Is Bristol West Good for Auto Insurance?

Last Updated on April 24, 2023

Bristol West is an auto insurance company in the larger Farmers Insurance Group. They provide insurance to customers in 42 states, and they specialize in insurance policies for high-risk drivers. Bristol West was previously known as Foremost Insurance. If you’re shopping for car insurance, you may be wondering if Bristol West can offer the insurance coverage you need. Here’s what you need to know about Bristol West and its car insurance offerings.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Bristol West offers a variety of standard types of car insurance coverage, as well as unique coverage options such as SR-22 coverage, rideshare coverage, gap coverage, and non-owner coverage. This makes it a good choice for high-risk drivers who require specialized coverage.
  2. Bristol West provides standard discounts to customers, including multi-car discounts, paying-in-full discounts, and safe driving discounts. However, asking for a complete list of discounts is important to ensure you’re not missing out on any potential savings.
  3. Bristol West is part of the reliable Farmers Insurance group and is able to pay out claims. However, Bristol West receives many complaints, particularly regarding its website and mobile app.
  4. Bristol West’s rates are higher than the average for most people but can be relatively affordable for young and inexperienced drivers who typically struggle to find good car insurance. Bristol West may not be the right fit for those who prefer managing their policy online, as most policy aspects must be managed through an insurance agent.

What Type of Coverage Does Bristol West Offer?

Bristol West offers the standard types of car insurance coverage that you would expect from a reputable brand. They offer the required liability coverage for the 42 states that they insure, as well as comprehensive, collision, medical payments, and more. They also offer towing and roadside assistance services to help you should you get stuck on the road. These coverage options can be combined to give you the amount of financial protection you are looking for. Bristol West also offers a few unique coverage options that differentiate it from its competitors. Here are some of the coverage options that Bristol West specializes in.

  • SR-22 coverage: This is coverage for people required to carry an SR-22 form, which legally proves they carry a certain amount of car insurance coverage. In many states, you must have an SR-22 form if you have had a DUI or have been found at fault in several car accidents. However, many car insurance companies won’t cover people requiring SR-22s. This is because these drivers are statistically far more likely to get into an accident than those who don’t have to carry an SR-22. Bristol West provides reasonably priced policies to those requiring SR-22s, making it a good choice for high-risk drivers.
  • Rideshare coverage: Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are a trendy way to get around, particularly in big cities. Many drivers are joining these rideshare services to earn some extra cash. However, not many companies offer car insurance specifically for rideshare drivers. Bristol West’s rideshare policies give you extra coverage on top of the primary insurance rideshare companies provide for their drivers. Getting in an accident as a rideshare driver can be very costly, so it’s essential to have the appropriate level of insurance for the situation.
  • Gap coverage: This can protect you against a financial loss if your leased car is totaled. Say you owe $10,000 on your car lease when your vehicle is hit, rendering it unusable. Your car is no longer worth anything, but you still owe $10,000. Bristol West’s gap insurance covers that difference (less your deductible).
  • Non-owner coverage. If you don’t have your own car but frequently drive rentals or friends’ cars, non-owner car insurance can give you the coverage you need. You’ll get basic liability coverage at an affordable price without having your own car.

What Sort of Discounts Does Bristol West Offer?

Bristol West offers fairly standard discounts to customers to help them save money on their car insurance. You can earn discounts for insuring more than one car with Bristol West by paying your entire premium in full instead of making monthly payments and by making your payments online. If you’ve been with another insurer for more than six months and you switch to Bristol West, they will give you a discount just for moving companies. You can also get discounts for driving safely and avoiding traffic tickets, or even just for being a homeowner. Car insurance companies like Bristol West want to reward drivers who are less likely to get in accidents and more likely to make on-time payments. When signing up for a car insurance policy, ask for a complete list of discounts to ensure you aren’t missing out on any potential savings.

List of Bristol West Discounts

  • Good student discount
  • Mature driver discount
  • Homeowner discount
  • Paid in full discount
  • Bundling (i.e. homeowner’s with auto) discount
  • AutoPay discount
  • Good driver discount
  • Accident forgiveness
  • Student-away-from-home discount
  • On-time payment discount
  • Switching from another provider discount

Is Bristol West a Reputable Company?

Bristol West is part of Farmers, a reliable insurance group. You can feel confident in the company’s ability to pay out any claims you might file. However, Bristol West gets a very high number of complaints compared to other insurance companies. Many people complain about the company’s website and mobile app – there isn’t any way to file claims digitally, and you need to work with an independent agent to get your policy set up.

Bristol West’s customer service has received negative feedback, with customers experiencing claim delays and overall dissatisfaction, leading to a 1.83 complaint score from the NAIC, 83% higher than the average score nationally for a company of its size. Despite this, Bristol West maintains a high level of financial stability, boasting an “excellent” A rating from AM Best. This rating can be attributed in part to the fact that Bristol West is backed by the financial expertise of Farmers Insurance, a large insurance conglomerate.

How Affordable Is Bristol West?

Bristol West is not the most affordable company on the market, but it is not outrageously expensive either. Compared with other car insurance companies, they offer higher-than-average rates for most people. However, young and inexperienced drivers that might typically struggle to find good car insurance can find relatively affordable policies with Bristol West. Bristol West is also one of the only companies that offer reliable insurance for customers who require SR-22 forms.

Is Bristol West Right for Me?

If you’re considered a high-risk driver, and you’re struggling to find car insurance, Bristol West may be a good option for you. While their rates aren’t the cheapest, they do offer reliable coverage for people who are considered high-risk. It also can be a very good option for rideshare drivers. However, if you like to make payments, file claims, and manage your car insurance policy online, Bristol West may not be the right fit for you. Most aspects of your policy must be managed through an insurance agent with Bristol West, which can be inconvenient.

Our Rating of Bristol West

Bristol West is an auto insurance company that offers standard types of car insurance coverage and unique options such as SR-22 coverage, rideshare coverage, gap coverage, and non-owner coverage. While the company is part of the reliable Farmers Insurance group, it gets many complaints, and its rates are higher than average for most people. Still, it can be a good option for high-risk drivers or rideshare drivers.

Customer Satisfaction
Financial Stability


After conducting a thorough review of Bristol West insurance, we found that while the company does offer flexible options for high-risk drivers, it has a limited selection of discounts available for customers seeking additional savings. Additionally, we found that the company’s rates are above the industry average. Customer service metrics from the NAIC suggest that some policyholders may have experienced dissatisfaction with the service they received.


Other Frequently Asked Questions

Bristol West Contact Information

Bristol West Insurance Group
PO Box 31029
Independence, OH 44131-0029

Phone Number: 1-888-888-0080


James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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