As January comes to an end, winter really starts to take hold here in Maryland. If we’re lucky, that means snow is not too far off. If you live on a private road, you know all too well the headache it can cause to get someone to come plow when it snows. Whose responsibility is it, and why do communities, cities, and towns refuse to take care of it?
The biggest (and most expensive) reason counties around Maryland and other states refuse to take on private roads for plowing? It is the liability exposure it presents. All it takes is one person falling and hurting themselves for someone to place blame where they think it should lie. And that is typically with the plow company.
While some county plow truck drivers may want to help out by plowing private roads, they really shouldn’t. Public funds used to pay for this service can only be used on public roads and not for personal purposes. If the general public finds out public funds are being used for private matters, you can imagine what that could cause.
Another potential liability exposure is damage caused by pushing snow out of the road. Depending on the neighborhood’s makeup, there may or may not be an easement from the private road’s end to the personal property. Suppose snow is pushed onto someone’s private yard or driveway. This may cause damage to the yard, driveway, or anything lying in its path. In that case, the plow company is on the hook to pay for it.
Insurance Won’t Cover It
Some insurance policies for snow plowing won’t extend coverage to damage caused when plowing your private road on top of the liability exposure. While inconvenient, it makes sense that a company wouldn’t want to risk not being covered for something that was just an accident.
Another thing to consider is who is responsible for paying for the cost of plowing your private roads. If you’re the only one on the road, it’s obvious you’ll take the brunt of the cost. But if it’s several people on the road or an entire community, who’s going to foot the bill?
What happens if half the people are willing to pay, but the other half isn’t? Should the ones not paying still be able to benefit from the freshly plowed private road that leads to their home?
If there’s an HOA, the cost may be passed onto them to pay out of the dues. This really depends on the bylaws and how the HOA is set up.
Hiring a Professional
While we may be the 410 Lawn Guy, we also offer plowing services for commercial and residential, even private roads. If you’ve been frustrated by public and private companies, who don’t want to come out to do the job, contact us at the 410LAWNGUY to get a free estimate on plowing services.
Of course, we can also handle your lawn maintenance, no matter the season. We are a full-service lawn and snow company to address residential and commercial needs. Call us or fill out our contact form today, before snow shows up in the forecast.