If you lose your car keys, it’s important to know the costs involved before you go to replace them. Some cars require special key fobs with built-in chips that can cost hundreds of dollars to replace if they’re lost or stolen.
Fortunately, many auto clubs and roadside assistance programs offer coverage for these situations. Read on to learn more.
Car keys and key fobs are expensive to replace, especially if they are lost or stolen. But if you have the right insurance coverage, it may be possible to avoid paying for the cost out of pocket. Here are strategies to help you figure out if car key replacement is covered by insurance.
Most comprehensive car insurance policies include a benefit to cover the cost of replacing lost or stolen car keys. But it’s important to check your specific policy to find out how they handle these claims and whether you need a special rider to access the coverage.
In addition to providing Car Key Replacement DC, some providers also offer roadside assistance programs that provide benefits like emergency locksmith services, battery jump-start service, fluid or supplies delivery, vehicle lockout assistance and more. Some of these programs are available as an add-on to your auto insurance while others can be purchased standalone. Depending on your needs, these additional benefits can be worth the extra cost.
Car manufacturers often include key replacements in their warranties, roadside assistance add-ons, or bumper-to-bumper coverage. Some auto locksmiths also offer these services as part of their standard pricing. However, it’s important to check with the manufacturer or your auto insurance company for accurate policies.
Most modern cars use electronic transponder keys that unlock the doors and start the engine remotely. These types of keys are much more complex to replace than traditional metal keys and can cost hundreds of dollars. These newer keys must be programmed to work with your specific vehicle.
Although it is possible for some locksmiths to create replacements for these newer models, it’s a safer bet to go through the dealership instead. Third-party workshops may be cheaper, but they might not have the proper equipment or knowledge to program your replacement correctly. They also may not be able to recreate the laser-etched codes that identify the key and its function. These codes can be vital if your key is stolen or lost.
Many people do not realize that car key replacements are one of the most common reasons for roadside assistance calls, according to experts. Modern cars often use electronic keys that are hard to distinguish from traditional metal ones. These keys require a technician to program them to the vehicle to work, and this is something that only a dealer can do.
In some cases, auto insurance coverage or roadside assistance extra add-ons can cover the cost of a lost key fob. Some companies even offer one-time free key replacements for new vehicles.
Some locksmiths have specialized equipment that allows them to create a new key even without the original one. However, this can take some time. Automakers are hesitant to make the codes for their electronic keys available to locksmiths, because they fear that doing so would lessen the effectiveness of their antitheft systems. This is why it is best to call a professional for this type of problem.
Key Replacement Programs
Modern car keys are not the simple metal ones that you can get cut at any kiosk in the mall. These modern keys use electronic chips to unlock and start the car, which is why it can be so problematic when they get lost or broken.
Some of these high-tech keys can be programmed using a special device that most main dealers have, but the process is quite expensive. You could save some money by getting a new key made at a third-party workshop, but you should check the quality of their service and reputation first.
Some roadside assistance plans have key replacement programs that cover lost or stolen keys up to $400 with no out-of-pocket costs. These programs apply to keys, remote transponders and key fobs that were originally provided by the manufacturer. You should find out the exact types of cars that are covered by the program to make sure you’re eligible for its coverage.