Losing your car keys can be frustrating enough if you are rushing to work or trying to get your children to school.
And, on top of the inconvenience, it can be pretty expensive to replace the keys if you don't find them or if they're stolen.
it's worth checking whether or not there is a limit to your lost key insurance
Replacing lost car keys used to simply mean the inconvenience of getting new ones cut, but technology now means that the key for a modern car usually operates an immobiliser, alarm and central locking system as well.
Key cover can therefore be a very good option. This type of insurance covers the cost of a replacement car key if yours is mislaid or stolen.
How can I get car key cover?
Key insurance is sometimes included in a fully comprehensive insurance policy, whilst some insurers offer it as an optional extra.
There are different levels of car key cover, so make sure you read the terms and conditions to understand which level of insurance you have.
You might think that having key cover as part of your comprehensive car insurance is good value, but actually some insurers include only basic key cover under a fully comprehensive policy.
If, on the other hand, you buy key cover as an optional extra, there might be an increase in the level of protection you have.
For example, under one policy you might only be covered if your keys are lost or stolen. But compare quotes and you might find a policy covering you if you accidentally lock your keys in the car, too.
Some policies will pay not only for a replacement car key but, if necessary, for replacement locks and locksmith charges.
The right policy may also pay out for vehicle hire if yours is unusable due to lost or stolen keys.
Will I have to pay an excess if I make a claim on my key insurance?
Under most policies you will not have to pay an excess if you make a claim. But it's worth checking whether or not there is a limit to your lost key insurance.
Some insurance firms offer unlimited key cover, meaning that they will pay out the entire cost of your replacement car keys, no matter what the total.
But others set a cap on the amount they will pay out, so it's advisable to find out if there is a limit and what it is. Some key insurance policies offer a limit of £1,500 but some can pay out as little as £100, which might not cover the cost of replacing hi-tech keys.
How do I get key insurance quotes?
When you use Gocompare.com's car insurance comparison service you will be asked to fill in a quick form with details such as your name, address, occupation, any driving convictions and the type of insurance you want.
We then search over 125 insurance brands and present the quotes on your results page. By clicking on the 'more info' button on the results you're interested in, you'll be able to see which insurers offer key cover.
How can I keep my keys safe?
By taking a few sensible precautions, you can reduce the chances of losing your keys or of having them stolen in the first place:
Never keep your spare keys in your car glove box (you'd be amazed how many drivers do!)
Don't keep all your car keys on the same fob
Don't leave car keys on view - such as on kitchen or hall tables - when you go to bed
When you buy a new car, always ask the dealer or previous owner for two sets of keys
And if you want to know more about keeping your car protected, read our guide to car security and your insurance premiums.