(770) 925-2188

Physical address:
4230 Lawrenceville Hwy
Lilburn, ​Georgia.

Barndominium Insurance: Things You Need to Know

Barndominium insurance can be tricky if you need liability coverage and include natural disasters in your coverage list.

Even though such insurance is pretty similar to property insurance, there are some technical differences that we will focus on.

Our intention is to assist any barndominium owners with the technical knowhows of the insurance and other related complexities.

So, let’s move on.

Barndominium Insurance

How does barndominium insurance differ from traditional home insurance?

Barndominium insurance is a type of property insurance, specifically designed for the barndominium, shouse, or the garagedominium.

This is different from traditional home insurance since the barndos are utilized for both commercial and residential purposes.

So, how does barndominium insurance stack up against traditional home insurance?

The key difference lies in the customization and coverage specifics.

Traditional home insurance policies are structured around standard homes, focusing on typical residential risks and liabilities. These policies might not fully align with the mixed-use nature of barndominiums.

Barndominium insurance policies can be customized to include higher limits for structures typically found in a barn, such as lofts or large doors, and to provide protection for equipment and operations not usually present in standard homes.

Barndominium Insurance difference

For example, a standard homeowners policy may not fully cover the commercial equipment or machinery that you might store in your barndominium if it’s also your workspace. Or, if you’ve converted part of your barn into a living space, there might be unique structural aspects that aren’t typically found in standard homes, requiring specific coverage adjustments.

In a nutshell, the core differences between barndominium insurance and traditional home insurance are:

  • Evaluating the value of custom features
  • Potential business operations conducted on the premises
  • Any additional structures or modifications that differ from standard residential properties.

Which coverage are essential for the owners?

In summary, the three main coverage of barndominium insurance are dwelling coverage, personal property coverage, and Liability protection. Barndominiums located in rural or semi-rural areas can get additional flood damage policy as well.

Dwelling coverage

First off, the bread and butter of any good barndominium insurance policy is dwelling coverage.

This is the safety net that catches you if disasters like fires, storms, or other major events damage the structure of your shouse.

But, because barndominiums often incorporate custom features like oversized doors, expansive open spaces, and even industrial kitchens, this is wiser to double check if the coverage would be enough to re-build or renovate. I mean, the cost justification would vary from person to person.

insurance coverage

Personal Property coverage

Next, we can’t overlook personal property coverage. Whether it’s your grandma’s heirloom dresser or the latest tech for your home office, this part of your policy has your back if your belongings are stolen or damaged.

Remember, if you’re using part of your barndominium for business, you might need additional coverage to fully protect any work-related equipment or inventory.

A standard policy might cover your personal laptop, but the commercial-grade 3D printer? Not so much.

Liability protection

Liability protection is another cornerstone of a solid barndominium insurance plan. It’s the coverage that steps in if someone gets hurt on your property or if you’re liable for damage to someone else’s stuff.

With barndominiums often being a hub for both living and work, the chances of incidents that could lead to liability claims are higher.

Imagine a friend tripping over your tools during a visit or a delivery person getting injured by falling building materials. For these reasons, you’d want robust liability coverage to handle potential legal costs and medical bills. But remember, liability coverage is costly since no one knows how much of your liability would need to be reimbursed in the future.

How do you determine the right amount of coverage for a barndominium?

Figuring out the right amount of coverage for your barndominium is like trying to nail the perfect recipe for a family dinner—it needs just the right ingredients, a bit of know-how, and a sprinkle of wisdom.

Determining right amount of barndominium insurance coverage

Let’s break down how you can get that coverage ingredients spot on, ensuring your barndominium is protected without overspending on premiums.

In a nutshell, you need to calculate the replacement cost of your barndominium, then assess the value of things inside of it and roughly calculate how much liability coverage you may need in future.

First thing’s first: assess the replacement cost of your barndominium.

This isn’t about how much you paid for it or its current market value. Instead, think about how much it would cost to rebuild it from scratch if, say, a tornado decided to redecorate without your permission.

