Jury duty – that civic obligation to serve on a jury when called – can wreak havoc on a traveler’s plans. When you’re required to serve on a jury or required by court order to appear as a witness in a legal action at the same time you have a trip planned, you may be forced to cancel your trip. If that unfortunate situation happens, you’ll want to know whether travel insurance covers jury duty.
Many travel insurance plans specifically list being required to serve on a jury or required to appear in court as a witness in a legal action as covered reasons to cancel your trip. These are not, however, covered reasons that you can interrupt your trip and make a claim on your travel insurance (essentially because you wouldn’t have been present to receive the jury summons while you are traveling).
Limits on travel insurance coverage for jury service
Travel insurance – like any other type of insurance – has limits on how much and when it will pay out to cover your losses. When it comes to travel insurance coverage for jury duty, there are essentially two limits:
The notice of jury duty must be received after your travel insurance plan’s effective date
You cannot be a party of the legal action (often, but not always, with the exception of law enforcement officers)
As you might imagine, the timing of this coverage is important and buying your travel insurance early rather than later is always a good idea specifically for situations like these. You want to avoid waiting to buy your travel insurance because you’ll have the longest continual coverage for events like trip cancellation in case of jury duty, for example.