Car insurance can cover the cost to replace lost and stolen keys, plus car lock repairs and replacement.
If your car keys are lost or stolen, check your car insurance for replacement key cover.
Replacement key cover in a comprehensive car insurance policy will usually include:
You’ll probably have to pay an excess charge (your compulsory, plus any voluntary excess) for replacement keys, but check your policy documents.
The excess is a nuisance, but if you don’t have cover it’s a costly bill - in 2018, the average cost just to replace a car key was £252.
The price depends on the car and key you have. Generally, the more sophisticated the key the more it’ll cost – and remote keys tend to cost more.
Your car might need taking to a garage for work to be completed too. If your key was stolen, parts in your car will need to be replaced or altered to take a new key.
And if there’s a delay, you’ll probably need a hire car - it all adds up quickly.
If your keys have been stolen, report the crime to the police and get a crime reference number - you’ll need one to make a claim with your insurer.
If you’ve lost your keys, you’ll usually be covered. But if a family member or one of your friends loses them, it’s unlikely your insurer will pay out. Don’t lie and tell the insurer they’ve been stolen instead - it’s fraud.
A fully comp policy gives the most cover, but third-party, fire and theft can provide some cover too. They vary, so we checked Defaqto to see what would happen if your keys were lost or stolen.
Of 350 comprehensive car insurance policies, 60% would cover you as standard if you lost your keys and 89% of policies will cover you if your keys are stolen.
The maximum amount insurers would pay out to replace your car keys varied a lot, so carefully read your policy to find out what you’re covered for – only 22% would pay out £1,500 or more to cover the cost of replacing locks and lost keys. 
TPFT policies don’t normally include cover to replace your car keys – only 22% out of 188 policies covered it as standard.
You’re more likely to be covered if they're stolen – 40% of policies covered stolen keys.
Many had a maximum limit on how much you could claim for lock replacement, so even if it won’t replace the keys, the insurer may be able to support other costs. 
If you lose your keys, and no third party was at fault, your premium will probably go up. But there are other ways you can make your car insurance premium more affordable.
The use of smart technology in keys and other keyless devices means that, for some vehicles, the only way to get a replacement is through the manufacturer - which can be both time-consuming and expensiveMatt Oliver, GoCompare car insurance expert
If you leave your keys in the ignition and they’re stolen, your insurer won’t cover you. Whether you’re paying for petrol or you’ve dashed back to the house, always take the keys with you.
If your insurer refuses to pay out, you can challenge the decision for free with the Financial Ombudsman. They’ll check:
The smallest things encourage opportunistic thieves:
Even in a locked vehicle use gloveboxes, door pockets and the boot
Open the glove box and remove your boot cover to show there’s nothing to steal
Avoid a build-up of things like clothing, tools and electronics
Reduce the chances of losing your keys, or them getting stolen, in the first place:
Last checked 12 January, 2021