Consider the unique features of your barndominium—those high ceilings, custom-built ins, and any specialized spaces that make it your own. Remember, costs can vary widely, especially with the fluctuating prices of materials and labor. Getting a professional appraisal can be a smart move here.

Now, don’t forget about the contents of your barndominium.

From your favorite couch to that state-of-the-art oven, tally up the value of your belongings.

And if your barndominium doubles as a workspace, take stock of any equipment or inventory you have on-site. A simple way to keep track is to walk through your home with your phone, capturing video or photos of everything you’d want to replace.

Liability coverage is your safety net for those “just in case” moments. It protects you if someone gets injured on your property or if you’re responsible for damage to someone else’s property.

Next up, consider any additional structures on your property—like that cute shed you’ve turned into a workshop or a detached garage. Each of these structures adds value to your property and, therefore, needs its slice of the insurance pie.

But how do you make sure you’re not over-insuring or under-insuring?

It’s a balancing act. Over-insuring means you’re paying more in premiums for coverage you don’t need. Under-insuring, on the other hand, can leave you high and dry when disaster strikes.

A good rule of thumb is to review your coverage annually. In case you have upgraded your kitchen or restructured anything that may increase the value of your property, you can simply maintain a worksheet to revise the value or appoint a property valuer if things become tricky.

What factors influence the cost of barndominium insurance?

Factors influencing barndominium insurance

In summary, location, construction materials, size & cost along with upgrades influence the overall cost of a barndominium insurance. In addition, your credit score and insurance history will have a significant impact on the overall insurance cost.

First on the list is location. Just like in real estate, location is king in the insurance world too. A barndominium in a high-risk area for natural disasters such as floods, wildfires, or tornadoes—might experience higher insurance rates.

It’s all about risk; the more likely an area is to face Mother Nature’s wrath, the higher the cost to insure property in that area.

Next up, we’ve got the construction materials. Barndominiums are a unique blend of barn and home, often using a mix of materials like steel, wood, and concrete.

The durability and fire resistance of these materials can either be your wallet’s best friend or its frenemy. For example, steel frame barndominiums might score you lower insurance rates due to their durability and fire-resistant properties, compared to wood frames which can be a bit more high maintenance in the eyes of an insurer.

The size and value of your barndominium also play a big role. It’s pretty straightforward—the larger and more valuable your barndo, the more it would cost to repair or rebuild, bumping up your insurance cost.

This includes both the physical size of the structure and the value of all the goodies inside, from your furniture to any specialized equipment you might have for your hobbies or work.

Let’s talk about personal property coverage. This part of your insurance protects the items inside your barndo. The more valuable your possessions, the higher the cost to insure them. It’s like ensuring there’s enough pie to go around at a family dinner; more guests mean you need a bigger pie.

Another key factor is the presence of safety features and upgrades. Just like a well-equipped kitchen makes cooking safer and easier, safety features in your barndominium can reduce insurance costs.

Smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, security systems, and storm shutters are all examples of upgrades that can sway insurers to offer lower rates because they reduce the risk of damage or loss.

Lastly, your insurance history and credit score can influence your insurance costs. If you’ve got a track record of making frequent claims or if your credit score is less than stellar, insurers might see you as a higher risk. It’s a bit like having a reputation for always bringing the best dish to a potluck; people will have certain expectations.

Do residential and commercial purposes affect insurance coverage?

Absolutely, using your barndominium for both residential and commercial purposes can indeed sway your insurance coverage and its costs. It’s like when you’re planning a meal that needs to cater to both vegetarians and meat-eaters; it requires a bit more thought and maybe a bit more on the grocery bill to make sure everyone’s needs are met.

When you blend residential living with commercial activities in your barndominium, you’re stirring up a unique mix that insurers look at closely. Here’s why: Commercial activities often carry different risks compared to just living in a space. For instance, if you’re running a small woodworking shop out of part of your barndominium, there’s an added risk of fire or injury that wouldn’t be as prominent in a purely residential setting. Insurers take these extra risks into account, which can affect your insurance in a couple of key ways.

