Key Replacement Cover – Why is it important?

With so many things to take care of in our lives, it is normal to be a little forgetful at times. But this forgetfulness can sometimes prove to be expensive. For instance, if you own a mid or high-range car that has an advanced locking system and you misplace its keys, a replacement could easily cost a few thousands of rupees.

Fortunately, there is a more affordable option to avoid this financial shock. Car insurers in India offer 'Key Protection Cover'. It is an add-on cover that you can purchase with your comprehensive car insurance. With this cover, your insurer will be responsible for paying for the replacement of the key.  

But how does this add-on work? Do you need it? Let us try to know more about this key protection cover to understand its importance. 

Replacing Manual Car Keys

In the past, getting a replacement key for your car was a simple process, and it was quite economical. The cars used to have a manual key, which could be easily duplicated when required. The whole duplication process used to cost less than Rs. 500. 

As replacing manual keys was highly affordable, car owners never considered purchasing the key protection cover. But things have changed significantly since the launch of high-end car locking systems. 

Replacing Modern Car Keys

The automobile industry in India has grown by leaps and bounds in the last decade. There are now cars that come with a host of technologically advanced features to offer more convenience and security to the buyers. With safety being a critical factor for Indians, most of the high-end and even the mid-range cars now come with advanced locking systems.

They mostly feature keyless FOBs (Frequency Operated Buttons) or remote key lock systems. Every single FOB system and remote key lock system has a unique code. As a result, your car cannot be locked/unlocked with any other keyless FOB or remote key. If at all your FOB or remote gets misplaced, it will not be covered under standard car insurance coverage. 

The only safe option you will have is to visit a certified OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) workshop to get the entire locking system replaced. The replacement cost will depend on the car you own, but it will mostly be above Rs. 5,000. For a few high-end car variants, this can cost upwards 75000 too.

Why is OEM Service Centre the Safe Option to Replace Car Keys?

The FOB is a keyless system that can only be replaced by authorised OEMs. It cannot be duplicated. However, the remote of remote key systems can be duplicated by general repair workshops at a lower price. But this can be very risky in several ways.

For instance, the people at the repair workshop will then know the code of your remote key system. And you never know what kind of people work at such unauthorised repair shops. Moreover, if you use the same car locking system with a duplicate key, the remote key that you have lost might fall into the wrong hands.

In the bid to save a few thousand, you might end up losing your expensive car. This is why you must prefer authorised OEM for replacing your car locking system.

What About Using the Spare Keys?

Most remote key systems come with two remote keys. So, if you lose one, you will have the option to use the locking system with the spare key. But here again, you run into the risk of getting your car stolen. Someone somewhere might find your key and misuse it. 

More importantly, in case if your car is stolen, it will be covered under your car insurance comprehensive coverage. This means that your insurer will then pay you the current IDV of your car to help you purchase the same model again. 

But know that your insurer will require you to show both the original keys before accepting your claim. If you have lost one of the two keys, your claim request may get rejected. 

Why Should You Purchase Key Protection Add-on?

It shouldn't be difficult for you to understand now why the key protection coverage is so important. If you misplace the FOB/remote key, the coverage will make sure that your insurer pays for replacement. As mentioned above, the cost of replacing the same by an authorised OEM could run in thousands of rupees.

But just by paying a yearly fee of Rs. 300 to Rs. 800 and purchasing the key replacement add-on cover, you might be able to keep yourself protected against the expensive replacement costs. Note that this coverage will have an upper limit too. The insurer will only provide coverage up to this maximum coverage amount.

But rest assured that it could still help you save thousands of rupees by only requiring you to pay a few hundred in yearly fees. 

How to File a Claim under Key Protection Coverage?

 If you have purchased the key protection add-on and lose your car keys, there are then two ways to file a claim. You can either use the cashless facility or get the amount reimbursed. To use the cashless facility, you will have to get the locking system replaced at one of the network repair workshops of your insurer. 

If you opt for reimbursement, you can then get your locking system replaced on your own and submit the original bill to your insurer. If the claim is accepted, the insurer will reimburse you the money you spent on the replacement as per the terms and conditions and coverage limits of your insurance policy.

Get Added Protection for Your Car with Key Protection Coverage

While there were economical ways in the past to help you if you lost your car keys, they are mostly not valid anymore if you have a mid- or high-range car that features an advanced locking system. Make use of the key protection add-on as it offers added protection at a nominal cost. 

When you compare car insurance online before purchasing or renewing, do consider this valuable add-on as it can help you save thousands of rupees if you end up misplacing your car keys.

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