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What To Know About Locksmiths and Car Insurance

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Updated February 15th, 2021

Checked by
Jaime Arias
Licensed Agent
Reviewed by
Maurice Draine
Former P&C Agent

Locking your keys in your car at least once in your life is inevitable as a driver.

While some vehicles make it more challenging to do this now, it is still an unavoidable part of many drivers’ lives.

Locksmiths and Car Insurance

Locksmiths are expensive, and you may be wondering if your auto insurance will help you pay for the lockout service.

Locksmiths & Auto Insurance - Quick Hits
AutoInsureSavings.org- You can get lockout and locksmith services with insurance companies if you add roadside assistance to your policy.

- Some auto insurers, such as Farmers, GEICO, and USAA, require you to have comprehensive and collision coverage to add road service with locksmith service. Progressive, Allstate, and State Farm do not require it.

- Alternatives to auto insurers are motor clubs such as AAA, Good Sam, or Paragon for as little as $38 per year.

Depending on where you live, the type of car you drive, and the time of day you need help, your locksmith may charge anywhere from $75 – $150 or more.

Read on to learn more about your car insurance and locksmiths.

Do Auto Insurance Companies Cover a Locksmith?

Many auto insurance companies cover locksmiths, including lockout service and key cutting. You will likely need to carry Roadside Assistance coverage on your auto policy to have lockout coverage.

Many auto insurers will limit the number of times you can use lockout services during your insurance policy period, often three to five times, and the amount they will pay per claim, so it is essential to understand your insurance policy conditions and exclusions.

GEICO, Farmers Insurance, and USAA auto insurance companies will require you to carry collision and comprehensive coverage on your vehicle to purchase roadside assistance.

Car Insurance CompanyAdditional CostNeed collision or comprehensive coverage?Roadside Assistance Phone Number
State Farm Emergency Road Service$4.56 / yearNo877-627-5757
GEICO Emergency Road Service Coverage$15.60 / yearYes800-424-3426
Progressive Roadside Assistance$16 / yearNo830-816-2002
Farmers Towing and Road Service$23 / yearYes800-435-7764
USAA Roadside Assistance$24 / yearYes800-531-8555
Allstate Towing and Labor Cost$125 per occurrenceNo877-597-3393

If you have reduced your coverage because your vehicle is older or lower your car insurance premium, you may need to add this insurance coverage first to qualify for roadside assistance coverage.

Is Roadside Assistance Necessary for Lockout Coverage?

To obtain coverage for locksmith services, you likely will need to purchase Roadside Assistance coverage on your auto insurance policy.

This is added by endorsement and, while costs vary depending on your situation, the coverage is usually very reasonably priced.

The coverage is alternatively called Towing & Labor, Emergency Road Service Coverage, or Towing & Road Service, depending on the insurance carrier.

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Roadside Assistance is designed to cover mechanical breakdowns that happen while you are on the road.

The breakdown may be due to a flat tire, running out of gas, or another issue like an overheating engine. This service can also cover lockout service and rekeying in the case of lost or stolen car keys.

Roadside Assistance is not limited to just autos – motorcyclists may also purchase this valuable coverage and may wish to consider adding it to their insurance policy.

How Would a Lockout Service or Locksmith Work With a Car Insurance Company?

Each car insurance company has its program for lockout service, so the details, conditions, and exclusions differ from insurance carrier to carrier.

Common services offered through Roadside Assistance coverage include:

Locksmith & Roadside Assistance 
Lockout service and locksmith serviceTowing service
Battery jump-start serviceFuel-delivery service
Flat-tire serviceExtrication or winching service

If you are in an emergency while driving and your car breaks down, move off the road to a safe place. Call your insurance company’s roadside assistance number or their claims number – there will usually be an option for roadside assistance.

Most insurance carriers answer calls to the roadside assistance number with priority as they understand you are in an emergency. Remain calm – it may take a few minutes to connect with a person at your insurance company.

Once you are talking with your insurance company, they will ask you questions and dispatch the correct kind of help for your needs.

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Your insurance provider will walk you through what to do next – you may have to pay the locksmith or tow truck and seek reimbursement later from your carrier.

Be sure to ask your car insurance company what is covered, how much is covered, and if you have to pay a deductible to use your coverage.

Compare your car insurance options and shop around to find the right coverage for your needs.

How do I get Reimbursed From the Insurance Company After a Lockout?

Check with your carrier for specifics on their process. In most cases, you will pay upfront for the lockout service and submit your receipt to your carrier later for reimbursement.

When you call your carrier to make a claim, they will walk you through their claims process.

