Getting locked out of your rental apartment or home can be inconvenient, stressful, and expensive if you need to call a locksmith. So does renters insurance cover the cost of locksmith services if you get locked out?
Unfortunately, standard renters insurance policies generally do not cover locksmith fees. However, there are some situations where you may be able to file a claim, such as if the locks must be replaced due to theft or vandalism.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover:
- What renters insurance does and does not cover
- When you may be able to file a renters claim for locksmith services
- Whether your landlord’s insurance would cover locksmith costs
- Tips to avoid locksmith fees and get help from your landlord
What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
A standard renters insurance policy provides coverage for your personal belongings against damage or theft. Covered perils include:
- Water damage from plumbing or appliance issues
Renters insurance also provides liability protection if someone is injured in your rental. It can cover medical bills, legal fees, and settlement costs up to your policy limits.
However, renters insurance generally does not cover damage to the rental property itself. That would be covered under the landlord’s separate property insurance policy.
When Renters Insurance May Cover Locksmith Services
In most cases, renters insurance will not pay for a locksmith if you simply get locked out of your apartment and need new keys made.
However, there are some situations where you may be able to file a renters insurance claim for locksmith services:
Theft: If your rental is burglarized and the thieves damaged your door locks, you can likely include lock repair or replacement costs as part of your theft claim.
Vandalism: If a vandal breaks your door lock or steals your keys, resulting locksmith fees may be covered under vandalism damage.
Lost keys: If your only set of keys is lost or stolen and the locks must be replaced as a result, you may be able to file a claim.
In these scenarios, the locksmith services would be covered under the personal property protection portion of your policy, similar to any other damaged or stolen personal belongings.
Just keep in mind you will need to pay your policy deductible first before coverage kicks in. Given most renters insurance deductibles are $500-$1000, it may be cheaper to just pay for the locksmith yourself unless absolutely necessary.
When Renters Insurance Does Not Cover Locksmiths
If you simply get locked out because you lost your keys or they broke off inside the lock, your renters insurance likely will not cover the cost of a locksmith.
Here are some examples of locksmith services that would not be covered:
- Locked yourself out and need new keys made
- Key broke off inside the lock
- Lock is stuck or jammed
- Lock stopped working due to normal wear and tear
These would be considered maintenance issues that are the responsibility of the property owner, not covered damages under your renters policy.
Does the Landlord’s Insurance Cover Locksmiths?
As the property owner, your landlord likely has their own separate insurance policy to cover the physical building and structures. This landlord insurance policy may provide coverage for locksmith services in certain scenarios.
For example, many landlord policies will cover lock replacement if a tenant loses their only set of keys. Or they may cover lock repair if normal wear and tear causes it to stop working properly.
Check your lease agreement to see if there are any provisions about who is responsible for paying locksmith costs in different situations. This can help provide clarity on what the landlord insurance would take care of.
Tips to Avoid Locksmith Fees
Getting locked out of your apartment can be a hassle. But there are steps you can take to avoid incurring locksmith fees:
Make extra copies of your keys and give one to a trusted friend or neighbor.
Leave a spare key with your landlord or building manager in case of emergency lockouts.
Install a keysafe box near your door and provide the code to your landlord.
Add renters insurance coverage for lock replacement to your policy in case keys are lost or stolen.
Review your lease to understand responsibility for lockouts – your landlord may provide locksmith services free or at a discounted rate.
Ask your landlord if they have a preferred locksmith company to contact for emergencies – rates may be lower.
Only call a locksmith during business hours – fees often double at nights and on weekends.
By taking preventative steps and understanding coverage responsibilities, you can usually resolve a lockout situation without having to pay expensive locksmith fees.
The Bottom Line
Standard renters insurance policies generally do not cover locksmith services if you get locked out of your apartment and need your locks repaired or rekeyed.
But if the lock damage is due to a covered loss like theft or vandalism, you may be able to file a renters insurance claim to cover locksmith costs. Just be aware that your deductible may exceed the fees.
For simple lockouts or maintenance issues, your landlord’s insurance policy may provide coverage for locksmiths. Review your lease and touch base with your landlord before paying for locksmith services out of pocket.
Does My Renters Insurance Cover Lost Keys and Locksmith Services
Which one of the following is not covered by renter’s insurance?
Does renters insurance cover rekeying locks?
What is typically covered by renters insurance?
Does insurance cover locks?