Bristol West Insurance Company is an offshoot of the Farmers Insurance Group and specializes in high-risk drivers, including those who require SR-22 insurance. The company focuses solely on offering auto insurance.

Who Benefits Most and Least from Bristol West Insurance?

Best For…

  • Customers with a spotty driving history, especially those who’ve been turned down by other insurers
  •  People who prefer working with a local agent
  • Drivers who need to file an SR-22

Not the Best For…

  • Customers who prefer to shop for insurance online
  • Drivers looking for above-average customer service

Bristol West Insurance: Designed with You in Mind

Bristol West is a relatively small company, but as part of the Farmers Insurance Group, it has much greater resources to draw on than you’d expect for a business of its size. The company has chosen to put those resources into offering perks like a wide array of discounts and a dedicated app. This fits in well with Bristol West’s stated goal of “delivering high-quality and responsive service to customers through product innovation and a broad array of systems to support our customers, and our agents and brokers.”

Bristol West has a poor customer service rating compared to its peers. Most customer complaints focus on customer service issues and a tendency for rates to creep upwards (or sprint upwards) over time. Some customers also express frustration over the company website’s limitations.

Quality of service can also vary quite a bit depending on which independent agent you work with. Look up your local office with a search like “Bristol West Insurance Florida” to see what other customers have to say about its service.

Bristol West Car Insurance Quotes and Discounts

You might think shopping for insurance means buying the cheapest option you can find, but if you’re not checking for discounts, you might not be saving as much as you think. Pick a policy with lots of available discounts, and a seemingly costly premium could end up being the best deal of the bunch.

Make sure you use Insurify when shopping for your car insurance policy—it makes sure you’re aware of any discounts for which you’re eligible and lets you compare quotes from several insurance companies at once!

Auto Insurance Quotes Comparison: Bristol West vs. Competitors

Insurify’s data team compared Bristol West’s automobile insurance quotes to those of its competitors. Below are the quotes for a 30-year-old female with a clean driving record in Houston, Texas: 

Insurance companyQuote
Bristol West$58/month
Progressive$64/month
Mercury$65/month
GEICO$94/month

Here are the quotes for the same 30-year-old, this time with a speeding ticket on her record for driving at 75 mph in a 50 mph zone:

Insurance companyQuote
Bristol West$64/month
Progressive$74/month
Mercury$85/month
GEICO$117/month

Lastly, here are the quotes for the same 30-year-old, but with an at-fault accident on record instead of a speeding ticket:

Insurance companyQuote
Bristol West$78/month
Progressive$95/month
Mercury$110/month
GEICO$166/month

Bristol West consistently churned out the lowest quotes for this specific driver profile. But to check if it’ll have the same quotes for you, you should consider using a quote comparison website like Insurify, which lets you compare up to 20 different insurance quotes at a time!

Drivers Can SAVE with these Discounts from Bristol West

Bristol West offers a variety of discounts for people with clean driving records, people with many vehicles on a single policy, or people with multiple Bristol West policies. 

States Where Bristol West Car Insurance is Offered

Bristol West auto insurance is available in 42 states.

Insurance minimums and coverage vary in every state, so you should look up the details for Bristol West policies offered in yours.

Click here to find the cheapest car insurance quotes in your state.

Bristol West Auto Insurance Coverages

Bristol West offers policyholders the following types of insurance as part of its “standard” car insurance coverage:

Liability coverage
Bristol West offers customers both property damage and bodily injury liability, which are mandatory in 49 states. These cover you if you’re at fault in a car accident and need to pay for medical bills and property damage sustained by the other driver. For example, if you were at fault in a car accident with another car, Bristol West would pay for the damages to that other car. If you were to crash into someone’s fence or mailbox, Bristol West would pay for that, too.

Comprehensive and collision coverage
These types of car insurance coverages pay for damage to your vehicle, whether the damage is your fault or someone else’s. Collision coverage pays for damage that occurs when your vehicle hits something else (be it another car or something like a tree). Comprehensive coverage is for any type of covered damage that’s not the result of a collision (for example, if your vehicle is stolen or vandalized).

