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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Lost, stolen, or damaged car keys are a common issue that many drivers will face from time to time.
Many drivers will contact a friend or family member to bring them a set of spare keys when this happens, but others will need the professional services of a locksmith in order to move past this stressful issue.
Locksmith services can be expensive, and you may be wondering if you can use your auto insurance to pay for this service.
With a closer look at what is covered by a basic auto policy as well as optional coverages that you may have added to your policy, you can learn more about the possibility of using your coverage to pay for your locksmith service needs.
Compare car insurance options and rates to find the policy that’s right for you. Enter your zip code above to get started.
What is included in your auto coverage?
A basic auto insurance policy is one that complies with your state’s minimum liability coverage requirements.
Liability coverage is designed to help you meet the legal financial responsibility requirement in your state.
This requirement states that you must pay for any damages that you cause to others while driving your car, including:
- property damage repairs
- medical bills
- other similar types of expenses
Liability coverage will not pay for any of your own expenses.
You may have purchased optional coverage, and the two most common types of optional coverage are comprehensive and collision coverage.
- Collision coverage is designed to pay for your own repair bills and other related expenses if you are in a car accident.
- Comprehensive coverage goes a step further by also providing benefits for theft, fires, natural weather event damage, and more.
Note that these common types of coverage do not typically pay for locksmith services on your car unless the locks were damaged in a larger event.
How do deductibles work?
In the event you are able to file an insurance claim using your collision or comprehensive insurance to pay for your lock or key issues, you would still need to pay your deductible.
The claims process can be lengthy, and a deductible can be expensive. In fact, many deductibles are $500 or more. This means that filing a claim is usually not a cost-effective decision.
Do you have roadside assistance coverage?
Some drivers do have roadside assistance coverage on their policy, and this may be used without filing a claim or paying a deductible.
If you have roadside assistance, you likely will be required to use your insurance company’s approved roadside service provider rather than calling a locksmith of your choice.
Some people may also have roadside assistance through their credit card account benefits or through the dealership where they purchased their vehicle.
Check each of these options carefully before you set up locksmith services on your own. Using roadside assistance benefits may eliminate the need to pay any money out of pocket for your locksmith needs.
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What can you do if you need automotive locksmith services?
The first thing you should do if you need automotive locksmith services is to determine if there is an easy solution, such as asking a friend or family member to bring you a spare key from the house.
If this is not an option, review your benefits from your insurance provider, credit card companies, and your dealership to determine if you have access to roadside assistance.
If you do, you will need to follow the requirements established under these plans to obtain benefits.
Otherwise, you will need to contact the locksmith of your choice and pay for the services out-of-pocket. Ensure that you select a reputable locksmith that offers fast service around-the-clock for the best results.
What are optional coverages available through auto insurance companies?
Because roadside assistance is an optional coverage with most auto insurance policies, you may want to add it to your policy now if you do not already have access to it. After all, you may run into a similar situation with your automobile locks and keys in the future.
Roadside assistance service can also be used to give you a jump if your battery dies, to change your tire, and to complete other basic auto service tasks.
This is just one type of optional auto coverage you can add to your car insurance policy. Another common option is towing service.
Towing may be needed with accidents as well as breakdowns, and this coverage may prevent you from paying several hundred dollars in towing fees in some instances.
Some drivers also opt to add rental car reimbursement coverage to their policy. You can typically select the daily dollar amount and the total number of days you want this coverage to be available to you for, and this can help you to control the cost of this optional coverage.
In the event your car is out of commission for a few days or longer, rental car reimbursement will pay for the cost of a leased vehicle.
Why should you review and update your coverage now?
Your current car lock challenges may be a great reminder for you to review and update your auto coverage. For example, you can add roadside assistance and other optional coverages as needed to. You can also shop around to find a better rate than you are currently paying.
How can you find a reputable provider?
Finding a great provider that has affordable rates and an easy claims process is the first step to take. You can research providers’ financial strength as well as their overall reputation for providing top-notch customer service online.
Make a list of at least three top providers that you want to request quotes from.
How much coverage do you need?
When you request quotes for coverage from these top providers, you will need to determine if you want a basic policy or optional coverage, such as roadside assistance benefits.
While adding more coverage will make your premium increase, it can also help you to avoid paying money out-of-pocket if something bad happens. Remember that you will be held responsible for any expenses that your insurance policy does not cover.
How can you lower your premium?
You may be able to save money while getting the coverage you need if you follow a few helpful tips. These are some of the easier ways to save money on your auto insurance premium:
- Raise your deductible
- Bundle your auto coverage with home or life policies
- Choose lower coverage limits
- Take a driver’s safety course
Regardless of whether or not you currently have roadside assistance service with your auto coverage benefits, now is a great time to examine your coverage. Make upgrades to your coverage types and limits as necessary, and shop around for savings on your premium.
Compare car insurance quotes today to make sure you’re not overpaying for the coverage you need.