Insurers put on notice on over-collection of emergency services levy

The NSW Emergency Services Levy Insurance Monitor, Professor Allan Fels AO, has today issued Guidelines to insurers to prevent consumers being over-charged Emergency Services Levies.

Emergency Services Levies (ESL) are added to premiums by insurers to recover the contributions they are required to make to help meet the costs of the emergency services providers in NSW.

Professor Fels warned insurers that the Monitor would be closely scrutinising insurers to ensure consumers were not charged excessive amounts.

“The Guidelines send a clear warning to insurers that the Monitor will use its statutory information gathering powers to obtain all the data it needs to make these assessments”, he said.

“And we will require an auditors’ review report in relation to this data to ensure NSW consumers are not overcharged on their insurance.”

If there is any over-collection, the Monitor will require that refunds are made to policy holders, or if this is impracticable that the over-collection is returned to the Chief Commissioner of State Revenue.

“Whilst over-collection may be inadvertent, this does not relieve insurers of the requirement to make good on any over-collection amount,” said Professor Fels.

Most insurers are well-aware of the Monitor’s scrutiny of over-collections in the past and have been cautious to avoid collecting more than they are authorised.

However, in 2015-116 and 2016-17 the Monitor identified over $1.6m in over-collections.

Five smaller insurers were referred to the Chief Commissioner of State revenue for debt recovery action for amounts totalling $29,468.

/Public Release.