Insurance Litigation 2023

Last Updated October 03, 2023


Law and Practice


Bech-Bruun is a market-oriented law firm offering a wide range of specialist advisory services to large sections of the Danish corporate and public sectors, as well as to global enterprises. Counting almost 600 experienced and highly specialised employees, of which 64 are partners, it is one of Denmark’s leading full-service law firms.

In Denmark, there is no specific procedural regime that governs the resolution of insurance disputes. Instead, insurance disputes are resolved under the general regime of civil procedure before the ordinary courts, or through alternative dispute resolution bodies or the Insurance Complaints Board for non-commercial cases.

Denmark is a member of the EU, which means that it is obliged to legislate in accordance with EU treaties and conventions. However, when Denmark joined the EU in 1973, it required four derogations or “opt-outs” from EU co-operation – including a legal reservation regarding Justice and Home Affairs. This means that Denmark is not bound to follow EU legislation on civil law matters. However, Denmark has adopted the Brussels I Regulation and therefore does – to some extent – co-operate with the EU on civil law matters.

Insurance Disputes Before the Danish Courts

The Danish Administration of Justice Act (the “Justice Act”) regulates civil proceedings in the Danish courts, which comprise:

  • the Supreme Court;
  • the Eastern and Western High Court;
  • the Maritime and Commercial High Court; and
  • 24 district courts. 

A civil case is initiated when the court receives a writ of summons from the plaintiff. The Justice Act regulates the requirements and timeframes that apply to the writ of summons and the defence, etc, and also includes detailed provisions for the preparation of the case, the presentation of evidence and of witnesses, and more. 

Insurance Disputes by Arbitration

Arbitration is a way of solving insurance disputes without involving the ordinary courts. Arbitration is governed by Danish legislation in the Danish Arbitration Act 2005, which corresponds to the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration 1985. 

The Arbitration Act has few mandatory provisions on arbitral procedure and leaves the parties to decide on the process of dispute resolution. For example, the parties are free to decide on the number of members of the arbitral tribunal, as well as on the timeframes and limits on the statement of defence, etc.

In Denmark, arbitration outside the construction sector is typically initiated in the Danish Institute of Arbitration (DIA) in Copenhagen. The DIA has its own set of rules which apply when parties commence arbitration there. Disputes in the field of building and construction are typically contractually bound to be initiated by the Danish Building and Construction Arbitration Board, which also has its own set of rules.

Insurance Disputes by Mediation

Denmark has no laws governing mediation. However, both the DIA and the Danish Building and Construction Arbitration Board have their own set of rules regarding mediation.

Insurance Disputes by the Insurance Complaints Board

The Insurance Complaints Board, authorised by the Danish Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, deals with consumer insurance.

Complaints regarding legal issues arising from the relationship between the customer and the insurance company can be submitted to the Board, which will handle the complaint. The Board cannot, however, handle issues which have been settled by a final judgment, validly binding arbitration, or court settlement.

Civil Cases

The Danish court system is structured on three levels. The district courts are the ordinary first instance courts in civil disputes. In extraordinary situations, the district court can direct a case to the High Court in the first instance if the case is of general public importance, or if the case could have a significant impact on others besides the parties involved. The Maritime and Commercial Court handles cases regarding commercial matters and intellectual property rights.

The Danish legal system is based on a two-tier system, which means that most cases can be appealed once to a higher court. A civil case is usually initiated in a district court and can normally be appealed thereafter in one of the High Courts. Some cases which are of general public importance can be appealed to the Supreme Court as a third instance. The right to appeal the case to the Supreme Court is given by the Appeals Permission Board (Procesbevillingsnævnet). 

Before the oral hearing (preparations)

The litigation process before the court is formally initiated when the plaintiff submits its writ of summons to the defendant’s home court (as the primary rule). If the requirements of the writ of summons are not fulfilled, the court will dismiss the case as unsuitable to serve as the basis for legal proceedings. If the statement of claim is suitable, the court then sets out a deadline of two weeks for the defendant to submit its statement of defence. If the defendant does not comply with the deadline for submission, the court may deliver a default judgment in favour of the plaintiff. 

After receiving the defendant’s statement of defence, and in some cases after further exchange of pleadings, the court conducts a preparatory meeting between the parties for the purpose of planning the events leading up to the oral hearing, etc.

