In Ottawa, Ontario, vehicular damage caused by snow removal equipment is becoming a common grievance, prompting 16 complaints to the city of Ottawa in 2018, according to an by the Ottawa Citizen.
On Jan. 9, Ottawa resident, Tracey Lindeman, watched a snowplow use a neighbor’s driveway to turn around. When she left home later that day, she noticed that her car parked on the street in front of her house had a “huge scratch and dent” along the back door, according to the article.
Lindeman says she suspects the damage was caused by the plow she earlier saw turn around in the driveway across the street, though she wasn’t able to catch a company name or license plate at the time. She believes a contractor employed by the city is at fault since none of her neighbors have private plowing contracts.
Vincent Marquardt, director of operations at in Ottawa, offered his insight in the article from a plow driver’s perspective. He says that snow plow operators should be able to see cars, and hitting one isn’t a mistake an experienced plow operator should make. However, since plowing can be a difficult job overall, mistakes are bound to happen.
According to the article, J.R. Lawn Maintenance and Snow Removal deals with between five and eight incidents every year where one of its plows hits the bumper of a vehicle “or just a mistake happens.” In these situations, the plow operator connects with their foreman on the road, who then assesses the damage and connects with the property owner.
Marquardt says clients get a little upset when this happens, but they usually calm down when they hear that the plowing company will rectify the situation.
Marquardt’s company carries 5 million Canadian dollars liability insurance to protect clients in these situations. According to the article, it will arrange to repair any damage, whether it’s home or property, and make accommodations such as providing a rental car if necessary.