(419) 423-9145

Barndominium 101

Barndominium 101

April 27, 2023


If you live in rural USA you may have noticed a new trend. You have probably seen people living out of barns. No, not a traditional barn but a fancy barn. In the insurance industry, they are referred to as barndominiums but I’ve also heard barndo or shouse. If you know someone that has recently built one, you may know they can be difficult to insure. What is a barndominium and let’s review why they are different to insure.

What is a Barndominium?

A barndominium is a mix between a house and a barn. Instead of having a home with a detached pole barn, these buildings put the two structures together. It adds the convenience and size of a barn and adds it as part of the structure.  There are several factors that also make them different from a traditionally built home.

They are usually built with metal construction due to the barn which adds a rustic style to the home. Additionally, there is an open layout and the entire barndominium is incredibly customizable. Plus with the barn attached to the home and the simplicity of them, the cost to build can be lower. It’s a quicker build and the homeowner can save on labor costs and also customize the home to fit their budget and needs. While there are many pros to these homes, they can be difficult to find insurance for.

Why is Insuring a Barndominium Challenging?

While a barndominium is very similar to a traditionally built home, insuring them can be much more difficult. There can be several reasons why insurance companies are hesitant to insure these structures.

The primary reason is that these homes are non-standard construction, which means they lack historical data. These homes are built differently with their metal construction and there isn’t much data on these homes from an insurance standpoint. Insurance is entirely based on data and how carriers interrupt that data guides them in making decisions. For barndominiums, there’s little data there and many carriers are hesitant to insure them. At the moment, it’s too big of a risk for them and some decide not to insure them at all.

In addition to the lack of historical data, these homes oftentimes come with commercial or farm exposure. Due to the barn and style of home, many times it’s business owners with equipment or farmers building these homes. Many personal home insurance companies then prefer for these homes to be insured on a commercial farm policy instead. While this is often the case, it is not the truth in all circumstances. Lastly, the location of these homes is often rural. Insurance carriers want to know how far your home is from the responding fire department. The combination of a rural home and non-standard construction is too much for some carriers to consider the risk.

Where do I find insurance on my Barndominium?

You came to the right place to find insurance! Working with an independent agency like us is the best place to start as we represent several insurance companies. Our knowledge and experience allow us to know which options will fit your needs best. Here at Hitchings Insurance, we are an independent agency and we only represent A-rated companies in the insurance industry. There are several carriers we work with that will insure barndominiums. Contact us to review your insurance on your barndominium!

Start A Conversation with one of our personal lines professional