Find a fairer way

Other states fund emergency services without taxing your insurance policy. It's time NSW found a fairer way. 

***Progressing our advocacy***

9 May 2024

Treasurer Daniel Mookhey has introduced the ‘Emergency Services Levy Insurance Monitor Bill 2024‘ which was passed in the lower house and aligns with the ICA’s long-term advocacy to find a fairer and more equitable way to fund emergency services in NSW.

The Bill establishes the ‘Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’ as the Insurance Monitor to oversee the transition away from the ESL and confirm savings are passed on to consumers.

16 November 2023

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has congratulated the New South Wales Government for its decision to reform the Emergency Services Levy (ESL), announced by Premier Chris Minns on Thursday 16 November 2023.

This decision is an important milestone in improving insurance affordability in NSW and follows the ICA’s advocacy to ‘find a fairer way’ to fund emergency services.
February 2023

It’s time NSW found a fairer way

Other states fund emergency services without taxing your insurance policy. It’s time NSW found a fairer way.

What is the Emergency Services Levy?

Unlike other states, NSW funds emergency services by taxing your insurance. If you live in NSW check your policy; it’s right there in black and white. 

NSW Governments of both political sides have called it a levy, but it’s actually a tax that other states don’t charge.

The Emergency Services Levy inflates premiums and penalises those who protect themselves.

It discourages householders and small businesses from adequately insuring and makes insurance unaffordable for some.

There’s a simpler way to fund emergency services that also lowers your insurance cost.

It’s time NSW found a fairer way.

Fast facts

  • NSW is the only mainland state that still funds its emergency services through a tax on insurance.
  • The ESL increases home premiums by up to 18%.
  • State taxes on insurance in NSW are nearly three times higher than in Victoria.
  • Key reason why an estimated 13% of households in NSW are uninsured – double the rate in Victoria.
  • Lower levels of insurance weaken NSW’s capacity to recover from extreme weather events and increase the burden on recovery services and government relief. 

A Stronger NSW

Released ahead of the NSW Election at the begining of 2023, the Insurance Council’s policy recommendations for the next NSW Government, focused on improving the affordability and availability of insurance through a reduction in state taxes on insurance and reducing risk.

Reforming the ESL is a key recommendation from the Insurance Council to improving insurance affordability in NSW. Other policy recommendations relate to:

  • Written-off vehicles
  • Tort reform and risk management
  • Government contracts
  • Land use planning
  • Resilience investment
  • Building standards
  • Electric vehicles
  • Better data
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