Frequently Asked Questions

Payments

Making a payment on your auto policy is fast and easy! Bristol West offers a variety of convenient payment options. Choose the payment method that best suits your needs! Please have your policy number available.

Q: How can I make a payment?

A: Online Pay online using your checking account, debit card, or credit card at no additional cost.

Automated Phone System Call 1-888-888-0080 to make a payment using the automated phone system. You may use your checking account, debit card, or credit card. Please note that a Convenience Fee for processing one-time payments made through the automated phone system may be charged. This amount will be added to your current installment payment.

Live Representative Speak directly with a Customer Service Advocate between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm in your local time zone, to make a one-time payment using your checking account, debit card or credit card. Please note that a Convenience Fee for processing one-time payments over the phone may be charged. This amount will be added to your current installment payment.

Automatic payments Our Direct Debit Program allows your payments to be automatically deducted each month, using your checking account, savings account, debit card or credit card. (MasterCard®, Visa®, American Express® and Discover® cards are accepted)

Mail Send a check or money order by mail for the full amount due on the remittance coupon. Please be sure to include your policy number on the check or money order.

To your Producer You may also make payments directly to your producer. Please contact your producer for more information. You can locate your producer’s information in your policy documents.

Western Union Payments may be made through Western Union Quick Collect (City code ‘POLICY’, State Code ‘FL’). For the nearest Western Union location, call 1-800-325-6000.

MoneyGram Payments may be made through MoneyGram retail payment locations. For the nearest MoneyGram location, call 1-800-926-9400 or access www.moneygram.com. You will need to provide a receive Code of 4978, company name of Bristol West and your policy number

Q: Can I make a payment using a pre-paid debit or credit card?
A: Yes, as long as it has the Visa® or MasterCard® or American Express® logo on the card.

Q: Is my payment accepted immediately?
A: When making payments online, by phone, through your producer, Western Union and MoneyGram® we will honor today’s date for determining if your payment is on time, assuming your payment is honored by your financial institution. Please allow up to 48 hours for the payment to appear on your policy.

Payments set-up for Direct Debit are applied on the scheduled due date of your payment. Payments made by mail are applied to your policy based on the postmark date of the envelope. (Assuming payment is honored by your financial institution)

Q: Can I change my payment due date?
A: No, payment due dates are based on the effective date of your policy and the payment plan selected by you at the time your policy was purchased. The due date is then fixed and cannot be changed.

Q: What happens if I mail my payment on the due date?
A: We consider the postmark date on your envelope as your payment date. As long as your payment is postmarked on or before your payment due date, your payment will be considered on time.

Q: What happens if I mail my payment after the due date?
A: A notice informing you of the cancellation for non-payment of premium will be sent to you and a late fee may be charged. If your payment is made prior to the cancellation date on the notice, your policy will continue in force.

Q: What happens if I make my payment after the cancellation effective date?
A: Your policy will cancel for non-payment of premium. We may offer options to put your policy back in force. For specific options available to you, please refer to the back of the cancellation notice. If you are a registered customer @bristolwest.com your policy documents can be viewed online.

Q: What is an installment fee?
A: An installment fee is a fee for the option to pay your premium in installments. When you choose an installment plan, these fees are included in your payment schedule and are added to your policy balance at the time your bill is sent. Please note that these charges are not included in your overall total policy premium.

Q: How can I avoid paying installment fees?
A: You caYou can avoid installment fees on future payments by paying your policy balance in full, or by making your installment payment at least one month in advance.

Automatic Payments

For added convenience and additional savings you can enroll in the Direct Debit Program.

  • No hand writen checks

  • No postage stamps

  • Lower installment fees

  • No need to remember to make your installment payment.

Q: What are the advantages to enrolling in the Direct Debit Program?
A: When you enroll in our Direct Debit Program your payments will automatically be deducted from your account according to your scheduled payment due date. Since payments are deducted on your scheduled due date, you’ll never incur any late fees. You’ll also save money with lower monthly installment fees.

Q: How can I enroll in the Direct Debit Program?
A: You can enroll as a registered customer on bristolwest.com. You can also enroll through your producer or by faxing the enrollment form to 1-800-682-0817.

Q: When can I expect my payments to be automatically deducted from my account?
A: Upon enrolling in the Direct Debit Program, a schedule of future payments will be provided to you outlining when the automatic payment deductions will occur.

If you enroll on-line or through your producer, the information is provided immediately. If you fax the enrollment form, the schedule of future payments will be mailed.

Q: How can I verify what account information is set up for my automatic payments?
A: You can confirm the last 4 digits of the account on file by viewing your policy information on bristolwest.com, contacting your producer, or you may contact Customer Service at 1-888-888-0080 between 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday your local time.

Q: How do I change my account information that is set up for my automatic payments?
A: You can make changes to your Direct Debit account information on-line @bristolwest.com. You can also make changes through your producer or by faxing a new enrollment form to 1-800-682-0817. The form must be received at least 3 business days prior to your payment due date to affect the current payment.

Q: If I make a payment before the due date, will that stop the withdrawal of my automatic payment?
A: No, a manual paymeNo, a manual payment will not automatically stop your scheduled withdrawal. We don’t recommend that you make a manual payment because, based on the timing of your payment, we have no way to ensure that an automatic withdrawal will be stopped.

Q: How can I stop the automatic payment withdrawal from my bank account?
A: You must terminate your enrollment in the Direct Debit program at least 3 business days prior to the payment due date to ensure the withdrawal is stopped. If you terminate enrollment in the Direct Debit program you may lose a discount.

