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The Emergency Services Levy (ESL) explained

An image of a NSW fire truck

ES…what now?

Not sure what the ESL is? It stands for Emergency Services Levy. As the name suggests, the ESL helps fund the NSW Emergency Services, including Fire and Rescue NSW, the NSW Rural Fire Services and the NSW State Emergency Services. The ESL is compulsory, but it’s necessary to collect it somehow, and at the moment it is a separate component of your insurance premium.

The back story.

We’ve established you pay the ESL as part of your insurance premium, but the NSW Government introduced reforms to the way the ESL would be collected. Instead of being collected via insurance premiums, it would be collected via council rates. There are a couple of benefits of the new method — cheaper premiums for insurance customers but it’s also fairer. It means all rate payers will share the cost, not just those who elect to be insured.

The plot twist.

On 30 May 2017, the NSW Government announced that the reform would be deferred until further notice. This means, insurers maintain the liability to pay ESL to the government, and insurers are able to collect it via consumers.

So, what now?

You’ll continue to pay the ESL as part of your Home or Car Insurance premiums. You can see the ESL amount in the Annual Premium Summary section of your Policy Schedule.

Wondering why your Emergency Services Levy (ESL) has increased?

Fair question — last year, the ESL rates were being phased out on the basis that the NSW Government would collect ESL on property rates, not insurance. At Youi, we're committed to fair pricing, so we're collecting a standard ESL rate for all policies that are sold or renewing this year.

If you have any questions, you can call us anytime on 13 9684 (YOUI).