A cover note is a certificate provided by the insurance provider that acts as proof that a driver has valid insurance until the formal confirmation documents have been processed and sent.
Although technological advancements have made the process of receiving your proof-of-insurance certificate almost instant, driving with a valid cover note is perfectly legal and they are still used today in some cases.
Who are Veygo?
Veygo are a specialist in temporary car and van insurance. Aiming to provide cheap and quick insurance that can have you on the road in less than 5 minutes.
When are cover notes issued?
Cover notes are only issued to road users who have recently bought a car insurance policy and have requested one from their insurance provider.
However, cover notes can also be issued when:
- You apply for your insurance over the phone or by post.
- If you have altered your policy — for example, to cover multiple drivers or remove second and third drivers from your insurance.
- If a provider is apprehensive about a quote — for example, if they think the car is too dangerous for your age group and want to examine it more closely.
- There’s a technical fault with an insurance provider’s systems.
If you’ve received what appears to be a cover note without requesting one from your insurer, it’s likely to be a counterfeit and should be reported immediately.
What information is in a car insurance cover note?
In order to be valid, you need to double check the information on your cover note.
A cover note must include:
- Full name
- Full address including number, street address and postcode
- Vehicle registration and details
- Reason as to why the vehicle is being used — Like social, domestic, commuting or all-inclusive
- Level of cover and any excess — Like comprehensive, third-part fire and theft and third-party
- Policy number
- Any special conditions — Like whether it’s a telematics or black-box policy
- Start dates and expirations dates
Who issues a cover note?
A cover note can’t be obtained by any other insurance provider — only the insurance provider you agreed a policy with can issue you with a cover note.
You can only drive if you know your cover is being processed — this means either waiting for email confirmation, a certificate or a cover note.
What is the difference between a certificate of motor insurance and a cover note?
Technically, there is no difference in validity between a certificate of motor insurance and a cover note.
A cover note acts as proof of insurance the same way a certificate of motor insurance does. The only difference is that the cover note is used in place of a full certificate while you’re waiting for your details to be finalized.
How long can you drive with a cover note?
The length of time you can legally use a cover note depends on the insurance provider.
Generally, a cover note is valid for at least a month — however, quicker processing times may mean the amount of time your cover note is valid may be significantly shorter.
If you’re unsure about the process and the validity of your cover note, always check with your provider before setting off.
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Can a cover note be used as proof of insurance?
Yes, you can use your cover note as proof of insurance.
Your cover note acts as a notice to other drivers or the police that you have paid for insurance coverage, you’re protecting yourself and other road users and that you’re waiting for your documents to be finalised.
When will I receive my cover note?
Nowadays, many big insurance companies will issue you with your certificate via email instantaneously — or will send a notice of confirmation within 24 hours.
However, some smaller insurance providers still issue cover notes that will usually arrive by post or by email in three to five working days.
What happens if my certificate doesn’t arrive?
If your certificate doesn’t arrive before the cover note expires, don’t panic.
Get in touch with your insurance provider and they can guide you through next steps, flag issues on their end and double-check your address and delivery details.
This is the quickest way to be issued with a new certificate should it be lost in transit or misplaced by the provider.
Will I need a cover note for a theory or driving test?
You only need to have a cover note, certificate or proof-of-insurance via email if you plan on taking your driving test in your own car.
If you’re taking your test in an instructor’s car, they’ll likely have special insurance that covers learner drivers — so you don’t have to worry.
Are the terms in a cover note the same as the terms in a full policy?
Yes, the terms of the cover note should be identical to the terms agreed on for your full insurance certification.
For example, if you’ve agreed third-party-only insurance, your cover note will cover you for third-party-only as well.
What should I do if there’s a mistake on my cover note?
If you believe there’s an error on your cover note, call your insurance provider.
They can run you through the details that they have on file and you can have them quickly changed if any errors are spotted.
Is a cover note binding?
Legally speaking, a cover note is not a final, binding document.
However, it does bind both parties to cover any liabilities they face in the event of loss during that period.
Are cover notes free?
In the event you should need a cover note, it should be issued by the insurer free of charge.
However, your provider will alert you of any costs prior to issuing you with the note.