First, on insurance costs. Adding commercial coverage to your policy is a bit like adding a premium ingredient to a recipe; it’s going to increase your costs. The exact hike in price depends on the nature of your business, the equipment you’re insuring, and the level of risk associated with your commercial activities. High-risk operations, like manufacturing, might see a more significant increase in insurance costs compared to something lower-risk, like a home office for a freelance writing business.

Now, regarding claims, using your barndominium for commercial purposes can complicate things if you ever need to file one. Say a customer visits your woodworking shop and gets injured. A standard homeowner’s policy won’t cover that. You’d need commercial liability coverage in place to handle the claim and protect you against potential lawsuits. Without the right type of coverage, you could find yourself in a financial pickle, facing costs that your insurance won’t cover.

So, yes, mixing residential and commercial use in your barndominium does impact your insurance, both in terms of costs and how claims are handled. But with the right preparation and the right policy, you can ensure your barndominium is a safe and protected space for both living and working.

Need a Barndominium Floor Plan?

We filtered out the trending barndominiun design layouts in one place.

Are natural disasters covered under a standard insurance policy?

Natural disaster coverage in barndominium insurance

Normally, natural disaster coverage is not included in your barndominium insurance unless your property is located in a highly risky area. This means, you need to prove first whether your property is at uncertain natural disaster risk.

Take hurricanes, for example. If you’re living in Florida, known for its sunny beaches and, less appealingly, its susceptibility to hurricanes, you might think that your standard homeowner’s insurance policy has got you covered. And to an extent, you’d be right—most policies do cover wind damage, which is a significant component of hurricanes. However, the flood damage that often accompanies hurricanes? That’s a whole different story. Flood damage typically requires separate flood insurance, which is something many homeowners in hurricane-prone areas need to consider.

Now, let’s move on over to California, a state famous for its redwoods, coastline, and, unfortunately, earthquakes. Earthquake damage is another beast that standard insurance policies usually don’t cover. Homeowners in California might need to purchase additional earthquake insurance to ensure they’re covered in the event that the ground starts shaking.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Some natural disasters, like wildfires, which can affect states like Colorado and California, are generally covered under standard homeowners’ insurance policies. This coverage can include damage to the structure of your home, personal belongings, and sometimes even the cost of living elsewhere while your home is being repaired.

So, what’s the takeaway for a barndominium owner—or any homeowner?

It’s all about knowing the risks specific to your area and making sure you’re adequately protected. Standard insurance policies provide a base level of coverage, but it’s the additional, specialized policies like flood or earthquake insurance that fill in the gaps left by Mother Nature’s more enthusiastic moments.

How does the claims process work for barndominium insurance?

Barndominium insurance claim process

Let me get you to the straight process of claiming insurance.

  • Notice of Loss: First up, you’ve got to let your insurance company know something’s happened. This step is like ringing the dinner bell; it’s time to start. Whether it’s damage from a storm or a break-in, quick communication is key.
  • Documentation: Next, gather your evidence. This means taking photos or videos of the damage, making a list of damaged or stolen items, and collecting any relevant receipts or documents. Think of this as gathering your ingredients before you start cooking.
  • Claim Filing: With your evidence in hand, it’s time to officially file your claim. This usually involves filling out some paperwork and submitting the documentation you’ve collected. It’s like following the recipe step-by-step; attention to detail is crucial.
  • Adjuster’s Visit: After you file your claim, the insurance company will send over an adjuster to check out the damage in person. They’re like the taste-tester, verifying what’s been reported and determining the extent of the insurance company’s liability.
  • Claim Review: The adjuster reports back to the insurance company, and your claim goes under review. This step is like letting your dish simmer; it takes a bit of time, but it’s necessary to get everything just right.
  • Payment or Denial: Once the review is complete, the insurance company will either approve your claim and send you payment for repairs and replacements, minus your deductible, or explain why your claim was denied. Receiving that check is akin to pulling a perfectly baked pie out of the oven—satisfying, especially after all your hard work.