In Denmark, all civil cases are almost exclusively processed using a digital portal,, where all pleadings, evidence, court decisions and correspondence are uploaded by both parties and the court. The Danish civil procedure system follows the adversarial procedure, which means that the courts can only make decisions based on the claims and the evidence presented by the parties. 

The oral hearing before the court

The main hearing begins with a presentation of the facts of the case by the plaintiff to the court. Afterwards, the parties and witnesses are summoned to give their testimonies to the court. The party representative of the plaintiff will testify first, followed by the defendant (if relevant).

Thereafter, the summoned witness(es) will testify before the court. First, the plaintiff’s witness(es) will be interviewed, and subsequently the defendant’s witness(es). It is a statutory duty to give evidence as a witness, with only a few exceptions – eg, for doctors, priests or attorneys.

If experts have been appointed to give an opinion, the parties will in some cases go through and question the expert’s report during the oral hearing. 

Before the court renders its decision, each party must submit their oral, closing arguments before the court, followed by rebuttal and surrebuttal. 

In civil cases, it normally takes up to four weeks before the judgment is complete and published to the parties.

Small claims procedure

In Denmark, there is a special form of civil procedure if a claim has a value of DKK50,000 at maximum (approximately USD6,918). The Justice Act has a separate chapter regarding the rules on small claims procedures, as the process is simplified compared to the ordinary process described above. In most of these cases, the parties do not need to engage an attorney as the court assists the parties in the preparation of the case. It is, however, possible for the court to decide that a party must be represented by an attorney. 

Rules on Limitations

The Danish Limitation Act applies in general to all civil claims in Denmark, including insurance claims. There are only a few additions or regulations mentioned in Section 29 of the Insurance Contract Act, including insurance claims regarding personal injury, as in these cases the limitation period is extended to ten years, and the limitation period against an insurance company’s rejection of an insurance claim cannot be shorter than a year after the company's notification that it rejects the claim in whole or in part.

The main rule for limitation of monetary claims is three years. This means that a case must be filed within three years, calculated from the earliest time a creditor could demand fulfilment of their claim. For tort claims, the calculation begins from the date of injury. The beginning of the three-year period can be suspended if the creditor does not have knowledge – and should not have had knowledge – about the claim. The period is then suspended until the creditor has been made aware of the claim. The absolute limitation of claims is ten years, calculated from the moment the damage was caused or the moment the creditor could have demanded its claim fulfilled.

If a case is brought before the Insurance Complaints Board before the limitation period, the case will not become statute-barred while the Board processes the case. When the Board’s decision is complete, there is an additional deadline of one year to file the claim to the courts if the claim has not been successful before the Board. The one-year deadline runs in parallel with the regular three-year limitation period.

In Denmark, the main ADR methods include arbitration, mediation and court-based mediation.


Arbitration is one of the preferred forms of ADR in Denmark when dealing with commercial claims, including insurance claims. It is, however, mandatory that the parties – ie, the insurer and the insured – have agreed on arbitration as their method of dispute resolution. 

Arbitration is often preferred in cases with professional parties on both sides. It is a more expensive resolution measure, but the process is normally quicker than before the national courts. In 2022 the average arbitration process at the Danish Institute of Arbitration was nine months for Danish cases and 14 months for international cases. See the statistics here.

Professional parties usually have the financial capacity to go through with the arbitration process. Moreover, the Institute’s rulings are not public, which means that the parties can arbitrate their dispute without public awareness. 

Arbitration is also preferred within the field of construction. It is typically agreed between the parties, as it follows from standard documents such as AB18 or AB92, which are commonly used in this field.


Over the past few years, there has been increasing focus on mediation in Denmark – both by the courts and ADR. However, mediation has still not become the preferred way of solving disputes.

Court-based mediation is offered when initiating cases, but it is not a general rule that both parties wish to proceed with such mediation. 

Mediation is also offered in the DIA, which published rules on mediation in 2015. Despite the effort to promote mediation as an alternative to arbitration, mediation only constituted 4% of the cases admitted to the DIA in 2021.

However, when dealing with cases in the field of construction, it is normal for the parties (the building owner and the contractor) to agree on a standard document where definite rules on construction are set out. According to the standard document AB18, it is mandatory to start a mediation process before the parties commence an arbitration process. Mediation is therefore used regularly in the field of construction.

