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AB-1926 Service contracts.(2011-2012)

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AB1926:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2011–2012 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1926


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Solorio

February 22, 2012


An act to amend Section 9855 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to service contracts.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1926, as introduced, Solorio. Service contracts.
Existing law, the Electronic and Appliance Repair Dealer Registration Law, regulates service contracts, as defined, relating to maintenance or repair of, among other things, specified sets and appliances, and makes it unlawful for any person to act as a service contract administrator or a service contract seller without first registering with the Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home furnishings, and thermal Insulation. A violation of these provisions is deemed to be unlawfully transacting the business of insurance, and therefor subject to specified criminal penalties.
This bill would include in the definition of service contract a written contract for the performance of services relating to the maintenance, replacement, or repair of optical products, thereby making administrators and sellers of those contracts subject to registration with the bureau and other requirements of the act. By expanding the definition of service contract, the bill would expand the scope of a crime and, thus, would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 9855 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

9855.
 The definitions used in this section shall govern the construction and terms as used in this chapter:
(a) “Service contract” means a contract in writing to perform, over a fixed period of time or for a specified duration, services relating to the maintenance, replacement, or repair of an electronic set or appliance, as defined by this chapter, and their accessories or of furniture, jewelry, lawn and garden equipment, power tools, fitness equipment, telephone equipment, small kitchen appliances and tools, optical products, or home health care products, and may include provisions for incidental payment of indemnity under limited circumstances, including, but not limited to, power surges, food spoilage, or accidental damage from handling. “Service contract” does not include a contract in writing to maintain structural wiring associated with the delivery of cable, telephone, or other broadband communications services.
(b) “Service contract administrator” or “administrator” means a person who performs or arranges the collection, maintenance, or disbursement of moneys to compensate any party for claims or repairs pursuant to a service contract, and who also performs or arranges any of the following activities on behalf of service contract sellers:
(1) Providing service contract sellers with service contract forms.
(2) Participating in the adjustment of claims arising from service contracts.
(3) Arranging on behalf of service contract sellers the insurance required by Section 9855.2.
A service contract administrator shall not be an obligor on a service contract unless all service contracts under which the service contract administrator is obligated to perform are insured under a service contract reimbursement insurance policy.
(c) (1) “Service contract seller” or “seller” means a person who sells or offers to sell a service contract to a service contractholder, including a person who is the obligor under a service contract sold by the seller, manufacturer, or repairer of the product covered by the service contract.
(2) “Service contract seller” or “seller” also means a third party, including an obligor, who is not the seller, manufacturer, or repairer of the product. However, a third party shall not be an obligor on a service contract unless the obligor obtains a service contract reimbursement insurance policy for all service contracts under which the third party is obligated under the terms of a service contract.
(3) “Service contract seller” or “seller” shall not include the following:
(A) A bank or bank holding company, or the subsidiary or affiliate of either, or a financial institution, licensed under state or federal law, selling or offering to sell a service contract unless that entity is financially and legally obligated under the terms of a service contract.
(B) An electrical device manufacturer or electrical contractor who constructs, installs, or services electrical devices, which include any unit of an electrical system intended to carry electrical energy as part of a building’s electrical system, including raceways, conductors, invertors, conduit, wires, switches, or other similar devices.
(d) “Service contractholder” means a person who purchases or receives a service contract from a service contract seller.
(e) “Service contractor” means a service contract administrator or a service contract seller.
(f) “Service contract reimbursement insurance policy” means a policy of insurance issued by an insurer admitted to do business in this state providing coverage for all obligations and liabilities incurred by a service contract seller under the terms of the service contracts sold in this state by the service contract seller to a service contractholder. The service contract reimbursement insurance policy shall either cover all service contracts sold or specifically cover those contracts sold to residents of the State of California.
(g) “Obligor” is the entity financially and legally obligated under the terms of a service contract.
(h) The terms “consumer goods,” “manufacturer,” “retail seller,” “retailer,” and “sale” shall have the same meanings ascribed to them in Section 1791 of the Civil Code.

SEC. 2.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.