Automobile keys aren’t what they used to be. Gone are the solid metal keys cut to a specific vehicle. Today’s keys include a fob that is programmed to the vehicle and in fact may not include a traditional key at all. Even if your older car does have a traditional key, chances are the fob is still required to start the engine. Traditional keys that accompany today’s vehicles are often just for emergency access to the cabin. But one thing hasn’t changed… keys still get lost and stolen. But who is responsible for the cost of replacing a key? Does your insurance premium have you covered or are you left out in the cold? Depends on the situation…


Locked Out of The Vehicle

With today’s smart keys, it is more difficult to lock the keys in the vehicle, as the fob will often allow the doors to be opened with the keys inside. Still if this occurs, the roadside assistance coverage on most insurance policies will cover the locksmith work required to regain access to the vehicle. These services usually require the vehicle owner to contact the insurance company first to set up the emergency locksmith service. If you do have the locksmith work done yourself, you may be able to submit the receipt to your insurance company for reimbursement.


Lost Or Stolen Keys

This situation is a little stickier. Most insurance companies will cover the costs of regaining access to the vehicle and/or having it towed to a repair shop. However any charges to re-key the vehicle or the cost of a replacement key/fob are usually on the owner. Locksmith hourly rates are usually $50-100 per hour and a replacement fob for a luxury car can be hundreds of dollars. The only situation where replacement work would be covered is in the event of damage from a covered loss. Comprehensive coverage will pay for repairs, including key replacement, in the event of flood, fire, theft, or an accident that damaged the steering column.


In the event of an emergency, DO NOT attempt to break into your vehicle. You can only do more damage (damage that will not be covered by your insurance!). Trust a professional bonded locksmith to handle your auto and home security needs. And in the Greater Cincinnati area, there is no one better than Tri-State Lock!