Has a raccoon ever nestled under your deck, a squirrel taken residence in your attic, a bird nest or a beehive settle in your soffits, a skunk spray your dog?  Damage or remediation for these circumstances is never fun and people often look to their insurance for help.  

Unfortunately, these instances all fall under one universal exclusion applicable to most insurance policies, and your Insurance company just can’t help to mitigate these problems.  Every policy has an exclusion specific to loss or damage caused or resulting from vermin, birds, insects, rodents, bats, raccoons, skunks, or squirrels.

It is a good idea to make sure your soffits are solid and continuous, and all areas of potential entry are screened or blocked off.  If you are having an insect or rodent problem, it is advisable to seek help from a professional exterminator as soon as possible.  

Insects and vermin coverage is however covered by ICBC so you can claim damage they cause to your vehicle.  If you want this coverage for your RV’s or Campers obtaining ICBC coverage on the unit is the only way to do so as most private Recreation Vehicle policies are subject to the same Insect and vermin damage exclusion as your home insurance. 

Insect damage to homes ad insurance coverage. Image: a wasp nest built on the corner of a house's window

We may not be able to get you coverage for these pesky circumstances, but with the advice of our restoration contacts, we can help you through any mitigation options we know of, for these unfortunate occurrences.  

If your dog does in fact cross paths with a skunk and brings the smell into your home; it will be overwhelming at first but with time and a bit of effort, the smell will eventually pass. This happens to be something my family has experienced firsthand.  Tomato juice has been a commonly suggested method to help with skunk smell, this did not have the results we had hoped for.  After living the experience and with the help and advice from the Contents and Cleaning department of one of our restoration companies here are some tips to help you get through it.

  1. Remove the pet from inside the house right away
  2. Clean any area or surface that your pet has touched
  3. Immediately close any doors to other areas of the home and use a towel or blanket to block air coming in from under the door  
  4. Open all windows and doors to air out the affected area
  5. Wash the dog
  6. A commonly used solution found to remove the smell of skunk or fish on animals is:
    • Mix baking soda with gentle dish soap, like Sunlight, Palmolive or Dawn  
    • Ad hydrogen peroxide diluted to about a 1-2% solution to make a paste 
    • Apply the paste and let sit for 10 minutes. 
    • Rinse and repeat numerous times
    • Follow with a thorough rinse.  
    • The peroxide kills the bacteria in the skunk oil (or fish) which kills the odour.  
    • Check with your veterinarian before using this mixture on your pet, or for other options. 
  1. Call a restoration company or rent an Ozone generator to clean and neutralize the air  
    • All people and pets must not be in the home when the ozone generator is being run
    • Any items with rubber should be removed as ozone will damage the rubber
    • This may take a couple of days, follow the directions for use of the machine

Any soft contents that the dog has touched or rubbed against leaving the skunk oil on will need to be laundered.  Be cautious to wash out the washing machine after laundering the skunk contaminated items so as not to transfer the odour to other items

  1. Soft furniture may need to be cleaned depending on how long it’s been sitting before being addressed by the ozone generator 
  2. Time counts, even if a slight smell lingers for a couple of weeks it will eventually go away. 

If you have questions about home insurance coverage, our specialists are ready to help.