HomeDomestic NewsDanish Storm Victims Denied Compensation, Government Considers Policy Changes

Danish Storm Victims Denied Compensation, Government Considers Policy Changes

Following an extensive storm surge last October, which severely hit the southeastern part of Denmark, many Danes are now left without compensation for their damages. According to DR News, the Natural Damage Council has rejected 36 percent of the total 3416 reported damages, which corresponds to 1250 rejections. This high rejection rate has led to significant frustration among affected citizens and institutions.

Among the affected is Strandmølleskolen in Assens, where vice-principal Henrik Halle expresses his astonishment that damages caused by water forced up through the sewers are not covered. “It’s completely crazy,” he tells DR, pointing out that the water was a direct result of the storm surge. The storm surge scheme, administered by Insurance and Pension, only covers direct damages caused by the storm surge, such as damaged floors and furniture. However, it does not cover damages caused by water from sewers or damages to properties outside the dikes.

Kent Damsgaard, director at Insurance and Pension, acknowledges to DR that the limitations of the scheme can seem confusing and unsatisfactory for those affected. He emphasizes that it is up to politicians and authorities to define what should be covered by the scheme.

In light of the many rejections and public dissatisfaction with the scheme, Minister of Business Morten Bødskov (S) has announced that the government is considering changes to the storm surge scheme. The goal is to make the scheme more inclusive. “The government is ready to consider a change to the scheme to accommodate more people,” he tells DR. The government is in the process of evaluating the scheme in collaboration with the parties in the Folketing (Parliament).

This situation highlights the need for a broader discussion on how Denmark best protects its citizens against the increasingly frequent and intense weather phenomena as a result of climate change.

Read the danish version here

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