The Victorian Fire Services are currently funded primarily through the Insurance industry. As an insurer in Victoria, we are obligated to pay the Victorian government a proportion of our premium income each year, based on our share of the market.
We factor this into our premiums, by including a Fire Services Levy charge.
We have always considered this an inefficient and unfair way of funding the Fire Services. People who didn’t take out home insurance were not contributing to the funding of the Fire Services, meaning those who did buy insurance were paying more than their fair share.
Along with other insurers and organisations, we lobbied to have this changed, to find a more efficient way of funding this very important community service.
The Victorian government has responded and the funding of the Victorian Fire Services Levy (FSL) is being changed. As of 1 July 2013, it will no longer be funded via insurance companies; it will instead move to a property levy collected directly from homeowners through their rates.
If you own property in Victoria, this will affect you, and we will send all affected Apia policyholders a letter outlining changes to their insurance policies.