We collect funds under the Emergency Services Levy Act 2017 from local councils, insurance companies and foreign insured policy holders, to support the work of emergency services in NSW. Previously, these funds were collected by the Office of Emergency Management.
From local councils, we collect payments that account for 11.7 per cent of the costs of fire and emergency services in NSW.
From insurers of property in NSW, we collect the levy that is paid as part of insurance premiums.
There have been recent changes to the emergency services levy (ESL). For more information download the ESL fact sheet.
This Commissioner’s practice note explains how the Emergency Services Levy Act 2017 is administered, including key aspects of the assessment of initial and final assessments, and the interpretation of key terms used in the legislation.
|Councils and insurers||You must pay the levy by the due date.|
|New insurers||Contact us within 30 days of becoming entitled to receive premiums for property in NSW.|
|All insurers (includes foreign insurers and foreign insured policy holders)||You must lodge a return with us by 30 September each year, showing the premium/s paid and emergency services levy collected in the previous financial year. Contact us if you need more information.|
Our secure online payment portals allow councils and insurers to:
Contact us if you're having difficulty logging in to or using the system.
Councils must pay an annual council contribution. We issue an assessment and an instalment notice quarterly.
The amount of the contribution is set by each emergency service, and enquiries should be directed to the relevant organisation:
All insurers, including foreign insurers and all those who hold a policy with a foreign insurer, must lodge a return by 30 September each year, showing the premiums paid in the previous financial year.
Insurers that aren't regulated by APRA and aren't registered in Australia are considered to be foreign insurers.
If you have an insurance policy with a foreign insurer for a property in NSW, your insurer is deemed a foreign insurer and you're a foreign insured person.
If you're insured with a foreign insurer and they don't pay the emergency services levy portion of your premium to us, we'll collect it from you. You'd need to contact your insurer to seek a refund.
For information about the levy applied to your insurance premium, contact your insurer.
Property in NSW includes:
Each year, insurers are asked to pay a proportion of the cost of providing fire and emergency services. This amount to be paid by the insurance industry is the Contribution Target, which is determined and gazetted under the Emergency Services Levy Act 2017.
The relevant amount of premiums for an insurer is determined by multiplying the premiums of the insurer (including ESL) for different categories of insurance by a legislated percentage and then adding those amounts together. Each insurer’s total amount is then divided by the industry’s total amount to determine their share of the Contribution Target to be contributed.
The total industry premiums, and the industry premiums relevant to contribution, for each category of insurance reported by insurers for 2019-2020 are shown below:
|Class of insurance policy|
(excluding GST and duty)
|Proportion of industry premiums relevant to contribution||Amount of premiums subject to the contribution|
|Item 1. Any insurance of property including consequential loss but not including any insurance of a class specified elsewhere in the Schedule.||$1,717,900,118||80%|
|Item 2. Houseowners and householders, however designated (buildings or contents or both).||$3,279,513,439||50%|
|Item 3. Personal combined on personal jewellery and clothing, personal effects and works of art.|
|Item 4. Motor vehicle and motor cycle.||$4,590,046,381||2.50%|
|Item 5. Marine and baggage – any insurance confined to maritime perils or confirned to risks involving transportation on land or in the air, including storage incidental to transportation by sea, land or air, but not including static risks* (which are to be declared under Item 1).|
Item 6(a). Combined fire and hail on growing crops.
|Item 6(b). Livestock||$5,485,849||1%|
|Item 7. Aviation hull|
|Item 8(a). Loss by theft||$142,372,422||Nil||-|
Item 8(b). Plate glass
|Item 8(c). Machinery – confined to mechanical breakdown and/or consequential loss arising from mechanical breakdown.|
|Item 8(d). Explosion or collapse of boiler and pressure vessels – confined to damage other than by fire.||$706,348||Nil||-|
|Item 8(e). Inherent or latent defects – confined to damage and/or consequential loss arising out of defective design, defective workmanship or defective materials but excluding any damage or consequential loss from fire.|