Changes to the NSW Emergency Services Levy
We have previously advised that the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) paid on insurance was being removed and would be replaced by a new Fire and Emergency Services Levy (FESL) to be collected with council rates effective from 1 July 2017.
On 30 May 2017, the NSW Government announced its intention to delay the changes to how emergency services are funded in NSW.
Prior to the Government’s announcement to defer the FESL reform, we progressively removed the ESL for policies due between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017. However, given the deferral of the new FESL legislation, ESL will be reintroduced on insurance policies.
What is the Emergency Services Levy (ESL)?
The ESL is a charge that is added by the insurance company to the cost of your property insurance to recover its required contribution to emergency services agencies in NSW. The ESL paid with any premium on a policy is used to fund emergency services in NSW in the financial year in which the policy commences.
What does this change mean for me?
If your policy has an amount charged for ESL, this is your contribution for NSW emergency services for the financial year in which your policy starts.
If your policy does not have an amount charged for ESL, this is also correct. This is because we had removed the ESL in preparation of the FESL reform. You will not be asked to pay ESL at a later date for the current term of your policy unless you make changes to your policy.
What do I need to do?
Nothing. Just follow any payment instructions provided with your renewal policy. Any ESL collected with your policy will be used to fund NSW emergency services and your policy documentation will show your contribution.
Will I be charged ESL with my council rates?
No. With the deferral of the FESL legislation, councils should not be charging any ESL as it will be collected on insurance policies.
The ESL on my policy has changed from last year? Why?
Prior to the Government’s announcement to defer the FESL legislation, we progressively removed ESL for policies due between 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017. As we reintroduce ESL on insurance policies, some customers may see an increase in their ESL contribution from last year. All ESL charges relate directly to the funding of NSW emergency services.
Who is the ESL Insurance Monitor?
The ESL Insurance Monitor was established in June 2016 as an independent body. One of its functions is to monitor the prices for the issue of regulated contracts of insurance. Professor Allan Fels AO and Professor David Cousins AM have been appointed by the NSW Government as the ESL Insurance Monitor and Deputy Monitor, respectively.
For more information, please contact us on 1300 763 830.