What is a Cover Note in Driving?

If you’ve heard the term cover note or temporary cover note in relation to driving, it’s highly likely that this is in regard to a car insurance cover note.

A cover note is insurance company jargon for a temporary insurance certificate that proves that you have motor insurance while you await the completed insurance certificate being issued. A cover note provides the same insurance cover as full insurance documentation. Its main benefit is that it provides cover immediately.

Car insurance cover notes used to be more common than they are now. In pre-internet days it took longer for the motor insurance company to issue print and supply a certificate of motor insurance, which was when they came into their own.

However, nowadays with the speed and prevalence of the internet, insurance documents can be issued and downloaded even from a driver’s mobile phone.

What does a cover note include?

  • Name of driver
  • Insurance provider
  • Contact details of the driver including address, email address, phone number
  • Car registration
  • Vehicle details (make, model etc)
  • Vehicle insurance policy number
  • Details of the excess amount
  • Date when the policy begins
  • The expiry date of the insurance policy
  • Driving licence details

When is a cover note required?

You may be asked to produce your cover note if you wish to make an insurance claim.

So it’s vital that you make sure your details are correct on the cover note.

Ensuring everything is correct is also vital to make sure that the insurance documents, once issued will contain accurate and up-to-date information for you and your car.

Can a cover note be out of date?

Your full insurance documents should reach you before your cover note expires.

In the unlikely event that your cover note expires before you receive your documents, contact your insurer as soon as possible.

You may be able to extend the cover note so there is no gap in your insurance coverage.


How is a cover note different from a policy document?

A cover note is merely a temporary document, or stop-gap, which refers to your insurance policy.

The actual policy documents are a much more comprehensive set of papers with all the detail, terms and conditions and legalities covered in full.

How long should a cover note last?

Cover notes are usually issued for 30 days or in some cases, 60 days. It’s very unusual for a cover note to be needed for any longer than that.

Do you have to pay for a cover note?

It’s unlikely that you will have to pay for your cover note, but all insurance providers are different so you will have to check with them.

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