What should you notice when choosing an insurance provider?

Quality of an insurance provider

Here are some noticeable points you must consider before choosing an insurance provider for your barndominium.

  • Reputation: Start by checking out the company’s track record. Are they known for standing by their policyholders when the chips are down? It’s like asking friends for recommendations before trying out a new restaurant.
  • Financial Stability: You want a company that won’t wobble when it’s time to pay out claims. Think of it as checking the weather before heading out on a hike; you want to know it’s going to hold up.
  • Coverage Options: Not all policies are created equal, especially for something as unique as a barndominium. Make sure the provider offers coverage that matches your specific needs, similar to making sure your hiking boots have the right grip for the trails you’re tackling.
  • Customer Service: How easy is it to get in touch with them? And once you do, are they helpful and friendly? It’s like having a reliable guide for your hike; good support can make all the difference.
  • Claim Process: Understand how claims are handled. A straightforward and efficient process can alleviate a lot of stress, kind of like having a clear map when you’re exploring new terrain.
  • Premiums and Deductibles: Lastly, look at the cost. Ensure it fits your budget without sacrificing essential coverage, similar to finding the right balance between quality and cost when buying gear.

Is liability coverage included in barndominium insurance?

Liability coverage is typically a standard slice of the barndominium insurance pie, much like crust is to apple pie—it’s foundational. This coverage is your financial safety net if someone gets injured on your property or if you’re responsible for damage to someone else’s stuff. It’s designed to cover legal fees, medical expenses, and other damages.

However, the extent of coverage and the specific terms can vary from one policy to another. Think of it as different recipes for the same pie; some might include a bit of cinnamon for extra flavor, while others stick to the basics. Similarly, depending on your insurer and the specifics of your policy, the amount of liability coverage provided can differ.

If your barndominium serves a dual purpose, like doubling as a home and a workspace, or if you find that your lifestyle or business operations might increase the risk of liability claims, you might consider beefing up this coverage. This can sometimes mean an additional cost, but it’s like adding a lattice top to your pie — a bit more effort and expense for a better-protected and more impressive result.

So, yes, liability coverage is typically part of your standard barndominium insurance package, but giving your policy a closer look or having a chat with your insurance agent to make sure it’s tailored to your needs is a smart move. It ensures you’re not left short when it counts.

How often should you revise the insurance policy?

Revising your insurance policy is a bit like giving your car a tune-up; it’s something you should do regularly to ensure everything runs smoothly. The sweet spot? Once a year. This yearly check-up lets you adjust to life’s changes—maybe you’ve upgraded your kitchen, added a new workshop, or the value of your possessions has increased. Plus, insurance needs can shift as market conditions change or as your barndominium undergoes renovations and improvements.

However, don’t wait for the annual review if significant changes happen. Buying expensive equipment, making substantial improvements to your property, or starting a home-based business are all good reasons to get in touch with your insurance agent sooner rather than later.

Think of it as keeping your insurance policy in sync with your life. Regular revisions ensure your coverage matches your current situation, protecting you against being underinsured or overpaying for coverage you no longer need. It’s all about keeping that peace of mind intact, knowing your barndominium is properly protected as you build and grow within its walls.

What documents are required to insure a barndominium?

Here’s a list of documents you need to prepare before looking for insurance for your barndo.

  • Proof of Ownership: This could be a deed or a recent mortgage statement showing that you own the barndominium.
  • Property Details: Architectural plans or builder’s specifications that detail the size, construction materials, and layout of your barndominium.
  • Recent Appraisal: If available, a recent appraisal can give a current market value of your property, which helps in determining the amount of coverage needed.
  • Photos of the Property: Comprehensive, up-to-date photos of both the exterior and interior, including any special features or upgrades.
  • Personal Property Inventory: A detailed list of personal belongings within the barndominium, preferably with photos, purchase dates, and receipts for high-value items.
  • Safety Features Information: Details on any security systems, fire suppression systems, or other safety features that could qualify you for insurance discounts.
  • Previous Insurance Policy: If you’re switching providers or renewing, having your previous insurance policy documents can be helpful for reference.
  • Repair and Renovation Records: Documents or receipts for any major repairs or renovations done on the property, which can affect its value and the insurance coverage required.
  • Liability Risks Documentation: If you run a business from your barndominium or have features that increase liability risk (like a swimming pool), you’ll need to provide details for adequate coverage.

