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: Apr 13, 2022

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Here's what you need to know...

  • When you buy a basic auto insurance policy that’s required under state law you won’t have coverage for any type of damage to your vehicle
  • Buying first-party physical damage coverage will provide you with coverage for loss to your vehicle
  • While comprehensive and collision do pay for several types of losses to your vehicle, it doesn’t typically pay when you misplace something like your car keys
  • If your keys are stolen during a vehicle break-in, your insurance company will pay to replace your keys and to repair the break-in damage under comprehensive cover
  • If you’ve locked yourself out of your car and you have emergency roadside assistance coverage, your insurer will pay for locksmith services but you may have to pay for your car to be re-keyed

Misplacing your keys can leave you in a panic, especially when you’re in a rush to get somewhere that you need to be. Most of the time, you’ll find your keys in an odd place around the home where you carelessly threw them, but other times they never show back up.

Surprisingly enough, replacing your keys can cost you a pretty penny. Compare car insurance rates now by using our FREE quote tool above!

If you’re on a mission to buy a comprehensive auto insurance plan that protects you against some common scenarios that can be financially challenging, it’s important that you know whether or not your insurance company will cover lost keys.

While mindlessly leaving your keys at a bus stop might not qualify as a covered event, there may come a time where your auto insurance policy can help.

Just how much can a lost key possibly cost?


Believe it or not, losing a key could cost you upwards of $1000 when you have to pay a locksmith, replace the key and have your vehicle towed to a shop.

Key replacement cost can range between as little as $20 or as much as $600 out of pocket.

The actual cost to get a replacement key depends on the age of your vehicle, the model, the type of key that’s used for the ignition and door locks, and where you order a replacement.

While it’s possible to get basic keys, laser cut keys and transponder keys through an automotive locksmith, smart keys must be programmed by the dealer.

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If I misplace my keys, can I file a car insurance claim?

Mindlessly misplacing your keys isn’t usually covered by your auto insurance. While there are auto insurance companies that have an automatic provision that covers keys, that’s not always the case.

With the other insurance carriers, you must have a special endorsement for key insurance under your auto policy for there to be any type of coverage for a misplacement.

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What is a key replacement endorsement?

Endorsements are riders that are added to your policy that provide extra coverage that’s not afforded under a standard policy. Key coverage provides you with specialized coverage that will pay to replace and reprogram your keys for a long list of different reasons.

What if my car keys are stolen?

If your keys are stolen, coverage depends on where they are stolen. If they’re stolen out of your car, they may be covered under comprehensive coverage.

Any of the damage to the vehicle that’s a result of the vandalism or break-in will also be covered under comprehensive as long as the total cost for keys and repairs is less than the car’s actual cash value.

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Will the company re-key my car if it’s stolen and recovered?


Stolen key and vehicle claims present unique challenges to the insurer. Not only does the company have to pay for new keys, they have to consider the fact a thief has your ignition key and may be able to strike again in the future. This is why one of the following will be covered under a theft claim with your comprehensive insurance:

  • Cost to replace the ignition key
  • Cost to re-key the car to prevent future theft
  • Cost to reprogram smart keys
  • Cost to replace door keys and fobs

What does roadside assistance cover?

If you have roadside assistance protection on your insurance policy, you’ll have coverage to unlock your vehicle.

In most cases, the coverage won’t pay for rekeying the car but you might get a discount for the replacement keys, but this is something that you should verify with your insurer.

As you build an auto insurance policy, be aware of how each coverage works. A full coverage policy pays for a lot of damage claims, but there are still gaps.

Use an online comparison tool to price the cost of coverage quickly, and you can see what the extra endorsements will cost you. Enter your zip code in our FREE quote tool below to compare car insurance rates instantly!