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48.110.040  <<  48.110.050 >>   48.110.055

RCW 48.110.050

Obligations of service contract provider — Limited application.

(1) Service contracts shall not be issued, sold, or offered for sale in this state or sold to consumers in this state unless the service contract provider has:

     (a) Provided a receipt for, or other written evidence of, the purchase of the service contract to the contract holder; and

     (b) Provided a copy of the service contract to the service contract holder within a reasonable period of time from the date of purchase.

     (2) In order to either demonstrate its financial responsibility or assure the faithful performance of the service contract provider's obligations to its service contract holders, every service contract provider shall comply with the requirements of one of the following:

     (a) Insure all service contracts under a reimbursement insurance policy issued by an insurer holding a certificate of authority from the commissioner or a risk retention group, as defined in 15 U.S.C. Sec. 3901(a)(4), as long as that risk retention group is in full compliance with the federal liability risk retention act of 1986 (15 U.S.C. Sec. 3901 et seq.), is in good standing in its domiciliary jurisdiction, and is properly registered with the commissioner under chapter 48.92 RCW. The insurance required by this subsection must meet the following requirements:

     (i) The insurer or risk retention group must, at the time the policy is filed with the commissioner, and continuously thereafter, maintain surplus as to policyholders and paid-in capital of at least fifteen million dollars and annually file audited financial statements with the commissioner; and

     (ii) The commissioner may authorize an insurer or risk retention group that has surplus as to policyholders and paid-in capital of less than fifteen million dollars, but at least equal to ten million dollars, to issue the insurance required by this subsection if the insurer or risk retention group demonstrates to the satisfaction of the commissioner that the company maintains a ratio of direct written premiums, wherever written, to surplus as to policyholders and paid-in capital of not more than three to one;

     (b)(i) Maintain a funded reserve account for its obligations under its service contracts issued and outstanding in this state. The reserves shall not be less than forty percent of the gross consideration received, less claims paid, on the sale of the service contract for all in-force contracts. The reserve account shall be subject to examination and review by the commissioner; and

     (ii) Place in trust with the commissioner a financial security deposit, having a value of not less than five percent of the gross consideration received, less claims paid, on the sale of the service contract for all service contracts issued and in force, but not less than twenty-five thousand dollars, consisting of one of the following:

     (A) A surety bond issued by an insurer holding a certificate of authority from the commissioner;

     (B) Securities of the type eligible for deposit by authorized insurers in this state;

     (C) Cash;

     (D) An evergreen letter of credit issued by a qualified financial institution; or

     (E) Another form of security prescribed by rule by the commissioner; or

     (c)(i) Maintain, or its parent company maintain, a net worth or stockholder's equity of at least one hundred million dollars; and

     (ii) Upon request, provide the commissioner with a copy of the service contract provider's or the service contract provider's parent company's most recent form 10-K or form 20-F filed with the securities and exchange commission within the last calendar year, or if the company does not file with the securities and exchange commission, a copy of the service contract provider's or the service contract provider's parent company's audited financial statements, which shows a net worth of the service contract provider or its parent company of at least one hundred million dollars. If the service contract provider's parent company's form 10-K, form 20-F, or audited financial statements are filed with the commissioner to meet the service contract provider's financial stability requirement, then the parent company shall agree to guarantee the obligations of the service contract provider relating to service contracts sold by the service contract provider in this state. A copy of the guarantee shall be filed with the commissioner. The guarantee shall be irrevocable as long as there is in force in this state any contract or any obligation arising from service contracts guaranteed, unless the parent company has made arrangements approved by the commissioner to satisfy its obligations under the guarantee.

     (3) Service contracts shall require the service contract provider to permit the service contract holder to return the service contract within twenty days of the date the service contract was mailed to the service contract holder or within ten days of delivery if the service contract is delivered to the service contract holder at the time of sale, or within a longer time period permitted under the service contract. Upon return of the service contract to the service contract provider within the applicable period, if no claim has been made under the service contract prior to the return to the service contract provider, the service contract is void and the service contract provider shall refund to the service contract holder, or credit the account of the service contract holder with the full purchase price of the service contract. The right to void the service contract provided in this subsection is not transferable and shall apply only to the original service contract purchaser. A ten percent penalty per month shall be added to a refund of the purchase price that is not paid or credited within thirty days after return of the service contract to the service contract provider.

     (4) This section does not apply to service contracts on motor vehicles or to protection product guarantees.

[2006 c 274 § 6; 1999 c 112 § 6.]