The BBC Radio news service has sent comments about Victoria’s exorbitant fire service levy around the world.
The BBC news picked up on comments from Noel Pettersen, NIBA chief executive, about the high cost of the fire services levy on insurance policies in the state of Victoria in an interview with an ABC television news reporter and broadcast the remarks on its international service.
The interview came on the anniversary of Victoria’s devastating Black Saturday bushfires that caused the deaths of 173 people, razed some 2500 homes and many other buildings and cost about $1.1 billion estimated by the Insurance Council of Australia.
On the prime time 7pm ABC TV news service Mr Pettersen explained how the high cost of the FSL – sometimes doubling the cost of the insurance premium – obviated people taking out insurance or under-insuring.
The segment followed comments from an insured in one of the ravaged townships about the needs for insurance and the problems of cost negating some people taking out cover.
The comments also followed emailed complaints to media from insureds in the fire regions about the home and contents premiums rising.
One man, unnamed, was reported by the Melbourne Herald Sun complaining that his house and contents premium had increased by 18%.
But the same report was headlined "Bid to axe fire service levy" saying "Australia’s peak insurance body is putting pressure on the Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission to axe the fire service levy".
It quoted from the Insurance Council’s 2nd submission to the commission in January.
The high taxes and charges in property insurance in Victoria add 84% on Victorian country and commercial insurance basic premium up to 123% when GST and stamp duty were applied.