No coverage for skunks?…That Stinks!

Sorry about the pun, I couldn’t resist. So let’s say your happy little pooch chases a skunk into your house (stranger things have happened) and the skunk stinks up your entire house. Your furniture, carpet, linens, and even your clothes are probably going smell pretty bad. If you live outside of Massachusetts your home-owner’s insurance policy will probably cover the cost to remove the smell. I say probably because it will depend upon your insurance company claim adjuster’s definition of “vermin” and “rodents”. Any damage caused by vermin or rodents is not covered under most home-owner’s insurance policies. The insurance policy does not define what “vermin” or “rodent” includes. You would be hard pressed to find any dictionary that defines either term to include a skunk.

Now let’s say you live in Massachusetts. That same claim would not be not covered because all homeowners and dwelling fire policies in Mass. have a state mandatory endorsement which defines “vermin”. In that definition skunks are included as vermin as are beavers, coyotes, lizards, opossums, raccoons, squirrels (plus a few more). Therefore no coverage.

If we are talking about a commercial property policy then you are in luck because there is no such definition in the policy.   The claim would be covered on this type of policy.

The information provided in this blog is intended as a general overview of insurance principals and coverages. Always consult your insurance policy for actual coverage and/or exclusions or speak to you insurance agent.

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