Losing a car key is a common yet frustrating situation for many. 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. However, this method may not be relevant anymore. These days, all mid to high-end cars use computer coded, encrypted car keys that are hard to copy. To unlock such cars, one may need to approach an authorised service center of the carmaker which may charge between Rs.1500 to Rs.4000 for the job depending on the brand, make, and model of the car. For remote controlled cars, the cost can go even higher.
Losing your car keys can really be an expensive affair. However, if your insurance policy provides you with a key replacement cover, you can save a significant cost and avoid unnecessary troubles. In India, there are very few insurance companies that offer key replacement as an add-on insurance cover. The third-party car insurance policy or the basic comprehensive insurance policy for that matter does not cover this aspect. The add-on cover makes the insurance company liable to cover the costs of carrying the vehicle to the nearest service center and get the duplicate keys made.
Here are certain things to keep in mind with respect to the key replacement add-on cover:
What To Do When You Misplace Your Car Keys?
Before you think of getting the duplicate keys made, it is best to thoroughly search for it in all the possible places. This is important as the key replacement cost can be high and spending money on a new key when you can easily find it is futile. In case you have locked your keys inside the car, you can get it removed from the car free of cost from the breakdown service provider (if covered in the insurance policy). If they are unable to do so, you may need to take help of a locksmith who will charge a certain fee. Some premium insurance packages provide the option to get your spare key picked up and delivered to you so that you do not have to break the lock.
Getting The New Car Keys:
If you have tried everything yet failed to retrieve your original key, then the last option left with you is to get a duplicate key made. This could be expensive as mentioned already. The locking systems used in present day cars are much advanced than they used to be. Cars are now installed with smart locking systems, immobilisers, theft alarms, programming chips and ignition software that improves the vehicle’s security.
Key Replacement Insurance Cover:
Whether your policy covers the key replacement or the expenses related to loss of key depends on the insurance provider. Some insurers offer a default key cover while some offer it as an add-on cover or an upgraded cover. While buying a car insurance policy, you must check with the insurer if they allow claim for lost keys. If the same is available as an add-on cover, you may opt for the same by paying a little more premium on your insurance policy.
Under the key replacement add-on cover, few motor insurance companies cover the expenses pertaining to replacement of locks or keys. However, there is a limit to the number of key replacement claims that a person can make during the tenure of the policy. Before you make a claim for your lost keys, it is better to enquire the cost of replacement from the service centers as well as the maximum amount that your insurance policy will cover.
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