Hastings Direct — Car, Van, Bike & Home Insurance

Car key cover

We've all had that moment when we think we've lost out keys but then find them in a "safe" place.

But if you ever actually lose your keys, it can be a real nightmare, especially if you misplace the whole bunch. You could find yourself stranded, and facing a hefty replacement bill.

The stats

According to Keycare research, replacing car keys was 29% more expensive in 2015 than in 2013. This means drivers now face an average bill of £215 to get their key replaced. For some makes and models, an average lock set replacement costs a staggering £689.

So, why the increase? Well, replacing keys nowadays isn't as simple as visiting the local locksmith. Keys have become more advanced, with programmed chips controlling a car's locks, immobiliser, alarm and ignition. With all this tech now integrated within keys, it's little surprise they cost more to replace.

You might have the mind set of "it won't happen to me," but the reality is a quarter of drivers have lost their car keys at some point, while a further 5% have had them stolen. Taking out quality key insurance cover will help you deal with not just the cost of losing your keys, but also the practicalities of having them replaced.

Top tips on keeping your keys safe

By taking just a few simple steps to keep your keys safe, you can greatly reduce the chance of them being lost or stolen. Here are some tips:

  • Never leave your keys unattended when you're out and about. Always keep them in a safe place out of sight, such as in a bag or coat pocket.
  • Be careful who you lend your keys to. If you have to give them to someone you don't know, for example a mechanic, only give them the necessary keys and remove all others from the bunch.
  • When you buy a car through a dealer or private seller, make sure you always ask for two sets of keys.
  • Don't leave your spare car key in your glove box (you'd be surprised at the number of drivers who do this).
  • The same goes with your house keys — don't keep the spare inside your home, as you won't be able to use it if you get locked out. Your best bet is to give the spare key to a trusted friend or family member.
  • Don't put all of your keys on the same key ring because if you lose one, you'll lose them all.
  • Never leave your spare house keys in hidden places, such as under the plant pot or inside the letterbox, as they're more obvious than you might think.
  • When you're at home, don't leave your keys in places where they can be seen from the outside. Also, if you have a key rack, keep it out of sight of any windows.
  • Don't store keys near the door, as thieves have been known to steal them using hooks posted through the letterbox.
  • If your house keys are lost or stolen, get your locks changed as soon as possible.

Car key insurance with Hastings Direct

Our car key insurance policy provides you with up to £1,500 worth of cover in the event your car, home or office keys are lost or stolen. You're also protected if your keys are locked in or if they break in the lock, denying you access to your car, home or office. Other benefits of this policy include:

  • Up to £1,500 (inc. VAT) annual cover for locksmith charges, new locks and keys.
  • Up to £75 (inc. VAT) per day, for up to 3 days, for car hire if your vehicle's stranded and over 20 miles away from your home due to theft or loss of keys.
  • 24-hour, 365 days a year emergency assistance.
  • No excess to pay.
  • You can make a claim on this policy without it affecting your no claims discount on other insurance policies.

What you're not covered for:

  • All costs incurred where you haven't notified the insurer (Inter Partner Assistance) within 48 hours of the discovery of the incident.
  • Any claim for theft of keys which isn't reported within 48 hours and a crime reference number isn't obtained.
  • Any claim for additional or duplicate keys.
  • Any claims where you cannot provide valid receipts or tickets.
  • Any claims for locks that are damaged prior to the loss of theft of keys.
  • Keys lost, or broken in a lock by someone other than you or any member of your immediate family residing at the same residential address.
  • Keys stolen from someone other than you or any member of your immediate family residing at the same residential address.

Details of Inter Partner Assistance can be found in our optional additional product booklet.

All information is correct at time of publication. Hastings Direct cannot be held responsible for any misinformation displayed.

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