University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Rain floods destroyed DKK 50 million

University of Copenhagen’s landlord UBST will pass on a huge bill to its insurance company for building damages after July's extreme rain storm. Damages on movable property, which the University itself is responsible for, may be even larger

Damages from the catastrophic cloudburst 2 July in Copenhagen will probably add up to something like DKK 50 million – just for the buildings alone. A comparable sum may be the cost of damage to movable property indoors.

This is according to Torben Jacobsen, a risk co-ordinator, at the Danish University and Property Agency UBST, the institution that owns the University of Copenhagen buildings.

»To the extent that it is possible to make an estimate at this stage, I would make a guess at DKK 50 million in building property damage,« he says to the University Post.

See gallery of wreckage and floods at the CSS Campus

Equipment damage probably more

A freak rain shower 2 July drowned Copenhagen in two hours with more rain that it normally gets in a two months. The water overtaxed drains and sewers – in one case at the Geology Museum even through roofs – welled up into cellars and flooded low-lying offices.

As a landlord, the UBST is responsible for the buildings, while the University of Copenhagen is financially responsible for damage to equipment inside.

»My guess is, that damage to movable equipment inside the buildings will be a figure that is larger than DKK 50 million,« he says. No official estimate of total movable property damage has yet been released by the University of Copenhagen.

See gallery of flooding at the Psychology department

To contractors: University ‘most important’

UBST has an excess of DKK 1 million, which it pays itself, but is insured for the rest of the cost of the damages to buildings. Damage to movable property inside the buildings is the University of Copenhagen’s own responsibility. Like other government institutions, its own property is self-insured.

A team of appraisers and damage administrators have been out on the different campus properties, surveying the damage. But getting outside contractors to repair things has been tough.

»The whole of Copenhagen has been under water, so it has been a struggle to get manpower to help us from outside the University. The last few weeks we have done everything we can to put pressure on our outside contractors, and tell them: We are the important ones!«, Torben Jacobsen says.

Praise to campus services

Torben Jacobsen praises service personnel on the different University campuses for their work in helping limit the damage.

»Our co-operation with the campus service departments has been excellent during this emergency, and in spite of everything it has been an excellent process«.

Stay in the know about news and events happening in Copenhagen by signing up for the University Post’s weekly newsletter here.