The rules in the Justice Act, the Brussels I Regulation and the Lugano Convention are applicable when discussing applicable law on insurance disputes. If the parties have made special agreements on jurisdiction or choice of law in their insurance contract, these agreements are binding.


Rules on jurisdiction are stated in the Justice Act. The primary rule is that the defendant’s home court in one of the 24 district courts – or in special cases, one of the High Courts – will have territorial jurisdiction (Justice Act, Section 235). If the defendant is a legal entity, the home court is where the main office is located (Justice Act, Section 238). The rules that regulate the territorial jurisdiction of the national courts are set out in Chapter 22 of the Justice Act.

The rules on jurisdiction in the Brussels I Regulation and the Lugano Convention are also applicable law in Denmark. These rules are used when one or more of the parties has a connection to an EU or EEA country.

Choice of Law

As Denmark does not co-operate with the EU on Justice and Home Affairs, it is only bound by the Rome I Regulation 2008. When dealing with insurance disputes, the Rome I Regulation has certain special rules regarding insurance contracts set out in Article 7. If the applicable law has not been chosen by the parties, it follows from Article 7 that the insurance contract will be governed by the law of the country where the insurer is habitually resident, unless it is clear from all the circumstances of the case that the contract is manifestly more closely connected with another country, in which case the law of that other country will apply. 

The Insurance Contract Act Section 34 implements Article 12(2) of the Financial Distance-Selling Directive, which regulates free choice of law to the consumer’s advantage. The rules on choice of law in the Rome I Regulation are not changed or affected by this rule. 

The Danish enforcement court – a subdivision of the district courts – handles the enforcement of foreign judgments. 

Judgments from courts within the EU or the EEA are recognised and enforced in Denmark in accordance with the Brussels I Regulation and the Lugano Convention.

In 2017, it was decided in the Danish parliament that the Hague Convention of 30 June 2005 on Choice of Court Agreements was to be implemented in Danish law. Through this change, every judgment handed down in the Hague Convention states should be recognised and enforceable in Denmark, and vice versa. 

Denmark is internationally recognised by the World Justice Project as having one of the best rules of law in the world. This means that a fair trial is expected and provided in all cases. The procedural rules in the Justice Act, the Brussels I Regulation, the Lugano Convention, etc, all support this perception. 

As a rule, once the parties have agreed on an arbitration procedure, the authority of the ordinary courts is limited. If the parties have agreed on arbitration, and the agreement is valid, the ordinary courts are obliged to dismiss the case. 

Only a few situations give the ordinary courts authority to intervene in arbitration proceedings. For example, if the parties request the ordinary courts to appoint the arbitrators (Arbitration Act, Section 11(3)) or assess an arbitrator’s impartiality (Arbitration Act, Section 13(3)). 

If the insured is a consumer, stricter rules apply to the arbitration agreement. Arbitration agreements between a professional company and a consumer, entered into before a dispute arises, are not necessarily binding on the consumer. 

Denmark is subject to the New York Convention from 1958, and this is implemented in the Danish Arbitration Act. The New York Convention’s rules on recognition and enforcement in Article V appear in the Arbitration Act in Sections 38 and 39.

According to Section 38, an arbitral award, whether issued in Denmark or abroad, can be enforced according to the rules in the Justice Act. However, Section 38 also refers to the limitations set out in Section 39, which regulate situations where an arbitral award can be refused recognition and therefore cannot be enforced according to Section 38. 

The dispositive reasons to refuse enforcement and recognition in Section 39 are that:

  • the arbitration agreement was invalid or one of the contracting parties lacked legal capacity under the law of the country in which they were domiciled at the time of the conclusion of the agreement;
  • one of the parties was not properly notified of the appointment of an arbitrator or of the arbitration proceedings, or the party was not able to present its case;
  • the arbitration concerns a dispute not included in the arbitration agreement, or that is beyond the scope of the agreement;
  • the composition of the arbitral tribunal or the arbitration proceedings were not in accordance with the arbitration agreement or with the law of the country where the arbitration took place; or
  • the arbitral award is not yet binding on the parties or has been disregarded or suspended by the court in the country in which it was given, or under the law of which it was given.

It is also stated that a ruling under any circumstance must be refused recognition by the court if:

  • the dispute lacks arbitrability; or
  • recognition and enforcement are incompatible with the legal order of the country (ordre public).

