Mistakes, Changes, And Corrections
Errors occur, plans change, all sorts of things can go wrong. The travel insurers understand this and are usually more than happy to help you straighten things out.
First of all, you should have the opportunity to cancel your policy for any reason for 10 - 14 days after making the purchase and get a refund of the premium. They normally will not refund the $6 - $8 per policy administrative fee that was tacked on. So make sure you have read and understood all of the policy terms within the refund period because after that you own that policy whether it suits your needs or not.
Perhaps when you booked your tour you figured you'd be flying into Rome the day before the tour departed and bought your policy using that as your start date. After thinking it over a little more you decide to spend a couple additional days in Rome. No problem, you'll be able to change your dates (usually at no additional cost) to match your actual travel dates. Just call the insurer. If you forget to adjust the dates on the policy and have a medical problem on those days you added to the trip but didn't add to the policy you're without coverage. Any time you change your travel dates be sure to change them on the policy also -- you want to be covered for the full length of time you're gone from home.
You've upgraded your cabin on the cruise and need to cover the additional cost. You won't have to buy another policy, the insurer will just adjust the insured trip cost on your current policy and charge you any additional premium that might be due. VERY IMPORTANT: Remember that some plans require you to insure 100% of your trip cost to be eligible for their waiver of the pre-existing medical condition waiver. If you've purchased a policy from one of these insurers and forget to insure that higher cruise cost you may be losing your waiver.
Maybe the cost of your trip has gone down. If this results in you falling into a lower premium bracket you should be able to get a refund of the difference in the premium. However, any time you're reducing your coverage amount many insurers will request that you confirm that in writing in order to avoid any disputed over the coverage amount down the road. You may have to fax the changes to them.
Sometimes you won't even know for sure your total trip cost and/or travel dates at the time of booking but want to make sure you buy your policy in the time frame needed to get the pre-existing condition waiver. Perhaps with that tour starting in Rome the tour company is making the flight arrangements but hasn't told you yet what those are. Make your best guess as to your travel dates and buy your policy based on those dates. When the tour company finally confirms your dates pull out your policy confirmation, compare those dates to the ones given to you by the tour company and call the insurer right away if any changes need to be made.
Some insurers have now set up their web sites to accept these changes over the web but you should be able to do most of them by phone also. Always insist that a revised confirmation be sent to you and keep it with your original documents.