What is the Date of Issue?

Malcolm Tatum

Also known as the issue date, a date of issue is the date that is found on a quotation, stock offering, or other type of legal document that records the date that the document was prepared and scheduled for delivery to a recipient. A date of this type is key to the implementation of coverage provided by an insurance policy, as well as identifying when benefits from some type of service contract become available. While the issue date and what is known as the effective date of an agreement or contract are typically the same, there are rare instances in which the two dates are different.

Man climbing a rope
Man climbing a rope

Most types of legal documents will include a date of issue. This type of date is common with managing transactions involving stocks, bonds, and other types of investor trading activity. Identifying this date is often important to the process, since it often helps to identify the price that applies to shares of stock that applied on the issue date. This date also helps to determine a clear point in time in which ownership of those shares moved from one entity to another.

Companies that make stock offerings also include a date of issue when those shares are released either in a private offering or as part of some type of public offering. As with the transfer of ownership from one investor to another, the date of issue in this case refers to the creation and availability of the new shares. Within the records of the issuing company, identifying when specific shares of stock were created and made available to potential buyers is often just as important as identifying the type of shares issued and who eventually purchased those shares.

With insurance coverage, the date of issue of a policy is often considered the same as the effective date. Identifying this issue date is important, since the benefits of the coverage are not available to the policyholder until that date. For example, if a driver should be in an accident one day prior to the issue date of his or her auto insurance policy, the provisions of that policy will not cover the accident. In like manner, if an individual undergoes some type of medical procedure before the date of issue of his or her health insurance coverage, that procedure is not covered under the terms and conditions of the policy, and the provider will reject any claims filed for that procedure.

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One possible situation in which the date of issue and the effective date may not be the same as with a contract for the delivery of specific goods and services. For example, a contract may carry an issue date of 25 April, but the pricing within the contract may not go into effect until 1 May. When this is the case, any goods or services ordered before 1 May are likely to not be billed at the rates contained in the contract. For this reason, the client or subscriber would normally refrain from placing an order until the effective date mentioned in the terms and conditions of the agreement had arrived.

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