an authorised OEM’s service centre is very high. If the car keys are covered under a motor insurance policy, you can get them replaced from any workshop and claim a reimbursement from the insurer.
Remember, most insurance companies provide cover for lost keys but they do not offer protection against the car lock. Check with your insurer if they provide both lock and key replacement cover. If they do, then you can buy car insurance online along with a cover for the car’s lock and key.
If you have a high end or luxury car, get it covered under a key replacement or key protection cover. The reason being, most of the expensive cars have FOB keys and only the car manufacturer can give you a new set of keys.
The key replacement cover is not a standalone cover. It is an add-on to your car’s comprehensive insurance policy and you must pay an additional premium to avail the benefits. Under the cover, you will be compensated if the key is lost, damaged or stolen, or if the lockset or the key is damaged. The add-on policy includes the cost incurred on a locksmith, replacement of locks and keys, reprogramming keys, and replacing the alarms, up to the limit specified in the policy copy.
To make a claim, you must:
- File a First Information Report (FIR) with the police to support the claim.
- Make sure the replaced key/lock/lockset is of the same type.
- Inform your car insurance insurer at the earliest.
The exclusions of the key replacement cover are:
- Damage or loss to keys/lock/lockset arising out of malicious activities or any deliberate or criminal act.
- Any damage or loss that is covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
- If you file a claim without valid receipts or invoices for the payments made.
- Damage or loss due to radiation or hazardous chemicals.
- Any other damage or loss to the insured vehicle apart from the keys/lock/lockset and its associated parts such as ignition system, an immobilizer, alarm or infra-red handset attached to the FOB.
Things to do in case you lose your car key:
- Make sure it’s lost
Look for the keys thoroughly in all probable places before giving up. There could be instances where you misplace the keys in the dining room and search for them in the bedroom.
- Inform your insurer
Inform the insurance company about the lost key. The chances of a vehicle getting stolen with a lost key are high. Failure to inform the insurer may lead to rejection of your claim in case the car is stolen later.
- File FIR
Once you realise you have lost the key, immediately file an FIR at your nearest police station, stating the place and time of the incident. Share this report with your insurer while filing a claim.
So, now that you know that losing your spare car key can have major repercussions, make sure you keep it safe and in a place where you will always remember. Meanwhile, get insurance add-on cover for your car key and lock system so that you do not have to pay anything out of your pocket for repair or replacement even if you lose them.