Aarhus University does not hold an insurance policy that covers students who are injured on university premises. For this reason, it is recommended that all students take out private full-time liability and accident insurance.
Students who are employed by the university as student assistants or who perform work for the university, in the university’s interest or at the university’s instruction are covered by the university’s obligations under the Danish workers’ compensation act. This means that injuries to students that take place during classroom instruction are not defined as work-related injuries, and students are not entitled to workers’ compensation.
PhD students admitted under the 4 + 4 scheme are not considered employees of the university until they have earned the Master’s degree. Until then, they have the same status as other Master’s degree students with regard to insurance coverage.
The general rule in connection with property damage is that if an object is covered by insurance, the damage is covered by the property insurance, and the person responsible for the damage will not be held liable. Students who accidentally cause damage to university property will not be held liable. However, if the damage is intentional or due to gross negligence, the student responsible will be held liable.
In some cases, Aarhus University may be liable in damages under the general Danish legislation on liability in damages. The following conditions must be met:
The university is thus not liable for accidents.
Based on the above, the university is liable to cover damage to university property unless the student responsible acts intentionally or with gross negligence.
If a student’s property is damaged while he or she is on Aarhus University premises, the university is solely liable for such damage to the extent that Aarhus University is responsible for the damage.
If an employee accidentally pushes a student’s computer onto the floor, the university is liable to replace the computer in the event that it is destroyed.
If a student drops his or her computer while on university premises, the university is not liable to replace the computer in the event that it is destroyed.
Who is liable for damage to Aarhus University fixtures and fittings?
In the event of damage to Aarhus University fixtures and fittings, the university is, as a general rule, liable for the repair of such damage, see section 19, cf. section 20, of the Danish liability for damages act (erstatningsansvarsloven).
As a general rule, students are not covered by the university’s obligations under the Danish workers’ compensation act while on an internship or work placement. However, these students are covered by the internship/work placement host organisations’ industrial injury insurance under Ministerial Order no. 185 of 23 February 2017 on workers’ compensation insurance for prospective students, etc. (Bekendtgørelse 2017-02-23 nr. 185 om arbejdsskadesikring af uddannelsessøgende m.fl. §3, stk. 10), given that the following conditions are met:
Medical and dentistry students as well as students on the dental assistant and dental hygienist programmes who are engaged in clinical training in connection with their degree programmes are covered by the host institution’s industrial injury insurance or obligations under the Danish workers’ compensation act, cf. Ministerial Order no. 937 of 26 November 2003 on workers’ compensation insurance for prospective students, etc. as referred to above.
If a student causes injury to a patient during clinical training, the injury is covered by the host institution’s patient insurance.
Aarhus University does not have insurance that covers students in this situation. As a rule, this is also the case when students borrow an official car in connection with a task related to their studies. The car is, of course, still covered by compulsory third party liability insurance, which means that any damage caused to other people or their property is covered by the university, but the student is not covered in case of personal injury to the student.
Students who are asked to perform a task for the university are regarded as employees under the Danish workers’ compensation act, regardless of whether a written agreement exists or not. This means that the student is covered by the Danish workers’ compensation act if he/she is involved in an accident when performing the task – also during transport in an official car.
The decisive point in regard to this issue is the question of why the student is in the car. If the student in question is in the car to help perform a task, then he/she is covered by the Danish workers’ compensation act as described above. However, if the student is simply getting a lift home, the student is not covered by university insurance. In this context, it must be pointed out that employees may not use official cars for private purposes, and if the student is not in the car to perform a task, it may be regarded as a civil law matter committed by the employee.