ED Magedson – Founder
Bristol West InsuranceP.O. Box 229080 Hollywood, Florida USA
Bristol West Insurance Apex Adjustment Bureau, Inc., Bayview Adjustment Bureau, Inc., Bristol West Casualty Insurance Company, Bristol West Insurance Service of California, Inc., Bristol West Insurance Service, Inc of Florida, Bristol West Insurance Services of Nevada, Bristol Unreasonable policy cancellation charges. Good luck getting an explanation that makes any sense. Hollywood Florida
I had a car insurance policy with Bristol West. The monthy payment was reasonable given I had very minimal coverage on a vehicle that was not driveable and waiting to be sold. Prior to the demise of the car, I only had to have liability coverage because I didn't have a loan. My son purchased a used car and took out a small loan so we had to have full coverage insurance on it. We added him to my existing Bristol West policy and paid a fairly substantial "down payment". The new monthly payment seemed a little high, but he is 19 years old so we didn't think much of it. There were about 4 months left on the policy period when he was added.
About 3 months later, when my car was sold, we dropped it from the policy and thought it would lower the monthly payment. It actually increased the payment by $90.00 a month, from $268.00 to $358.00! Ridiculous! We went to the Farmers agency the policy was written by to see why this was happening. They were not much help. We were told that the increase was due to loss of the multi-car discount and this was now "an industry wide practice".
We decided to shop around and found that to be untrue. In fact, my son got a quote from another company for comparable coverage, and in some areas better, than the policy with Bristol West. The quote for the single vehicle was $100.00 a month less than the original Bristol West payment of $268.00, and decreased by another $6.00 a month by adding me to the policy. Here's the kicker...when he tried to add an old "project" vehicle he has and doesn't drive using the logic we were given, the quote WENT UP by about $35.00 a month! My son bought the policy with the other company on-line that day, a Sunday, and we went in to cancel the Bristol West policy on the following day.
About one week had passed from the time we dropped my car from the Bristol West policy and our cancellation. The payment on the Bristol West policy had been due on 1/22/14 and we canceled back to 1/26/14, the date of the new policy. When I called the Farmers agency on 1/27/14 to see what we needed to cancel, I was told I just needed to fill out a form and bring it in, but they would request cancellation that day. We dropped the form off two days later and we were told everything was fine.
A week later, I started to get concerned when I checked the Bristol West customer website and saw the policy was not showing as canceled and I received 2 cancellation notices from Bristol West. I called the Farmers agency and was told that the girl who was working on it had not been able to complete the cancellation and she would call me. When she called back, she said that Bristol West would not cancel the policy back to 1/26/14 because so much time had passed from the day I gave her the cancellation form until that day. She now needed proof of insurance and the date and time it was effective before they would back date the cancellation. First of all, that is not my fault, I had the cancellation paperwork to them in a timely manner. Second, I had to now scan and e-mail copies of the paperwork from the new insurance policy which I had available when I went in to drop off the cancellation form and she said she didn't need it.
The next week, I received a bill from Bristol West for $177.00 for 3 days of coverage when the monthly payment had been $268.00! Our calculations showed that it should have been about $30.00 if anything given they typically make you pay a bit ahead.
When we went to the Farmers agency to find out why we were being charged so much to cancel a policy, they thought it didn't make any sense either. An employee of the agency and my son spent over an hour on the phone trying to get an answer from Bristol West, who gave them numbers breakdowns that didn't make any sense. One reason they gave us was loss of the multi-car discount for the entire month of January (which was almost over when we dropped the other car) and the month of February when the car wasn't even going to be insured by them in February! Ultimately, they said they didn't know and didn't have access to that information and couldn't tell them anything else. What?! The Farmers agency employee was just as frustrated as we were and we gave up for the day.
My husband and I went back the next day and he spoke to an agent at Farmers. She went through the same routine and said she couldn't be more helpful. He asked to speak with the owner of the agency who was in the office. He told her I had been a customer for 8 years, he had been a long time customer before switching to USAA, he had referred many people to her over the years, and was very disappointed in the way this was being handled. She took a look and said it didn't make any sense to her either, but she had to influence with Bristol West. She said they would try to call Bristol West later that day and see what they could do. Later that day, I got a call from the agent we spoke with in the morning and she said she didn't get anywhere. She did say that she tried to figure it out and made a breakdown and could she e-mail it to me that day. Of course I said yes, but I never received it.
I called the next day to check on it. I was told she absolutely sent it to me and to check my spam folder. I told them I had already done that and could they please resend it which seemed to be an annoying request to them. Anyway, we got it, but it didn't make any more sense than the information we already had. So, we haven't gotten anywhere. Thank God I never had an accident while insured by these people, it would have been a nightmare. I'm so disgusted with these people I can't stand it. I know it isn't much to some people, but $177.00 is a lot of money for us to lose. If there is ever a class action suit against this company, I would join it in a minute.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/18/2014 12:53 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Bristol-West-Insurance/Hollywood-Florida-33022-9080/Bristol-West-Insurance-Apex-Adjustment-Bureau-Inc-Bayview-Adjustment-Bureau-Inc-Bri-1124501. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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