Cover Note

What is 'Cover Note'

A temporary document issued by an insurance company that provides insurance coverage until a final insurance policy can be issued. A cover note is different than a certificate of insurance or an insurance policy document. The note features the name of the insured, the insurer, the coverage, and what is being covered by the insurance.


Insurance companies issue a cover note in order to provide an individual with proof of insurance before all the insurance paperwork has been processed. During this time the insurer may continue to evaluate the risks associated with insuring the holder of the cover note, and the cover note will continue to serve as the insurer’s proof that he or she has purchased coverage until the insurer issues the policy document and certificate of insurance. In general, the cover note provides the same level of coverage as the full insurance policy, though insurers may place some restrictions while they make any final determinations on the risks associated with the insurance policy.

How long the cover note lasts depends on how quickly the insurance company can process the creation of a new policy, and whether the insurer has any problems with the policy coverage in between selling the policy and issuing the policy document. If the cover note expires before the permanent policy documentation has been received, the individual will either be issued an extension of the cover note automatically or can request that one be sent.

Insurance companies may allow someone who has recently purchased an insurance policy but who does not have a formal policy to cancel the purchase. This allows someone who only holds a cover note to receive a refund, provided that a claim on the policy has not been made during the cancelation period.

Some insurance companies do not issue cover notes, and instead issue a certificate of insurance when the policy is purchased and accepted.