If you are renewing your property insurance after 1 July 2013, you should carefully check your next renewal notice (2013–14). If there is a significant increase in the base premium, you should seek an explanation from your insurer, and complain to the Monitor if unsatisfied. You should also consider shopping around.
Professor Allan Fels AO is Victoria’s Fire Services Levy Monitor. The Monitor will oversee the abolition of the insurance-based fire services levy and provide advice and guidance to consumers and the insurance industry. For complaints and enquiries, call 1300 300 635.
The way the Victorian Government collects money from households and businesses to pay for fire services has changed.
From 1 July 2013 a Fire Services Levy is no longer collected by insurance companies in property insurance premiums. Instead, local councils collect the funds through a levy – the Fire Services Property Levy – with rates.
Insurance companies must not charge consumers for the Fire Services Levy after 1 July 2013.
The Victorian Government appointed Professor Allan Fels as the Fire Services Levy Monitor to oversee the removal of the levy from insurance premiums.
The Monitor’s role is to ensure the levy is genuinely phased out of the insurance premiums of Victorian households and business.
If you have property insurance, you can find important information on this website to assist in the transition to the new levy arrangements.
For enquiries about the new levy, call 1300 300 635 or to make a complaint, visit our Complaints section.
Further guidance to insurers on FSL over-collection
The Fire Services Levy Monitor has provided insurance companies with guidance notes on verification of the resolution of FSL over-collection and a model undertaking to resolve FSL over-collection.
On 16 January 2014 the Fire Services Levy Monitor, Professor Allan Fels, accepted an enforceable undertaking from Insurance Manufacturers of Australia Pty Limited (IMA), the underwriter of RACV Insurance residential building policies, in relation to aspects of the insurer’s pricing following the fire services levy reforms in Victoria.
More than 200,000 policyholders who renewed their residential building policies with RACV Insurance in the period 24 June to 31 December 2013, will receive over $11 million in refunds. The refunds relate to an 11 per cent price increase implemented in June 2013, and include an amount for the extra GST and stamp duty paid as a consequence of that price increase.
The signed Undertaking, published in full on the Undertakings Register, contains details of and eligibility for the refund, a summary of the circumstances that led to the refund being agreed, and the timelines in which IMA must ensure the refunds are paid.
Fire Services Levy Monitor, Professor Allan Fels, issued a Media Release to accompany the publication of the undertaking.
Policyholders eligible for a refund will be paid direct by IMA. The Office of the Fire Services Levy Monitor will not be involved in determining eligibility or in making the payments.
Note: Persons eligible for a refund and RACV Insurance policyholders generally should be alert to potential scams. There have been reports of fraudsters pretending to be from the Victorian government and asking policyholders for details of bank accounts. Policyholders should never reveal bank account details to unsolicited callers.