The reason for refusal is consistent with the New York Convention’s Article V and both sections are to be interpreted in accordance with this. The two rules are mandatory and cannot be deviated from in the parties’ agreement. 

As arbitration rulings are not published by the DIA, it is unfortunately difficult to answer whether arbitration is a significant form of insurance dispute resolution. In general, arbitration is commonly used in commercial matters and there is a good chance that it will be used in an insurance dispute of significant value between professional parties.

In general, the advantage of using arbitration as the dispute resolution mechanism is that the Arbitration Act gives the parties authority to “design” their process. For example, it is possible for the parties to appoint an insurance specialist as a member of the arbitral tribunal or to appoint an insurance specialist as an expert to provide an expert report. 

The Danish Insurance Contract Act regulates the formation of insurance contracts and the rights or duties of insurance companies and policyholders. It does not contain specific terms.

The essence of the Insurance Contract Act is the parties’ right to contractual freedom. However, this contractual freedom is limited in certain respects. Many of the provisions in the Insurance Contract Act are mandatory, and therefore cannot be deviated from to the policyholder’s disadvantage. Also, stricter rules apply when regulating consumer relations.   

The Insurance Contract Act Sections 4–10 regulate the insurer’s rights concerning the presentation of the risk prior to the inception of the policy. Deviation from these rules is not permitted. 

It is fundamental that there is honesty between the contracting parties. The policyholder has a formal obligation to give all risk information – this means that it has a duty to respond and a duty of disclosure.

The duty to respond is relevant in situations where the policyholder is required to submit an insurance claim or if the insurance company is asking specific questions relating to entering an insurance contract. Under any of these circumstances, the policyholder has a duty of disclosure. This duty is explained in Section 7 of the Insurance Contract Act, which states that any information not disclosed to the insurance company is at the policyholder’s own risk. In practice, it is problematic to delimit the scale of the duty to respond. Normally it would be sufficient for the policyholder to answer the questions asked by the insurance company, without making a detailed assessment of the issues. However, when dealing with personal insurance such as life or accident insurance, there might be a stricter duty for the policyholder to respond.

According to Section 4 of the Insurance Contract Act, a contract is not valid if the policyholder fraudulently gives wrong information or withholds information which is of importance to the insurance company (bad faith). However, Section 5 of the Act states that the insurance company is liable if, at the time of effecting the contract, the policyholder did not know or could not have known that the information was incorrect (good faith). 

During the past 12 months, there has been an increased focus on insurance companies being anti-discriminatory.

Recently, the Insurance Complaints Board examined multiple cases considering what constitutes an accident in the context of childbirth, and whether these accidents warrant insurance coverage. Two of the cases were ruled in favour of the insured parties establishing their entitlement to insurance benefits. These verdicts stated that injuries related to childbirth were to be treated on equal terms as injuries related to any other form of physical activity.

The cases mentioned above have had an impact on insurance companies’ terms of insurance coverage. In the past, women who sustained an injury during pregnancy were excluded from insurance companies’ accident coverage. As now follows from case law and the Insurance Equality Act, women must not be disadvantaged due to pregnancy, childbirth or maternity leave.

The legal development underscores the shift in insurance coverage in relation to pregnancy and childbirth, highlighting the focus on fair treatment and non-discrimination within the insurance domain.

See also the Denmark Trends and Developments article in this guide.

There are different ways of resolving insurance coverage disputes, depending on the type of dispute.

The Insurance Complaints Board handles disputes involving consumers where a dispute concerns insurance taken out by a private individual (consumer insurance). The decision made by the Insurance Complaints Board does not have the same legal status as a judgment from the courts. It is, however, normally respected by insurance companies; if not, the decision does not prevent the parties from going to the ordinary courts.

If both parties are professionals, disputes will normally be resolved by court proceedings, ADR or internal negotiations. 

The Danish Insurance Contract Act generally does not distinguish between consumers and non-consumers. As stated in 4.4 Resolution of Insurance Coverage Disputes, it is possible for consumers to resolve their disputes via the Insurance Complaints Board. If the dispute is brought before the ordinary courts, the courts may seek to protect the consumer as they are the “weaker” party compared to the insurance company. 

