OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5785

AN ACT CONCERNING INSURANCE AND TESTING REQUIREMENTS FOR HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTORS.

SUMMARY:

This bill requires anyone applying for or renewing a home improvement contractor registration to provide evidence of (1) liability insurance of at least $1 million and (2) successful completion of a consumer protection (DCP) commissioner-approved (a) open-book written examination or (b) course of study. The examination must be based on written material the department publishes and distributes to the public for free.

The bill exempts from the examination and course of study requirements registered contractors who have (1) continuously held a valid registration in Connecticut for five years before the application or renewal or (2) $30,000 or less in gross annual receipts.

Under the bill, the proof of insurance must be provided to the (1) DCP commissioner or his designee and (2) municipal building department in each municipality where the applicant or contractor submits building permit applications.

Lastly, the bill requires the DCP commissioner to study and report on enforcement and complaint procedures involving registered home improvement contractors.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2016

HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR STUDY

The bill requires the DCP commissioner to study enforcement and complaint procedures concerning state-registered home improvement contractors. He must report the study's results by July 1, 2016 to the General Law Committee.

Under the bill, the study must include:

1. an analysis of the adequacy of DCP's current complaint form and procedures and whether specific changes could improve them and

2. any recommendations on the open-book written examination and course of study requirements the bill establishes for home improvement contractors.

BACKGROUND

Home Improvement Contractor Requirements

By law, home improvement contractors and salespersons must register with DCP, and the DCP commissioner may require contractors to post a bond. Registered contractors and salespersons must pay an annual fee to the Home Improvement Guaranty Fund. Contractors must also include their registration numbers in advertisements and show their registrations when asked to do so by any interested party. The commissioner may refuse, revoke, and suspend registrations. He may also report contractors who violate the law to the Motor Vehicle Department, which must refuse to register the contractors' commercial vehicles until they comply with the law (CGS 20-418 et seq.).

COMMITTEE ACTION

General Law Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

11

Nay

7

(03/12/2015)