Insurer secures win over Fire Services Levy Monitor

Insurer tussle

A major insurer has had a victory in a tussle with Victoria’s Fire Services Levy (FSL) over $1.4 million in excess funds collected.

CGU over-collected $1.394 million after the FSL was abolished in July last year, after which it paid $1.184 million to the Victorian Country Fire Authority (CFA) and another $210,000 to a consumer organisation.

However, in July, FSL Monitor Professor Allan Fels indicated the payments did not necessarily mean CGU had fulfilled its responsibilities to customers.

“While the Monitor’s preference with all insurers was for over-collected FSL to be returned to customers, we have accepted payments to organisations representing the interests of Victorian consumers by insurers where they could demonstrate that refunds were impractical,” a spokesman says.

“The Monitor has acknowledged CGU’s claim that its average over-collection of FSL was approximately $8.80, the majority of which was collected through brokers, and accepts that it was uncommercial and infeasible for CGU to return these small sums of over-collected FSL to its customers.

“Given that refunds were impractical and the payment to the CFA had already been made, we accepted that the payment made to the CFA should stand.”