It’s a beautiful Spring evening and you’ve thoroughly enjoyed your first hike of the year.  The sun is about to go down and it’s time to head home… only you realize you’ve lost your keys.

There’s no time to recreate your 7-mile hike through the woods now, and you couldn’t do it if you wanted to.  The sun’s about to disappear and you’re hungrier than you’ve ever been.

You have top-level AA cover, but when you call them the only thing they can do for you is call a local locksmith at your own personal cost.

Luckily you catch a ride home with a friend who was hiking with you, but it got you thinking: what sort of auto insurance policy must one have in order to ensure lockout cover?

Make sure to ask about lockout recovery service when you purchase auto insurance.

There are basically three kinds of lockout recovery service:

  1. none at all
  2. tow service only
  3. tow and auto locksmith cover (full lockout recovery service)

Some insurers will simply offer to call an auto locksmith for you should you lose your keys and get locked out of your car.  Then, you’re on your own when it comes to covering that bill.

Others will call a locksmith (and you pay) but more importantly,

they’ll cover the cost of having your car towed to a local garage or your home, whichever you prefer.  But you still need to get a car locksmith on the job, and they won’t cover that charge.

Finally, the third and most comprehensive type of key cover is when your insurer will pay to have your car towed to your local garage or your home, and they’ll also cover the cost of an auto locksmith.  If this is the type of cover you’d like, then ask your insurer for “free lockout cover”.

What defines “car breakdown”?

The difference in how auto insurance companies define a “car breakdown” often dictates how (and whether) they cover lost car keys.

For example, an insurer may state they’ll cover you when your car breaks down.  They’ll send “rescue and recovery” assistance when this occurs.  Car breakdown is when your car becomes immobile …from accident, malfunction, or whatever.

Another incident that can render your car immobile is loss of car keys!  If your insurance company includes in its definition of “car breakdown” the loss of car keys, then you’re in luck.

That means at the very least, you’ll get a tow to a local garage or your home (or wherever you say).  This usually applies to situations where you’ve broken your car keys, too.

Free lockout cover for lost car keys plus more.

Losing your car keys isn’t the only situation covered by a good lockout cover policy.  Let’s say you accidentally lock your keys inside your car. Remember our last post about the woman whose toddler was holding her car keys in the parking lot of the supermarket?  He locked himself inside the car, much to her extreme distress.

An auto insurance policy with a good lockout cover would have helped her out in that situation.  Of course she did call an auto locksmith, but she would have incurred zero cost had her insurance covered lockout services.

The best lockout cover will cover not just lost car keys but also when you’ve locked your car keys inside your car (or when your toddler’s done it for you!).

Even the best, most comprehensive policies might place a limit on the cover amount.  Perhaps up to £400 or so, for example.  And you may have to pay the auto locksmith yourself and the file an insurance claim to get your money back…but at least you’re covered.

Lost car keys can happen to anyone: find out if you’re covered!

Since lost car keys is a calamity that can happen to anyone, no matter how careful they are, it’s important to find out what sort of key cover you have on your current insurance policy.  Breakdown recovery service doesn’t necessarily cover your lost keys or the keys you’ve locked inside your car by mistake, as we’ve just learned here.

As always with insurance, it’s important to know before you go in which questions to ask.

Finding out is usually a matter of a simple phone call, and knowing the services of a professional, specialist car locksmith are covered by your policy can make all the difference in the world in the future, when you suddenly realize that you’ve lost your car keys.