Car Insurance Cover Notes

What is a Cover Note?

A “cover note” is what insurers use to describe the temporary motor insurance document they issue. This document serves as proof of insuring a vehicle until the final documents are sent. Historically, cover notes have been more common when insurance certificates took a while to issue. There are fewer of them now, but you may still see one.

An insurance cover note will contain the same details as an insurance certificate, for example, the name(s) of people authorised to drive, the make and model of the vehicle, and the extent of insurance. You will also find information on the type of coverage you have – comprehensive, third party only, or third party, fire and theft.

Regardless of how you purchase your policy, you’ll be covered by the same terms and conditions outlined in the policy documents, such as permission to drive another vehicle and a courtesy car. Although, the underwriters may have some limitations due to the risks involved with insuring you. For instance, the insurance firm may be able to cancel your coverage immediately, rather than having to provide you with seven days’ notice.

How long will the cover note last?

The validity period varies according to the insurer and to the policy, but typically 60 days is the maximum period of cover and the timeframe must be included on the cover note.

What do I do when I receive a cover note?

Make sure you read your policy information carefully, and then keep it in a safe place in the event that you are stopped by the police or that you need to check the terms of your policy if you are involved in a collision.

Check your documents immediately after receiving them for accuracy. There may have been a simple error, such as a misspelled name or the wrong date of birth. If your insurance documents contain incorrect information, it could invalidate your cover and make your claims invalid.

Your permanent documents should be sent shortly after the cover note is issued by the insurer. Certificates of insurance, schedules, and policy documents are included in this package.

Your certificate is proof of your insurance, while the policy and booklet contain important information about your policy and how to contact the insurer in the event of a claim.

What happens if I don’t receive my insurance certificate?

If your certificate doesn’t arrive before the cover note expires, then contact your insurance company immediately. Your customer service representative should be able to tell you what is happening and how they plan to resolve the issue. It is also a good idea to verify that the address they have for you is correct.

An extension of your cover note should be sent by your insurer if the certificate is delayed. Make sure you start your new cover note at the same time the old one ends so there is no gap.

Why didn’t my insurer provide me with a cover note?

Cover notes are not required by all car insurance companies. Some insurance companies issue the certificate of insurance on the day you accept the policy and, in some cases, you may also receive an email confirmation within 24 hours after accepting the policy – especially when buying car insurance online.