This can be done:

  • On-line: login to your account or register as a new user @bristolwest.com

  • Through your producer

  • Fax the Direct Debit termination form to 1-800-682-0817.

A new Direct Debit enrollment form must be submitted should you decide to re-enroll in the Direct Debit program whether with the same or a different account.

Q: Will my enrollment in the Direct Debit Program carry over to my renewal policy?
A: Yes, prior to the renewal of your policy you will receive a new payment schedule indicating the dates and payment amounts that will be automatically withdrawn on your renewal policy.

Return Payments

Q: Are Direct Debit payments resubmitted to the bank if they are dishonored by my financial institution?
A: No, if a payment is dishonored by your financial institution, it is not resubmitted. (This applies to all payments made to the company)

A replacement payment including any applicable return fees must be processed prior to the cancellation date. You can make a replacement payment online, via check by phone or by mail.

Q: I had funds available in my account and my payment was still dishonored. Why?
A: If you are unsure about why your payment was dishonored, you should contact your financial institution or participating bank. Only they can give you an explanation.

Refunds/Credits

Q: When will I receive my refund?
A: In most cases, refunds will be issued within 2 weeks. All refunds are issued pursuant to state law and are in the form of a check that will be mailed to the address listed on your policy.

Q: What happens if I make a change to my policy that reduces or increases my policy premium?
A: Any policy change that results in a change in premium will be applied equally across future unbilled installments.

Here are two examples of how your new payment schedule would look:

Increase in premium example: You recently added a vehicle and updated your coverages. Those changes caused your premium to increase by $180.00. If you review the table below you will see that we equally divide the premium increase by the number of upcoming/unbilled installment payments. Changes do not affect the current bill due.

Installment # Original Amount Premium Increase New Bill Status
1 $100.00 - - Paid
2 $100.00 - - Paid
3 $100.00 - $100.00 Currently due
4 $100.00 +$60.00 $160.00 New future bill
5 $100.00 +$60.00 $160.00 New future bill
6 $100.00 +$60.00 $160.00 New future bill

Decrease in premium example: You recently deleted a vehicle and lowered your coverages. Those changes reduced your premium by $180.00. If you review the table below you will see that we equally divide the premium decrease by the number of upcoming/unbilled installment payments. Changes do not affect the current bill due.

Installment # Original Amount Premium Increase New Bill Status
1 $100.00 - - Paid
2 $100.00 - - Paid
3 $100.00 - - Currently due
4 $100.00 -$60.00 $40.00 New future bill
5 $100.00 -$60.00 $40.00 New future bill
6 $100.00 -$60.00 $40.00 New future bill

Policy Changes

Q: Who is authorized to make changes on my policy?
A: Changes may be made by the primary Named Insured and their spouse if listed on the policy.

Q: How do I make changes to my policy?
A: We recommend making any changes to your policy through your Producer as some changes will require a signature or a licensed agent to process.

Q: How can I cancel my policy?
A: We recommend contacting your producer to cancel your policy. However, you can also contact us at 1-888-888-0080 for other cancellation options.

General Questions

Q: Why did my premium change?
A: Changes to your auto insurance premium can result based on changes that you elected to make to your policy. These changes may include, but are not limited to:

Adding or removing a vehicle, changing your address, adding or removing a driver or changing your vehicle coverages.

Additionally, your rate may change due to your driving history or other change in your circumstances. These changes are typically made upon the renewal of your policy. If you notice that your renewal premium changed, additional factors that affect your premium, include, but are not limited to,: your age, driving history (a new violation, accidents, and tickets from active drivers) or the garaging location of your vehicle.

Finally, the Company may increase or reduce rates effective for their overall book of business. Sometimes an overall rate increase is necessary due to the high level of claims or losses and our company’s increased cost of paying these claims in you state. Our practice of periodically reviewing rate levels, which determines an increase or decrease in premiums, is an industry wide practice.

Please contact your producer to review specific factors affection your policy.

Q: Why does my policy have a balance due after cancellation?
A: When your cancellation is processed the premium due for the exact number of days the policy was active is calculated including any applicable fees. The total payments received are applied to the balance due and refunded if overpaid or billed if there is an outstanding balance.

Q: What is a declarations page?
A: The declaration page is part of your policy. It states the name of the insurance company, policy number, coverages, the cost of coverages, any policy forms or endorsements including additional and supplemental coverage in the policy and deductibles. It also lists the drivers and vehicles insured on the policy and the vehicle’s identification numbers.

Q: What information is on my ID card?
A: Your ID card includes the effective and expiration date of your policy, the make and model and the VIN of the covered vehicle, and the name of the primary insured. Due to space limitations on the ID card not all drivers will be listed. For a full list of covered drivers and policy coverages please refer to your policy declarations page.

Q: Who is my producer?
A: Your producer is the agent or broker who you purchased your auto insurance policy through. You can locate your producer’s information such as the name, address and phone number on your policy documents.

You can also locate an agent or broker here.

Q: Why sign up as a registered customer?
A: Signing up is a simple, 3 st is a simple, 3 step process that provides many benefits.

  • Online access 24/7

  • Easy access to your current policy information where you can:

    •  Check payment status

    • Change your email address

    • Print your ID cards

Claims

Our goal is to settle your claim as quickly, fairly and accurately as possible to minimize the disruption to your life.

For questions regarding a claim please contact our claims department at 1-800-274-7865. We take new loss reports 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

 

   
Part of the Farmers Insurance Group ®