Correlated multivariate processes have a dependence structure which must be taken into account when estimating the covariance matrix. The natural estimator of the covariance matrix is introduced and is shown that to be biased under the dependence structure. This bias is studied under two different asymptotic models, namely increasing the domain by increasing the number of observations, and increasing the number of observations in the fixed domain. Using the first asymptotic model, we quantify the convergence rate of the bias and of the covariance between the components of the estimated covariance matrix. The second asymptotic model serves to derive a fast and accurate bias correction. As shown, under mild hypotheses, the asymptotic normality of the estimated covariance matrix holds and can be used to test whether the bias is significant, for example, in the sense that the eigenvectors of the estimated and true covariance matrices are significantly different.