What is excluded from the common insurance policy?

The following things are typically excluded from a standard insurance policy.

  • Natural Disasters: Floods and earthquakes often top the list of exclusions. Think of them as the solo tracks that require their own special album—or, in this case, a separate insurance policy.
  • Intentional Damage: Any damage you cause on purpose to your barndominium won’t be covered. It’s akin to intentionally scratching your favorite vinyl record and hoping for a replacement.
  • Wear and Tear: Just as everyday use gradually wears down your favorite pair of jeans, normal aging and wear of your barndominium are not covered. Insurance is more about the sudden storms than the slow seasons.
  • Pest Infestations: Problems like termite damage or rodent issues are considered maintenance issues, much like keeping your garden free from weeds.
  • Commercial Operations: If you’re running a business from your barndominium, standard policies might not cover related equipment or liabilities. It’s like needing a backstage pass for a concert—special access not provided with the general admission.
  • High-Value Personal Property: Expensive items like fine art or jewelry might exceed the standard limits and require additional riders or policies, similar to needing extra security for a diamond exhibit.

Can you customize a barndominium insurance policy for structural changes?

Absolutely, you can customize your barndominium insurance policy to adapt to structural changes. It’s a bit like updating your wardrobe; as your style evolves, so does what you wear. Similarly, as your barndominium changes—maybe through a major renovation, an addition, or even a complete overhaul of its use (switching from strictly residential to including a commercial space)—your insurance policy should evolve too.

This customization process involves informing your insurance provider about the changes you’ve made. Just as you’d need to let a tailor know your new measurements for a custom-fit suit, your insurer needs the details of your barndominium’s structural changes to adjust your coverage appropriately. This might include updating the replacement cost of your home to reflect improvements or adding specific coverages for new risks associated with any business activities now taking place on the property.

State Regulations and Compliance for Barndominium Owners

State regulations can vary widely depending on where your barndominium is located, as each state has its own set of building codes, zoning laws, and insurance requirements.

For example, in Texas, where barndominiums are quite popular, you’ll need to ensure your building plans comply with local zoning laws, which can dictate where you can build and what activities are permissible on your property. Texas also has specific guidelines around septic systems and water use, especially in rural areas.

In states with higher risks of natural disasters, such as California or Florida, building codes can be stricter, requiring barndominiums to meet higher standards for earthquake or hurricane resistance. This, in turn, can affect insurance requirements and costs, as insurers may require proof of compliance with these enhanced building codes before offering coverage.

Moreover, if you plan to use part of your barndominium for commercial purposes, like running a business, you may also need to navigate additional regulations, including business licenses and commercial insurance policies.

The key to managing state regulations and compliance is to do your homework early on. Contact local building authorities and consult with an experienced contractor familiar with barndominiums.


Never get confused about the barndominium insurance. It’s all about understanding the risks and paying for them.

Get your documents ready and assess to what extent would you need for a claim in the case.

Brian Cooper
Brian Cooper

I'm Brian, an architectural engineer from the University of Texas

Writing about barndominium is my passion. I try to bring informative and technical contents on barndominium so that the entire sourcing and construction process seems easy.

As an architectural engineer, I do have expertise of designing and building using prefabricated steel structures. Moreover, I am connected with 500+ prefabricated steel structure experts that helps me to gather and prepare the relevant information for your help.

I have experience of 250+ barndominium contrustion of which 75% are built with metal structure. Moreover, I am a trained energy audit professional, and with that specialization I can help you to bring your barndo's energy consumption at minimum level.

I hope you like my write-ups which is my greatest inspiration.

Articles: 44

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.