Iowa and Tennessee are the latest states to make protecting consumers from contractor fraud and abuse a priority by advancing legislation that cracks down on unscrupulous contractors, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).
In the final days of the Iowa legislative session, lawmakers passed SF 466 and sent it to Gov. Terry Branstad. Additionally, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam recently signed SB 2714/HB 2915 and it becomes effective July 1, 2012. Legislation in Colorado is pending before the governor.
This year Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Kentucky, South Dakota and Tennessee passed legislation that contains consumer protections and provides for notices and contract termination rights and prohibits rebating or other compensation to induce consumers to enter into contracts.
“In the past few years there has been significant storm damage and insurers worked with lawmakers to advance much needed legislation that will help protect homeowners from contractor fraud and abuse,” said Ann Weber, vice president for PCI. “After severe weather there are always some crooked contractors who descend upon neighborhoods and take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners. While the vast majority of contractors are honest, reputable business people, states across the country took positive steps to crack down on these storm chasing contractors, particularly from out of state, who use questionable solicitation and business tactics.”
Already this spring there have been several deadly tornadoes that produced significant property damage. While April 2012, was not as severe as the record setting April of last year, this year’s tornado season is off to a fast start with reports of more than 600 tornadoes across the United States. Legislation like that passed this year will go a long way in preventing homeowners from being victimized in the future.
PCI is composed of more than 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross-section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write over $180 billion in annual premium, 38.3 percent of the nation’s property casualty insurance. Member companies write 44.3 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 31.6 percent of the homeowners market, 36.3 percent of the commercial property and liability market, and 42.6 percent of the private workers compensation market.