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
What happens if you’re in an accident that’s someone else’s fault, but that person doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to pay for your vehicle repairs or medical expenses? In that case, Bristol West’s uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage can help. If you’re hit by someone who has no insurance coverage or are the victim of a hit-and-run, uninsured motorist coverage would apply. Underinsured motorist coverage, unsurprisingly, is for accidents where the at-fault driver has some insurance coverage, but not enough to pay for all the expenses. Some states require this coverage on your auto insurance policy, while others consider it optional.

Medical Payments coverage
If you’re involved in an accident, Bristol West’s medical payments coverage will help pay your medical expenses, legal fees, and any emotional distress the accident caused you. Medical payments coverage is not intended as a replacement for health insurance, but it can complement your existing health insurance coverage. For one thing, your health insurance will help with your medical costs from an accident but it won’t do a thing for your passengers, whereas your medical payments coverage extends to everyone in your vehicle.

Personal Injury Protection
Bristol West offers Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage as your state requires. If you’re a resident of a no-fault accident state, you’re required to have either medical payments coverage or PIP coverage. PIP covers your medical payments in the long-term aftermath of your accident, not just the immediate aftermath. This means if you or your family members sustained injuries that require regular hospital visits and rehabilitation, PIP will cover those costs. PIP tends to cover more expenses than medical payments coverage does, but unlike medical payments coverage, you’ll have a deductible to meet. Check to make sure you’re comfortable with the level of PIP coverage before purchasing your insurance policy.

Read more about these common components of your car insurance coverage here. 

The following are optional coverages that are available as add-ons to a standard Bristol West car insurance policy:

Rental Car Reimbursement
Bristol West will reimburse you for the cost of renting a car if you’re in an accident and your vehicle is undergoing repairs. But of course, it will only cover the costs if your policy covered the original accident.

Gap coverage
When you buy a new vehicle, its value drops as soon as you drive it off the dealership lot. That means you could end up owing more on your car loan than the car is actually worth…and if you total the car in an accident under those circumstances, you may end up owing the lender more than you get back from your auto insurance provider. That’s where gap coverage can come in handy. If your vehicle is totaled, gap coverage pays you the difference between how much your vehicle is worth and how much you owe on the lease or loan.

Other Special Auto Coverages Offered by Bristol West Insurance

Customizing Equipment Coverage
This add-on provides coverage if you need equipment installed on your vehicle by someone other than the vehicle’s manufacturer.

SR-22 and FR-44
If you’ve been convicted of a major traffic violation, including DUI, driving without insurance, or anything resulting in license suspension, your state may require you to get a special certificate proving that you have at least the minimum required insurance coverage. This certificate, which your insurance company will file with the state, is called an SR-22 (in a few states, this document will have a different name; for example, in Florida, it’s an FR-44). Not all insurance companies are willing to file this document for you, but Bristol West will do so.

Read more about commonly added special auto insurance coverages here.

Other Insurance Products Offered by Bristol West Insurance

Bristol West specializes in private passenger auto insurance. The company doesn’t currently offer any other type of insurance coverage.

How Can I Buy Auto Insurance from Bristol West?

You can purchase Bristol West’s car insurance by calling a Bristol West agent at a local insurance agency; there’s a search tool on its website.

Speaking with an independent agent is the only way to get a quote for Bristol West’s insurance policies (though once you have a policy, you’ll be able to manage it using the website and mobile app).

Remember to compare quotes before you make a decision by using a website like Insurify, which lets you compare up to 20 quotes at a time!

How Can I Pay for My Bristol West Car Insurance Policy?

Bristol West accepts almost all methods of payment, including paying online, by phone, or through the mail.

Credit card or bank account
You can log in to your Bristol West account and pay with your credit card or your checking or savings account. Alternatively, Bristol West allows you to skip the login and make a one-time payment if you provide your ZIP code and any two of the following: policy number, policyholder’s last name, and date of birth.

