Changes to the NSW Emergency Services Levy

What is the Emergency Services Levy (ESL)?

Currently, the ESL is a levy on insurance policies that funds the Emergency Services in NSW. This levy supports the work of Fire and Rescue NSW, the NSW Rural Fire Service and the NSW State Emergency Service.

The amount of ESL you pay is detailed in your insurance policy.

Why is it changing?

NSW is one of two remaining states that funds its fire and emergency services through a levy on property (including motor) insurance. The NSW Government is moving to a fairer system of funding these essential emergency services that assist the community in times of need.

From 1 July 2017, the NSW Government is removing the ESL charged on insurance premiums and replacing it with the Emergency Services Property Levy (ESPL), which will be paid in conjunction with local council rates.

Councils will clearly show the new levy as a separate item on rates notices. This change in the method of collecting funding for the agencies listed above is intended to ensure all property owners contribute their fair share to the cost of emergency services, rather than only those with insurance.

The Government has indicated this change will not reduce the funds available to the emergency services agencies.

What does it mean for me?

From 1 July 2017, you will no longer pay ESL as part of your insurance premium. Until the ESL is removed, Allianz will continue to collect ESL from customers to meet its legal obligations to help fund these services.

What happens if I cancel my policy?

There’s no change to the way that ESL is treated when cancelling a policy. If a policy is cancelled according to the policy terms, a pro-rata refund of ESL will be provided.

Will I have to pay twice?

You won’t be paying ESL twice. Any insurance policy that was started or renewed before 1 July 2017 includes ESL for funding emergency services in the 2016/17 financial year. The new ESPL, to be collected through your council rates, will contribute to the funding of emergency services in the 2017/18 financial year (commencing on 1 July 2017).

Where can I find further information?

If you have any questions about how this change will impact the cost of your insurance, please contact us on 1300 514 821 or email us at eslinfo@allianz.com.au.

The Government has also appointed Professor Alan Fels to the position of ESL Monitor, to oversee the changes. The ESL Monitor has set up a website at http://www.eslinsurancemonitor.nsw.gov.au that contains further information about the changes and their implementation.