Are Locksmiths Free?

Insurance Can Sometimes Help Cover the Cost - but They Aren’t “Free”

A locksmith fulfills a crucial role during emergencies when people lose keys or lock themselves out of their homes.

But are locksmiths free? Should they be free?

Of course not. They need to be paid for their work - but it is possible that your insurance company may pick up some or all of the cost depending on your insurance plan. A car locksmith or residential locksmith service takes the time of a professional and therefore costs money.

Hiring a locksmith incurs a fee since they must afford the materials, technologies, and salary necessary for the job. An emergency locksmith service may cost even more due to the urgent nature of the service. However, a client’s insurance company may help pay for lockout services during these emergencies.

What expenses must a locksmith pay, and how much does their service cost? Is it possible to earn free locksmith services through insurance? Here, you’ll find everything you need to know.

Why Isn’t Hiring a Locksmith Free?

Locksmiths’ duties involve picking locks, creating keys, and repairing several mechanisms. Cylindrical, rim, and mortise mechanisms are a few of the complex machines professionals must master. Locksmiths open more than just doors, dealing with filing cabinets, desks, display cases, and more. Locksmiths must undergo quite a bit of training in order to perform these different

There are even a variety of specialties within the locksmith industry. Just some of their specialties are show below:

Car Locksmith Services

  • Car Lockout
  • Car Key Duplication
  • Car Key Replacement
  • Transponder Keys

Locksmiths Will Cost You - or Your Insurance Company

Residential Locksmiths

  • Key Cutting
  • Door Keys


Mail Locksmith Services

  • Mailbox Lock

Business Locksmiths

  • Access Control Systems

Given their diverse range of responsibilities, locksmiths must use and upkeep a variety of expensive equipment. Most professionals work alone, so they have to cover the operational costs on their own. As emergency responders, they must also sometimes take jobs at night or during unfavorable times.

Altogether, a locksmith faces many occupational expenses to remain in business. Here is a breakdown of what a locksmith’s service fees cover.

A Locksmith’s Expenses

Now that you know the answer to “are locksmiths free?”, let’s break down their regular business and training expenses. When someone first aspires to be a locksmith, they must undergo training. Whether online, at a trade school, or through a university, job training is the first upfront cost a future locksmith must invest.

Locksmiths Have Many Expenses Including Training, Equipment and Vehicle Costs

Once they begin, solo locksmiths must pay for their equipment, which enables them to work. Picks, wrenches, hooks, key extractors, and other tools are necessities. Appropriate uniforms and vehicles are also integral to the job. Mobile locksmiths respond to roadside calls and house calls, and in suburban or rural areas, they cannot work without transportation.

Then, consider the additional operational expenses a locksmith must pay. To work in most states, a professional needs to purchase and maintain a license. Gas money and vehicle insurance let a locksmith respond to calls, and work insurance protects them from on-site liabilities.

They commonly work solo, but in some situations, they hire personnel to aid the business, working at a locksmith company. In that case, they must pay their workers in addition to their salary. Lastly, to grow their business, professionals need money to advertise their services online and locally.

Even emergency locksmith services are not free. The fees a client pays contribute to their operating costs and offset the investments in job training and hiring employees.

Is a Locksmith Estimate Free?

Are locksmiths free? No. But in some cases, a locksmith will give a client a free estimate for their services. However, this practice varies by business. Some locksmiths want their clients to be aware of the costs beforehand, but others feel the practice results in fewer clients.

Residential Locksmiths May Provide You with a Free Estimate

Check your local locksmith’s website, Facebook, and other online news sources. If they do not explicitly mention having free estimates, call them and ask. Since many locksmiths are freelancers, they may be open to negotiating.

Please note that in most emergencies, the business will forego estimates in favor of the client’s safety. If someone is locked inside their vehicle, for instance, an automotive locksmith will tend to the issue before discussing due payment.

How Much Do Locksmith Services Cost?

Locksmiths set their prices, but here are the average costs of their services according to Forbes magazine.

In a lockout or lockin incident, a typical locksmith job costs a total of about $160. If the incident takes place after hours, the price may increase up to about $225. The average accounts for all types of locksmith work, including residential locks and car incidents. A single lock costs between $40 and $100 to fix, and the rest accounts for labor and transportation.

In general, unlocking services are the cheapest offerings a locksmith provides. Car key replacements, upgrading home security, and replacing locks all require sourcing new parts. Services like those can cost three or four hundred dollars. A locksmith may charge you the shipping and handling fees for retrieving the right parts.

Locksmiths typically sell their services by the hour. They may also include flat fees for making the trip to your location. If a client requests an intensive home security upgrade, each day a locksmith works will compound the fees.

Commercial locksmiths work with office and sales properties and usually offer bulk services for the entire building. Since they use more standardized tools, it is often cheaper to hire a locksmith for an office than for a residence.

Can Insurance Make Locksmithing Free?

Yes, various types of insurance can affect locksmith prices and even make them free if a client has the right coverage plans. Auto and home insurance providers are the two main groups that may reduce or cover the cost of locksmith service. Coverage varies by plan, however, and in most instances, only clients without fault receive protection.

Auto Insurance

Clients who subscribe to roadside assistance plans get a fixed degree of coverage during lockout emergencies. If someone locks their keys in their car, their insurance provider may pay most or all of a locksmith’s cost, depending on the cost and level of coverage. Most providers will pay up to about $100 per incident.

Typically, auto insurance providers offer lockout coverage as an additional plan. Basic plans do not usually include lockout protection. However, an insurer may be able to negotiate with a locksmith to lower their prices if the client doesn’t have adequate coverage.

In addition to covering part of the cost of a lockout, car insurance providers give their clients tools to call them more quickly and conveniently. Through mobile apps or calls, they connect users with emergency locksmiths that fit their coverage.

Home Insurance

Homeowners insurance may also help someone cover the cost of locksmith services. A home insured with home lockout protection may benefit from reduced costs. The insurer may also contact and arrange the locksmith’s visit on a client’s behalf.

However, compared to auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance is less likely to cover lockouts, especially those that the clients cause through negligence.

Homeowner’s insurance may cover cases where the property features doors with broken locks. However, this only applies if the victim isn’t the one who caused the damage. The less fault the client has for the damage, the more likely their insurance will help pay for a professional locksmith.

Please note that, unlike homeowner’s coverage, renter’s insurance is less substantial in covering locksmith services. It may still help in cases of theft or vandalism where the client is not at fault. Such coverage is typically subtracted from a renter’s insurance deductible.

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I've been helping small businesses - including home services contractors - get more business online for over 17 years.

About Me

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I've been helping small businesses - including home services contractors - get more business online for over 17 years.

This website is dedicating to helping home services contractors to grow their businesses by implementing effective marketing, systems, and processes. 
Learn More About Me

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