A 2010 Supreme Judicial Court decision made it mandatory for property owners to remove dangerous amounts of ice and snow or be liable for any injuries that occur. And, yes, property includes the section of the public sidewalk in front on your house or business.
It’s not my sidewalk …what homeowners need to know about snow and ice removal
The Snow and Ice Control Policy on the town of Milton’s website notes: “The Town of Milton does not have a Bylaw requiring property owners to clear snow from the sidewalk abutting their property. However, recent case law has resulted in property owners taking on personal liability in circumstances where injury occurs on public sidewalks in front of private property. Property owners should remove snow from the sidewalk along their frontage and heighten safety to their own property.”
Although most homeowners insurance policies have liability coverage, many don’t provide enough coverage to protect property owners from expensive law suits. The best solution is to clear your sidewalks of snow and ice. It’s also advantageous to have a personal umbrella policy, which provides coverage for liability and defense costs.