NSW ESL reintroduction from 1 July 2017

Ansvar Insurance 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.

Prior to the Government’s announcement to defer the FESL reform, we progressively removed the ESL for policies falling 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 as follows:


ESL rate % of Base premium

For policy inceptions from
Commercial Property


1 August 2017

Residential & Residential Strata


1 August 2017



1     July 2017

*Note that due to the late announcement by the Government of the reinstatement of the levy on the insurance industry, each insurance Company has had to make its own decisions about its ESL rates to collect enough from policyholders to pay the levy. Ansvar expects some further adjustments to ESL rates over the next few months and therefore will only offer indicative ESL rates for inception dates after 30 September 2017. We expect to review ESL rates for inceptions after 30 September 2017 by mid August 2017.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Emergency Services Levy?

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 charge 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 had an inception date in June 2017 and does not have an amount charged for ESL, this is also correct. This is because we 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 add a new risk or new cover.

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 in the same financial year?

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 falling due between 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017. As we reintroduce ESL on insurance policies from 1 July 2017, 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 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 on the Monitor visit their website.



Relocating our Australian head office

We are relocating our Australian head office to Melbourne’s Southbank area from November 1.

The new office space at Level 5, 1 Southbank Boulevard, is closer to the CBD and has greater public transport access, making Ansvar more accessible for clients, business partners and staff.

We are moving from St Kilda Road on the edge of the CBD with all other contact details remaining unchanged.

“The new Southbank office is a modern, energy-efficient and flexible space that will provide our staff with a better collaborative working environment,” CEO Warren Hutcheon said.

The new location also provides room for growth, he says.



Relationships ‘crucial for brokers in data-driven world’

By Insurance News

Brokers must focus on client relationships to provide personalised advice as the community becomes increasingly comfortable with disruptive technologies, a forum on innovation heard today.

Warren Burns, director of technology think tank the Leading Edge Forum in Asia, says improved data and software have expanded the opportunities for automated advice that can be adjusted for specific customers.

“Software is eating the world slowly,” he said. “Algorithms are starting to be a very comfortable part of our lives. We trust them more because they are made without emotion.”

Mr Burns, who featured in the cover story in Insurance News (the magazine) in February, is also the founder of innovation agency BurnsRED.

He says technology allows customers to better understand and compare products, challenging the traditional roles of  “professional complexity explainers” such as financial advisers and brokers.

He says brokers must become “customer intimacy” businesses, of equal importance to a client as a lawyer or accountant.

“Obfuscation of complexity is no longer a business model,” he said. “If you’re a salesperson for products, you are not a customer intimacy business.”

LMI Group MD Allan Manning told the forum the rise of aggregators also reflects a market focus on reducing complexity, but the role of brokers is key in helping clients with risk-related matters.

More broadly, he says major changes driven by technology include the use of Big Data and the increasing shift from community risk rating to more precise assessments.

The rise of driverless cars presents challenges, with the potential to reduce motor insurance claims and earnings, and a range of flow-on effects.

Issues related to cyber crime also bring both risks and opportunities, with 25% of brokers having experienced an attack, he says.

“To me, cyber is the biggest single risk facing us as an industry,” Professor Manning told the forum.

Faith, heritage and care sector specialist Ansvar hosted the event – titled Innovation Revolution: The New Age of Insurance – in Melbourne after forums in Brisbane and Sydney. Events are also scheduled for Adelaide on Friday and Perth on Tuesday next week.

Ansvar CEO Warren Hutcheon says brokers seeking to be trusted advisers require trilateral arrangements with specialist insurers and customers.

“We believe clients will be looking for bespoke risk management support.”

He says recent trends in the care sector include centralised consumer websites, increased transparency and a focus on real-time data and more flexible digital technologies.

View the article on Insurance News here


As barriers drop, drones set to soar

By Insurance Business Online

As barriers against the use of drone technology continue to be overcome, one industry leader believes the technology is set to have a big impact on the insurance industry

Warren Hutcheon, CEO of Ansvar Insurance, told Insurance Business that the recent decision by the business to use drones highlights the importance the technology has on the industry.

“Risk management innovation that supports customers in our core specialty sectors is a key part of Ansvar’s value proposition,” Hutcheon said.

“The use of drones was first considered some 12 months ago, so it has been a long journey assessing the potential, along with the challenges and risks of insourcing drone operating capability. For us the business case stacks up due to the specialty nature of our customer base and the range of services we provide to them.”

Hutcheon noted that the use of drone technology will only increase across the idnsutry as barrier to use continue to be navigated.

“Drones are already impacting the industry from a post-loss perspective, particularly following catastrophic events,” Hutcheon said.

“A growing number of insurers and loss adjusting firms are seeing the benefits for utilising drones to understand the significance of events and resultant damage. From a risk management perspective, the use of drones will become more common, but predominantly for specialty risks in the first instance.

“There are a number of barriers to be able operate drones commercially, but over time I believe there will be greater use across the value chain within the insurance industry. An outsourced model may be more feasible for some organisations.”

Drones will not be the only section of emerging technology to impact the industry as Hutcheon said that it is imperative for insurance businesses to stay ahead of the curve wherever possible.

“It’s extremely important that the industry keep on top of all potential technology developments,” Hutcheon continued.

“Digital disruption is happening now and at a significant rate. As an industry we need to be relevant and stay relevant.”
Whether drones are the right avenue for every insurance business remains to be seen but Hutcheon said that

“All emerging technologies need to be assessed by the industry,” Hutcheon said.

“For personal lines insurers, understanding telematics and other monitoring technologies is important right now. Wearables are being utilised by health and life insurance companies.

“Drones can be effective for certain aspects of the insurance value chain, it depends on your segmentation strategy and the range of services you are looking to provide.”

View the full article on Insurance Business Online here