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Close up of a woman's hand holding a car key next to the car door


Lost, stolen or damaged car keys can be a real hassle. Here’s how you can protect yourself.

Saga's key protection covers up to £2,500 per car key replacement claim

Few things are more frustrating than losing your car keys, but car key insurance could come to the rescue. Find out what to do if you lose your car keys and whether you’re covered by your policy.

What is car key insurance?

Car key insurance is designed to cover the cost of replacing, repairing or reprogramming your car keys if they’re lost, stolen or accidentally damaged. If this happens to you, your car key insurance cover can help you pay for a locksmith to come and solve the problem.

Does car insurance cover key replacement?

Replacement car key cover usually comes as an add-on to a car insurance policy. For example, Saga offers Key Protection with Saga Plus, but if you’re a Saga Select or Saga Standard customer, car key replacement cover is available as an optional extra.

When can you claim on car key insurance?

You can claim on car key insurance when your keys are lost, stolen or damaged. You can also claim if:

  • Your keys are locked inside a car.
  • Your keys are locked inside a property.
  • Your keys are stuck in a lock.

Key Protection insurance can also cover your house and office keys if you lose your car keys with these other sets attached – or if you’ve left your house keys in the car or your car keys in the house.

What’s covered by car key insurance?

Saga’s Key Protection insurance covers:

  • Up to £2,500 per claim
  • Up to £250 for wear and tear
  • There is no excess and no impact on your No Claim Discount.

What’s not covered by car key insurance?

If your car has been stolen, here is what you can do in three simple steps.

  • Deliberate damage – Your car insurance will only cover key replacement when damage hasn’t been caused on purpose.
  • Overseas incidents – You won’t be covered if your key was lost, damaged or stolen outside of the UK, Isle of Man, Channel Islands, Gibraltar, EU member countries and select European states.
  • Decrease in vehicle value – If you lose your car keys or locks and your vehicle (or garage) drops in value as a result, this won’t be covered by your replacement car key cover.

How much does a replacement car key cost?

If you don’t have car key insurance, replacing a car key could cost you hundreds of pounds. For example, a 2011-2014 Toyota Yaris key would cost on average £442 to replace.

In contrast, Saga’s Key Protection Cover costs under £10 per year and will cover you for the cost of replacing a stolen or lost car key..

What to do if you lose your car keys

It’s one of those ‘nightmare’ moments, but anyone can mislay or lose their car keys when they least expect.

If you think you’ve lost your car keys, you should search your property, retrace places you last visited, and contact staff in any buildings where you may have lost the keys.

If you can’t find the keys, you should contact a locksmith or your insurer (we’ll contact a locksmith for you). Your locksmith can help you create a new pair of keys from scratch.

Alternatively, if you don’t have car key insurance, you may decide to order new keys directly from the car dealership. However, this could mean you might not have access to your replacement keys straight away.

What should I do if I lock my keys in the car?

Locking your keys in the car can be frustrating and even frightening, especially if you’re far from home.

If you find yourself in this situation, you could call a locksmith or your car insurance provider. Saga’s specialist locksmiths are available 365 days a year and could help you retrieve your key from a vehicle using one of hundreds of picks for various vehicle types.

The police will only be able to break into your car to retrieve a key in extreme cases, for example if there is a child locked inside a vehicle.

What types of car keys are there?

There are many types of car key, but some of the devices you’re most likely to encounter include:

  • Mechanical car keys – The most common type of car key for many years, mechanical keys allow you to release the steering lock in order to drive the vehicle.
  • Transponder keys – Some car keys contain transponder chips which have a code that can be read when the ignition starts.
  • Remote-controlled car keys – These types of car key can unlock the vehicle by sending a signal to a receiver once the remote control has been pressed.

Car key security has improved in recent years, but these technological advances also mean that replacing a key isn’t straightforward.

What should I do if my car keys are stolen?

If you believe your car keys have been stolen, you should contact the police to report the crime.

If your keys have been stolen but your car is still there, you may wish to secure the vehicle, for example, you could block it in the driveway with another car to prevent a future getaway.

You could then contact a locksmith or your car insurance provider. It’s worth remembering that the circumstances in which your car keys were stolen may affect your ability to make a valid car key insurance claim. For example, if you left a car window open or left the keys in the ignition, you wouldn’t be able to make an insurance claim if the keys were stolen.

How to keep your car keys safe

No one wants to experience the stress of having their car keys stolen, even if you’re protected by car key replacement cover. To reduce the chances that your keys could be taken, here are some simple safety tips.

  • If you have a remote-controlled car key, keep it shielded in a Faraday pouch, which restricts the ability of criminals to intercept the signal.
  • Keep your car key in a secure location at home, far from your vehicle’s range.
  • Avoid leaving valuable items like car keys on display around the home or while you’re out.

Who underwrites Saga's key protection cover?

Key Protection is underwritten by Fortegra Europe Insurance Company Ltd.