Bristol West Car Insurance Review

Bristol West Car Insurance

Bristol West Car Insurance planted its roots in Florida in 1973. Through the years, it has evolved as a company, become a member of the Farmers Insurance Group and has grown to serve more than 19 million people in 42 states. The company is part of the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies, which is one of the largest car insurance companies in the country.

It offers basic car insurance coverage, including minimum coverage and full coverage, as well as uninsured and underinsured motorists coverage.

Bristol West specializes in high-risk auto insurance, so it may be a good option for drivers who struggle to get car insurance due to their credit-based insurance score, accident history or motor vehicle record.

Hence, if you have bad credit or a poor driving record, Bristol West might be a good option for you. The company offers coverage to high-risk drivers, including those needing SR-22s. However, Bristol West has few endorsements and discounts, and its average premiums exceed the national average.

For most drivers, Bristol West’s combination of expensive rates and poor customer satisfaction means you should consider other car insurance companies.

However, Bristol West can be a good option for risky drivers who need a nonstandard insurance company because of a DUI or multiple accidents. Discounts and benefits are more generous at Bristol West than at a typical high-risk insurance provider, so drivers may find perks they can’t get elsewhere.

What does car insurance from Bristol West Auto Insurance cover?

When you’re shopping for car insurance coverage, it’s important to understand what car insurance coverage you want and what you’re required to buy. For instance, most states require a minimum amount of car insurance to drive a vehicle.

Alternatively, if you want extra protection, you may be interested in full coverage insurance.

Property Damage Liability

This coverage helps pay to repair the damage you directly cause to another person’s vehicle or their property if you’re at fault. It’s required by law in most states.

Collision Coverage

This coverage helps pay to repair damage to your vehicle if you’re at fault in an accident that involves another vehicle or piece of property. It’s required if you’re financing or leasing your vehicle.

Comprehensive Coverage

This coverage helps pay to repair or replace your vehicle if it was stolen or damaged by something other than a collision, like a hailstorm, vandalism, crashing tree or fire.

Bodily Injury Liability

If you’re at fault in an accident that injures a passenger of the other car, or pedestrian if another vehicle wasn’t involved, this coverage will help to pay their medical bills, legal fees and loss of income.

Personal Injury Protection

Whether you’re at fault or not in an accident, personal injury protection (PIP) is a no-fault coverage that helps to pay for you and your passenger’s medical bills. Some states make this coverage mandatory.

Medical Payments

This is similar to PIP coverage in that it may help to pay for you and your passengers’ medical bills if you’re involved in an accident, whether you’re at fault or not. It’s different because MedPay is always optional.

Gap Coverage

If your vehicle is totaled in an accident, guaranteed asset protection (GAP) coverage helps to pay the difference between your vehicle’s current worth and what you still owe on your auto loan.

Towing & Labor

Whether you’re at fault or not in an accident, personal injury protection (PIP) is a no-fault coverage that helps to pay for you and your passenger’s medical bills. Some states make this coverage mandatory.

Rental Car

You may add rental car coverage that pays for a rental car while your vehicle is in the shop. But nearly every auto policy also covers the vehicle and passengers when you’re driving a rental car.

Underinsured Motorist

This coverage is also within your own auto policy, helping to supplement the remaining expenses to repair your vehicle and pay your medical bills if the other driver doesn’t have sufficient coverage.

Uninsured Motorist

This coverage is within your own auto policy and helps to pay for repairs to your vehicle or for your medical bills if a driver who’s at fault doesn’t have auto insurance.

Bristol West additional insurance coverage

Depending on the state you live in, Bristol West also offers:

  • SR-22 and FR-44 availability. Many states require an SR-22 form to prove you have car insurance after a DUI or other serious violation. In Florida and Virginia, you may need an FR-44 form to show you have enough coverage.
  • Rideshare coverage. If you drive for a service such as Uber or Lyft, Bristol West’s rideshare insurance covers you while you’re waiting for ride requests. For context, rideshare companies’ policies typically only cover you while you’re en route to pick up passengers or while passengers are in your car, leaving a coverage gap between rides.
  • Towing and roadside assistance: If you add on coverage for roadside assistance, Bristol West will cover the cost of a tow truck or other roadside help if you break down. The policy will specify how many miles or how many assistance calls will be covered.
  • Rental reimbursement: With this add-on option, your insurance will help pay for alternative transportation if your car is in the shop after an accident. Bristol West’s coverage includes up to $50 per day for up to 30 days.
  • Nonowner policies: A nonowner policy is a way to get insurance if you don’t have a car but still need insurance because you often borrow cars or need to show proof of insurance after a major driving violation such as a DUI.
  • Trailer coverage: With Bristol West, you’ll get liability coverage for trailers automatically included in your policy. So if you’re using your car to tow a trailer you own, you’ll have coverage for up to $500 in property damage.

