For more than 40 years, the Fire Service levy has been the main source of funding for New Zealand's 14,000 firefighters and the vital work they do protecting life and property across the country. The government has announced far reaching reforms to the country's fire services, at an estimated cost of $303 million over four years.
What do these changes mean for you, and what can you do about them?
Domestic policies will have their tax applied at a rate of 10.6c per $100 insured, to a maximum amount of $100,000 in house insurance and $20,000 for contents cover.
That means the maximum levy payable per house is $106 and $21.20 for personal property.
As an industry we strongly support the work of New Zealand's brave and dedicated firefighters. The levy is basically a form of tax, paid by insurance customers and collected by insurers on behalf of the Fire Service Commission.
As an insurance customer, your higher levy after 1 July 2017 will also cover some of the extra costs of reorganising the fire service and providing additional services, including:
- Merging the urban NZ Fire Service with rural fire services to form a single organisation, to be known as Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
- Providing more funding for rural fire services and covering equipment and training costs for volunteers.
- Offering non-fire services during medical emergencies, motor vehicle accidents, hazardous substance spills, clean ups, floods and other natural disasters.