Insurance for historic and traditional barns can be a problem. It is extremely expensive to replace a barn as it was built. Materials of the quality used in historic barns generally do not exist anymore. Fewer contractors understand timber frame construction and even less choose to work in this area.
For insurance providers, it is hard to estimate replacement and/or repair cost on traditional barns. Insurance is based upon accurate estimates of the cost of the structural materials and repair or replacement labor. Barns can be an attractive target for arson. Simple neglect and deferred maintenance also contribute to the vulnerability of a barn. Looks are important to insurance people. If it appears to be in bad condition it is considered to be a bad risk.
MBPN explored basic questions about how barns are insured with five insurance industry experts. This 2014 article by MBPN board member Julie Avery summarizes the information they provided.