Important Notice

The New South Wales Government has passed legislation to abolish the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) – known also as Fire Services Levy (FSL) – from insurance premiums with effect from 1 July 2017 and replace it with a property-based levy as part of council rates creating a fairer system for all.

On 22 July 2016, under Section 30 of NSW Emergency Services Levy Insurance Monitor Act 2016, the NSW Emergency Services Levy Monitor published the following notice in the NSW Government Gazette.

It is a requirement for all insurers (and those acting on an insurers behalf) that this notice be issued with all quotes and renewals where a NSW ESL charge applies.

The Fire Services Levy (ESL) component of insurance premiums relates to the financial year the policy was taken out and not to the policy period, however, insurers are still required to meet their full FSL obligations for the 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017 financial year.

To ensure we can meet our collection obligations, we have determined that the FSL charges should be revised and the following new rates will be effective from 16 July 2016.

Product Current New
Fire / ISR/ Consequential Loss / Commercial Strata 31.5% 40.0%
Residential Strata / Bed & Breakfast 17.5% 20.0%

We will review these rates on a regular basis through the financial year to determine necessary adjustments with the intention of reducing the rates over the year to zero % prior to July 2017.

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MESSAGE FROM THE NSW EMERGENCY SERVICES LEVY INSURANCE MONITOR

Reductions in insurance premiums caused by changes to the funding of emergency services

The way the NSW Government funds the Emergency Services agencies is changing – there will no longer be a levy on your insurance policy.

Currently, individuals and businesses insuring property in NSW contribute to the Emergency Services Levy as part of their insurance premiums.  This levy supports the work of Fire and Rescue NSW, the NSW Rural Fire Service and the NSW State Emergency Service.  These vital community services help NSW residents and businesses protect their property from fire, flood, storms and other natural disasters.

Your current Emergency Services Levy is detailed on your insurance policy statement.

For policies commencing from 1 July 2017, the NSW Government intends that the Emergency Services Levy will no longer be included as part of the cost of your property insurance.  This means that insurance premiums will be lower than would otherwise be the case.

The NSW Government appointed Professor Allan Fels AO and Professor David Cousins AM as the Emergency Services Levy Insurance Monitor and Deputy Monitor, respectively, to head an independent agency overseeing the removal of the Emergency Services Levy.  The Monitor aims to ensure that any cost savings arising from the removal of the Emergency Services Levy are passed on in full.

From 2017-18, funding for the emergency services agencies will be collected alongside local council rates.  Councils will clearly show the new levy as a separate item on your council rates notice.  This change in the method of collecting funding for those agencies is intended to ensure all property owners contribute their fair share to the cost of emergency services, rather than only those choosing to insure their property.  The Government has indicated this change will not reduce the funds available to the emergency services agencies.

Please get in touch if you would like further information.

If you have any questions about how this change will impact the cost of your insurance, please contact Axis Underwriting Services Pty Ltd.

If you would like further information on the insurance side of Emergency Services Levy Reform and the removal of the ESL you can contact the Monitor on  Ph: 1300 607 723   or  enquiries@eslinsurancemonitor.nsw.gov.au   or   www.eslinsurancemonitor.nsw.gov.au

If you require further information about the property levy side of Emergency Services Levy Reform and the new ESPL, please email your enquiries to ESPL.info@treasury.nsw.gov.au.