Can You Insure A Pole Barn?

Oct 16, 2020 | Business Insurance

Short answer is yes, of course, you can insure a pole barn. But first, what is a pole barn?

Pole barns are barns that are built through post-frame construction. Post-frame construction is a technique used to construct well built and stable structures. This kind of technique already lasted for centuries and is a highly engineered solution that is very effective. Their main structure is the posts that are buried under the ground. They are the foundation of the barn. In addition, doing the post-frame construction is way cheaper and less time-consuming.

The term “pole barn” originated from the Great Depression and Dust Bowl in the 1930s. Because of the damage of the natural disaster, farmers then used recycled telephone pole barns as alternatives in restructuring their farms. The term “telephone pole barns” was then shortened to “pole barns” and led to a new era of American pole barns.

What are the main advantages of a pole barn?

  • Easier foundation – Pole barns can be built without having a foundation. The main building of the construction is supported by poles that are deeply rooted below the ground.
  • Less expensive – Pole barns need lesser materials than a usual construction. Fewer materials mean less cost for you.
  • Less labor-intensive – Due to the simple design, you only need a few hours of work to build your pole barn.
  • Better insulation – The wide space between posts in your pole barn makes better insulation because of lesser thermal breaks.

Can pole barns handle a snowy climate?

Yes, of course, pole barns can handle a snowy climate. Your pole barn can be built to handle a snow blizzard if you are living in states that have heavy snow.

Can pole barns have automatic doors?

Automatic doors are only recommended for pole barns that are used to store vehicles. However, it is not recommended if you plan to use it for your horses or for your other agricultural equipment.

Do you need a permit in order to build a pole barn?

Usually, most cities require permits. However, we greatly suggest contacting your local government if building a pole barn requires permits as it varies city by city. They can also inform you about the required maximum size and placement.

Other purposes of a pole barn:

  • Garages – This is the most common use of a pole barn. Since the pole barn has extensible height and depth, it can house vehicles such as tractors, motorcycles, RVs.
  • Workshop – You can store the equipment that you use for your workshop hobbies in a pole barn.
  • Horse stables – Pole barns can make good horse stables during the colder months.
  • Cattles – You can use your pole barn as a house for your cattle or other livestock animals when the winter season already comes.
  • Man cave – Pole barns can make a good escape for people who just want to relax from the outside world.

How much would building a pole barn cost?

The cost for a small and basic pole barn can start from $4,000. The price can increase to thousands of dollars if you plan to create a large building with optional and different features. 

The first-ever thing to take note of in choosing a pole barn kit is to know how the building will be used. The size of it will depend on what you are planning to place inside your pole barn such as tools, vehicles, livestock, feed, etc. You will also need to consider the kind of roofing material to use like metal or vinyl siding. These of course will determine the total cost of your pole barn. You will also need to decide what other options to include in building your barn and the design of it. Adding windows, large doors, overhangs, wainscoting, a cupola, and other features are some to consider. Of course, these features will also add to the total cost. To lessen the cost, you can purchase a pole barn kit and build it yourself or you can hire a contractor. The price will increase if you hire a professional. We greatly suggest checking several estimates and also the contractor’s references before you choose someone. Furthermore, it also includes a budget for a permit that you need to acquire.

Even though creating a pole barn is expensive, this is a wise investment since it can shelter your precious property such as your heavy vehicles, cattle, horses, and the like and can increase the value of your property.

Pole barns vs. Traditional barns

You basically have two options when creating storage buildings for residential or commercial use. You can either choose to build a pole farm building or a traditional barn. Both have their own advantages for being practical and a fast solution. A pole barn might be your best choice. Traditional barns are well-built structures that last for ages. However, it takes a lot of time to plan and create a barn. It can also be more expensive and out of your budget. Consider your budget in choosing a pole barn or a traditional barn and see how much you can afford to pay for your chosen barn to build. Traditional barns can take a long time to create. If you are in a hurry, then waiting for traditional barns to build may take some time. Meanwhile, pole barns can be designed and built in just a day and this is important for people who are looking for storage as soon as possible. Pole barns can also be sturdy just like a traditional barn and can save you expensive costs. Another good thing about pole barns is that you can easily install other features that a traditional barn cannot.

Which type of insurance is needed for your pole barn?

There are three types of insurance for a pole barn. These are:

  • Homeowner’s
  • Farm
  • Commercial

If you are planning to use your pole barn, you will need to get farm insurance. However, if you use your pole barn for other purposes, it will be covered under a commercial insurance policy.

Your actual cash value insurance can cover the building’s replacement value minus the depreciation. The depreciation will depend on the age of the pole barn and how well it has been conserved. For buildings that are already old, the value depreciates at 1% per year according to its materials. The current market value of your pole barn is not connected to your actual cash value.

Meanwhile, a replacement cost insurance can pay the cost to replace a pole barn without taking the depreciation until the limit of your policy. If you have to replace the pole barn and the cost is higher than your policy limit, you will have to carry the difference.

With these two policies, you can choose either an actual cash value or replacement cost policy. The premiums are the same since the depreciation is still not included. However, if you have an old barn, you should of course obtain a replacement cost policy.

Other than your pole barn, you would have to insure your vehicles, your farm equipment, inventory, or personal property. Vehicles will be covered under an auto policy. While farm equipment is covered under a farm policy. Any other equipment used for other purposes should be covered under a commercial policy. You should also consider getting insurance for lost revenue, liability, and costs to adhere to local building codes. Furthermore, you can obtain “other structures” limits on your homeowners’ policy if you have large non-farm outbuildings. This is cheaper than a separate policy.

Are demolition and debris removal included in the insurance policy you will get?

Yes, demolition and debris removal is included. However, when there are fallen trees on the barn, the insurance will only pay for the tree to be removed. Cutting the trees and throwing them will be under the responsibility of the owner.

How do I determine the right coverage amount?

For new post frame buildings, you have to take note of the final price of the building and the improvements. This includes electrical work, plumbing, concrete, and others. Also, calculate the coverage to hire a contractor to do the job. Always remember that the cost is the price of materials multiplied by two. Be also informed that concrete also needs to be covered since they are destructible too. A fire can cause damage to it.

For existing post-frame building, we greatly recommend discussing all the details with your insurance agent. They can help you estimate the approximate costs. One more option is to contact the original builder to get the exact building cost then add any changes that were not stated in the contract.

How often should you meet your insurance agent to review your coverage?

Insurance companies will ask you to review your coverage every 2 years to decide if your pole barn is completely covered and if it includes all the improvements, inflation, contents or new building uses. You should also review your coverage annually if you have farm policy to make sure that all your changes for your equipment are included. You should also never assume that your policy includes an inflation guard feature. This is not found on-farm or commercial purposes insurance. However, they can be included in homeowner policies.

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