Car insurance cover notes

You may not be able to obtain cover notes in Australia any longer, but there are easy alternatives for short-term car cover.

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Car insurance cover notes were originally provided by insurance companies to temporarily cover drivers who hadn't decided on a policy yet. Essentially, these notes were widely used as a stand-in for insurance for drivers who might have just purchased a new car or were deliberating between different providers.

While cover notes are no longer issued in Australia, the cooling-off period included in most car insurance policies can be used in much the same way, as explained below.

Take advantage of these car insurers cooling off period

Name Product Roadside Assistance Accidental Damage Storm Choice of Repairer Agreed or Market Value
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Awarded the 2021 Finder Award for Car Insurance - Value in QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA and Car Insurance - Features in NSW, VIC, WA, this policy offers solid coverage at a low cost. Budget Direct's claims service has received a 4.2/5 based on nearly 5,000 customer reviews.

⭐ Current offer: Get 15% discount on first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Virgin Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Finalists for the 2021 Finder Awards for Best Car Insurance - Value in VIC, QLD, SA, WA and TAS, Virgin Comprehensive provides a good level of cover for a decent price.

⭐ Current offer: Get 15% off on your first year’s premium when you purchase a new eligible comprehensive car insurance online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who'd like to manage their policy online 24/7.
Qantas Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You'll be able to choose how comprehensive you want your cover to be with optional extras like choice of repairer and the option of agreed or market value.

⭐ Current offer: Earn Qantas Points for joining and paying your premium. Sign up today and earn up to 20,000 Qantas Points (points awarded will be based on your premium). T&Cs and eligibility apply.

Who it might be good for: People who'd like to earn Qantas Points.
QBE Comprehensive
Green Company
QBE Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: QBE is a sustainable insurance company and also Finder's Green Insurer of the Year 2021 award winner. This policy offers the highest level of protection available from QBE including three-year new car replacement.

⭐ Current offer: Save $75 when you purchase a new comprehensive policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those that are looking for a more environmentally friendly insurance choice.
ahm Comprehensive
Finder’s summary: ahm comprehensive car insurance lets you choose higher excess to reduce your premiums. Its Fixed Kilometre Plan can save you up to 30% compared to its standard comprehensive cover.

⭐ Current offer: Get up to 15% off when you purchase a new car insurance policy. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who drive less than 15,000 km per year.
Australia Post Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Australia Post car insurance offers comprehensive cover for things like theft, fire, new for old replacement and emergency accommodation and transport. Cover also extends to anyone who uses your car, not just you.

⭐ Current offer: Get $75 off your first year’s premium when you buy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: If multiple people use the one car and you don’t want to worry about listing all drivers.
Huddle Black Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Huddle's black comprehensive is its cover with highest limits and exclusive benefits. It includes roadside assistance. You can also get up to $2,000 for emergency travel and accommodation and up to $30 million legal liability cover.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a 24/7 claims processing.
Youi Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Youi Comprehensive Car Insurance is one of the few providers to include roadside assistance in its policy. You'll also get access to YouiRewards which gives you discounts on furniture, parking and more. Youi also has a live chat feature on its site to talk through any questions.

Who it might be good for: People over 25 who want comprehensive cover with a focus on customer service.

Compare up to 4 providers

What is cover note insurance?

A cover note is a temporary insurance policy for your vehicle. They were designed to provide short-term car insurance cover for a vehicle until a formal policy was issued, say when driving a new vehicle home.

  • Cover notes are no longer available in Australia, and you won't be able to obtain one. However, a functionally identical alternative exists in the form of an insurance cooling-off period.

Alternatives to car insurance cover notes

When you take out a car insurance policy in Australia, you are given a grace period known as the "cooling-off period" to change your mind. Typically, this lasts between 15 to 30 days, depending on the insurer. If you cancel your policy within this time, you will receive a full refund.

The important point here is that you are still fully insured during this interim period, with all the benefits of the policy you've purchased. Therefore, by taking out a policy and then cancelling it before this period expires, you can receive the same temporary benefits that a cover note would have provided.

Keep in mind that you will only receive a full refund if you haven't made any claims on the policy. You might also lose a bit of money in the transaction due to administration fees during the process.

Things to know about temporary cover

As with any policy, your cover will only be effective from the date of commencement listed on your insurance certificate. If you're interested in getting instant cover, let your insurer know that you'd like it effective immediately. You'll be given a policy number that can be used to make a claim if one arises.

There is no functional difference between this method of obtaining cover and a car insurance cover note. And if you end up being happy with the cover, you can choose to keep the policy for the rest of its term, rather than refunding it.

How else can I secure cheap short-term cover?

If you're looking for temporary cover for a longer period than the cooling-off period can provide, check out our guide to short-term car insurance. This can help you sort through the options for obtaining cover that lasts less than a year, including:

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    MatFebruary 14, 2018

    Is my 4wheel drive covered by insurance while I’m off road driving.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaFebruary 25, 2018Staff

      Hi Mat,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder.

      Generally speaking, your vehicle won’t be covered if you do off-road driving. However, how your vehicle is covered depends on the terms and conditions laid out by your policy. Read the fine print of your insurance. In this case, it is best to get in touch with your insurer and discuss your concern.

      Moreover, you may refer to our list of brands that cover off-road driving if you would like to compare your options. You can press the “Get quote” button of your preferred insurer to request for quotation.

      As stated in our review, insurers will usually cover you as long as your car manufacturer has specified that the car was designed for off-road usage. Before you start adventuring, make sure you get the OK from your insurer.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


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