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.


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
Our 2019 Finder Award winner for Best Value Car Insurance.
Qantas Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Earn up 20,000 Qantas Points when you sign up*. Plus double points on premium for 12 months. Ends 30 June. * Points earn thresholds & T&Cs apply.
Youi Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Emergency roadside assistance included in Comprehensive policies.
Virgin Comprehensive
Save 15% when purchasing online.
UbiCar Comprehensive
Use the free UbiCar app to track your driving. Better drivers get lower premiums.
Real Comprehensive
Save up to 10% when you buy online.
Kogan Comprehensive
Save up to 10% when you buy online + $50 Credit.

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

  1. 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, if you are looking for brands who cover off-road driving, you might want to visit this page.

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

      Have a wonderful day!


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