Bristol West vs. Great Northern: Which Company is the Best Fit for You?

Looking for car insurance and wondering if Bristol West or Great Northern is the right company for you? If so, you're probably wondering which carrier has the lowest prices or the biggest discounts. Luckily, we've done the heavy lifting for you and compared the two companies to help you find the best deal on your next auto insurance policy.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • Based on national averages for car insurance, Bristol West offers less expensive rates than Great Northern
  • Bristol West offers more affordable premiums for policyholders who have a clean record
  • Bristol West offers more discounts than Great Northern Insurance

Bristol West vs. Great Northern: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

So, you're thinking about switching your auto insurance. With so many ads from all sorts of companies offering big discounts, you're probably wondering exactly how much you might be able to save.

You might have narrowed your search down to Bristol West or Great Northern for your next policy, but which one has cheaper rates for insurance?

Bristol West Great Northern

Looking at the national average rates for both companies, Bristol West has average rates that are about 17% per month more affordable than those from Great Northern.

That being said, that doesn't necessarily mean Bristol West will be the less expensive option for every single driver. Auto insurance carriers use tons of complex algorithms to calculate prices, so depending on how good your credit score is or how clean your driving record is (among a bunch of other factors), you could see wildly different premiums from the ones above.

Wanting to know if Bristol West or Great Northern is really the right company for you? Keep on reading to see how average prices can change based on all of the factors we've mentioned above.

Bristol West or Great Northern: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Bristol West Great Northern

Bristol West and Great Northern only compete against each other in Michigan, where Great Northern offers the cheaper average rates. For Michigan residents, Great Northern offers car insurance for $496 monthly on average. Bristol West's average premiums come out to be over 30% more expensive, at $650 a month.

That being said, there are plenty of other factors that go into your auto insurance cost than just where you live. Read on to learn more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Bristol West Great Northern
18-year-old drivers$785$950
25-year-old drivers$357$486

Young drivers -- especially teens -- usually pay a lot for insurance compared to older drivers. That's generally because young, inexperienced drivers are statistically much more likely to get into accidents since they have less experience on the roads.

Even so, that doesn't mean teen drivers can't still save money on their car insurance. For example, 18-year-old drivers pay an average of more than $150 less a month by choosing Bristol West over Great Northern.

However, both companies will drop prices by the time drivers turn 25. Great Northern offers the steepest decrease, with 25-year-olds paying less than half what 18-year-old drivers are charged. That being said, Bristol West still has the most affordable rates at $357 per month.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Bristol West Great Northern
65+-year-old drivers$364$346

Drivers around retirement age typically enjoy some of the cheapest auto insurance premiums out there. After all, they've likely been driving for quite some time, which normally reduces their chances of accidents and other infractions that can increase prices.

But who has the best rates for retired drivers between Bristol West and Great Northern? Great Northern gets the slight edge here, with average premiums coming in at around $346 a month compared to Bristol West's $364. But the difference is only about 5%, so other factors will likely come into play when determining which carrier has the lowest prices for you.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Bristol West Great Northern

Did you know that car insurance rates are generally cheaper for married couples than they are for single drivers? That's typically because married policyholders tend to own and insure multiple cars, which can often earn you a discount.

When it comes to relationship status, Bristol West is the clear winner for single policyholders, with premiums around $86 per month more affordable than Great Northern, on average. The advantage for married drivers with Bristol West is also obvious, where drivers save nearly 20% a month.

Bristol West vs. Great Northern: Average Rates by Gender

Bristol West Great Northern

Because men are more likely to get into accidents and get speeding tickets, they raise the chances of filing a claim with insurance. Therefore, insurance carriers will tend to charge men more than women.

Surprisingly, women normally pay about 0% more per month than men with Bristol West; men and women get the same monthly prices with Great Northern.

Looking at the data for each company specifically, Bristol West comes out as the cheapest option for both genders, with average premiums 17% less for men and 17% cheaper for women.

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Bristol West or Great Northern: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Bristol West Great Northern
State Minimum*$279$255
Full Coverage**$544$737

*State minimum value indicates liability-only policies at each state's minimum bodily injury and property damage (BI/PD) limits

**Full coverage indicates state minimum BI/PD limits with collision and comprehensive coverages added to policy.

Insurance isn't the easiest topic to understand. Everyone needs car insurance, but there are so many different limits and coverages that it can be hard to find the right policy.

