Lifestyle Guides

I’ve lost my keys, what should I do?

You’ve probably pulled up the sofa cushions and ransacked your bags while looking for your car keys more times than you’d care to remember, but have you ever thought about actually covering them for loss, theft or breakage?

car keys

Losing any of your belongings is annoying, but car keys are something else. And it’s not always just your car key on the keyring; many people also carry their home keys on the same bunch.

A survey by the RAC revelead one in 20 drivers permanently lose their keys, and spend an average of 14 hours every year looking for them.

If, like many motorists in the UK, you drive a Ford Fiesta — the UK's best-selling car with over 77,000 registered last year (2019) — you’d be looking at an average cost of around £230 to replace the key, according to The Autolocksmith's 2018 data.

But while cost may not be everything, the inconvenience of replacing lost keys is certainly an issue. But, you do have a few options!

I’ve lost my keys, what should I do?

Your first port of call will probably be your car or home insurance; check to see if key cover is on there as many don’t offer this as standard. However, some companies offer extras which can be added on if you haven’t already lost, broken or had your keys stolen – we’ll explain more on this a little later.

If you have breakdown cover, check your policy to see if key cover is included. Many of the big names – RAC, Green Flag and the AA - offer policies which will help you get into your car if you’ve locked the keys inside, which will recover and get a spare set to you or help with the cost of replacing lost keys.

On the topic of spare keys, make sure you keep the spares somewhere accessible in the event of your main set going missing. If you keep your car and home keys on the same bunch, don’t keep your spares at home as you may not be able to get to them. Ask a family member or friend to keep them safe at their home so you can access them if you ever need to.

Next, you can contact franchised dealers to get a new set of car keys; however this may not come cheap, or quickly. Most modern keys are expensive to replace and will have to be programmed. Make sure you shop around to get the best price.

Finally, you can speak to an auto locksmith who will be able to cut and programme a new key as well as disable the lost or stolen one so it can’t be used to access your vehicle. If your key’s stuck inside your car, they’ll be able to gain entry for you.

How can I protect my keys?

If you haven’t already lost or broken your keys, or they haven’t been stolen, you may want to protect them in order to have an easy solution if the worst should happen.

You can add Keycare Cover onto your Admiral Car Insurance at any point. It covers the costs of replacement keys and locks including arranging locksmith services, if your keys have been lost, stolen or broken (up to £2,000)

What's more, there's no excess to pay and you can avoid claiming on your home or car insurance, so you won't lose your No Claims Bonus.

What do we mean by broken key?

An insured key which is damaged by accidental means (not wear and tear), and no longer operates the associated lock.

Can any named drivers on my policy claim?

Yes – the policyholder’s keys are covered regardless of who loses or breaks them. This includes car keys, house keys and personal property keys.

How do I make a claim if I’ve lost my keys?

You can claim for your lost, stolen or broken keys by calling Keycare on 0345 305 8144; you must report the claim within 45 days.

5 Star Defaqto rated comprehensive cover from Admiral