Many car owners are not aware that there are programs out there to help reduce the cost of replacing lost or stolen keys. These programs typically offer yearly coverage for a few dollars a month.
Lost car keys are a major headache. Getting them replaced by the dealership can be expensive and inconvenient. Using an automotive locksmith is a much better option.
Key Replacement Programs
There are a variety of reasons why car keys need to be replaced. Whether you dropped your key in the river while fishing, left it at the restaurant while eating out, or simply lost it, it can be a big inconvenience to have to pay for the replacement of your car key.
Many car locksmith technicians offer a comprehensive key replacement program for only a few dollars a month. This helps reduce the cost of car key replacements and also provides other useful benefits like 24 hour roadside assistance services.
Most modern vehicles come with electronic transponder key fobs which use built in microchips to unlock the vehicle. These chips require a specific programming process by a trained technician. These programs help lower these costs by covering up to one qualifying replacement per year. The program can also help cover the cost of reprogramming an existing key or remote for you should it become damaged.
24 Hour Roadside Assistance
Car Key Replacement DC programs often come with roadside assistance services. These can cover everything from changing a flat tire to jump-starting a dead battery to fuel delivery or helping you get into your locked car.
Getting stranded on the side of the road is dangerous, and many people inside or outside of a stopped vehicle are injured or even killed each year. Having a roadside assistance plan is one of the best ways to protect yourself against being left in a dangerous situation.
While most insurance policies do not cover the cost of losing a car key, some will reimburse you for a portion of the costs or defer the payment for up to 72 hours. These plans may also help pay for a locksmith to make a spare key or to replace the transponder. Today’s electronic keys that unlock your car remotely use built in transponders, which can cost hundreds of dollars to replace.
Coverage for Lost or Stolen Keys
If you lose your car keys, the best course of action is to file an insurance claim. Typically, comprehensive auto insurance policies include replacement key coverage as part of the overall policy. However, you may need to add an optional rider to your policy in order to benefit from the coverage.
Most of these plans cost between $4 to $15 a month depending on the yearly replacement value you choose. The plans cover lost, stolen or destroyed keys and remote transponders as well as key fobs. They also cover rekeying for a maximum of one qualifying replacement per year.
Most of these programs offer a range of additional benefits such as roadside assistance. These services include delivering spare keys, dispatching locksmiths and providing key programming. They may also offer discounts at hardware stores and car dealerships. Many car warranties also provide key replacement coverage as well. However, it is important to check the terms and conditions of each policy to make sure you have full coverage for your lost or stolen car keys.
Newer cars use a transponder key system to help prevent car theft. This works by sending an identification code via a radio frequency signal from the key to a receiver that’s connected to the ignition cylinder – the car won’t start unless it receives this signal.
A transponder key (formed from transmitter/responder) has a microchip built into the plastic head of your car key that sends this signal to the receiver. The receiver then looks for the digital serial number within the microchip and uses it to verify that the key is a legitimate one that has been programmed to work with your vehicle.
The advantage of these keys is that they are difficult to duplicate, which makes it harder for thieves to hot wire cars and steal them. They also work well with most immobilizer systems that prevent a car from starting if it’s not matched to the correct key. However, there are still ways that some car thieves can work around this.