A client sent me an email asking me to quote a builder’s risk policy for a barndominium she and her husband are planning to build. I haven’t watched HGTV’s Fixer Upper series, so I called her to find out what a barndominium is, as well as to ask her the questions I needed answered to quote a builder’s risk policy for them. After finding several builder’s risk policy options for them, I began researching what companies will write a barndominium insurance policy once the construction is complete.
First, if you’re unfamiliar with barndominiums, they are a recent twist on the old concept of a barn house. A barndominium, which is sometimes referred to as a pole barn home, is a country home, that may be designed to look like a traditional or contemporary version of a barn, barn house, or single family home.
Many of the current models are made using metal building techniques having metal sides and roofs, with spray insulation on slab foundations. The interior space may be devoted entirely to living space or divided between home and an office or studio. Some barndominiums are designed with large amounts of storage to accommodate boats, RVs, and ATVs, or even barn space for your horses and tack.
If you’re planning on building or buying a barndominium, be aware that not every home insurance company will write a barndominium insurance policy. The reasons for this run the gamut including the company doesn’t write homes which aren’t traditional site or stick built homes, or they don’t write homes with metal siding and/or metal roofs (hail related in Texas). Some companies won’t write a home that wasn’t originally designed to be a home such as a barn conversion.
In other cases, carriers may not write a modular home, a home located in an area served by a rural fire department, or one with horses or livestock on it. Home insurance companies may not write a home situated on more than 5 acres or they may not be able to accurately calculate a replacement cost value on a style of home that’s newer and different from what their current systems can address.
There are insurance companies which will write barndominium insurance, however there may have restrictions on what they’ll write. For instance, some companies may have construction related concerns (metal roof is acceptable but metal siding is not), or farming and ranching related concerns such as the number of horses, livestock, and if you’re engaged in boarding other people’s horses or breeding cattle. If you’re farming, there may be restrictions based on if you’re selling your produce or raising it for your own consumption. Commercial endeavors may require commercial farm and ranch insurance.
The key for barndominium insurance as with any home insurance is to have a discussion with your advisor before the purchase or breaking ground. Such a discussion can save everyone a lot of time by finding the right carrier with the right policy from the beginning. Share your questions, comments, or experiences with me on my Facebook, Google +, and LinkedIn pages with me. I’d love to hear from you!