In the old days, when car keys were actually keys, keyless entry meant leaving the door unlocked, and remote-start involved sending a teenager to start the car for you, replacing a lost car key was annoying, but not terribly expensive.
Then came electronic keys, which were more expensive, but were still essentially metal keys with a bit of fancy code. Still replacing one wasn’t likely to break the bank.
Now, however, in addition to keys (which may or may not be actual metal keys) we also have key fobs and losing them can be far more than “annoying” since they do everything from locking and unlocking the car doors, to enabling/disabling the alarm system, and even starting the engine. If you lose one of these fobs, purchasing a new one means going to the dealer and having something specially programmed, and most of the time you’ll have to pay for it.
But only most of the time.
You see, if your key fob does all those things – and especially if it can trigger the ignition on your car – it may be covered by insurance, if your insurance policy includes comprehensive coverage.
The catch, of course, is that you’ll still have to meet your deductible, and since those are usually at least $500, it may be less expensive to pay for a replacement out of pocket.
The best thing we can advise is this: if you’re prone to losing keys, buy an extra fob or two at the same time you purchase a new car, and keep them on-hand. It won’t save you any money, but it will cut down on the annoyance factor.