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Will My Insurance Rates Go Up After a Car Accident?

Okay we admit the photo is a little dramatic. They look so unhappy!

In all seriousness though, increased auto rates is a stress inducer! Hopefully this article will help you get a better understanding what to do after a car accident.

In a previous blog post we examined how a car accident can affect shopping for insurance. In this blog post we will talk about the affect that a car accident has on your existing insurance coverage.

In some states, insurance carriers offer first accident forgiveness coverage. This of course comes with an increase in premium. But in the state of California, this offering is actually illegal because it’s too difficult for insurance because of the difficulty in clearing it with the state insurance department.

Here in California, when you get into an at fault accident, there’s several things that could happen.

The insurance carrier can raise your premiums at the next renewal. They can apply this increase to a single vehicle, or straight across the entire policy.
You may be forced to increase your deductible.

The insurance carrier may offer you a new policy with their non standard market. This of course requires a cancellation of the existing policy, applying for a new policy, re-writing the policy, and finally, putting down a new down payment.
Cancellation of your policy.

Many people become frustrated when insurance carriers punish a long standing customer at first sight of an accident. But, its important to note that carriers have the right to change the terms of the policy regardless of your tenure as a customer.

Remember the 3 or 5 year lookback period we talked about in our last blog post? If you are involved in a new accident, the carrier will now re-evaluate you as a driver. This time they will look at all previous information, and add this new accident into the mix.

The insurance carrier then makes a decision as to how they want to proceed with the policy.

A quick note here: don’t take these actions against you personally. Evaluation of policy terms is something the insurance carrier must do, and they’ve hired some of the brightest minds in the world to analyze the data.

Regardless of what action is taken by the carrier, you do have options. You are not required to continue giving them your hard earned dollars. There are many other carriers out there that would love the opportunity to compete for your business.

That’s where we come in. With access to over 30 carriers, we are in a great position to find you the best deal for your hard earned dollars. We take all of the work out of your hands, because you have other things to worry about.

Give us a call at 916-750-2489. We’re happy to help, and the process is smooth

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How Do Car Accidents Affect Shopping for Auto Insurance?

In California, accidents appear on your driving record for 3 years (on aveage).  However, its important to note that a car accident can affect your insurance even after its disappeared off your motor vehicle report.

When you request a quote for your auto insurance, one of the things that underwriters look at is your driving record.  Your driving record is a combination of tickets and accidents. We run the MVR (motor vehicle report) and CLUE report (CLUE tells us any paid claims) because these items are a normal part of the underwriting process.


Here is where it can get a bit confusing.  Each insurance carrier has a different “lookback” time period.  Some will only go back three 3 years, others may look as far back as 5 years.  The insurance carrier uses this information to determine whether you qualify for insurance with them, and at what rating tier.  


Each carrier can be different with their ratings tiers, but the cleanest driving record get the best rates.  The driving records with more claims and tickets will receive a higher rate. This is because the driver of the vehicle with a not-so-great driving report is more likely to file a claim.

Sometimes when drivers have many marks on their record, they are classified as a “high risk” driver.  If you are classified as a “high risk” driver, you can count on higher premiums. The carrier also reserves the right to refuse coverage entirely.

If you are denied coverage or feel as though the premium is too high, its time to start looking at another carrier.  Its entirely possible that another carrier will not classify you as a “high risk” driver. Because carriers operate on such different criteria, its very beneficial to be working with an independent insurance broker who can easily access many different products at once.

Go ahead and call us to hear what your options are.  916-750-2489.


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Purple Sun Insurance Services, LLC
Matthew Labb (Founder, Owner)
License #19195965

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Tempe, AZ
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