Nearest broker: Searching for a broker nearby…
Nearest broker: 2607 Ellwood Dr SW, Edmonton, AB, T6X 0P7 Phone: 780-732-8616 10060 Jasper Ave, Edmonton, AB, T5J 3R8 Phone: 780-435-3632 , Calgary, AB Phone: 403-532-4882 322 Avenue C S, Saskatoon, SK, S7M 1N4 Phone: 639-398-4170 10325 Bonaventure Dr SE, Calgary, AB, T2J 7E4 Phone: 403-695-1050 5317 50 Ave, Taber, AB, T1G 1V3 Phone: 403-223-2377 110a McLeod Ave, Spruce Grove, AB, T7X 2H8 Phone: 780-571-1144 496 Marquis Rd, Prince Albert, SK, S6V 8B3 Phone: 306-970-8080 335 Hwy Avenue N, Picture Butte, AB, T0K 1V0 Phone: 403-732-6023 103-5020 Lac St Anne Trail S, Onoway, AB, T0E 1V0 Phone: 780-967-2282 2201 Box Springs Blvd NW, Medicine Hat, AB, T1C 0C8 Phone: 403-487-5132 550 Wt Hill Blvd S, Lethbridge, AB, T1J 4Z8 Phone: 403-394-1123 734 13 St N, Lethbridge, AB, T1H 2T1 Phone: 403-328-9114 5 St SE, High River, AB Phone: 403-652-4104 9901 103 St, Fort Saskatchewan, AB, T8L 2C8 Phone: 780-998-0881 , Edson, AB, T7E 1T6 Phone: 780-440-0075 16612 109 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB, T5P 1C2 Phone: 780-486-4488 201-4271 23 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB, T6L 5Z8 Phone: 780-466-2136 3908 97 St NW, Edmonton, AB, T6E 6N2 Phone: 780-465-6900 8170 50 St NW, Edmonton, AB, T6B 1E6 Phone: 780-469-9378 52 Ave, Drayton Valley, AB Phone: 780-621-1707 264 Midpark Way SE, Calgary, AB, T2X 1J6 Phone: 403-251-2926 1331 Macleod Trail SE, Calgary, AB, T2G 0K3 Phone: 403-278-1050 1331 Macleod Trail SE, Calgary, AB, T2G 1E1 Phone: 403-255-2252 234-7 Westwinds Crescent NE, Calgary, AB, T3J 5H2 Phone: 403-775-2100 , Calgary, AB, T3K 0S8 Phone: 403-719-9995 4632 70 St NW, Calgary, AB, T3B 2K6 Phone: 403-247-6435 5114 2 St, Boyle, AB, T0A 0M0 Phone: 780-689-3946 50 Ave, Bonnyville, AB Phone: 780-826-3147 12931 20 Ave, , AB, T0K 0E0 Phone: 403-562-2191 2903 Kingsview Blvd SE, Airdrie, AB, T4A 0C4 Phone: 403-945-8885

Snow Removal and Your Insurance

Home Insurance

By Viola Wallace | January 18, 2018

Alberta winters are legendary for the wild swings in temperature, windy and warm chinooks, at least one week of head-numbing cold and the occasional big dumps of snow. If you own a home in Alberta, you’re responsible for clearing the property’s sidewalk.

Failing to clear the snow properly can result in fines and even legal action. How? Many municipalities in Alberta have bylaws requiring snow to be cleared within a certain timeframe. If you don’t, you could get a ticket from a bylaw office. Also, if someone slips and falls on your sidewalk because you failed to clear it, they could potentially sue you for damages. We’ll discuss this in more detail below.

You have a legal obligation to clear snow.

You’re required by law to shovel the snow from the sidewalk or pathways around your property after a snowfall. Usually, you have 24 to 48 hours to clear the snow after the snowfall has ended. The exact timeframe depends on the municipality.

These bylaws are put into place by municipalities to ensure residents can get where they need to go safely.

If you don’t clear the snow, you could get a warning notice or, if you’re a repeat offender or another 24 to 48-hour window has passed, you could receive a fine. The municipality may also send someone to clear the snow and invoice you, the property owner, for the work done.

You can be sued if someone gets hurt.

If someone slips and falls on your uncleared sidewalk, they could potentially sue you for damages. They can do this as your negligence resulting in an injury to them, which could be affecting their livelihood.

Your home insurance would likely respond in this scenario, helping to cover your legal expenses and any medical payments or settlements, up to your policy limit. Such a claim would result in higher home insurance rates and may not be enough to cover all of the expenses related to the lawsuit.

What about tenants?

Similar rules apply in relation to rental properties. In commercial or multi-tenanted properties, it is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that all common areas have adequate snow removal so that the landlord would not be liable for any accidents. In single-family rental properties, the landlord should include snow removal as part of the tenant’s responsibility in the tenancy agreement.

If you’re a landlord, you should either arrange for snow removal or place the responsibility for snow removal in your rental agreement. You should be very specific about when and where the snow needs to be cleared. You should also remind tenants of this responsibility.

Ultimately, the property owner will be held responsible for compliance for snow removal.

What if I can’t shovel snow?

If you’re away or physically unable to shovel snow, you can arrange for snow removal in one of the following ways:

  • Pay a snow removal contractor.
  • Arrange for a neighbour, friend or family member to clear the snow.
  • Request help through a community program such as Snow Angels.

Snow Removal and Your Insurance

In summary, in order to protect yourself you should:

  • Know your municipality’s bylaws regarding snow removal.
  • Remove snow promptly (or have tenants, contractors, or a helpful volunteer remove it).
  • Ensure you have adequate liability coverage with your home insurance if someone were to get hurt and sue you.

In today’s highly litigious society where slip-and-fall lawsuits are very popular and injury claims are very costly it is in your best interest as a homeowner (and/or landlord) to make sure that you do all that is necessary to avoid getting sued.

Get A Quote From A-WIN

Get the best insurance deals and stay on budget.

Get A Quote

Life Events - It's Time to Reassess Your Insurance

Whether it’s heading off to university or deciding to start your own business,...

Download

Rogers Insurance and CapriCMW Merge to Become Acera Insurance.

A-WIN Insurance, as part of the Rogers Insurance Group, is now Acera Insurance.

As one unified company, we are now one of Canada's largest independent and employee-controlled brokerages.

LEARN MORE