Bristol West car insurance discounts

Car insurance discounts from Bristol West vary by state. Depending on where you live, you may be able to save by:

  • Insuring more than one car with Bristol West.
  • Having an additional policy, such as a motorcycle or RV policy, from Foremost.
  • Paying for your policy in full, upfront.
  • Making electronic payments.
  • Owning a home.
  • Not having a vehicle in your household. Non-owner car insurance provides liability coverage when you drive a car that isn’t yours, such as a rental.
  • Avoiding accidents and traffic violations.
  • Being covered for at least six to 12 months with a previous insurer.
  • Getting policy documents by email.
  • Buying a policy at least two days before it takes effect, with no lapse in coverage.

The company does not advertise how much you can save, but you can lower your rates with the following discounts.

  • Setting up automatic payments
  • Going paperless
  • Having a good driving record for three years
  • Bundling policies for multiple vehicles (two or more cars, mobile home, motorcycle)
  • Bundling Bristol West car insurance with a policy from Farmers or Foremost, such as home insurance

Customer service reviews and ratings

Bristol West receives more than four times as many formal complaints as an average company of its size, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

This means that Bristol West is one of the worst-performing subsidiaries of Farmers Insurance, which generally has a good customer service reputation.

Additionally, many customers are vocal online about the different types of problems they’ve had with Bristol West Insurance. Customers have shared issues with billing, claims, customer service, and more.

However, Bristol West has a strong financial footing, earning an A rating from AM Best. This means that the company has “excellent” financial strength and is very likely to have enough funds to pay out its claims.

How to get a car insurance quote from Bristol West

Clovered is licensed to sell and bind auto insurance policies from Bristol West Auto Insurance, so you’re guaranteed to get a great price with them. Plus, their easy-to-use online quoting platform allows you to get an auto insurance policy entirely online.

If you have any questions before, during, or after the quoting process, one of their many licensed agents is available to help with anything you need. You can give them a call Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 833-255-4117 or email them at [email protected].

More about Bristol West auto insurance

  • Website: Bristol West’s website has minimal details about coverage options, but it does let you take action. You can request a quote, find an agent, see your insurance ID card, make a payment, and report or check on a claim directly from the homepage. There’s also a useful FAQ section that answers payment-related questions, including how to get text alerts when payments are due or overdue.
  • Mobile app: On Bristol West’s mobile app, you can pay premiums, view your ID card and see policy details. It’s compatible with Apple and Android devices.
  • Payment options: If you pay online, you can use a bank account, debit card or credit card at no extra cost. You can also set up automatic monthly payments or pay by phone, mail, Western Union or MoneyGram.

How to save on car insurance

Although car insurance can be expensive, there are many ways that you may be able to lower your rate. Here are some potential options for getting a cheaper car insurance premium:

Shop around and compare quotes

Since the price of car insurance varies by insurer and each company has its own proprietary rating algorithm, your premium may vary greatly depending on the company you choose. To find the cheapest company for your specific circumstances, you may want to compare quotes across various carriers.

Most insurance professionals recommend comparing quotes for the same coverage types and limits across carriers to get the most accurate comparison.

Apply discounts

Almost every insurance company offers discounts that might lower your premium. Some discounts are more significant than others. You may want to review the discounts each carrier offers when comparing quotes. Discounts are commonly available for being a good student, remaining claims-free, driving a car with strong safety ratings and bundling your insurance policies.

You may also qualify for a discount if you pay your premium in full, enroll in paperless billing or set up autopay.

Check your coverage

There are many different types of car insurance coverage, and the more you have, the higher your insurance premium typically is. Higher coverage limits also typically increase your premium. If price is a concern, you may want to review your policy to ensure you’re only paying for the coverage types that you need and check for duplicate coverage.

For instance, you might already have roadside assistance through your credit card provider.


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