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Covered Calls and Covered Puts


When an option position is opened by selling an option, while simultaneously owning an equivalent position in the underlying security, it is called a "covered" position. Calls are covered by owning the underlying security and puts are covered with a short position in the underlying security.

Covered Call (buy-write)

When an investor owns a security and sells calls on that security, they are "covered calls" as long as the investor owns 100 shares of the security for each call that is sold. The sold calls are covered because the options can be exercised by selling the security to the option holder at the strike price of the call options.

Covered Put

When an investor has a short position in a security and sells puts on that short security, they are "covered puts" as long as the investor is short 100 shares of the security for each put that is sold. The sold puts are covered because the options can be exercised by buying the security to close out the short position at the strike price of the put options.

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