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

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

Find out more about the NSW 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 a customer’s premium on their home, car and some commercial insurance policies.

This ESL is charged by insurers on the basic premium to fund their liability to the emergency services contribution scheme.

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) which would see the move from collection alongside insurance premiums to collection alongside council rates. It would have come into effect on 1 July 2017.

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

Your council rates notice should not include any FESL charge.

When did CommInsure reintroduce the ESL?

CommInsure reintroduced the ESL charge on all NSW home and car insurance policies commencing or renewing after 3 September 2017.

How can I check how much ESL I am currently paying?

The ESL charge that you are currently paying is listed on your current home and/or car certificate of insurance.

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

Our home and car policy renewals are now showing comparisons between your current renewal versus your last year premiums paid.

For customers with renewal dates between May and September 2018:

CommInsure progressively removed ESL charges following the NSW Government’s decision to remove the ESL charge in 2017. CommInsure then reintroduced the ESL charge in September 2017 following the NSW Government’s subsequent decision to re-establish the scheme. Policies renewing between May and September 2018 were charged a lower ESL amount in 2017 and as a result would see an increase in the ESL charge in the 2018 renewal notice.

Will I get a refund of the 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 ESL or deferral of the FESL?

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact us on 13 24 23 8am–8pm from Monday to Friday and 8am–5pm on Saturdays (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.