Even so, most policies that many drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability only (which covers the other party's property damage and injuries if you cause an accident) and full coverage (which includes comprehensive and collision coverages that protect your own vehicle, alongside liability).

In this case, Great Northern offers the most affordable average rates for state minimum limits for liability insurance, while Bristol West has the edge for full coverage policies with similar coverage limits. Drivers looking for basic state minimum coverage can save around $25 with Great Northern Insurance, while full coverage comes out to be around $200 less expensive with Bristol West.

Is Bristol West or Great Northern Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

It's no big secret that drivers who are accident-free get better deals on their insurance. But even if you have a spotty record, you can still find plenty of ways to save some cash on your monthly bill.

Tickets and collisions will most likely raise your prices, but is Bristol West or Great Northern more affordable for drivers with less-than-ideal driving records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Bristol West Great Northern
Clean Record$339$496
1 Speeding Ticket$439$496

Policyholders with Great Northern auto insurance policies don't report seeing their premiums increase after getting a ticket, but Bristol West policyholders can expect to see their monthly bill increase by about 25%.

That being said, Bristol West has cheaper rates for drivers in both categories -- their rates are around 32% less expensive for drivers with clean records and 11% more affordable for those with a ticket.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Bristol West Great Northern
Clean Record$339$496
1 At-Fault Accident$479$496

Bristol West drivers who get in a collision can expect to see their premiums climb by just under 30%, while those who have insurance through Great Northern will see around a 0% increase.

Overall, Bristol West offers the cheapest prices for drivers with an at-fault accident on their records, with monthly rates averaging $479 compared to Great Northern Insurance's $496.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Bristol West Great Northern
Clean Record$339$496
1 DUI$390$496

If you get a DUI charge, you can expect some pretty significant increases in your monthly insurance bill -- usually a lot more than an accident or ticket. On average, Bristol West will climb your premiums about 13% after a DUI, while Great Northern's average rates increase by 0%.

If you have a DUI on your record and are looking for more affordable prices, Bristol West tends to be the much cheaper option with average rates of $390 monthly compared to $496 from Great Northern.

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How does Credit Score Impact Bristol West and Great Northern Rates?

Did you know that many car insurance companies take into account your credit score when calculating prices? This isn't always the case (California, for example, has banned the use of credit score as a rating factor) but it will come into play for several policyholders.

Auto insurance carriers argue that those with poor credit scores are less likely to pay their bills on time each month, which increases the risk involved on their end, while the opposite is true for those with good credit.

Looking at Bristol West and Great Northern specifically, which company has the most affordable premiums for drivers at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Bristol West Great Northern
Excellent Credit Score$342$76
Good Credit Score$380$99

Michigan is one of a few states that prohibits car insurance companies from using credit scores to determine prices. And since Great Northern is only available in Michigan, there is no data available on how credit score impacts rates because it's not a factor at all. This may be a good thing, since Bristol West and other carriers tend to raise premiums quite a bit in other states if you don't have excellent credit.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Bristol West Great Northern
Fair Credit Score$413$118
Poor Credit Score$5561692

If you have less-than-perfect credit and live in Michigan, the good news is it won't cost you extra when it comes to insurance. As you can see, poor credit can really cost Bristol West drivers in other states, but no need to worry if you live in Michigan.

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Is Bristol West or Great Northern Better for Drivers who Work from Home or Have Short Commutes?

Bristol West Great Northern
6,000 Annual Miles$410$496
12,000 Annual Miles$413$496

Did you know that the amount of time you spend in your car have a sizable impact on how much auto insurance companies will charge for coverage? That's because the more miles you drive, the more likely you are to get into a collision and cause an insurance claim.

As you can see in the table above, annual mileage doesn't have much of an impact on how much Great Northern charges. However, there's a small difference in monthly rates for Bristol West, with policyholders who drive 6,000 miles yearly paying around $3 less every month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles annually. Still, Bristol West is the more affordable option for drivers in both categories.

Bristol West vs. Great Northern: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where you call home can play a pretty big role in how much you pay for insurance. Typically, if you live in a rural area with fewer cars on the road, you'll pay a little less for car insurance, while the opposite is true for people in urban areas.

