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
Coles Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: With Coles comprehensive car insurance, you could earn double flybuys points at Coles supermarkets and you can get $10 off your Coles grocery bill every time you redeem 2,000 Flybuys points. Also, get up to $200 for damaged or stolen groceries. Get 10% off your first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Coles customers and Flybuys collectors.
Australia Post Comprehensive
Optional
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. Get $75 online discount + $100 gift card when you purchase by 11 July 2021. 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.
Virgin Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Finalists for the 2019 Finder Awards for Best Value Car Insurance, Virgin Comprehensive provides a good level of cover for a decent price. Get 15% off on your first year’s premium when you purchase a new eligible comprehensive car insurance online. T&Cs Apply.
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Awarded the 2019 Finder Award for the Best Value Car Insurance, this policy offers solid coverage at a low cost plus you will get 15% discount on first year's premium when you take out a policy online. Budget Direct's claims service has received a 4.2/5 based on nearly 5,000 customer reviews.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary:Bingle consistently comes up as one of the cheaper insurers out there. It only covers the basics, so you don't get to choose your own repairer, you're not covered for personal items in the car and unless you add it as an option, you won't get a hire car if your car is stolen. But this keeps its premiums low.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a low-cost option that covers them for the basics.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
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. Plus you can also 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.
PD Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed
Finder's summary: PD comprehensive car insurance policy lets you buy, manage, and start your claims process online. It includes cover for emergency repairs up to $500 and free windscreen chip repair. Ability to customise your extras cover. New policyholders can enjoy 15% off on their first year's premium. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those with low claims history and the only driver.
QBE Comprehensive
Green Company
QBE Comprehensive
Optional
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. You can also 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.
Stella Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Stella’s a female-focused insurer. It'll cover you if your car is damaged as a result of domestic violence. It offers higher cover for baby gear than most, with up to $2,000 cover for prams, strollers and child seats. Get $50 cash back when you purchase online between 1 April – 30 June 2021 using the code STELLA50. T&C apply.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a female-centred car insurance policy (it will cover men too).
Poncho Comprehensive
Agreed
Finder's summary: Poncho works like a monthly subscription – you pay monthly and can cancel and leave at any time. You can also list multiple cars and drivers under one policy, making it ideal for families and groups living together under one household.

Who it might be good for: People who want their car insurance month to month.
ahm Comprehensive
Optional
Both
Finder's summary: ahm comprehensive car insurance lets you choose higher excess to reduce your premiums plus you can get up to 15% off when you purchase a new car insurance policy. T&Cs apply. Additionally, their Fixed Kilometre Plan can save you up to 30% compared to their standard comprehensive cover.

Who it might be good for: People who drive less than 15,000 km per year.
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
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
Real Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Real Comprehensive Car Insurance provides similar coverage to other insurers for the important stuff like looking after your car if it's stolen or you crash. They're also one of the few insurers who offer a Pay As You Drive policy, so you might be able to save big if you don't drive much.

Who it might be good for: Those that don't drive much can take advantage of their Pay As You Drive policy.
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.
Woolworths Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Woolworths catches our eye due to some unique perks like a price-beat guarantee, where it'll beat any current comparable comprehensive renewal notice if you're over 25. You'll also get 10% off your grocery shop once a month and can add roadside assistance onto your policy for just $7.35 per month.

Who it might be good for: Woolworths shoppers and those that want to take advantage of its price-beat guarantee.
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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!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

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