RECENT LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY
MAINE: Maine Governor Paul LePage signed House Paper 1109 on June 13, 2011, legislation pursued by the Service Contract Industry Council. The SCIC worked closely with Maine regulators and was able to reach agreement on language and move the bill through the legislative process quickly with the regulator supporting the agreed-upon language.
The SCIC was instrumental in developing key language for the Maine bill, which includes added consumer protections and revised regulations for motor vehicle service contract providers and sellers operating out of Maine. The Service Contract Model Act was the basis for much of the bill’s language.
The new law becomes effective Jan. 1, 2012 and includes provisions to regulate product additive warranties. A copy of the Maine bill is available here.
MISSOURI: the SCIC worked closely with Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, Assistant Attorney General Doug Ommen, and members of the Missouri Attorney General’s Auto Service Contract Task Force to investigate and address misleading marketing practices of select St. Louis-based companies, including US Fidelis.
At the urging of the SCIC, key language and provisions from the SCIC Model Act were included in Missouri Senate Bill SB132. The specific language in the bill prohibits individuals or companies from engaging in false, deceptive, or misleading conduct with respect to a motor vehicle extended service contract program, and authorizes restitution to any victims.
As a result of the SCIC's direct participation with the AG Task Force, Missouri Senate Bill SB132 more clearly spells out a consumer’s right to receive a refund of money when a motor vehicle extended service contract is cancelled by the consumer. SCIC model language also included requires that a consumer receive a copy of the terms and conditions of a motor vehicle extended service contract prior to sale.
State laws based on the SCIC Model Act also were instrumental in protecting consumers with service contracts in 2008-2009 following the closure of hundreds of auto dealerships nationwide, as well as the closure of national consumer electronics giant Circuit City in 2009.
Through these and similar activities, the SCIC has become the national leader with respect to the regulation and integrity of service contracts providers.