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How to Make Sure You Have the Right Insurance for Your Pole Barn


A pole barn is a significant financial investment, so you want to protect it with insurance in case it is damaged by weather or a natural disaster. Here are some things to consider to make sure you are getting the right coverage.

The type of insurance policy you will need will depend on how you plan to use your pole barn. If you are building a small pole barn to use as a garage or shed, it can be covered under your homeowners insurance. Other structures are typically covered at 10 percent of the home’s value. If you are planning to use your pole barn for agricultural purposes, you need farm insurance. If it is going to be used for a non-farm business, you will need a commercial policy.

An Actual Cash Value policy will pay for the replacement value of the building minus depreciation. The amount of depreciation will depend on the building’s age and how well it was maintained. Materials for older buildings generally depreciate at a rate of 1 percent per year. Labor is not depreciated. Actual Cash Value is not related to a pole barn’s market value.

A Replacement Cost policy will pay the cost to replace a building without making a deduction for depreciation, up to the policy limit. If the cost to replace the building is more than your policy limit, you will need to pay the difference.

If you have a new pole barn, you can choose either an Actual Cash Value or a Replacement Cost policy. The premiums should be the same since there is no depreciation. You might not be able to get a Replacement Cost policy for an older pole barn.

When obtaining insurance for your pole barn, be sure to cover everything, including improvements. Get enough insurance to cover the contents of the building. Homeowners insurance will cover personal property up to the limits of the policy. Vehicles need to be covered under an auto policy. Farm equipment needs to be covered under a farm policy. Large equipment used for a non-farm business needs to be covered under a commercial policy.

You can get additional insurance coverage for your pole barn. If you use the building to run a business or rent it out, you can get coverage for lost revenue or rent. If you use it as a horse barn, you can get liability coverage in case someone gets injured by a horse. If the building is in a highly regulated area, you can get a rider or endorsement to cover the cost to bring it up to code. You can also add an inflation guard rider or endorsement to keep your insurance coverage current.

The cost of demolition and debris removal is generally covered. However, if a tree falls on your pole barn, insurance usually only pays to get the tree off the building, not to cut it up and remove it.

If you are building a new pole barn, insure it for the amount you paid for it, plus the cost of any improvements. Include enough coverage to pay someone to rebuild it. Concrete can be damaged, so include that in your calculations.

If you have an older pole barn, talk to your insurance agent about how much coverage you need. You can also call the builder to find out the cost.

Review your coverage every two years to make sure it is still adequate. You may need to increase your coverage if you make improvements, use the building for a new purpose, or buy new equipment. Do not assume that your policy has an inflation guard feature.

Contact The Pole Barn Company to learn more about our pole barn kits: 937-459-5830

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