Under the Insurance Contract Act, it is only possible for a third party to enforce an insurance contract under Section 95, which states that when the insured’s liability towards the injured person (third party) has been proved and the amount of the damages assessed, the third party shall be subrogated into the assured’s rights against the company if the third party has not obtained satisfaction for their own claim.

The concept of bad faith applies in contractual relations where a party acts intentionally or is to a certain extent negligent towards the other party.

As mentioned in 4.2 Right of Insurers, it follows from Section 4 of the Insurance Contract Act that if a policyholder fraudulently withholds information or gives incorrect information to the insurance company, the insurance company is not liable. Section 18 of the Insurance Contract Act also states that the policyholder does not have a claim against the insurance company if they intentionally provoke the insurance event.

These rules reflect the general rule on bad faith as in the law of contracts. 

Penalties for late payment of claims are regulated in the Insurance Contract Act Section 24, according to which payment can be demanded 14 days after the insurance company has collected the necessary information about the insurance event for the assessment of the payable amount. If it is certain that the insurance company must pay a part of the total amount, this amount can be demanded. Payment carries interest from the time when the amount could have been demanded according to Section 24, with an annual interest rate. The annual interest rate is set out in the Danish Interest Act Section 5 and is currently around 8% per annum. 

Representations made by a broker are normally legally binding for the insured. The basis of the broker’s work relies on the agreement of representation between the insured and the broker. The broker carries out its work on the basis of a power of attorney and a co-operation agreement, and the agreement between the parties regulates the broker’s mandate, fee, liability, etc.

Insurance brokers are subject to the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority. This means that brokers must always maintain liability insurance in case of incorrect advice to clients, and therefore brokers can be liable for damages as a consequence of the advice. 

Delegated underwriting and claims-handling authority agreements are common in the insurance field. However, rulings on these claims are not often seen, or are handled internally without resorting to dispute resolution. 

In general, when the insured is covered by liability insurance, insurance companies will fund the defence of the insured if the insured is met by a claim. This also follows from the Insurance Contract Act Section 92 regarding liability insurance. 

If the insured is a private person with contents insurance, boat insurance, insurance covering loss of or damage to their car, etc, the person also has legal expenses insurance, meaning that the insurance company will cover the cost of a lawsuit on private matters. The terms for legal expenses insurance may vary in each insurance policy.

For some years, a growing number of companies have had special insurance needs or have required tailor-made insurance products for their insurance coverage. Therefore, it is expected that the market for such insurance products will continue to grow over the next couple of years. This is also the case with professional indemnity insurances. It is expected that the need for this type of insurance will increase, and therefore so will the number of disputes in this regard. 

Litigation disputes in Denmark appear to have become larger and more complex in recent years, with the consequence of increasing costs. This trend will most likely continue.

It is possible to buy protection against costs risks in Denmark, but this is not widely distributed. 

The insurers’ right of action to recover sums from third parties is not regulated in the Insurance Contract Act. It is, however, common for insurance contracts to include terms in which the policyholder’s claim against a third party is transported to the insurance company. This is also a general principle of law. 

As stated in 6.1 Right of Action to Recover Sums From Third Parties, the Insurance Contract Act does not contain rules on the insurers’ right to pursue third parties, and this follows from general principles of law. 

However, Danish law includes specific provisions on the injured party’s possibility of recovering sums directly from the tortfeasor’s insurance company. Pursuant to Section 95 of the Insurance Contract Act, the injured party accedes to the tortfeasor’s/insured’s rights against their insurance company when the tortfeasor’s/insured's obligation to compensate the injured party has been established and the amount of the compensation determined. The same applies if the tortfeasor becomes insolvent.

In Denmark, climate change has caused residents to experience an increase in extreme weather conditions that have damaged their property or belongings. The impact of this increase in frequency is expected to be seen in the insurance industry, where cases can arise between policyholders and insurance providers, as well as across policyholders when assigning liability for consequential damages. See also the Denmark Trends and Developments article in this guide.

Furthermore, the repercussions of the Ukrainian conflict within the insurance sector remain on the not-so-distant horizon. As the conflict unfolds, it is probable that many sectors will gradually confront the losses faced throughout the conflict. Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, coupled with the ensuing international sanctions imposed on Russia, are expected to launch a sequence of claims associated with the war and sanctions. Property Claims Services (PCS) has prognosticated that total insured losses within the industry from the war could surpass USD20 billion.

