Last year the Government introduced the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bill, which replaces the Fire Service Commission with a new entity, Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ). It may seem silly to talk about this in relation to your insurances but the changes have some broad affects on you.
Why the Changes
For a long time now the Fire Service have been rolling out to deal with incidents not strictly relating to fires such as car accidents, hazardous substances (like methamphetamine) and even medical emergencies.
This means the Fire Service we know is needing to evolve and equip to deal with these new tasks. The new law brings in some major changes for the fire service including:
- Unifying the existing urban and rural fire organisations within a renamed service with expanded functions and powers.
- New provisions for managing hazardous substances.
- Removal of the ability to recover the costs of rural fires.
- Funding across the new organisation will be driven by redefined levies
What Changes affect you?
The main change that affects insured clients is the recalculation of the "Fire Service Levy".
In short, the above changes create a funding gap on top of the current funding shortage the Fire Service has. To address this and equip the new Fire and Emergency New Zealand the Government has passed a Fire Service Levy rate increase that will come into effect from 1 July 2017.
Below is a breakdown of how the levy change may affect you:
• The new rate is 10.6c per $100 insured (capped at $100,000 for buildings and $20,000 for contents) meaning a maximum increase of $30 for buildings from $76 to $106, and a maximum increase of $6 for contents from $15.20 to $21.20.
• The new rate is 10.6c per $100 insured. This has the potential to significantly increase the levy payable for those with higher sums insured, as the FSL rate is effectively increasing by 39%.
Motor Vehicles and Boat Trailers (less than 3.5 tonne)
• The new flat rate is $8.45 which is an increase of $2.37.
Motor Vehicles and Boat Trailers (over 3.5 tonne)
• The new rate is 10.6c which is charged as a percentage of the sum insured i.e. $200,000 x 0.106% = $212.00.
• The new rate is 10.6c and this is charged as a percentage of the boat sum insured i.e. $50,000 x 0.106% = $53.00.