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Guidance

Emergency Services Levy (ESL) reform and what you need to know

Emergency Services Levy (ESL) reform and what you need to know

Find out why you might see some changes on your insurance policy because of how the NSW Government plans to collect the Emergency Services Levy (ESL).

The NSW Government was going to have councils collect the Emergency Services Levy (ESL), which traditionally insurance companies collected as part of the customer's premium on their Home, Car and some Commercial insurance policies.

However, the government has deferred its decision and the existing ESL will therefore remain on insurance policies and continue to fund emergency services agencies.

CommInsure is reintroducing the ESL charge on all Home and Car insurance policies commencing or renewing after 3 September 2017.

What is the Emergency Services Levy (ESL)?

The ESL, also referred to as Fire Services Levy (FSL), contributes to funding for fire and emergency services in NSW. These services include Fire and Rescue (FRNSW), Rural Fire Services (RFS) and State Emergency Services (SES).

Traditionally, insurance companies collect ESL as part of the customer’s premium on their Home, Car and some Commercial insurance policies.

Emergency Services Levy (ESL) reform and what is changing?

The NSW Government was going to move the collection of ESL from insurance companies to local councils (payable alongside annual council rates).  In June 2017, the Government deferred the introduction of the Fire and Emergency Services Levy (FESL), the move from collection alongside insurance premiums to collection alongside council rates. It would have come into effect on 1 July 2017.

The existing Emergency Services Levy will therefore remain on insurance policies and continue to fund emergency services agencies.

Your council rates notice should not include any FESL charge.

When is CommInsure reintroducing the Emergency Services Levy (ESL)?

CommInsure is reintroducing the ESL charge on all Home and Car insurance policies commencing or renewing after 3 September 2017.

How can I check how much Emergency Services Levy (ESL) I am currently paying?

All policies commencing or renewing after 3 September 2017 will show the ESL amount and other Government Charges on the Certificate of Insurance.

I have received my renewal, how can I compare my new premium to what I paid last year?

CommInsure sends renewals 5 to 6 weeks in advance of your renewal date. You can compare the new renewal premium to your current premium on your current Certificate of Insurance or in Netbank (for all registered Netbank users).

I have received my renewal already with no ESL charge, will I receive an additional request from CommInsure to pay ESL?

CommInsure does not change price mid-term for any policy and we will not charge any ESL until your next renewal.

Will I get a refund of the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) if I cancel my policy?

If you paid ESL on your policy and your policy is cancelled, you will be refunded the remaining pro-rata premium including a pro-rata ESL.

Where can I get more information or make a complaint about the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) or deferral of the Fire and Emergency Services Levy (FESL)?

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact us on 13 24 23 8am – 8pm, Monday – Friday and 8am – 5pm, Saturday (Sydney/Melbourne time).

For more information on the FESL or any questions relating to the FESL charges on your Council rates visit fesl.nsw.gov.au  or call the FESL Hotline on 1300 78 78 72.

After contacting us, if you still have a complaint about the ESL amounts, please visit the Insurance Monitor’s website on eslinsurancemonitor.nsw.gov.au or call the Monitor Hotline on 1300 607 723

This content was last reviewed on 26 July 2017. Home Insurance is provided by CommInsure, a registered business name of Commonwealth Insurance Limited ABN 96 067 524 216 AFSL 235030 (CIL). CIL is a wholly owned non-guaranteed subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 (The Bank). The Bank does not guarantee the obligations or performance of CIL or the products it offers. Where we refer to 'we', 'us' and 'our', we mean CIL. This information has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs, you should, before acting on this, consider the appropriateness to your circumstances. A Product Disclosure Statement is available at all Commonwealth Bank branches, by downloading them from commbank.com.au or by calling 13 2423 and should be considered before making any decisions about this product. You should also read the Home Insurance Key Fact Sheet, Financial Services Guide and Privacy Policy which are also available by calling 13 2423. Car Insurance is provided by CommInsure, a registered business name of Commonwealth Insurance Limited ABN 96 067 524 216 AFSL 235030 (CIL). CIL is a wholly owned but non-guaranteed subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 (The Bank). The Bank does not guarantee the obligations or performance of CIL or the products it offers. Where we refer to 'we', 'us' and 'our', we mean CIL. This information has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs, you should, before acting on this, consider the appropriateness to your circumstances. A Product Disclosure Statement is available at all Commonwealth Bank branches, by downloading them from commbank.com.au or by calling 13 2423 and should be considered before making any decisions about this product. You should also read our Financial Services Guide and Privacy Policy which are also available by calling 13 2423.