The Emergency Services Levy (“ESL”) is a charge that in the past has been 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 issued in 2016-17 was used to fund emergency services in NSW for the period 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017.  From 1 July 2017, the ESL will be abolished and replaced by the Fire and Emergency Services Levy (“FESL”) which will be paid by property owners alongside council rates.

Insurance companies are required to pass on the savings from the abolition of the ESL to their policyholders in the form of lower total premium payable for all policies commencing from 1 July 2017.  No ESL should be charged on policies commencing from 1 July 2017.  When you receive your insurance policy or renewal notice in 2017-18:

  • check that you have not been charged an ESL; and
  • compare this year’s premium with last year’s premium.

To compare, refer to the charges section on your Certificate of Insurance and compare to this year’s renewal invitation.

Impact of abolition of the ESL

The effect of the removal of the ESL is that alone, before any adjustment is made by insurers to base premiums, prices will be lower than otherwise (this includes the effect of the related flow-on reductions in GST and stamp duty):

  • up to 20% lower for Residential policies
  • up to 30% lower for Commercial policies (due to the previously higher ESL charge for Commercial than Residential).

 Some premium holders will have experienced reductions in premiums prior to 1 July 2017.

The Insurance Monitor

The Insurance Monitor was established in June 2016 as an independent body to oversee the removal of the ESL from insurance policies issued from 1 July 2017.  Professor Allan Fels AO and Professor David Cousins AM have been appointed by the NSW Government as the Emergency Services Levy Insurance Monitor and Deputy Monitor, respectively. The Insurance Monitor is tasked with ensuring that insurance companies pass on the savings from the removal of ESL in the form of lower insurance premiums to you.  Penalties of up to $10 million apply to insurance companies who charge unreasonably high premiums or engage in false or misleading conduct in relation to the ESL reform.

If you would like further information

Contact Ansvar insurance in the first instance if you have questions about your policy.

Information about the Insurance Monitor can be found at: 

Information about the Fire and Emergency Services Levy can be found at:


Removal of New South Wales Emergency Services Levy for Insurance Policies

The NSW Government has announced that it is removing the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) which is currently collected from a levy on property insurance premiums. Effective 1 July 2017, funding for Emergency Services in NSW will be raised through a property levy collected in conjunction with council rates, creating a fairer system for everyone.


What does it mean for Ansvar’s customers?

From 1 July 2017, customers will no longer pay the ESL as part of their property insurance premiums. However, until the ESL is removed, Ansvar will continue to collect the ESL from customers to meet its statutory obligations.

Which insurance policies are affected?

All property polices that carry a fire risk in NSW. This includes residential home, business packages, strata, general property, industrial special risks and construction.

How is Ansvar communicating the change to customers? 

A notice outlining the changes to the collection of ESL has been prepared by the NSW Government-appointed Insurance Monitor. The Insurance Monitor requires that the prescribed notice be issued whenever a quote, renewal or new policy is issued to a customer. 

Effective Date

The notice must be issued by insurers or persons acting on behalf of insurers as soon as possible after 24 July 2016 and no later than 16 October 2016.

All of Ansvar’s systems are being updated so the notice will be issued as follows:

  • On quotes, new business and renewal notices issued from 12 October 2016.

Action required

Ansvar will issue the prescribed notice either in print or electronically each time it issues a quote, renewal notice or new business policy.

Insurance Brokers need to send the prescribed notice to their clients whenever a quote, renewal or new business policy is issued.

Ansvar will update all of its systems to include the notice and these will be issued to the customer through their policy documentation at renewal or when they take out a new business policy.

If Insurance Brokers do not use schedules provided by Ansvar and produce your own schedules; you will need to include the notice as prescribed in the customer's Certificate of Insurance. This includes inserting your contact details in the section titled, ‘Please get in touch if you would like further information’.

The Insurance Monitor has instructed that the notice must be provided to the customer every time an invoice or document which contains an actual dollar amount of any premium is issued. A blanket ‘mail-out’ to all customers will not satisfy the Insurance Monitor’s requirements.

Short term of or insurance policy extensions 

Extensions to due dates or short terming of current insurance policies in order to reduce NSW ESL charges will not be permitted.

Changes to NSW Emergency Services Levy

Following a review, Ansvar has revised its Emergency Services Levy (ESL) for risks located in New South Wales (NSW). 

We will apply revised New South Wales ESL charges to all renewals and new business in phases, as per the tables and dates outlined below.

Phase 1: Effective 28/01/17

ESL-Tables -Phase1


Phase 2: Effective 06/02/17

ESL-Tables -Phase2

For further information please contact a member of the Ansvar Business Development or Underwriting Team.