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Bristol West Insurance Review

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Bristol West Insurance Group may be a solution for drivers looking for affordable car insurance that face challenges due to their motor vehicle record, credit-based insurance score, prior insurance history or another situation which may have been detrimental. These drivers may be considered high-risk by standard car insurance carriers, which could disqualify them for coverage or lead to higher-than-average premiums. As part of the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies, Florida-based Bristol West is associated with a large national carrier — one that ranks in the top 10 auto insurance companies by market share in the U.S., according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I).

Perks Drawbacks
Web and mobile app accessibility to access policy documents, vehicle insurance cards, payment portal and more Limited policy features and discount opportunities available to drivers
Received an A (Excellent) Financial Strength Rating from AM Best Some policy features may not be available in every state Bristol West operates in

Bristol West, formerly branded as Foremost Insurance, has been in business since 1973. It started as a private automobile insurer for Florida residents and is now available to drivers across 43 states needing personal and commercial auto insurance and is offered by thousands of exclusive and independent agents across its markets.

Although a smaller company in comparison to some other national car insurance carriers, Bristol West has access to a large pool of resources for its company size to provide affordable auto insurance for all types of drivers, due to its tie to Farmers Insurance. Additionally, while Bristol West was not rated by JD Power and Standard & Poor’s (S&P), it did receive an A (Excellent) rating from AM Best, indicating strong financial strength and its ability to pay claims.

Bristol West car insurance

Although intended for high-risk drivers, Bristol West offers many of the same coverage options available as part of a standard auto insurance policy. This includes bodily injury and property damage liability, as well as collision and comprehensive coverage options. Drivers may also opt for towing and roadside service, rental reimbursement, which will pay up to $50 per day for 30 days toward a rental car after a covered loss, and medical payments up to $10,000 if you are injured because of a car accident.

While Bristol West may not have the wide variety of coverage options like the best car insurance companies identified by Bankrate, drivers are still able to personalize their car insurance policies. Drivers with a trailer can opt for additional liability coverage with up to $500 in physical damage that is attached to a covered vehicle. Additionally, if you use your personal vehicle for rideshare programs, you could add rideshare coverage to extend your car insurance liability to cover you during ridesharing-related activities (dependent on your state and policy type).

Bristol West car insurance discounts

Compared to standard auto insurers, Bristol West offers limited discounts to help customers save money on car insurance. Policyholders working with an exclusive or independent Farmers agent and who have an existing Farmers policy, such as a homeowners, condo or renters policy, may be able to qualify for a multiple policy bundling discount. A local Farmers agent can help you check what discounts are available.

Bristol West car services

If required by your state’s department of motor vehicles, Bristol West can file an SR-22 or FR-44 on your behalf to prove that you have an active insurance policy that meets the minimum liability coverage required by state law. This can be requested when you buy a policy from Bristol West or added to an existing policy.

Other Bristol West perks worth considering

As an insurance carrier that only offers high-risk auto insurance, Bristol West recently expanded its offerings to commercial drivers.

Bristol West social responsibility 

While Bristol West does not disclose its commitment to corporate social responsibility, it is part of the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies, which has numerous community initiatives and donation programs for its employees as well as a disaster relief effort.

Not sure if Bristol West is right for you? Consider these alternatives

  • The General: The General is an affiliate of American Family Insurance and is among the nation’s leading auto insurers for high-risk drivers. Auto insurance from The General is typically much cheaper than its competitors, so high-risk drivers may have an option to get affordable insurance despite their circumstances.
  • Farmers: As the main carrier of the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies, Farmers Insurance could be an option for drivers who qualify for standard auto insurance and want its additional policy add-ons and discount opportunities.
  • Nationwide: Based on Bankrate’s analysis of high-risk carriers, Nationwide’s average premiums after an incident may be lower compared to other companies, potentially providing high-risk drivers an effective opportunity to save on auto insurance.
Written by
June Sham
Insurance Writer
June Sham is an insurance writer for Bankrate. Before joining the team, she worked for nearly three years as a licensed producer writing auto, property, umbrella and earthquake policies.
Edited by
Insurance Editor
Reviewed by
Director of corporate communications, Insurance Information Institute