Danish law and professional negligence
28 July 2021
In Danish law a claim for professional negligence can be brought under a contractual or non-contractual relationship.
Contractual claims usually arise when the professional is required to perform a task under a contract and has failed to do so. Non-contractual claims usually arise from an act or omission contrary to a profession’s standard of good practice. Such a standard can have various sources, such as statute, Ministerial Orders and rules of professional bodies.
Professional negligence insurance for sectors
In Denmark, each profession is often distinct and complex in how it approaches professional negligence. For example, Lawyers are required to have liability insurance of a minimum 2.5 million kroner, including for a period of five years after giving up practice.
Currently a judgement is highly anticipated that may provide guidance for lawyers' standard of good practice. The case concerns over 1 billion kroner brought by the Danish Tax Agency against a Danish law firm in April 2020 for its alleged role in fraud against the Danish Treasury which began court proceedings in May 2021.
Private medical practices, hospitals and clinics must have liability insurance of a minimum of 20 million kroner per year, but public/state practices are not obliged to have such insurance.
By February 2021 the Danish Patient Compensation Association had received 268 claims for compensation related to COVID-19. The majority of cases have yet to be concluded, but it is reported that in at least one case compensation has been awarded, although not yet quantified. The case involves a nursing home resident who was infected with coronavirus in 2020 and as a result died from COVID-19. Although there was no indication that the nursing home breached guidelines, the resident’s surviving next of kin is to receive compensation.
In the Banking and finance professionals liability insurance sector, investment advisers must be covered at a minimum of 7.5 million kroner per negligent act and at a minimum of 11.2 million kroner for the combined number of negligent acts, per year.
Real Estate Agents are required to have liability insurance, of a minimum amount of 3 million kroner per year. The minimum amount is 30 million kroner per year if real estate agents have 10 or more employees.
Accountant companies with fewer than 10 qualified accountants must have a minimum cover of 2 million kroner, and companies with 10 or more accountants must have a minimum cover of 20 million kroner, per year.
An insurance broker must hold professional indemnity insurance covering potential financial claims resulting from the business. The minimum cover is 9,717,934 kroner per negligent act and at least 14,382,525 kroner for the combined number of negligent acts, per year.
W Denis Europe are specialists at procuring competitive professional indemnity policies for the above professions and many other types of Danish professional businesses. We have direct access to the vast majority of major European Insurers including Lloyd’s Brussels.