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Not shoveling your sidewalks could cost you

January 28, 2015

The winter weather brings many potential risks along with it. While heavy snow and ice can cause damage to your home or vehicle if it is parked outside, it can also harm your wallet. It is important to have proper insurance coverage to protect your home and automobile from hazardous weather. But just having home insurance doesn't mean all the work is done. Sure, insurance protects your home from damage that is directly related to weather, but what about negligence, such as snow melting and refreezing? Even worse, what happens if there is an accident on your property?

Make sure your walkways are cleared.

The importance of keeping your exterior safe

There is no question that there is greater risk when being outside in winter due to a number of factors. However, ice is the main culprit. Ice can not only cause damage to the home, but can also injure people if they slip. You do not want people slipping on ice on your property. Make sure your drain spouts are not pouring melting water onto the driveway or sidewalk. Additionally, shovel snow before it melts.

When you shovel, make sure to get all of the areas where people would walk. Your driveway and front walkway are probably the first places you think of because you have to get your car in and out, as well as walk to and from your front door. However, the sidewalk is even more of a liability. You can't assume that since the weather is lousy, people are just going to stay inside; therefore, not using the sidewalk in front of your house. Similarly, you shouldn't expect a city or other local organization to shovel your sidewalk. Some people assume that since a sidewalk is public property, a local group should take care of it, but that is not often the case. While there may be neighborhoods or local associations that do handle this type of thing, you shouldn't wait and see. If it is snowing outside, or cold and water is freezing from a recent melt, take matters into your own hands.

Shovel the sidewalks and put down salt as well. If someone slips and falls on the sidewalk in front of your home, he or she could sue you. In fact, there are some cities that even issue fines for people who don't shovel their walkways regardless of whether an injury happens. Again, you don't want this to be you.

Shovel to keep not only your family safe, but also everyone who walks by.