Simple keys are going the way of the fax machine

October 2014 Access Control & Identity Management

There was a time when replacing a lost car key or set of office keys was no biggie, in fact a call to the locksmith would probably have you up and running in no time. But over the last few years, advances in technology and security have seen us graduate from standard metal keys to smarter devices, many of them complete with transponders and programmed microchips, while the locks have become increasingly sophisticated and secure. Loss or theft of such keys can cost a lot more than you bargained for.

“Most people take it for granted that their keys and replacement of locks are covered under their motor or buildings insurance policy, but this may not always be the case. Even where cover is included, the limits of cover may not be sufficient if you have expensive transponder type keys for your vehicle, or where your building keys are numerous and more specialised. It is essential to check what you are covered for in this regard and discuss any amendments needed with your broker to ensure that your policy will respond to your specific requirements,” explains Bina Ferreira, national manager of commercial products at Aon South Africa.

If the keys to your building are stolen, you will most likely not simply be cutting new keys, but have to replace each and every lock which can run into thousands of Rand. “If you have extra security requirements on your office building, it may mean that your locks will have been upgraded, say to multi-point type locks that run the whole length of the door for example, and these can be very expensive if you end up having to replace more than simply the key cylinder. A tally of your locks and keys and the potential costs you would face if your security is compromised can add up to significantly more than the R5000 or R10 000 key and locks cover on your commercial insurance policy.

It is essential to check that your insurance policy covers you for lost or stolen keys, and whether the limits of coverage are sufficient to replace all of them plus locks should this be necessary. “With huge advances in security, losing your vehicle or building keys will do a very impressive job of keeping you firmly locked out, with an expensive predicament on your hands if your insurance limits have not been customised for your specific requirements,” concludes Ferreira.

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