QBE has supported the abolition of this Victorian insurance based levy for many years and believes the Victorian Government’s proposed new fire services property levy is a much more equitable and efficient mechanism for sharing fire service funding across all property owners, not just those taking out insurance.
What is the Victorian Fire Services Levy?
For many years insurers have been required to contribute to the cost of operating the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and the Country Fire Authority. Insurers pass the cost of this contribution on to policy-holders through a calculated amount in addition to the base premium, known as fire services levy (FSL).
Why is the Fire Services Levy being removed?
The Victorian Government is implementing the recommendations of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission to abolish insurer statutory contributions to the fire services.
The funding of the fire services through an insurance-based fire services levy will be replaced on 1 July 2013 by a Fire Services Property Levy to be collected by local councils.
When will the Fire Services Levy be removed from my policy?
From 1 July 2013, your insurance premium will no longer include the Fire Services Levy.
The Fire Services Levy collected by insurers will be replaced on 1 July 2013 by a Fire Services Property Levy to be collected by local councils.
How do I check that the Victorian Fire Services Levy has been removed?
From 1 July 2013, QBE Home Insurance premiums no longer include an amount for the Fire Services Levy. Your Policy Schedule will show $0 value for Fire Services Levy or “Levies”. If it is not listed please contact us and we will check it for you.
My last renewal notice still charged Victorian Fire Services Levy, why is that?
Insurers are still responsible for collecting the Victorian Fire Services Levy until 1 July 2013.
How is the Victorian Fire Services Levy calculated?
The amount of FSL to be charged was calculated and applied to the premium as at the date of commencement of a policy. Insurance companies review the required contribution no less than quarterly and adjust as necessary in order to meet our statutory obligations.
No Fire Services Levy will be applied for new or renewed policies from 1 July 2013.
If the Victorian Fire Services Levy has been removed, why haven’t my premiums gone down?
From 1 July 2013, QBE premiums in Victoria will no longer include the Fire Services Levy. However, this does not necessarily mean your premium will go down. Any changes to our premiums are independent of the changes to the Fire Services Levy.
Why has my base premium increased compared to last year’s?
Premiums are regularly reviewed and take into account a number of risk factors such as location and construction, claims history, type of cover selected and indexation of Sum Insureds, as well expected business expenses including operating and reinsurance costs.
For further information about the Victorian Fire Services Levy or your specific policy please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or your Financial Services Provider (the broker or financial institution through whom you purchased your policy).
If you wish to make a complaint about the Victorian Fire Services Levy please contact QBE Customer Relations:
QBE Customer Relations
GPO Box 82
Sydney NSW 2001
Tel: 1300 650 503
Fax: 02 8227 8594
If you are emailing your complaint to us please ensure include your name, policy number, contact details and details regarding your complaint so we can respond.
For further consumer information, advice and guidance about the Victorian Fire Services Levy Reform please go to http://www.firelevymonitor.vic.gov.au.