Love it or hate it winter’s first snowfall is always an event. When it occurs overnight it can be quite magical. You awake to a winter wonderland, the world hushed by a blanket of snow, the trees covered in a sparkling cloak of pure bright white. But then you go outside to discover that the snowplow has destroyed your mailbox and damaged your driveway.
First things first: Whether or not you’re insured it’s a good idea to do your best to reduce the chances of damage occurring.
Mark the edges of the lawn, any irrigation sprinkler heads, and any other items that you want to protect.
Park your car so that it’s out of harm’s way. If you keep it in your driveway and hire an independent plow driver to clear your snow, ask them where they would like you to park. If you park in the road, move your car before the snow falls so that the plows can get through.
If you have a roadside mailbox make sure it is correctly situated. The US Postal Service stipulates that the end of the box must be 6-8” back from the curb.
If you do sustain damage, who is responsible?
If you have followed the rules, you will be covered by most homeowner’s insurance policies subject to your deductible. However, if the damage is caused by a third party, it’s always better to talk to them first. Your local highway department may settle with you and if the damage was caused by an independent contractor they, also, may well be prepared to repair and make good.
If all else fails, it may be time to make a claim—but before you do, figure out the likely cost of the repair and weigh it against your policy’s deductible. It may just be that you’ll be better off paying out of pocket and getting back to enjoying the snow.