Cover note

Insurance is not rocket science. We explain everything you need to know about cover notes in this glossary article.

What is a cover note?

When you file a legal claim, the insurance company checks whether your case is eligible for cover. They also check the chances of success for your case.

If everything is in order, you will receive a cover note. With this, the insurer confirms the extent to which it will cover the costs of your case. Only after you have received the confirmation of coverage, you can be sure that the costs for further extrajudicial and judicial proceedings will be covered. You then only have to contribute the agreed excess.

Please note: You might have come across the term “provisional cover note” in connection with car insurance. This is the insurance cover you have after you have taken out car liability insurance, registered your car, but have not yet paid the first premium. The provisional cover turns into definitive cover as soon as you have paid the first premium and received your insurance certificate.


When do you need a cover note?

A cover note is always required when a legal case has occurred and you want your provider to cover the lawyer's fees and litigation costs. Please note that you need a new cover note for each step of the proceedings.

How do you obtain a cover note?

There are two ways to obtain a cover note:

  1. You clarify directly with the insurance company whether they will cover the costs of your case. This gives you the advantage of deciding in advance whether you really want to hire a lawyer and pursue the case.
  2. If you have already hired a lawyer, they can request the cover note from the insurance company. This has the advantage that a lawyer can often better present the facts of the case and provide the insurance company with relevant documents.

Can the insurance company withdraw a cover note?

Generally, the insurer can’t withdraw a cover note that has been issued.

However, there is one exception: If it turns out that you provided false information or withheld important details, your insurance company can withdraw or limit the cover note.


For what reasons can the insurer refuse to provide a cover note?

Your insurer may refuse to provide cover for the following reasons:

  • Your case falls under an area of law that is not covered by your policy.
  • Your case occurred before the start of your insurance cover or the waiting period still applies to the relevant area of law.
  • Your legal matter falls under a special risk exclusion.
  • Your case is not likely to be successful.
  • The costs incurred and the desired outcome are not in proportion to each other.

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