The possibilities of buying insurance are, like in other countries, indefinite. While most vital services are covered by the public system in Denmark (see more about health insurance), most Danes also have accident insurance, home contents insurance, unemployment insurance and travel insurance. In addition to this, it is mandatory by law to have third party insurance if you own a car.
Home contents insurance, car insurance and travel insurance can normally be bought as a ‘pack’ from a private insurance company. Liability insurance is usually included in the home contents insurance. Furthermore, you are not automatically insured against unemployment. Unemployment insurance is handled by separate insurance funds – see more in the paragraphs below.
In Denmark, unemployment insurance is voluntary. If you wish to be insured against unemployment, you must apply for admission to an unemployment insurance fund (“A-kasse”).
A-kasser are semi-public entities built on the principles of solidary contributions and they are not affiliated with private insurance companies.
Due to the "availability requirement" of being eligible for unemployment benefits ("dagpenge"), a membership to an A-kasse may only be relevant if you are an EU-citizen. The "availability requirement" means that you, in case of unemployment, must be able to accept any job with one days’ notice, and this may not be possible for non-EU citizens who may have a limited work-permit (e.g. limited to a specific job/field etc.).
For EU-citizens the main principle is that you must be insured against unemployment in the EU-country where you work. This is stated in the EU social security coordination. These rules also state that as an EU-citizen, you can transfer acquired rights (periods of being insured, work/income or residence) from your native EU country to the Danish A-kasse or from a Danish A-kasse to a foreign one. Read more about how to transfer rights and the requirements.
If you are a cross-border worker, a posted worker or you work in more than one EU-country at the same time, we suggest that you can read this article "Are you comprised by the Danish social security rules?".
Membership and requirements
Check the different options and find links for online signup forms at a-kasser.dk.
The eligibility requirements for benefits are:
- You must have been a member of an A-kasse for at least one year
- You must have earned/had an income of at least DKK 254,328 for the last 3 years (2023 amounts)
Only income earned during membership periods can be included in the calculation.
If you are entitled to benefits, you must do the following to have the benefits paid out:
- Register as a job seeker on your first day of unemployment at your local job center, or on jobnet.dk
- Complete a declaration of unemployment with your A-kasse
- As long as you receive benefits, you must be actively seeking employment and willing to accept offers of employment with one day's notice. This means that there must be no factual or legal obstacles for you to legally accept work.
How much and for how long will you receive benefits?
Your unemployment benefits (“dagpenge”) may not exceed 90 per cent of your previous salary and may never be higher than the maximum rate. As of January 1, 2023 the maximum rate is DKK 19,728 per month for a full-time insured member.
As a rule, a member has a right to unemployment benefits for a maximum of two years in total within a 3 year period.
If you become unemployed after 1 May 2023, and if you meet certain conditions, you can get a supplement to your normal unemployment benefit rate for the first 3 months of unemployment. It is called "beskæftigelsestillæg". The maximum benefit rate can be increased from DKK 19,728 up to DKK 23,449 in the first 3 months. To read more about the "beskæftigelsestillæg" click here.
Do you have questions about unemployment benefits?
The website Guide for unemployment insurance in Denmark (tjekakasse.dk) offers guides in English and other languages. Additionally, you may ask and receive answers for free, in English.
Third-party insurance for liability (Danish: ansvarsforsikring) is mandatory by law for all car owners in Denmark. You will be asked to provide documentation for this kind of insurance when you buy or register a vehicle. The insurance has to be bought from a private insurance company.
Further insurance for loss and damage (Danish: kaskoforsikring) to the car can be bought in addition to the third party insurance, but this is not mandatory.
If you are employed by the University of Copenhagen and travel in connection with your job (e.g. if you are attending a conference abroad), you will be covered by The Travel Insurance Scheme for Public Employees (in Danish: Tjenesterejseforsikring) which is handled by the private insurance company Europæiske Rejseforsikring.
The insurance only covers acute illness or an unexpected deterioration of existing or chronic illness and does not provide cover during holiday or leave. Routine examinations or scans (eg. in connection with pregnancy) are therefore not covered by this insurance.
Please contact the personnel administrator at your department to get a travel insurance card.
As the Travel Insurance Scheme for Public Employees will not cover you while you are on holiday or on official leave (incl. sabbatical), you may consider buying private travel insurance.
During work hours, you are covered by your employer’s work insurance (in Danish: arbejdsskadeforsikring).
The University of Copenhagen will offer compensation if the university or a staff member commits an act of negligence that causes damage to you, but not if it is a matter of unforeseen contingency.
Most Danes have an accident insurance. An accident insurance provides compensation in case you suffer an accident causing a permenant disability. As such, an accident insurance is a relevant insurance to consider, since compensation is not possible without one.
What does accident insurance cover?
There are basic covers and a range of additinal covers which vary depending on the insurance company. Therefore it is benifitial to find an insurance company best fitted to your needs.
The basic covers could be:
- A permanent injury caused by an accident
- Dental damage due to an accident
- Treatment costs after an accident
The additional covers could be:
- extreme sports
- immediate compensation
- extended permanent disability
To read more about accident insurance follow this link: Insurance for everyday needs