Changes to the NSW Emergency Services Levy

Please note that this affects Insurance policies in NSW only.

The NSW Emergency Services Levy explained

To ensure you’re informed when it comes to changes that impact your insurance, we’re providing helpful information on the NSW Emergency Services Levy (ESL).

What is the ESL?

The ESL is a regular contribution towards emergency service agencies in NSW. The ESL is added to your insurance payments each year. Once collected, your ESL contribution then goes toward funding emergency services in NSW, where it helps to keep our community safe during times of urgent need.

Changes to ESL are on hold 

On 15 December 2015 the NSW Government announced that ESL contributions would be replaced by a new Fire and Emergency Services Levy (FESL). It was announced that the new FESL would be collected with council rates, instead of insurance, from 1 July 2017.

However, on 30 May 2017, the NSW Government announced it is delaying these changes.

Prior to the delay, we progressively removed the ESL from policies due between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017. With the changes now on hold, we’ve reintroduced ESL on insurance policies.

Frequently asked questions 

What does this change mean for you?
We’ve reintroduced ESL on insurance policies as a result of the delay. Your ESL contribution will continue through your insurance policy until the NSW Government advises us otherwise.

What’s the reason for the delay?
The NSW Government identified that some businesses were unfairly impacted by the new FESL, so the changes have been delayed.

What do you need to do?
You don’t need to do anything. Any ESL collected with your policy will be used to fund NSW emergency services and your policy documentation will show your contribution. Your ESL contribution will continue through your insurance policy until the NSW Government advises us otherwise and we’ll keep you updated as we find out more.

Why has the ESL on your policy changed (or increased) from last year?
Prior to the NSW Government’s announcement to delay the changes, we progressively removed ESL from 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.

What if you haven’t been charged ESL?
If your policy doesn’t have an amount charged for ESL, it means we removed it in preparation for the FESL reform. You won’t be asked to pay ESL again (for the current term of your policy) unless you add a new risk or cover.

Will you be charged ESL with your council rates?
No. With the delay in changes, councils shouldn't be charging any ESL as it'll be collected on insurance policies.

What kinds of insurance include ESL?
ESL is collected each financial year as part of home, fire, onsite caravan, motor, personal valuables and watercraft insurance payments.

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 ESL applicable products. 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. You can visit the ESL Insurance Monitor website for more information.

Any questions?
For more information on:

  • ESL and FESL – visit Fire and Emergency Services Levy website at or call FESL on 1300 78 78 72
  • The NSW Insurance Monitor – visit the ESL Insurance Monitor website
  • Your insurance policy or anything else – call us on 132 132.
Written by RACV
October 19, 2017