Who pays the bill if a snow plow takes down your mailbox?
Lots of snow and wind keeps snow plow truck drivers very busy in the winter while they try to keep the roads clear and safe for everyone to drive on. But who is responsible when a plow truck accidentally takes out your mailbox?
The Benzie County Road Commission gets several calls a day from people complaining of their broken mailboxes, but it's up to the road commission to decide who is at fault and who will pay for the damages.
"We send a foreman out and he looks at the mailbox to see if it was struck by snow or to see if it was struck by one of our plow trucks," said Bradley Schaub from the Benzie County Road Commission.
If the plow truck driver did in fact hit your mailbox then the road commission will replace the broken one with a new, standard steel one that officials say is the most durable in the harsh winter conditions.
But if a pile of snow is pushed into your mailbox by a plow truck and it breaks, then the owner is responsible for replacing it.
"We always advise residents to check their mailbox before the season," said Schaub. "The winter season. Grab it and give it a good shake. If it wiggles at all, that's a good indication that you should do some maintenance."
Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties, and the Michigan Department of Transportation follow the same policy.