What is a cover note in driving?

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A cover note is the first official document you will receive from your insurance company or broker to show your vehicle is in compliance with the law by having road risk insurance on it. This is a temporary document issued to be used as proof the vehicle has road risk insurance covering it. With this document, you can legally operate your vehicle on roads in the UK. Motor trade insurance is a form of road risk insurance. If you also collect vehicles from the roadside or transport vehicles, you will need recovery truck insurance, another form of road risk cover.

Why was a cover note issued instead of my certificate of motor insurance?

What is a cover note

The receiving of the cover note is proof the premium on the insurance policy has been paid and is proof the vehicle is covered with a road risk policy so that it can be legally driven on UK roads. Your insurance agent or broker assumes that the details you have provided are truthful and accurate and issue the note.

The delay of issuing the certificate of motor insurance is so the information being provided can be checked for accuracy. This process is called trust with verification, so the client can drive where they need to without the worries of not having their vehicle insured.

If any of the information or documents being provided fail verification or are found to be false, it will cause the cover note to be invalidated by the insurance company.

How long is a cover note valid for?

The process of verifying all the documents a client submits can take up to 30 days on average. This can include the driving licence check, no claims discount verified, background check for criminal convictions and ownership of the vehicle to name a few. Other factors involved in the time needed for the verification process include the type of vehicle to be covered, the level of insurance coverage and how the vehicle is going to be used.

Due to that verification process, the average cover note is valid for those 30 days, so the verification process can occur and be completed. Once the verification process is completed and the certificate of motor insurance is issued, the cover note becomes invalid.

Motor certificate Information

Per vehicle regulation rules of 1972 all certificates of motor insurance must be printed form and contain the following information at a minimum:

  • Persons that are permitted to operate the vehicle.
  • Policyholder’s name and the insurance company providing the coverage.
  • Vehicle registration. number
  • Class of use of the vehicle.
  • Start date and end date of policy.
  • Certificate number.
  • Level of cover third party, third party with fire and theft or comprehensive.

Cover Note for Motortrade insurance

Whilst a cover note is normally associated with provided proof that your car is indeed insured whilst you wait for the policy documents, a cover note can also be issued whilst waiting for motor traders.   A motorcade insurance policy is more complicated, so it is more common for the insurance provider to issue a cover note. The cover note can be used as proof of having part-time motor trader insurance, motor traders that work from home, mobile mechanics insurance amongst the many other styles of motor trade insurance.

Cover Note Information

If a cover note is issued, it will contain the same information as detailed above in the motor insurance policy.

A cover note is great for an emergency, for example your own car is being repaired after an accident, and you wish to get immediate cover on a replacement vehicle. If you are involved in any accident, you need to always contact the broker immediately to avoid extra charges.  More details available in steps to take after a roadside accident or a breakdown.

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