Do you live in Victoria? Are you on the fence about organising retail insurance?

Well, the following might help you to make up your mind!

You may have heard of the Fire Services Levy (FSL). This was an additional payment required of people with insurance plans that included cover for fire.

The FSL was used to fund such services as the Country Fire Authority and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.

The pertinent word in these two sentences is “was”. As of July 1, the FSL has been consigned to the history books – and the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) couldn’t be happier.

“This is good news for all policy-holders and updates the Victorian tax regime to a 21st century
system,” said Rob Whelan, chief executive officer of the ICA, in a July 1 statement.

The FSL is being replaced by the Fire Services Property Levy. Instead of being gathered by insurance providers, this will be collected along with rates by local councils in Victoria.

Mr Whelan explained that before July 1, funding the state’s fire services had been the responsibility of Victorian property owners with small business insurance.

Over the past five years, reveals the ICA, policyholders have contributed $2.65 billion toward fire services. This wasn’t fair arrangement, given that everyone in Victoria benefited from them.

He added that the removal of the FSL might encourage people to organise insurance and protect their property.

“History shows reducing the taxes and levies on insurance can help reduce the level of underinsurance and non-insurance. More insured properties means fewer demands on government and community organisations following future natural disasters,” he said.

If you would like to protect your property and contents against fires, storms and earthquakes, as well as a variety of man-made damages, such as theft and malicious acts, get in touch with MGA Insurance Brokers.