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Home Insurance in New Bedford: The Liabilities of Snow & Ice

As soon as the snow starts to fall in Massachusetts, you begin to see shop owners, parking lot services, and other commercial businesses out shoveling and removing the snow from their properties. Snow removal doesn’t just make it easier for employees, customers, and other visitors to get to these businesses, it also protects them from liability associated with slippery hazards caused by the snow and ice. Your New Bedford insurance agent could probably provide you with a whole list of examples of why homeowners need to stay on top of snow and ice removal as well. It is essential to make sure that visitors to your home, including postal workers, utility meter readers, service providers, delivery personnel, and even your neighbors, are safe when they are on your property.

Your Responsibilities: MA Homeowners Insurance

A policy for home insurance is designed to protect the homeowner in case of any damage, accidents, or incidents that occur on their property. However, if the homeowner is found to be negligent in caring and maintaining the property, the homeowners insurance might not cover them, regardless of how comprehensive the policy.  In general terms, a homeowner is responsible for preventing and limiting any dangers on their property. This can extend to any driveways, walkways, pathways, stairways, and public sidewalks that surround the home.

Each city, town, and even Homeowners Associations (HOAs) have laws and regulations that require different responsibilities for the homeowners. In some areas, homeowners must clear all snow and ice within 24 hours of a snowstorm, or they could face steep fines and penalties. In the United States, a majority of counties and municipalities have ordinances that pertain specifically to the removal of snow and ice. It is important to check with your New Bedford insurance agent to find out what you are responsible for removing, what your liabilities could be, and what coverage you have in your MA homeowners insurance to protect you in case of an accident during the winter months.

Build Good Winter Habits

Shoveling snow and removing ice are not just responsibilities, sometimes required by law, they are important for the safety of your family and any visitors that come to your home during the winter months. Shoveling snow is easy; you’ve just got to get out there and do it. Use shovels, a snow blower, or hire someone to do it for you, just make sure it gets done in a timely manner. Preventing ice can be a bit more difficult. Salt is one of the best ways to prevent ice from forming, but it is important to check your city or town’s regulations with regard to the use of de-icing or ice prevention products. Concerns about chemicals or ice making its way into local groundwater have risen in recent years, so make sure you check before you use anything on your sidewalks, driveways, or patio.

Shovel that snow safely. Wear proper attire, use gloves, and make sure that you know what you are doing before you get out there in the cold. Come in for breaks on a regular basis to warm up, remembering to bring in your equipment, so no one gets injured by stepping on a shovel or bumping into an abandoned snow blower. Search the internet for even more tips on safe and smart shoveling ideas. If you do hire someone to shovel your snow for you, make sure that they are properly insured and that they use equipment and products that are approved by your local municipality or county agents. If you have any questions at all, don’t be afraid to ask for references before having anyone do work on your property, whether it is for outdoor services or inside repairs.

Review Your MA Homeowners Insurance Policy

Contact your New Bedford insurance agent at Borden Insurance to go over your current homeowners policy. New Bedford homeowners insurance should cover your home and everything in it to protect your investments. If you have any questions about your policy or if you would like a FREE QUOTE for home insurance in New Bedford, make sure to contact Borden Insurance at 508-999-3636 and speak with one of our friendly agents.