Key is the most important part in a car. Having a mechanical or electronic key enables the car to be start and stop manually or electronically. While most of the people insure their car, insuring the keys is quite uncommon because people think that car keys can be replaced easily. This could be true in the case of manual keys but when it comes to remote operated keys; it is highly difficult to replace them locally.
Most of us are today driving cars that have keyless entry. What would you do if you've lost your car key? There may be moments when we have left it behind unintentionally and later realize that we then no longer have access to our vehicle. In today’s featured, we bring to you the solutions to a situation which is unlikely to happen but can get you on your nerves if you ever face it! Here’s what to do if you have lost your car keys.
Example: Ms. Ruhi has purchased a high end BMW car and has insured it with a reputed car insurance company. She was given a smart key to operate the vehicle. These kinds of vehicles have push-button start and the key is the modern compared to the other versions. One fine day she lost her key which made her panic due to the fact that the key being a FOB (Frequency Operated Button), car can be stolen using the lost key.
Table of Contents:
Things to do if your key is lost:
- Check thoroughly: First and foremost thing to do is to check for the keys thoroughly in all the places before coming to a conclusion. There might be instances where you misplace the keys in the dining room and search in the bedroom.
- Inform your insurance company: The main thing to do when you lose your key is to inform the insurance company of the incident in writing. The chances of vehicle getting stolen with the lost key are high. If you don’t inform the insurance company of the lost key, then there is chance of claim rejection in case the vehicle is stolen later.
- Use spare keys: Spare keys come as savior when your key is lost. When you are far away from home it might be difficult to use the spare keys, in such case it is advisable to push the car towards a secure location and get the spare keys to open the car.
- Don’t use unauthorized keys: Using unauthorized keys may lead to the breach in warranty by the car manufacturer. Keys designed locally may open the lock temporarily but it is not advisable to use those keys which can also be used to steal the vehicle. These unauthorized keys may also damage the lock of your car if not operated properly.
- File F.I.R: In many cases people tend to ignore the need to inform police and file for an F.I.R in case of lost keys. Immediately it should be taken to the notice of police and file a First information report for the same stating the place and time of incident. This report should be shared with the insurance company for processing any claim related to theft of vehicle.
- Resolve you’re Type of Car Key: Therefore if you lose the existing key to your car, without any spare, you might have to think a little much about what kind of key you want in your hand, so as not to let it happen again. Whether it is traditional, transponder, key with FOB, and smart key.
How many Types of Keys are there & How to Recover them?
There are almost 5 types of keys in India, they may differ from traditional to advanced ones. Have a look at all of them and know how to recover them from the loss:-
1. Traditional Keys:
If you are having traditional key, you probably own an old car. If we ever lose our car keys, we have the simplest solution too! Well, just like the key and mechanisms lack complexity, getting into a car without a key is also quite easy.
What to do if you lose: If you forget your car keys, it’s relatively easy to have a locksmith create a new key. But in some cases, if your ignition lock cylinder is broken and needs to be replaced, the automaker might charge separately for the new key. However, since old cars are purely mechanical, their keys rarely break.
2. Transponder keys:
This type of keys are mostly similar to traditional keys bit advanced key. The ECU (Electronic Control Unit) recognizes when the right key is pressed, starts up the car’s engine and you can drive away.
What to do if you lose: You can call a locksmith who is expert with such keys. They have got spare keys which have the same chips that your car can be tuned with. However, they charge you more than they would have done for a traditional car key.
3. Key with Fob (Frequency Operated Button):
These type of keys are like key with external fob attached to it. You own a key with an external fob and lose the fob, you can get inside your car using the key.
What to do if you lose: If you lose a key, then call a locksmith to help you out. In case, if you lose both the key and the fob, you can still call a locksmith and get going with the key. You can buy a fob later on.
4. Keys Attached to the Fobs:
Many of the automakers opt for folding key fobs when making their car models. If you happen to lose your key, you might find yourself in hot water. There are only two alternatives in case this key is lost.
What to do if you lose: You can either get into the car using a spare key or straightaway get your car to the nearest dealership where they can make a spare key (fob) for you. These type of keys are mostly used by Hyundai cars.
5. Smart key:
Almost all cars today come with keyless entry and push-button start. Without a key, you may not be able to start the engine or unlock the doors. That's why we recommend keeping a spare in your glove box at all times!
What to do if you lose: If you ever lose your keyless entry fob, you have got no choice than getting your spare key or getting your car towed to the nearest brand dealership where they will programmed a new fob to pair to your vehicle. In some cases, you might have to wait if the dealership doesn’t have a particular fob in stock.
