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Industry slams 40% NZ fire levy rise

The New Zealand insurance industry has criticised the rising fire service levy, saying taxes on cover encourage underinsurance and leave consumers exposed.

The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) and Insurance Brokers Association of New Zealand have attacked a decision to increase the levy by almost 40%, to fund a new amalgamated fire service.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand will be established on July 1, bringing together 40 urban and rural fire services at a cost of $NZ303 million ($278.83 million).

The insurance industry bodies believe the levy should have been abolished, mirroring all Australian mainland states and territories.

“The levy is absolutely not sustainable in the future,” ICNZ CEO Tim Grafton said. “It is not fair and it is not practical.”

He believes a higher fire service levy will push consumers to drop insurance, which could have disastrous consequences in a nation so exposed to catastrophes.


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