Snow Plow vs Mailbox: Who’s Responsible to Pay in New York State?
We depend on our towns and cities to plow our streets during the winter months in the Capital Region but who is responsible when the snow plow damages our mailboxes? Who foots the bill?
According to the New York State Attorney General, mailboxes are private property. If they are placed in the public right of way (roadways) the city or town is not responsible for repairing or replacing the mailbox.
This Is What New York State Law Says
A New York State Attorney General ruled that mailboxes are private property placed in the public right of way and not subject to repair by the municipality. All mailboxes are set close to the roadways but just for the homeowner's convenience to receive mail. This means that if a city or town snow plow takes out your mailbox, you are responsible to fix or replace it.
Some New York Towns & Cities Will Help
According to the Town of Halfmoon (where I live), they say that they take great care of minimizing damage to mailboxes during snow plowing. However, if they accidentally hit or damage your mailbox, they will replace or repair your mailbox and/or post it only after an inspection is done to determine that the town's snow plows are responsible.
Here's What the Town of Halfmoon Will Do
If they are deemed responsible they will replace the mailbox with a standard metal mailbox with a 4' pressure-treated post. It may be necessary for the town to set up a temporary one if the ground is frozen. Just a note that fancy or specialty mailboxes will not be replaced with an equal one.
To answer the question, "Who pays for your mailbox if it's damaged by a city or town snow plow?" is you. Unless your city or town has set up a replacement system like the Town of Halfmoon. Check with your municipality to find out what they will do.
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