What should a person do when he has “lost the keys” to his car & has no spare set?
If you lose your car keys, you should first search around the area where you last had them. If you can’t find them, then the next step is to call a locksmith to help you get into your car. A locksmith can either make a new key for you or open your car door without a key. Follow the below steps:
- You can call a locksmith who will decode your locks and make new keys for the car. He/she will then program the car to those keys and wipe the old keys from the car system.
- While this means anyone with the old keys will still be able to gain access to the car, they will not be able to start it.
- The alternative is new locks and ignition (or 2nd hand from a breakers). You would do this if you keep expensive things on your vehicle, but that should only be the case for certain work vehicles like First Responders/paramedics, etc.
- No leisure vehicle should have expensive items left inside. Smash and grab is too easy. Even if you do get the locks changed, you will still need the locksmith or the manufacturer to program the car to the new keys.
- In most cases, you have to evaluate whether the cost is worth it. Most vehicles I deal with are ten years old or more by the time people lose both keys. In some cases of older vehicles, changing the locks would cost more than the vehicle is worth.
In order to assist the car locksmith the following information will help:
- Make and model of vehicle
- Registration number of vehicle
- Vehicle identification number
- Personal identification (documentation showing name, photo, address to help confirm ownership of the vehicle)
- Postcode of where you are, should you require an emergency locksmith to come to you.
Key Replacement Cover in Car Insurance:
The key replacement cover or key protection cover in car insurance, if opted, provides the amount incurred to replace the key. Key protection cover is an add-on in the car insurance available under the comprehensive section of the policy. Under this rider the cost incurred on locksmith, replacement of locks and keys, reprogramming keys, replacing the alarms will be paid to the customer up to the limit specified in the policy copy.
People with High end and luxury vehicles should take the key replacement or key protection cover as the high end vehicles have Frequency operated button (FOB) keys and the replacement for these keys are provided only by the manufacturer.
Benefits of key replacement cover in your car insurance policy:
- Replacement of the car key/lock/lockset of the same kind and type in case it is lost, stolen or damaged.
- Key replacement in case of theft or burglary and the lockset will be replaced in case of theft or damage.
- Easy online experience.
- Will not affect the policyholder’s eligibility for an NCB (No Claim Bonus) at the time of renewal.
What Does Lost Car Key Cover Include?
Car Key Cover or the Key Replacement Cover is an Add-on to the Comprehensive insurance policy. The insurance company will reimburse the insured, up to the insured amount specified in the insurance policy for the purpose of replacing the insured car’s key if the key is:
- Replacement only when key is damaged or broken.
- In the case of burglary, the key, lock and lockset will be replaced.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are Lost Car Keys Covered by Insurance?
Lost car keys are typically not covered with a regular car insurance. However, there may be exceptions if you have a comprehensive policy that covers theft, as well as other events such as fire or vandalism. But most standard car insurance policies do not provide coverage for lost or stolen car keys.
Can Lost Car Keys be tracked?
No, although modern cars are very high-tech these days, there is no way to track your lost car keys for most car models out-of-the-box. However, there are aftermarket trackers you can install in your car keys to prevent this.
Where can I get a new car key made without the original?
he dealership or an automotive locksmith are the two full-service options to replace a car key with no spare. With older cars, the dealership may not be able to access your key information. A mobile locksmith is the only option that will come to your location and make new keys with no spare on site.
How Much Does it Cost For New Car Key?
Normally in such an instance, people end up going to a locksmith and get a duplicate key made at a cost of around Rs.100 to Rs.300. If locks are not changed, will cost you approx. 2500. If you have an older car, you can replace your car key for Rs. 300 to Rs. 600. The make, model & age of the vehicle you have, this will include what immobilizer system the vehicle has.
Will I have to change my car locks if my keys are lost?
With modern vehicles, there is no need to change the locks for your vehicle as a car locksmith may be able to either reconfigure the existing locks or program out the lost keys.
Lost car keys can be programmed out: Any lost keys can be programmed out of the database of your car thereby stopping anyone else using them, this is done using specialist diagnostic equipment which is plugged into the vehicle.
As they say, prevention is better than cure, you should always take care of your car keys because lost car keys can land you in unnecessary trouble and expenditure.
To protect your car from damage to the locks and keys, key protection cover is the best option. For best online car insurance add-ons/coverages please visit PolicyBachat and check for the best car insurance renewal quotes and compare car insurance quotes.