Mailbox Damage Policy



The Following is the County of Ulster DPW Policy on Mailbox damage 

Regrettably in extreme winter conditions mailboxes can be damaged during snow removal because they may be in disrepair and/or installed close to the road in the highway right -of-way as a courtesy to the US Postal Service. In most cases damage to mailboxes is a result of the force of snow coming off a plow's blade. This scenario is dependent on weather conditions, amount of snowfall, and the weight of snow. 

At times a County or private contractor's plow will accidentally hit and damage a mailbox. This is an unfortunate consequence of snow removal with heavy equipment in challenging weather conditions. 

How can you determine how your mailbox was damaged? Typically, if a mailbox is pushed over and has no impact marks it was likely knocked over by the weight of snow coming off a plow blade. If the mailbox or post show evidence of an impact it may have been struck by a County or private contractor plow blade or a passing vehicle. The angle at which a mailbox has fallen also helps to determine the source of damage. In an attempt to minimize damages to your mailbox resulting from snow removal operations, it is imperative that the condition of your mailbox and posts are evaluated annually for rotten wood, malfunctioning/unsecured rusted doors and improper installation to the ground. 

Ulster County does not accept liability if a mailbox is damaged during Highway snow removal operations pursuant to NYS Vehicle & Traffic Law 1103(b) which states that the rules of the road shall not apply to snowplows while engaged in snowplow operations. The idea behind giving snowplows immunity is to give them more flexibility when dealing with snow removal generally and winter storm emergencies specifically. If a private contractor plows your driveway, we recommend that you learn their policies regarding damage to your property caused by their operators or equipment.