Through your bank
You can sign up for online payments through your bank by using your Bristol West policy number. To get set up, you’ll also need your bill amount and due date. Use the following payment processing address:

AZ, CA, NV, TX customers:
Bristol West Insurance Group
PO Box 7142
Pasadena, CA 91109-7142

Customers in any other state:
Bristol West Insurance Group
PO Box 371329
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7329

Once you’ve completed the setup process, you can easily make future payments through your bank’s bill pay system.

Automatic payment
You can set up automatic monthly payments from your checking or savings account; your account must be current to enroll. Log into your Bristol West account online or call your local agent to get started. Alternatively, you can fax the enrollment form to 1 (800) 682-0817.

By phone
Call 1 (888) 888-0080 to pay for your policy over the phone. You can make payments 24/7 at this number, though if you need to speak with a human being, you’ll need to place your call between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

By mail
You can send a check or money order to the Bristol West Insurance mailing address that matches your state:

AZ, CA, NV, TX customers:
Bristol West Insurance Group
PO Box 7142
Pasadena, CA 91109-7142

Customers in any other state:
Bristol West Insurance Group
PO Box 371329
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7329

Overnight payments:
Bristol West Insurance Group
900 S Pine Island Road, Suite 600
Plantation, FL 33324

How Often Will Bristol West Increase My Premiums?

If you get into an accident…
Even safe drivers can get into unfortunate situations, and most of the time, getting a ticket or a violation on your record will lead to premium increases. In fact, your auto insurance rates will most probably increase even if you weren’t at fault in the accident.

If you’re a loyal customer…
Many Bristol West policyholders complained of price hikes even though they had maintained clean driving records. It’s wise to compare rates with other insurance providers every time your policy is up for renewal, even if your rates with your existing insurance company don’t change.

If you file a claim…
The number of claims you file will also impact your Bristol West premiums. If you file a claim, even for an accident where you weren’t at fault, your Bristol West rate will probably increase.

How Does Bristol West’s Claims Process Work?

You can file a claim online by logging into your Bristol West account online and following prompts. You can also call 1 (800) 274-7865 if you would rather speak to a representative. Once you’ve filed a claim, you can manage and track its progress online by entering the claim number and policy number or call 1 (800) 274-7865 for updates.

How Can I Cancel My Bristol West Car Insurance Policy?

You can call your local agent or speak with a Bristol West Insurance representative at 1 (888)888-0080 to cancel your policy.

Cancellation fees vary by state and policy, so you should consider canceling your policy at the end of the policy period to avoid such fees. Make sure you already have another insurance policy lined up for your car so there are no gaps in your insurance. You’ll also want to hold off on canceling your plan until you have your proof of insurance letter. Use an insurance comparison website like Insurify to find and compare auto insurance quotes for free.

How Much Does Uber/Lyft Coverage Cost with Bristol West Insurance?

Bristol West Insurance offers rideshare coverage in some states; check with your local agent to see if it’s available in your area. 

A ridesharing policy covers you during the time between when your personal coverage from Bristol West Insurance ends and your Uber or Lyft policy takes over. You’ll still need to buy coverage from Uber or Lyft to protect you while you actually have a paying passenger in the car; a rideshare policy is only active between when you log into the Uber/Lyft app and when you get matched with a passenger. 

Because the ridesharing coverage only operates for a brief window, it’s typically quite affordable—though specific costs will vary based on your driving history, location, credit score, and other factors.

Insurance Companies Similar to Bristol West

According to Insurify’s internal database of over 2 million car insurance applications and analysis of external sources, policyholders who switched to Bristol West most often came from the following insurance companies

  1. Progressive
  2. GEICO
  3. State Farm
  4. Allstate
  5. Esurance

Drivers who previously held Bristol West auto insurance policies and decided to change providers most often switched to the following companies:

  1. Progressive
  2. Mercury
  3. Direct Auto
  4. Dairyland
  5. Safeco
  6. Bristol West (finding an even better rate on Insurify!)
  7. National General
  8. Infinity

Bristol West Car Insurance Customer Satisfaction and Policyholder Reviews

Customer reviews for Bristol West are relatively poor. Some reviewers cited unauthorized charges, and sudden and unexpected rate increases. Other customers complained that Bristol West’s handling of their claims was unsatisfactory and unhelpful.
Read Jaralee M.‘s review of Bristol West Insurance Group on Yelp

 

However, not all reviews have been bad:

Bristol West Mobile App Review

Bristol West’s app has a mediocre ranking on the Google and Apple app stores, with a rating of 3.1 on the Google Play store and 3.5 on Apple’s App Store. You can use the app to view your policy details and auto insurance ID card, make payments, file claims, and get contact information for your local agent.

