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How to File a Pole Barn Insurance Claim in 3 Steps

March 16th, 2020 | 9 min. read

Cori Lane

Cori Lane

Cori grew up on her family's small grain and livestock operation in Northwest Indiana. In 2018, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration & Marketing from Marian University Indianapolis. Having shown beef cattle for 12 years at the county, state, and national levels, Cori chose to pursue a career in agriculture. Today, she serves as the Marketing Content Creator on the FBi team. In her free time, Cori enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching sports, listening to live music, and traveling.

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Pole barn damages come in all shapes and sizes. As a post-frame builder, we’ve seen and heard it all. Common examples include:

  • A severe thunderstorm with high winds ripped off metal roofing panels
  • A broken pole barn window from a friendly game of catch in the backyard
  • A dented overhead garage door because someone forgot to open it before throwing the vehicle in reverse

It doesn’t matter how cautious you try to be. Accidents are going to happen with your post-frame building.

At least you have peace of mind knowing that your pole barn insurance will most likely cover the building repair costs. But how do you go about the insurance claim payout process?

Submitting an insurance claim for your post-frame building is unfortunate and intimidating if you don’t know what you’re doing. This article teaches you how to file a pole barn insurance claim in three easy steps.

If you don't have time to read this article, you can download the "Pole Barn Insurance Claim Infographic" to read later. 

How to File a Pole Barn Insurance Claim_Blog

What is Pole Barn Insurance?

You can't go without eight types of insurance: auto, homeowner or renters, life, health, disability, long-term care, and an umbrella policy. So why not add pole barn insurance to your coverage list?

Pole barn insurance prevents you from paying major out-of-pocket expenses if your farm shop, commercial business, garage, or riding arena is damaged. 

If your post-frame building is uninsured, you’ll want to speak with an insurance agent soon. They need to know the following information to get started on your policy:

  • SpecificationsWhat is the building size (square footage)? Does your pole barn have interior finishes? What is the purpose of the post-frame building? When was it built (year)?

  • Pole Barn Value: How much would it cost to replace your post-frame building? We can guarantee that pole barn prices have increased since the 2000s (and older). Staying up to date with your insurance coverage is crucial.

  • Preemptive Measures: Are you equipped with security cameras to prevent theft and vandalism? Do you have fire extinguishers in case of fire? How do you keep rodents out of your pole barn?
TPole_Barn_Damage_Repairhese answers will help your insurance agent select the right coverage for your post-frame building. But generally, your pole barn insurance will cover damages caused by:
  • Accidents
  • Natural disasters
  • Severe weather
  • Crimes and civil unrest

However, your insurance policy will not cover damages caused by natural wear and tear. Therefore, pole barn maintenance is critical!

Editor’s Note: Specific coverages are dependent on your insurance policy. Please discuss these details with your insurance agent.

Pole Barn Repairs & Renovations Photos

How to File a Pole Barn Insurance Claim in 3 Steps

Step #1: Contact Your Pole Barn Insurance Agent

MeetingThe first order of business is documenting the pole barn damage. Pull out your cell phone and take photos of your post-frame building. Be sure to note the incident date, time, and other details (if possible).

It may sound tedious, but this information keeps your pole barn insurance claim moving forward. The last thing you want is annoying delays (and headaches) that could’ve been prevented.

Now, you can contact your insurance agent and text/email the documented proof. Meanwhile, they’ll ask for your policy number and explain your coverage options.

Then, your insurance provider will assign a claims number and adjuster to your case. This person will assess the building damage and calculate a barn repair estimate.

Your pole barn insurance agent may suggest requesting quotes from multiple contractors. However, we recommend working with a post-frame builder. After all, no one knows pole barn construction better than someone who builds them daily.

Step #2: Schedule a Pole Barn Repair Assessment with Your Post-Frame Builder

Pole Barn Storm DamageAfter contacting your post-frame builder, they’ll send a Repair & Renovation Specialist to assess your property. This initial visit should occur within 24 to 48 hours of calling in (schedule permitting).

A Repair & Renovation Specialist will go through your pole barn damage with a fine-tooth comb. 

To the Average Joe/Jane, it’s just a fallen tree on your metal roof. But to the trained eye, this fallen tree has damaged more than just metal roofing panels. It could’ve jeopardized your pole barn structural integrity.  

Structural integrity refers to a pole barn’s ability to withstand anticipated loads without breaking. Any post-frame building, regardless of size and location, must be designed to resist vertical and lateral loads.

Pole barn damages (e.g., accidents and storms) aren’t an anticipated load. Therefore, the Repair & Renovation Specialist will inspect the following building components:

Then, the Repair & Renovation Specialist will draft a work order detailing the project scope and cost. In severe cases, they may recommend replacing the post-frame building.

Editor's Note: You can skip this step by taking high-quality images of the pole barn damage. Sometimes, our Repair & Renovation Specialists can draft a work order based on pictures.

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Step #3: Settle Your Pole Barn Insurance Claim

The Ultimate Guide to Pole Barn Costs_Email HeaderMoreover, your claims adjuster will conduct their assessment. They’ll evaluate the post-frame building and take pictures of the pole barn damage.

Your claims adjuster may ask about pre-existing conditions, routine maintenance, or other safety measures implemented to reduce risk.

Using their best judgment, they’ll write an appraisal and share it with your pole barn insurance company. From there, the insurer will determine whether the building repair is covered.

In some cases, you may disagree with the claim adjuster’s ruling. Consequently, the insurance payout is significantly lower than you expected.

We recommend having your post-frame builder work with the claims adjuster directly. They bring a high level of post-frame construction knowledge to the table.

Furthermore, your post-frame builder will inform the claims adjuster of the restoration costs. Then, you won’t be blindsided by a lowball repair estimate from the claims adjuster who assessed the damage independently.

Overall, this advantage gives you the control you deserve and, quite frankly, the protection you paid for as a pole barn owner.

Editor’s Note: Once you settle an insurance claim, the insurer’s payout is final. No take-backs. In other words, “you get what you get, and you don’t get upset.”

Once the claim is settled, your insurance agent will cut you a check for barn repairs. Depending on your insurance company and the agreed amount, it may take a few business days to hit your bank account.

When you receive the final sum, your post-frame builder can restore your pole barn to its original condition. You’ll sign the finalized work order and make the first deposit. A copy will be forwarded to your insurance company for their records.

Are You Ready to File a Pole Barn Insurance Claim?

We don't wish pole barn damages on anyone, but building repairs on inevitable. Filing an insurance claim can be stressful, but it should be a smooth process. The good news is that you know a trusted post-frame builder if you need help.

Pole Barn Repair Quote_FBi Buildings

Additional Resources:

6 Common Questions About Pole Barn Insurance

5 Steps to Repair Your Pole Barn Damage

7 Tips to Hire a Post-Frame Builder for Pole Barn Repairs

Ultimate Guide to Pole Barn Repairs & Renovations

Do you have more questions about pole barn insurance that are not covered in this article? If you need help designing and planning, please contact FBi Buildings at 800.552.2981 or click here to email us. If you're ready to get a price, click here to request a quote, and a member of our Customer Engagement Team will help you determine the next steps of your project.