Moreover, the conflict could potentially give rise to claims in the business realm, including directors and officers (D&O) insurance. Directors and officers risk facing investor claims in cases where Russian assets have been written off.

No major changes in types of cases are expected within the next 12 months, though this depends on a variety of now-unknown factors. 

So far, there have been no major public cases before the ordinary courts regarding insurance cases relating to climate change or the war in Ukraine.

The increased focus on climate change and ESG has created a new market for diversified insurance products.

From 2 August 2022, new EU rules on the implementation of environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects will apply as a factor for insurance companies developing new insurance products in Denmark. The rules will also impose ongoing supervision of these products through product oversight and governance (POG) requirements. The purpose of the new rules on ESG is that insurance companies and other insurance facilitators that develop insurance products will have to consider sustainability factors in the product approval process, etc, for each individual insurance product distributed to clients seeking insurance products with a sustainability profile. It is therefore no longer sufficient for an insurance company to generally declare an insurance product sustainable. The new rules will apply to damage and life insurance companies and facilitators. The impact of ESG on the Danish insurance industry is further explored in the Denmark Trends and Developments article in this guide.

Like most other industries, the newer EU regulation on Data Protection affects the insurance industry at its core. Given the substantial data volumes (including sensitive information) inherent in insurance operations, the industry has been faced with the task of updating and restructuring its systems of data storage and exchange. Another aspect of data storage revolves around the protection of data against cyber-attacks. Furthermore, the widespread influence of the Data Protection Regulation has amplified the need for insurance policies covering breaches of the Regulation and associated liabilities. This surge in demand is a direct consequence of the Regulation’s sweeping impact on multiple industries, including insurance.

As stated in 8.1 Impact of ESG on Underwriting and Litigating Insurance Risks, the new EU rules on the implementation of ESG aspects are a significant new regulatory development. 


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Trends and Developments


Bech-Bruun is a market-oriented law firm offering a wide range of specialist advisory services to large sections of the Danish corporate and public sectors, as well as to global enterprises. Counting almost 600 experienced and highly specialised employees, of which 64 are partners, it is one of Denmark’s leading full-service law firms.

The Danish insurance litigation scene is undergoing somewhat of a transformation, reflecting a blend of influences that are reshaping the industry. This article will examine some of the shifts within the industry and highlight how these shifts will in turn have an impact on insurance litigation. Insurers are not only finding their footing with the new environmental, social and governance (ESG) responsibilities, but are also pushing to keep up and offer a more diversified range of products.

Furthermore, with case law setting new precedents, the Danish industry has been pressed to reconsider its insurance terms and policies. 

ESG Responsibilities

Together with achieving a far more prominent legal status, ESG has reached new levels of popularity in recent years as it provides a method of measuring companies’ sustainability. Although specific valuations and methods differ depending on the data vendor, it still provides an insight into companies’ sustainability that previously has not been possible.

The environmental part of ESG covers what would traditionally be thought of as sustainability – pollution, waste, greenhouse emissions, etc. The social aspect covers a business’ impact on people, both internally and externally, and is closely linked with human rights. Lastly, governance relates to how the specific company is managed, the use of accurate and transparent accounting methods, compliance, and anti-bribery and anti-competitive practices.

Simultaneously, there has been a growing focus on establishing legal regulations for ESG. The EU recently introduced the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), which implements new standards and requirements for how companies disclose information about sustainability. The Directive entered into force on 5 January 2023 with additional rules tailored for various industries set to follow. Furthermore, Regulation (EU) 2021/1257 of 21 April 2021 on the integration of sustainability factors and sustainability preferences for insurers and insurance distributors, which applied with direct effect from 2 August 2022, also contains ESG requirements.

The CSRD will have a direct impact on the insurance industry, and will not only entail greater and stricter reporting requirements but will also encourage a shift towards offering sustainable solutions. The CSRD requirements will apply:

  • to publicly listed companies with more than 500 employees from the financial year 2024; and
  • to publicly listed companies with more than 250 employees from the financial year 2025.

Additionally, insurance companies will need to be mindful of their partnerships and collaborations, as they can also influence their own ESG ratings.