App storeRatings (Out of 5)User reviews
Mobile App (iOS) 3.515
Mobile App (Android) 3.148

Frequently Asked Questions: Bristol West Car Insurance

Does Bristol West have good insurance?

Bristol West Insurance is a good option for car insurance if you are considered a high-risk driver, prefer working with someone local to get and maintain your insurance, or need to file an SR-22. It might not be a good option if you're looking to buy insurance online or superb customer service (although the latter partly depends on the caliber of your local agent). Also, drivers who live outside the 42 states where Bristol West provides coverage will have to look elsewhere.

How do you know if Bristol West is the cheapest car insurance in your area?

Shop around for insurance with an auto insurance quotes comparison site like Insurify to have a look at all the cheapest car insurance quotes and discounts for which you may be eligible. You can never rely on one insurance company to give you the best or the cheapest quote. Different insurance companies use different factors to set their rates, so even if a particular insurance company gave your friend a great rate, that doesn’t mean it will be the best deal for you. That’s why it’s important to do your research and compare quotes among other insurance companies. This can be time-consuming, but Insurify helps you compare auto insurance quotes in a matter of minutes. All you have to do is put in some basic information about your driving profile, and you can compare up to 20 free quotes at once!

Is Bristol West cheaper than Progressive or GEICO?

Bristol West is an offshoot of Farmers Insurance Group that specializes in affordable insurance for high-risk drivers. So if you have a spotty driving record with a couple speeding tickets or accidents, you should consider Bristol West as an option. You could also compare Bristol West quotes to quotes from other companies using a quote comparison website like Insurify to make sure you get the cheapest quote for the best coverage.

Is Bristol West the cheapest car insurance in your area?

You can never rely on just one company to give you the best or the cheapest car insurance quote. Just because Bristol West had an excellent deal for your friend doesn’t mean it’ll have the same deal for you. 

That’s why it’s essential to do your research and compare quotes among other insurance companies. This can be time-consuming, but Insurify helps you compare auto insurance quotes in a matter of minutes. 

All you have to do is put in some basic information about your driving profile, and you can compare up to 20 quotes at once for free!

Bristol West Auto Insurance Overview

Bristol West Insurance Group, now part of Farmers Insurance Group, was founded in Florida in 1973. It currently serves 42 states across the United States and is supported by over 48,000 exclusive and independent insurance agents in the country, as well as about 20,000 employees. Before August 2018, Bristol West sold car insurance policies through the name Foremost Insurance.

A.M. Best, a credit rating company that assesses the financial strength of insurance companies, gives Bristol West Insurance an “A,” denoting excellent financial health and ability to pay out claims.

Bristol West Contact Information

Customer service phone number1 (888) 888-0080
Claims phone number1 (800) 274-7865
Fraud reporting phone number1 (888) 662-6616
Billing and payments phone number1 (888) 888-0080
Mailing addressBristol West Insurance Group, PO Box 31029, Independence, OH 44131-0029
Claims addressBristol West Claims Service, PO Box 258806, Oklahoma City, OK 73125-8806
Overnight mailing addressBristol West Insurance Group, Rockside Center III, 5990 West Creek Road, Independence, OH 44131
Websitewww.bristolwest.com

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Updated January 21, 2020

Wendy Connick is the founder and owner of Connick Financial Solutions, a provider of tax and bookkeeping services and a QuickBooks Online Certified ProAdvisor. A long-time freelance writer, she specializes in business and finance articles on subjects including taxes, investing, and retirement. Wendy is an Enrolled Agent (EA), the only federally licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation and have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS. She is a member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents and a certified volunteer for VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), an IRS-sponsored program to provide free tax help for low-income individuals and families.