Because this service is meant for emergencies, your carrier will likely limit the number of times you may submit a claim for lockout service.

You also will have a cap on the amount your insurance provider will pay, so if your costs exceed that maximum, you may incur some out-of-pocket expenses.

Type of Locksmith Scenarios Where you Inquire About Car Insurance

You may need to call a locksmith if you have locked your keys in your car. Another time when you may require their services is if you need a key rekeyed for your vehicle. You may need to call your car insurance company to see if they offer coverage for these situations.

Common Ways Drivers are Locked out of Their Car

There are several common ways drivers get locked out of their vehicle. A child may hide the keys, or a passenger may accidentally hit the lock button at just the wrong time.

A power issue or mechanical issue with the key fob or vehicle itself may cause a lockout.

Distracted drivers are a primary cause of lockouts as well – hopping out of your vehicle while thinking of other things can cause you to make a mistake and lock yourself out.

Common causes of driver lock out
Locked in the car
Lost car keys
Key fob battery is dead
Key fob is faulty
Attempted auto theft
Wrong key inserted in lock
Lock is worn out or jammed
Keys are worn
Broken key or foreign object lodged in car lock

Going outside your routine can cause a lockout, too.

For example, if you constantly drop your keys in your purse when you are leaving your vehicle, but one time you dropped them into the cup holder first because you had to put something else in your bag.

Your keys are forgotten because you assume you followed your routine, and it is easy to lock yourself out.

Lockouts may be less common with newer vehicles, but mechanical or electrical issues remain. As well, many drivers have older vehicles without newer safety features aimed at reducing lockouts.

Lost Car Keys and Key Fob Replacement

Some auto insurance policies offer key fob and car key replacement if keys are stolen. This is generally a benefit through the comprehensive insurance portion of your policy.

Locksmiths charge for reprogramming key fobs, so you may wish to check with your carrier if they will pay the reprogram fee. Alternatively, your car dealership may reprogram the new fob for free.

Alternatives to Using Car Insurance for Lockout Coverage

There are other options if you decide not to purchase Roadside Assistance coverage through your auto policy.

Check with your credit cards to see if any of them offer this as a benefit.

You also may have Roadside Assistance through your vehicle manufacturer, particularly with a new or leased vehicle.

Your mobile phone provider may offer an add-on option for this.

Finally, motor clubs like AAA offer Roadside Assistance and many other benefits, like discounts on hotels and meals while traveling for as little as $38 per year. 

Roadside Assistance ServicesAnnual Cost
AAA$38 - $74
Good Sam$79.95
Allstate Motor Club$78.00
National Motor Club$96.00
Paragon Motor Club$69.95
AARP$84.00

Frequently Asked Questions

What Kind of Car Insurance Coverage Do I Need for Car Lockouts?

Add Roadside Assistance coverage to your auto policy to gain coverage for car lockouts. Roadside Assistance typically covers such things as lockouts, lost keys, tire changes, and emergency tows.

Will My Insurance Company Replace Key Fobs?

If you carry collision and comprehensive insurance and your keys are stolen, your carrier may provide coverage. You can also purchase an additional endorsement from some insurance carriers to cover keys.

Do any Insurance Companies Offer Free Lockout Service?

Yes, several insurance companies offer free lockout service if you have roadside assistance coverage, including USAA, Progressive, and State Farm. Compare your options to find the best insurance carrier for your needs.

Which Car Insurance Companies Have the Best Service for Lockouts?

While many insurance companies offer lockout services, their offerings vary greatly.

Liberty Mutual offers to tow up to 100 miles, which is farther than most competitors will tow. However, their lockout service is limited to $50.

Progressive offers a free lockout service at a reasonable rate. However, they limit tows to 15 miles, which may not be far enough depending on where your breakdown occurs.

State Farm Insurance offers mid-range pricing and solid coverage with free lockout service and towing to the nearest facility.

How Much is Roadside Assistance per Month?

Roadside Assistance varies per carrier and depends on your circumstances. In general, prices range from $5 to $50 per car insurance policy term.

How to Learn More

To learn more about car insurance and locksmiths, contact our insurance experts today at AutoInsureSavings.org. Our licensed insurance agents will be happy to answer any questions you have.

Sources

– GEICO. “What to do if you lose your car keys.”
– Farmers Insurance. “Roadside Service.”

Maurice Draine

Maurice Draine

Maurice, a former licensed P&C insurance agent with a 4-year degree in journalism. He resides in Minneapolis and has worked as a technical writer for UnitedHealthcare and Wells Fargo, where he created Medicare-related policies and procedures for three years. He is also an editor for AutoInsureSavings.org.

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