If someone steals your keys, you may not be covered by your home insurance. It all hinges on how they were stolen, by who, and when it happened. Find out more inside.
Stolen keys? Whether your home insurance will pay to cut new ones or change your locks will depend on how they got stolen. If it turns out you were at fault, you could be left out of pocket.
In this article, we’ll answer questions like:
- Does my home insurance cover stolen keys?
- What do I do if someone steals my keys?
- Will my insurance cover it if someone I trusted with spare keys steals from me?
Losing your keys can be traumatic, especially if someone stole them. It can be tough to feel safe again – so in this article we’ll outline exactly what happens to your insurance.
I gave keys to someone and they stole from me
Moving to a new house? Giving friends, relatives and even trusted neighbours a spare key for emergencies seems like a good idea. Maybe you give one to your mother in law, and keep one aside to give to your neighbour or the cat-sitter when you go on holiday.
Unfortunately, giving spare keys to others can cost you a lot more than a new set. Your keys will not be considered “stolen” if you willingly give your keys to others, and they go and make a copy. Every person you give your keys to could, theoretically, go and have copies made in less than half an hour. You may not even notice if they were missing.
Taking care of your keys is a standard security measure. This means your provider will assume you’ve been careful with your keys, and won’t pay out if you haven’t. Home insurance policies usually exclude theft by family members, neighbours or ex-partners.
This is because insurance companies take into account your connection to the guilty party. No matter if they’ve let themselves in or helped themselves to your belongings, this counts as an act of deception and not theft, which typical policies don’t cover.
Burglars stole my keys
If you’re unlucky enough to have someone with a key burgle you, but you don’t have any connection to them – and you can prove it – insurers may look at the case ‘favourably’. This means they might consider your claim, but this is never a guarantee. All that matters is the circumstances that led to someone getting their hands on your keys.
For example, if someone stole your keys to make a copy, then replaced them before you noticed, this could work in your favour – but it would be very hard to prove. But if this is an acquaintance from the past you forgot had keys to your house, insurance won’t cover your negligence.
This is why it’s a good idea to change your locks whenever you move into a new house. You have no idea who could have spare keys, or copies.
What happens to your home insurance?
If you make a claim on your home insurance relating to lost or stolen keys, it will wipe out your no claims discount. Depending on how long you’ve had it, this could mean paying an extra 20%, 30% or even more on your home insurance when you renew.
Past claims also make it more difficult to get new home insurance. This is because if you’ve made a claim, insurance companies know you’re more likely to make one in the future.
If you’ve left a spare key outside and burglars take it, for example, your insurance company now knows you’re in the habit of hiding keys. And old habits die hard. Statistically speaking, if you’re the kind of person who likes to keep a spare key in plain view, not even a burglary will change that.
Instead of spare keys, consider investing in smart locks which recognise fingerprints. If you need a pet-sitter, you can program temporary access. Or, invest in smart lights so your neighbour doesn’t have to pop round to make the place look occupied.
And when you’re in your home, never leave your keys in sight of the letterbox. They can easily be “fished” out. Make sure you lock up sheds and outbuildings, too.
If you have any Home Insurance queries, talk to us in QuoteMe.ie
If you have any questions related to what is covered and what is not covered regarding losing house keys, feel free to call us and talk to our trained home insurance experts. We know home insurance like the back of our hands. We have seen all the possible scenarios and can guide you through choosing a policy that best suits your needs. We are available for calls between 8.30am and 5.30pm each weekday on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.