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What is an Emergency Services Levy (ESL)?

The ESL charged by insurers and paid to the NSW State Government provides important funding to support the NSW Emergency Services agencies with resources needed to protect homes and save lives.

What’s changing?

Until 1 July 2017 insurance companies are required to contribute to the funding of Fire and Rescue NSW, the NSW Rural Fire Service and NSW State Emergency Service. This cost is passed on to policyholders by way of an ESL on insurance premiums.

Due to changes introduced by the New South Wales Government, from 1 July 2017 the NSW Government will: 

  • Remove the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) paid on insurance policies and
  • Replace it with an Emergency Services Property Levy (ESPL), which will be paid through local council rates.

This means this cost will be removed from your insurance premiums.

If you have paid the ESL as part of your insurance premium, will you have to pay your council rates too?

You won’t be paying ESL twice. Your insurance policy that commenced or was renewed prior to 1 July 2017 covers the ESL for the 2016/17 financial year. The ESPL, to be included in your council rates, will cover the 2017/18 financial year (commencing on 1 July 2017).

See the difference on your quote or insurance policy schedule

With the removal of the ESL, insurance premiums will be lower than would otherwise be the case. Your quote or your new business and renewal policy schedule will reflect the removal of the ESL in the premium summary.

Have a further question?

If you have any questions about how this change will impact the cost of your insurance, please contact St. George on 13 33 30.

Where to find more information

For more information about what’s changing, please visit the NSW Emergency Services website. If you would like further information on the insurance side of Emergency Services Levy Reform and the removal of the ESL you can contact the Monitor on Ph: 1300 607 723,, or