The shift holds insurance companies to new standards, and thus a lack of adaptation could affect them negatively and harm their reputations. To prevent this, it is to be expected that insurance companies will start to launch sustainable initiatives, such as alternative ways of insuring their clients. Instead of merely replacing items, they could offer options for repair or recycling. For instance, if an industrial machine malfunctions, rather than acquiring new parts, they might suggest using recycled components. This approach benefits both the environment and the customer’s ESG rating, making it appealing to companies aiming for greater sustainability.

However, when a sustainable solution incurs greater costs, questions arise about who will bear the financial burden. When damage occurs, the insurance company could face the dilemma of paying out the insurance sum and fixing the damage in the most cost-effective way, or delivering a solution that is more sustainable and that will provide a higher ESG rating. If insurance premiums are already fixed, the company might need to absorb the additional costs to enhance its ESG rating. Conversely, new customers might be presented with more sustainable insurance options, albeit at a higher premium.

Regulation (EU) 2021/1257 of 21 April 2021 stipulates that insurance companies cannot simply claim that their products are sustainable. Instead, it requires that they review their customers’ own goals, needs and ESG goals. The aim is to achieve conformity with a customer’s sustainability profile, as well as to be transparent about which factors of the product are sustainable. Furthermore, the Regulation discourages insurance companies from “greenwashing” the insurance products they offer.

From the perspective of the insured, the new ESG requirements prompt a need to consider whether their insurance providers will cover the expenses linked to sustainable restoration – even if it comes with a higher cost.

Furthermore, as many Danish companies find themselves obligated to follow the newly established CSRD regulations, a surge in demand for insurance policies that provide coverage for potential liabilities and damages is sure to follow. These types of policies will be relevant in situations where companies fail to meet the stipulated reporting requirements. The rationale behind this is that failure to meet ESG objectives and to fulfil reporting mandates could affect a given company’s reputation, and thus pose a risk to its share price. Consequently, this could lead to the emergence of claims seeking compensation for incurred damages.

However, it remains uncertain whether the coverage provided by standard operational loss insurance in cases of breaches of the current reporting standards will cover such damages, or whether new insurance policies will be required.

Nonetheless, the introduction of legal regulation is expected to generate a heightened demand for safeguards against non-compliance with its provisions, as well as more claims for damages stemming from ESG-related issues. Similarly, it is expected that insurance providers will diversify their coverage. 

Climate Change

With the ongoing challenge of climate change, it has been increasingly relevant to consider physical risk exposure to natural disasters. The insurance industry is highly familiar with the consequences of unanticipated events, and the increase in natural disasters means the industry must prepare for more events to come. In Denmark, this mainly pertains to belongings and valuables damaged in storms, torrential rain or flooding.

The Danish Meteorological Institute has stated that Danish citizens can expect more extreme weather conditions in future, and for these to occur more often. This poses a threat not only to properties and the valuables stored therein, but also to production and supply chains. The weather conditions and subsequent damages will in turn press insurance premiums higher. 

This changing landscape has a direct connection to the evolving Danish insurance litigation scene. As the instances of natural disasters become more frequent, insurance-related legal cases might take on new dimensions, raising questions about coverage adequacy, assignment of responsibility for the damages, and how claims are resolved in this changing climate reality.

These changes may also push insurance companies to invest in solutions that mitigate climate-related damages. This would not only enhance their ESG rating but might also curb the frequency of insurance claims triggered by climate-induced incidents. Ultimately, ESG’s transformative influence calls for insurance companies to recalibrate strategies, aligning with both regulatory shifts and with changing climates.


Warranty and indemnity (W&I) insurance has gained considerable traction, especially in transactions involving international buyers and sellers. As a relatively new offering in the Danish market, W&I insurance is evolving based on practical experiences and significant claims. Often utilised by private equity funds, W&I insurance allows such funds to meet investor obligations and efficiently manage purchase price allocation.

W&I insurance safeguards against financial losses arising from breaches of warranties in transfer agreements. However, it does not guarantee issues already known to the buyer through due diligence. Policies address undisclosed conditions that are uncovered post-closing.

This insurance model offers sellers the advantage of providing buyer guarantees without retaining a portion of the purchase price. It thus helps to facilitate a “clean exit”, and enables buyers to address claims primarily with the insurer, fostering a co-operative buyer-seller relationship.

Although W&I insurance can help to streamline the transaction process, insurance companies can be expected to increase their requirements and demands regarding the complexity of the due diligence procedure as a prerequisite for coverage. Parties should, therefore, always consider a W&I insurance’s suitability for their transaction, weighing benefits against costs.

