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Insurers to make ESL pledge at Fels inquiry

Insurers will reinforce their plans to remove the NSW emergency services levy (ESL) from property policies at a public inquiry tomorrow.

ESL Insurance Monitor Allan Fels has required industry executives to sign a declaration confirming they won’t apply the levy after its July 1 removal, and has asked companies to attend a hearing to detail how they calculate premiums and their plans to ensure levy savings are passed on to consumers.

Insurance Council of Australia CEO Rob Whelan says the heads of more than 100 insurers have signed the declaration.

“When insurers give evidence to the ESL Insurance Monitor Allan Fels at [the] public inquiry in Sydney, they will willingly make the same promise,” he said.

“Insurers will stop passing on to policyholders an inefficient tax that for many years had added about 20% to home building and contents premiums, and 30% to commercial policies.”

The NSW Government estimates replacing the ESL with the new property-based fire and emergency services levy will leave insured households on average $47 better off a year.

The inquiry will be held at the Parliament House Theatrette in Macquarie Street.

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