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Which Insurers Are Most Likely to Reject a Key Cover Claim?

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If you've lost your car keys or had them stolen, you probably immediately wonder if your car insurance covers keys and, if so, will your claim be accepted or will it be denied? To help you understand the odds, around 80% of car key insurance claims are successful, but the odds are very low that you'll need to claim. For comparison sake, this is lower than the 90% average claim acceptance rate on home insurance.

Picture of lost car keys

In order to understand how claims data varies by insurer, we gathered data from the Financial Conduct Authority's most recent study on General Insurance value measures. Keep this information in mind when it comes time to purchase a new insurance policy or renew, when deciding if the extra £10 to £25 is worth it for add-on key cover.

Average Key Cover Claims Data

According to FCA data, the average successful key cover claim was around £245. These numbers reflect average numbers only—in actual fact, individual claims range from around £100 up to hundreds of pounds, depending on the value of your keys and the coverage limit and terms of your policy.

Around 80% of key cover claims are accepted on average, but this statistic varies significantly from insurer to insurer—some underwriters accept less than half of key cover claims.

Key Cover Claims Statistics

FirmAverage Claims FrequencyAverage Claims Acceptance RateAverage Claim Pay Out
Admiral Insurance (Gibraltar) Limited2.5%92.45%£225
Ageas Insurance Limited2.5%87.45%£175
Amtrust Europe Limited2.5%97.5%£225
esure Insurance Limited0.5%82.45%£325
Great Lakes Insurance SE3.5%42.45%£275
Average1.9%80.5%£245

Which company rejects the most key cover claims?

Great Lakes Insurance accepted just 40% to 44.9% of key cover claims in 2018, meaning they rejected 55.1% to 60% of claims—the worst of the group. In 2017, esure had the worst key cover acceptance rate of 75% to 79.9%, while Great Lakes accepted 80% to 84.9% of claims.

The company most likely to accept a car key claim was Amtrust, which paid out of 95% to 100% of key claims in both 2017 and 2018.

Which company paid the most for key cover claims?

In 2018, esure had the highest average payout on key claims, paying an average of £300 to £349 per claim. In 2017, esure paid an even higher range of £400 to £449 for the average car key claim.

Ageas had the lowest key cover claim payout of £150 to £199 in both 2017 and 2018.

Is car key cover worth it?

Only 1.9% of add-on key cover policies were claimed upon in 2018. Since add-on car key cover has such a low claims frequency, policyholders are highly unlikely to use key cover. If car key cover is included in your policy for no extra charge—great!—but if not then you may want to think twice before paying extra for cover that you're not likely to use, and that has relatively low risk/payouts if you do lose your keys or have them stolen.

One fact to consider is that any key cover that is included as standard often has a limit of around £300, which is more than enough for most people given the cost of a replacement car key and the average car key claim of £245. Paying for an add-on with a higher coverage limit of £1,000 to £1,500 may therefore be a waste of money.

Also keep in mind that many car key cover policies won't pay for keys that you've lost or misplaced, they'll only pay for theft. And many companies require you to prove that the person is possession of your keys knows the location or identity of your car, in order for a key theft claim to be accepted. Check this detail in tle policy wording. Before deciding if you should pay for key cover, you may want to find out how much it would cost to replace your car key if it's lost or stolen because the cost to replace your key can range from around £150 to £420.

Why Are Key Cover Claims Rejected?

Motorists can take steps to increase the odds that their car key claim is accepted by understanding the terms of their policy and common exclusions. For example, motorists might have a car key theft claim denied if they can't prove that the person who stole the keys also knows how to find the insured car. There are typically a number of restrictions and exclusions with car key cover. Examples of what might NOT be covered by car key cover include:

  • Loss of keys (i.e., theft may be covered but not loss)
  • Accidental damage
  • Theft of keys if you can't prove that the identity or location of your car is known to the thief
  • Theft of keys if they were left in your car while it was unattended or unoccupied

Methodology

To get an idea of car key cover claims success, we gathered the most recently available FCA General Insurance value measures data, published January 2019. We pulled out data for key cover that is sold as on add on to motor insurance. From there, we averaged the low and high ends of the data bands to calculate a mid point average across claims frequencies, claims acceptance rates and claim pay outs.

To figure out which firm is the underwriter behind your insurance provider, find your provider's name in the following table. Once you identify the underwriting firm, you can use the table above to find their claim statistics.

Distributors/BrandsFirm
EUI LimitedAdmiral Insurance (Gibraltar) Limited
BGLAgeas Insurance Limited
Tesco BankAgeas Insurance Limited
AvivaAgeas Insurance Limited
Arthur J GallagherAgeas Insurance Limited
QmetricAgeas Insurance Limited
Eldon Insurance ServicesAmtrust Europe Limited
GoSkippyAmtrust Europe Limited
DebenhamsAmtrust Europe Limited
Esureesure Insurance Limited
Sheilas' Wheelsesure Insurance Limited
First Alternativeesure Insurance Limited
MIS Claims LimitedGreat Lakes Insurance SE
Motorplus LimitedGreat Lakes Insurance SE
Qdos Broker and Underwriting Services LimitedGreat Lakes Insurance SE
Supercover Insurance LimitedGreat Lakes Insurance SE
Volkswagen Financial Services (UK) LimitedGreat Lakes Insurance SE

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FAQs

Car insurance may or may not include cover for stolen car keys. Most comprehensive policies include some level of cover for stolen keys, commonly up to £200 or so. Whether or not a basic level is included as standard, some brands let you purchase an optional extra to give a higher coverage level, often £1,000 to £1,500, and this enhanced key cover may include cover for home, business and car keys, plus a courtesy car while you're waiting for new keys.
No, car insurance won't cover you for theft of your car if the car keys were left in or on the Car or if the car was left unattended with the engine running.
Even if your car insurance policy includes "key cover," you may find this only extends to theft and not to "lost" keys. Add-on policies may be more likely to include loss. For instance, you can add key cover to a Hastings Direct car insurance policy and this includes loss and theft.
Key cover can reimburse you for a lost, stolen or damaged car key. A plan may cover theft only; theft and loss; or theft, loss and damage. Key cover that's included on a comprehensive policy typically has a limit around £300. Add-on policies typically have higher limits (£1,000 to £1,500) and may include cover for house, car and business keys, a courtesy car and onward travel.
It depends on the policy. Many key cover add ons will include protection for home, car and business keys—but be sure to check if loss is covered as well as theft, because it isn't always.
Key cover is very unlikely to be used. In fact, only 1.9% of key cover policies in the UK are actually used. While key cover will absolutely help motorists who are able to make use of it, the very low claims frequency makes paying extra for key cover seem like a waste of money. Key cover is included as standard in some car insurance plans, however, such as LV car insurance.

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