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Snow Removal: What You Need To Know

Snow Removal: What You Need To Know” font_container

October 23, 2020.

Snow removal is a regular part of property maintenance. Whether you’re removing snow on your own property, assisting a neighbour with clearing their driveway, or operate a snow removal business, it’s important to know your coverage.

Can I clear snow on my own driveway?

Firstly, you are responsible for reasonable inspection and maintenance of your property.  That includes the removal of snow and ice from your driveway, sidewalks and exterior steps.  Many municipalities have bylaws that require property owners or occupants to remove snow and ice from public sidewalks that border their property. Additionally, snow and ice must be removed within 24 hours of snowfall.  The application of sand, salt or ice melt also helps to protect against liability.

Am I covered if someone slips on my driveway?

Homeowner’s liability coverage will protect against liability for property damage or bodily injury to third parties. However, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to inspect and maintain their property. Remove snow and ice within 24 hours of snowfall, and apply sand, salt, or ice melt.

Can I clear my neighbour’s driveways?

You may clear your neighbour’s driveway, however, do so carefully.  In other words, you may be liable if you cause damage to their property.  Additionally, consult your broker if you intend to receive pay for snow removal. A standard homeowner’s policy may consider it a business or commercial activity, and may not provide coverage.

Do I have coverage if I use my tractor or ATV to clear snow?

You need to insure your tractor with proper liability coverage. An automobile policy can insure ATV use for snow removal. Therefore, always seek advice from your insurance broker if you are unsure of what type of coverage you need.

How can I get coverage if I want to make additional income clearing snow?

Your insurer may offer a liability extension or separate commercial policy for snow removal if it is for business or commercial use.

Should I clean my sidewalk or is that the responsibility of the city?

Many municipalities have bylaws that require property owners or occupants to remove snow and ice from public sidewalks that line their property within 24 hours of snowfall.  Furthermore, applying sand, salt or ice melt will also help protect you against liability.  Check your municipality’s guidelines to determine your obligations

What responsibilities do I have to maintain my property?

The Ontario Occupier’s Liability Act requires property occupier’s or owners ensure the reasonable safety of anyone on the property. Therefore, reasonable steps must be taken to keep all visitors safe, even trespassers.

What does Tractor Protect policy cover for removing snow?

Tractor Protect offers liability coverage in the event property damage or physical injury to someone else from personal use. Therefore, Tractor Protect does not respond to liability from business or commercial use.

Check out our website for more information, and get yourself a no-obligation quote today.

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