The Emergency Services Levy

The Emergency Services levy (ESL) is a contribution, in the form of an insurance premium, to support the work of emergency services in NSW, and is governed by the Emergency Services Levy Act 2017.

Collection of the ESL assists with funding of certain services such as the Rural Fire Services (RFS), Fire and Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW), and the State Emergency Service (SES).  The NSW ESL is collected by the NSW Government from local councils, insurance companies, and foreign insured policy holders.

Changes to the Emergency Services levy

New rates came into effect on 1 April 2022 in the form of a reduction in the NSW Emergency Services Levy (ESL) rates for Residential and Commercial Insurance Plan policies, including Build to Rent and Community Association policies.

The ESL rates are:

Residential Property:  13% (previous rate 14.35%)

Commercial Property 22.9% (previous rate 26.25%)

Any renewals or new business with a due date of 1 April 2022 onwards, that have already been issued prior to 24 Jan 2022, remained unchanged.

Further changes expected

Currently there is a call for the State Government to find a fairer way to fund the ESL. A Stronger NSW finds that because of the ESL NSW insurance customers are paying nearly three times the amount of state taxes than Victorian insurance customers.  This is contributing to an estimated 13 per cent of NSW households being uninsured – double the rate in Victoria.  NSW is the only mainland state that still funds emergency services by applying a levy on insurance, which is currently adding around 18 per cent to home insurance premiums and up to 40 per cent to business cover.  Read more about the call to support reforms on the Insurance Council of Australia website. 



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