Does Home Contents Insurance Protect Against Skunk Smell?

The frigid temperatures of winter have us shivering, even when we don a layer of outerwear. The only saving grace from this horribly suffering climate is the sanctuary called home.

Ah, home, every man’s castle, where each of us can take comfort from the freezing of this unforgiving season!

Given the above, imagine the grief of a family when they come home from work during a certain cold spell. The hospitality they encountered when they arrived at the door was not as hospitable as they would have liked. A horrible smell filled their nostrils: the unmistakable putrid stench of a skunk.

While holding their noses, the family members tried to locate any sign of black fur with a white strip through it. No visible sign – thankfully – of the dreaded kind. But the unmistakable potent smell of a skunk’s spray was there – everywhere – in every nook and cranny – on all three levels of the structure!

Braving the cold again, the trio got into their car and drove to the local supermarket to buy some kind of sweet scents that could cover and/or eliminate the stench.

Reality did not allow a person with a healthy sense of smell to stay in that “castle” for long. After strategically spraying the anti-stench around, the family spent the night at a neighbour’s house. The next morning they entered their house with a good dose of trepidation. Fortunately, the smell was greatly mitigated.

When Mom opened the kitchen curtain and let out a loud cry, everyone knew the reason. The relatives gathered around the window and watched the pitiful sight of a dead skunk on their lawn.

Dad called animal control to have it removed. And luckily the smell disappeared more and more.

The only thought that lingered was, “What if the smell couldn’t be controlled? What if the house and all the contents in it were contaminated, rendering them unusable and house unlivable? Would homeowner’s insurance help?”

Here’s what the insurance industry says about skunk damage.

Under the standard policy, you are covered for all damage caused by a wild animal. What fits under that particular classification? Well, no mouse or rat. These are called rodents. But yes, a skunk would fit the definition of a wild animal.

So in an uncomplicated one-off case of a skunk damaging property—an incident the homeowner could not have prevented—the related claim filed by the policyholder would most likely be honored and processed.

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Of course, not every event is a ‘black and white episode’ (pun intended!), so it’s best to consult an expert independent agent about your coverage and how it relates to the likelihood of a wild event like the aforementioned!