June 19, 2024

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Does Home Insurance Protect Against Skunk’s Smell?

The frigid temps of winter have got us shivering even if we do layer on the outerwear. The one saving grace of this awfully suffering climate is the sanctuary called home.

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

Considering the above, imagine one family’s grief upon returning home from work during a particular cold spell. The welcoming they encountered when arriving at the doorstep was not as welcoming as they would have liked. A horrid odor accosted their nostrils: the unmistaken putrid stink of a skunk.

Holding their noses, the family members attempted to locate any sign of black fur with a white strip running through it. No visible sign – thankfully – of the dreaded species. But the undeniable powerful reek 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 threesome entered their car and drove to the local supermarket to purchase any form of sweet smells that would cover and/or eliminate the stench.

The reality did not allow anyone with a healthy sense of smell to remain in that ‘castle’ for long. After strategically spraying the anti-bad-smell around, the family spent the night at a neighbors’ home. The next morning, they entered their house with a good dose of trepidation. Fortunately, the smell had mitigated immensely.

When Mom pulled open the kitchen shade and let out a loud gasp, all knew the reason. Gathering around the window, the family members surveyed the pitiful sight of a dead skunk on their lawn.

Dad called the animal control department to remove it. And fortunately, the smell dissipated more and more.

The one lingering thought was, “What if the odor could not be contained? What if it would have contaminated house, and all contents therein, rendering them unusable and home unlivable? Would the homeowners insurance kick in to help?”

Here is what the insurance industry says about skunk damages.

As per the standard policy, you will be covered for any damages resulting from a wild animal. What fits under that particular classification? Well, not a mouse or rat. These are called rodents. But, yes, a skunk would fit the definition of a wild animal.

So, in an uncomplicated one-time event of a skunk damaging property – an incident that the homeowner would not have been able to prevent – the policyholder’s submitted related claim would most likely be honored and processed.

Naturally, not every occurrence is a ‘black and white episode’ (pun intended!) so it’s best to consult with a knowledgeable independent agent about your coverage and how it pertains to the likelihood of a wild event like the aforementioned!