Recent Case Law Regarding Damages Sustained During Childbirth

How insurance companies and the courts precisely define what constitutes an accident has traditionally been a contentious subject. Recently, Danish case law has delved into the nuances of what constitutes an accident in the context of childbirth. In two distinct cases, the Danish Insurance Appeals Board examined the question of whether injuries sustained during childbirth could be considered accidents warranting insurance coverage.

In both cases, the women had initially been denied insurance coverage for injuries sustained during childbirth. In response, they brought their cases before the Insurance Appeals Board, which ultimately ruled in favour of the insured parties, establishing their entitlement to insurance benefits. Naturally, injuries sustained during childbirth could potentially be relevant for a substantial number of individuals each year.

The insurance companies claimed that such injuries from childbirth did not fall under the definition of an accident within the field of insurance. Rather, they contended that such injuries should be assessed in light of what could reasonably be expected as part of a typical childbirth process. For instance, in one of the cases the insurance company justified the denial of coverage by arguing that pressure and pushing on the surrounding bones are necessary, natural and unavoidable.

Nonetheless, the board ruled in favour of the plaintiffs, and the case marked a paradigm shift. These verdicts established a precedent whereby injuries that occur in connection with childbirth or pregnancy are to be treated on par with injuries resulting from any other form of physical exertion. This stands in contrast to the legal position prior to the cases, where women who sustained an injury during pregnancy were excluded from insurance companies’ accident coverage. Moreover, permanent injuries resulting from pregnancy had historically not been covered by insurance policies.

However, the terms of insurance coverage have subsequently changed, which can be attributed to the recent cases. As now follows from case law and the Insurance Equality Act, women must not be placed at a disadvantage due to pregnancy or maternity leave.

These pivotal cases followed in the footsteps of cases in 2021 before the Board of Equal Treatment, which ruled on the initial case concerning insurance and pregnancy. There, the insurance companies were found to have breached the Equal Treatment Act for Insurance by excluding insurance coverage in cases of pregnancy. Following these proceedings, 14 insurance companies were reported to authorities for gender discrimination, leading to subsequent fines being imposed on all 14 companies.

The legal development underscores the shift in insurance coverage in relation to pregnancy and childbirth, highlighting that insurance companies must be attentive to exercising fair treatment and non-discrimination in their practice of policies.

Recent Landmark Decisions Regarding Change-of-Ownership Insurance

In a recent case between two prominent Danish insurance companies, the Danish Eastern High Court ruled on an issue regarding dual coverage within home and property insurance. The case concerned the questions of whether a specific claim was covered both by a house insurance policy and by a change-of-ownership insurance policy. Additionally, the case explored whether the provisions related to dual insurance in Sections 41–44 of the Insurance Contract Act applied to change-of-ownership insurance policies, necessitating a division of claimed costs between the insurers.

Traditionally, the insurance industry has maintained that, in such instances, the home insurance policy should address any subsequent damages covered by both policies. However, in its judgment, the Eastern High Court established that the particular damage was eligible for coverage both under the home insurance and under the change-of-ownership insurance. Consequently, the court concluded that damages covered by both types of insurance could potentially fall within the scope of the Danish Insurance Contract Act’s regulations on dual insurance. The Eastern High Court thus ruled in favour of the house insurer that the costs of the specific damage should be divided between the two insurance companies.

The decision sets a new precedent for the entire housing insurance industry and, furthermore, presents the substantial risk that the change-of-ownership insurance company might seek reimbursement from the house insurance company for all the years during which they failed to contribute their portion of compensation in instances of dual coverage. The decision may also lead to a sharp increase in the prices for change-of-ownership insurance.


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Law and Practice


Bech-Bruun is a market-oriented law firm offering a wide range of specialist advisory services to large sections of the Danish corporate and public sectors, as well as to global enterprises. Counting almost 600 experienced and highly specialised employees, of which 64 are partners, it is one of Denmark’s leading full-service law firms.

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Bech-Bruun is a market-oriented law firm offering a wide range of specialist advisory services to large sections of the Danish corporate and public sectors, as well as to global enterprises. Counting almost 600 experienced and highly specialised employees, of which 64 are partners, it is one of Denmark’s leading full-service law firms.

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