Shout out to the road crews, snow plow drivers, first responders, and tow truck operators who have been putting in the extra hours to help keep us safe on the roads during this latest round of winter weather.

You know how it goes when that lake effect snow starts to settle in-- all the rules of the road go out the window!

This last batch of lake effect snow brought us 6+ inches in the Southwest Michigan area with some places like Allegan County seeing even more. Getting those snow plows and salt trucks out on the roads and keeping them there is half the battle, but what happens when the plows go awry?

I've never driven a plow truck before but I'm sure those huge maintenance vehicles aren't easy to navigate! Despite our best efforts to use snow stakes and driveway markers to keep plow trucks on the right course and warn them of significant obstacles, accidents happen.

So when a plow truck obliterates your mailbox, who foots the bill?

Unfortunately in most cases, the answer is: you do.

Kalamazoo County

According to the Road Commission of Kalamazoo County (RCKC),

More often than not, damage to mailboxes is caused by snow pushing against weakened posts or hardware...The Board will not assume responsibility for mailbox damage that may be caused by snow/ice that is being plowed from the roadway.

However, there are some exceptions!

RCKC policy notes an owner must clearly demonstrate the damage to a mailbox was caused by direct contact by road commission equipment in order to be eligible for a reimbursement-- good luck with that.

Calhoun County

Similar to Kalamazoo, the Calhoun County Road Department pretty much leaves residents to fend for themselves and encourages you to shake your mailbox during the month of October to make sure it's winter-ready.

Yes, that's literally what they suggest:

If the mailbox moves when shaken, it may not withstand standard snow removal operations and should be repaired or replaced before winter.

In short, you're responsible for maintaining your own mailbox and if yours is a casualty of the winter season, so be it.

Check out a list of tips and guidelines for mailboxes in Kalamazoo County here.

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