Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Aug 10, 2021

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Key takeaways...

  • Locksmith services may be covered under an insurance policy’s roadside assistance coverage
  • Not all roadside assistance coverage plans are the same
  • Roadside assistance is purchased as add-on coverage

Losing the keys to one’s car is never, ever an enjoyable experience. While some instances of misplaced keys are slightly less problematic than others, at no times is losing car keys convenient.

At least there are 24-hour locksmiths capable of opening up the car’s locks.

Since the locks on the door are part of a car, would the costs associated with locksmith services be covered under an auto insurance policy? Under roadside service provisions, the locksmith’s fees might very well be covered.

If you want to ensure you are fully covered in case this happens, compare at least three to four policies today! Enter your ZIP code above to get started!

Along Comes Emergency Roadside Service


Emergency roadside assistance service is a standard feature with auto insurance policies.

Drivers do run into troubles on the road. Sometimes, they run into trouble in front of their home or on a driveway. Two very common problems are flat tires and dead batteries.

Through roadside assistance coverage, a technician could be quickly dispatched to the location of the vehicle. Upon arrival, the technician can go to work changing a flat or giving the car a battery hotshot.

If the vehicle is disabled or otherwise cannot be fixed at its present location, a tow truck may bring the vehicle to a local garage or other requested location.

Being locked out of a car due to misplacing the keys or leaving them locked inside of a car won’t be as disastrous when roadside emergency assistance can be called in to address the situation smoothly.

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How do roadside assistance policies differ?

Roadside assistance might be a standard provision with all policies issued by a particular auto insurance company. Other insurance companies may only offer roadside assistance options as an add-on. If it is optional coverage, it will raise the cost of your auto insurance rate.

Basic services covered by roadside assistance programs include

  • Flat tire repair
  • Lockout service
  • Fuel delivery
  • Dead battery jumpstart
  • Towing service to nearest repair facility

Some companies offer a premium plan that goes beyond the roadside services offered by the basic coverage, so be sure to ask about your options.

Variations with how an auto insurance company services roadside assistance requests and what exactly is paid for are sure to exist. Many companies offer one hour of mechanical labor, which would presumably be enough time for a locksmith to unlock your vehicle.

How an insurance company responds to a lockout claim is, of course, going to vary based on the auto insurance company and policy. The policy could cover all sorts of different roadside mishaps, but not locksmith services.

If locksmith services are not covered, then the costs associated with opening the locks end up squarely on the shoulders of the driver.

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With some policies, roadside assistance will pay for locksmith services, but the insurance company won’t dispatch the locksmith.

Instead, the driver must call a locksmith on their own, have the work done, and submit the receipts to the insurance company for reimbursement. While not convenient, at least this process opens the doors to getting money back on the locksmith labor.

Needless to say, most customers would prefer the insurance policy directly dispatching a locksmith who could take care of the problem without any extra steps or hassles. Many auto insurance companies do things in this customer-friendly way.

Does the customer fully know how the insurance company handles roadside assistance requests?

Does you know how your insurance provider handles roadside assistance requests?


Insurance companies do not exactly hide their rules, requirements, perils, exclusions, and deductible costs. Everything will be spelled out in the insurance contract underlying the policy.

Before even purchasing an auto insurance policy, the points about what is in the policy shall be revealed in a requested quote.

Ordering different quotes from a variety of insurance companies allows a driver to procure the policy that delivers on desired expectations. Anyone in the market for auto insurance is going to look very carefully at liability coverage and for good reason.

The reason liability coverage can reach upwards of $500,000 per accident is the potential to cause massive damage when at fault for a collision may be strong.

Other critical areas of coverage to review are:

Not thoroughly examining what roadside assistance entails could be an avoidable oversight on the part of would-be buyers in need of the best coverage.

Not everyone gets into an accident with an uninsured driver or is so severely negligent they cause a major accident.

Issues with roadside assistance, however, are a lot more common. So it would be prudent to make sure the more acceptable roadside emergency assistance coverage is in place.

Questions and Concerns with Roadside Assistance


Due to the nature of minor roadside situations such as lost keys, drivers don’t think too much about how certain scenarios unfold. The unfortunate drawback here is drivers do not know in advance how their auto insurance company will respond.

For example, what if the locksmith unlocks the door and the keys are not in the car? Can the locksmith make a duplicate key and, if so, would the insurance company cover this work?

In the event the keys cannot be duplicated, would the insurance company pay for towing the vehicle home?

Usually, covered towing comes with a mileage limitation. Once the limit is reached, the insurance ceases to pay for it.

A tow truck charges per mile. Roadside assistance that provides 50 miles of towing vs. 25 miles of towing expands the potential garages and locations the vehicle can be towed.

And what of the deductible charged on roadside assistance service? Here is some sincerely good news: a host of insurance companies charge no deductible for roadside service.

In essence, the insurance companies figure the cost to be prepaid through the annual premium.

Not every insurance company afford zero deductible on roadside service, which returns to the previous point about rigorously performing comparison shopping before settling on a policy.

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Do you need better coverage?

In addition to reviewing quotes prior to purchasing an initial auto insurance policy, it would not hurt to review a few new ones every year. Locating a much better deal on a new policy is possible this way.

Perhaps a recent experience with roadside assistance may move a driver to look into a new policy. Hopefully, a new policy would be in place before experiencing any disappointments.

If you have recently experienced losing your car keys and need better coverage, start comparison shopping today! Enter your ZIP code below!