While you may not need to build a new farm shed, it is a good idea to make sure your farm shed insurance policy is up-to-date and that the cost of a replacement shed is adequately covered.
To help you avoid being caught short we thought we would put together a guide to farm shed insurance including how to update your policy, questions to ask your insurer, and points to keep in mind like spontaneous combustion and insurance requirements for multi-purpose sheds.
We also provide some price estimates for some common farm shed sizes such as hay sheds and machinery sheds, to help you quickly determine if your shed is underinsured.
Keep reading to learn more about updating your farm shed insurance.
Why Do I Need To Update My Farm Shed Insurance?
Sheds, like hay sheds and machinery sheds, are important infrastructure on farms, storing and protecting valuable machinery, produce and fodder. Sheds like workshop sheds, shearing sheds and yard covers, enable your farm to keep running smoothly. So, it is important to ensure your farm sheds are properly insured.
Here are few key reasons to make sure your farm shed insurance is up to date:
- The cost of your farm shed will more than likely have increased since you last updated your insurance policy.
One reason for this is that there have been numerous steel price rises over the past two years, which has obviously directly impacted the cost of a farm shed. And in the case of shearing sheds, the shortage of timber for construction projects has also increased the price of a shearing shed fit out.
To give you an indication of how much shed prices have increased, between June 2020 and June 2022, the average farm shed project price increased by around 45% – 50%!
The video below explains why steel prices have been rising.
- Value of the contents may have also increased.
In some cases (e.g., most machinery sheds) the value of the contents in the shed will also have increased. This, combined with a shortage of machinery and replacement parts is another key reason to be proactive in updating your insurance policies. Similarly, the current grain prices are a good reason to review your grain shed insurance to ensure you are adequately covered.
- You may have made improvements to the shed that need to be covered by insurance.
Changes to your existing farm shed like the addition of a canopy, updating a shearing shed fit out or simply adding an extra bay on, will all increase the replacement value of your shed. If you have not factored these changes into your shed value for your insurance policy, it is important to do so. Failure to do this may mean that if your shed ever needed replacing you could end up out of pocket, or with a smaller, impractical shed.
- Your farm shed may be used for a different purpose it was originally built and insured for.
If you are using your shed for a different purpose than originally intended, it may not be covered by your existing insurance policy. An example of this could be using a hay shed as a calf shelter, or vice versa. Another example would be using a grain shed to store your machinery. While these changes may seem insignificant it is worth checking with your insurer to find out if this will impact your insurance policy in any way.
- Your policy is up for renewal
This one is obvious, if your insurance policy is out of date, it not only needs renewing it probably also needs the information updated – like the points mentioned above. If you know that your insurance is coming up for expiry, organise the updated information in a timely manner so that your policy can be quickly and accurately updated. If you’re not regularly reviewing your policy and updating it as needed, then you could be leaving yourself exposed to a major financial loss if something happens to your shed.
How Do I Update My Farm Shed Insurance?
So, we’ve discussed some important reasons why you need to update your farm shed insurance – but how do you go about updating your farm shed insurance?
The first step is to contact your insurance agent or company to find out what information they need so that they can provide you with an updated policy. For information like an up-to-date farm shed price, we are more than happy to provide a no-obligation quote for a replacement shed.
Other required information may include the value of the contents, whether or not you are storing dangerous materials such as chemicals or fertilisers in the shed or if the shed is multipurpose for example, if it is used to store fodder and machinery. These factors can all influence how much you pay for your insurance.
The next steps include requesting an updated insurance policy and quote based on the new information you have provided, to ensure you have adequate coverage.
Once you have updated your policy, be sure to keep it up-to-date by regularly reviewing it and making changes as needed. This will ensure that you are always protected in the case of an accident or natural disaster.
What Else Do I Need To Know About Farm Shed Insurance?
There are a number of important points to keep in mind when it comes to insurance for farm sheds. These include:
- Being aware whether you are allowed to co-store machinery and hay, or other potentially risky storage combinations.
- Having your insurance policy in place as soon as the shed is delivered – before it is erected. This means that you would be covered if any materials were stolen during the erection stage.
- Making sure you are aware of any exclusions in your policy, such as flood or earthquake.
- Making sure your policy allows you to store large quantities of hay in the one location. Some insurance companies have a limit on how much hay can be store in one shed or location, for example, up to $500,000 worth of hay in one location.