Bristol West Great Northern
Urban Areas$539$570
Suburban Areas$386$486
Rural Areas$309$432

Bristol West boasts the most affordable average prices for drivers in all areas, regardless of if they're urban, suburban, or rural.

Policyholders in rural ZIP codes see the cheapest rates from both carriers, but Bristol West comes out on top with average premiums about $309 per month. Bristol West also has less expensive average prices for drivers in urban and suburban ZIP codes -- a 5% and 21% a month respective difference when compared to Great Northern policyholders in similar areas.

Bristol West vs. Great Northern Discounts

You want to save as much money as possible, right? The best way to do that is by taking advantage of as many auto insurance discounts as you can.

But where do you even start? With what seems like a million different discounts out there, it may be challenging to find all the ones you can take advantage of.

In the section below, we've compared all of the different discounts offered by Bristol West and Great Northern so that you can see which carrier can save you the most money each month.

Bristol West Great Northern
ABS Discount
Advance Quote Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Continuous Insurance Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount 
Driver Training Discount 
EFT Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount 
Homeowner Discount 
Minor Child Discount 
Mobile Home Policy Discount 
Multi-Car Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount
Occasional Operator Discount 
Paid In Full Discount 
Paperless Discount 
Passive Restraint Discount
Pay Plan Discount 

Bristol West knocks Great Northern out of the park when it comes to the sheer number of discounts available, offering 18 different discounts to Great Northern's 10.

Both companies offer many of the same discounts -- like ABS discounts, discounts for being a defensive driver, and passive restraint discounts -- but Bristol West also offers advance quote discounts, continuous insurance discounts, distant student discounts, and more that Great Northern does not.

On the flip side, Great Northern has a couple unique discounts of its own -- discounts for getting driver training, discounts for being a good student, occasional operator discounts, and more.

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Final Thoughts: Is Bristol West or Great Northern Best for You?

So, you've seen how different variables can affect your insurance rates. We've shown you all the discounts each company offers, too. But, when it comes down to it, which insurance carrier is the best one for you and your specific driver profile?

Bristol West might be best for you if....

  • You don't have any speeding tickets, DUIs, or at-fault accidents on your record.
  • Your neighborhood is in a rural area.

Great Northern might be best for you if...

  • Your credit score is high.
  • You want basic car insurance coverage at the state minimum limits.
  • You are over 65 years old and want to save some money on your auto insurance.

We hope this guide has ben a valuable resource as you compare Bristol West and Great Northern and that it aids in making a more informed decision about your insurance.

At the end of the day, the best way to make sure you're getting the best deal on your car insurance policy is to compare quotes from multiple carriers, not just Bristol West and Great Northern. Luckily, sites like do all the hard work for you. Simply enter your ZIP codes below and get multiple free quotes from some of the best auto insurance companies in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Bristol West vs. Great Northern FAQs

Is Bristol West or Great Northern cheaper?

Looking just at the national average premiums, Bristol West is the cheaper of the two carriers, offering average rates of $412 per month compared to $496 for Great Northern. But Bristol West won't necessarily be the lowest company for each policyholder, since there are a range of different factors (things like age, driving record, gender, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, Bristol West or Great Northern?

Sadly, the answer truly is "it depends.". No one carrier is necessarily "better" for everyone -- it all boils down to your unique insurance profile. For example, Bristol West offers more affordable prices for drivers with a recent DUI, while Great Northern is cheaper for drivers with excellent credit.

Why do Bristol West and Great Northern offer me different rates?

Car insurance companies take a look at many different variables when determining the rates they charge drivers. Things such as age, gender, your driving record, where you park your car, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be used. Both Bristol West and Great Northern use different formulas, so each one will most likely offer different premiums. The only real way to see which company is the cheapest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from several different carriers.

How do I know if Bristol West or Great Northern is right for me?

The only way to find the auto insurance carrier that's right for you is by getting quotes from a handful of companies and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, makes it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your area information and you'll get free quotes from dozens of the best insurance carriers in your area. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the best rate. And who knows, the best company for you might not be Bristol West or Great Northern at all!


All of the data referenced in this article has been gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. We analyzed more than 2.5 million rows of carrier-reported data to calculate the average rates referenced above. All rates are based on an insurance profile of a single-vehicle policy for a driver that owns a 2016 Honda Accord. For more information on how we calculate rates, please reference our data methodology.

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