- Taking the risk of theft seriously. A rising crime rate, such as theft and vandalism, in rural areas should be taken seriously and should also be taken into consideration when insuring your farm shed – and when insuring your farm, machinery, fodder, livestock and other infrastructure such as fences.
- Understanding the spontaneous combustion risk of storing hay. Spontaneous combustion is the most likely cause for fire in a hay shed, however, some insurance companies will not cover this.
2022 Farm Shed Prices*
Hay Shed Price Guides:
- A three-sided ‘open-front’ 24 x 15m x 6m hay shed costs approx. $65,000 – $85,000. (Stores 648 big square bales.)
- A three-sided ‘open-front’ 32m x 18m x 6m hay shed costs approx. $100,000 – $120,000. (Stores 1008 big square bales.)
- A three-sided ‘open-front’ 40m x 18m x 6m hay shed costs approx. $120,000 – 140,000. (Stores 1260 big square bales.)
- A three-sided ‘open-front’ 48m x 24m x 7.5m hay shed costs approx. $195,000 – $225,000. (Stores 2280 big square bales.)
- A three-sided ‘open-front’ 48m x 24m x 7.5m hay shed with 6 metre canopy costs approx. $230,000 – $260,000. (Stores 3456 big square bales)
- A three-sided ‘open-front’ 64m x 24m x 7.5m hay shed costs approx. $250,000 – $280,000. (Stores 3648 big square bales.)
Machinery Shed Price Guides:
- An open-front 24m x 15m x 5m machinery shed costs approx. $75,000 – $90,000.
- A drive-through 32m x 18m x 6m machinery shed costs approx. $105,000 – $120,000.
- An open-front 40m x 21m x 6m machinery shed costs approx. $150,000 – $165,000.
- A drive-through 40m x 21m x 6m machinery shed costs approx. $155,000 – $170,000.
- An open-front 48m x 24m x 6m machinery shed costs approx. $195,000 – $210,000.
To learn more about machinery shed prices and factors that will influence the price of your machinery shed, read our article –How much does it cost to build a machinery shed?
Shearing Shed Price Guides:
The following price estimate guides for shearing sheds do not include the cost of the fit-out. For an indication on fit-out costs, read our article – How much does it cost to build a shearing shed? We generally recommend allowing around $40,000 per stand for a shearing shed fit out.
- A 16m x 12m x 4.5m shearing shed (suitable for a 3-stand fit-out and around 110 sheep undercover) would cost approx. $70,000 – $90,000.
- A 24m x 15m x 4.2m shearing shed (suitable for a 3-stand fit-out and around 230 sheep undercover) would cost approx. $110,000 – $130,000.
- A 32m x 12m x 4.2m shearing shed (suitable for a 3-stand fit-out and around 350 sheep undercover) would cost approx. $115,000 – $135,000.
- A 32m x 24m x 5m shearing shed (suitable for a 5-stand fit-out and around 500 sheep undercover) would cost approx. $185,000 – $205,000.
Sheep Yard Cover Price Guides:
- A 32m x 18m x 3.5m yard cover would cost approx. $80,000 – $100,000.
- A 48m x 24m x 4m yard cover with a gable infill would cost approx. $165,000 – $185,000.
- A 36m x 32m x 4m yard cover with a gable infill and partially clad walls would cost approx. $200,000 – $230,000.
- A 28m x 24m x 3.5m yard cover with a gable infill and partially clad walls would cost approx. $105,000 – $125,000.
- A 34m x 27m x 4.2m yard cover with a gable infill would cost approx. $130,000 – $150,000.
Grain Shed Price Guides:
- A 30m x 18m grain shed stores 1,500 tonnes and costs approx. $170 – $190 / tonne.
- A 36m x 24m grain shed stores 3,000 tonnes and costs approx. $140 – $160 / tonne.
- A 56m x 27m grain shed stores 6,000 tonnes and costs approx. $115 – $135 / tonne.
- An 80m x 30m grain sheds stores 10,000 tonnes and costs approx. $95 – $115 / tonne.
*Please note that these are estimates only and every shed project varies, so these price guides should not be used in place of an accurate quote. If you would like a no-obligation quote to determine the replacement value of your shed before updating your insurance – we are happy to provide this free-of-charge.
Disclaimer: Information included in this article is general only and should not be used in the place of professional insurance advice. Talk to your insurer or insurance broker before making any decision relating to your farm shed insurance.