What is the typical cost to insure one 14’x48’ structure? Also, can you add other billboards under the same policy? I just received a the following premium summary:

Billboard - $1,050
Support Column and Foundation - $275
Business Income - $500
General Liability - $1,000
Umbrella (optional) - $1,000

Total - $3,825

Does this look right and what do I really need to insure (total amount etc.)?

You can never have enough insurance. The limitation is how much you can afford to pay. Most insurance companies have a minimum premium, regardless of how small your risk is. That’s why insuring your first billboard is the most expensive. You can normally add additional billboards on for a nominal amount.

I would seek $1,000,000 in liability insurance, and then a balloon (if possible) of another $2,000,000 or so. I think that $3,000,000 will cover you in all but the worst-case scenarios. It’s certainly enough money to make a personal injury attorney want to settle, as opposed to going to court. If I had to give on something, it would probably be the insuring of the structure itself. They rarely come down and, if so, it may be an “act of God” and not covered under your policy – make sure that you know what exactly is covered.

Be sure to get as many bids as you can. I would try and get as many as 10 quotes to compare. It is amazing how different the quotes can be. I would go with the cheapest one that is written on a decent credit quality company. Tell the company that you need to know what it will cost to insure maybe 10 similar signs under the policy – so you know what the incremental insurance cost is of each new sign added, so you can budget accordingly.

One super important point – never go without insurance. If you can’t afford decent insurance for the sign, then flip the lease to another company as opposed to operating without insurance. I have seen some terrible claims over time, and there is no way that it is worth the gamble.

Can you let me know who is the insurance + agent that you have used and got different quotes, including this one? Phone number addresses
Thank you


The first group you need to contact are your local State Farm, Farmers, and all other agents. You need to assemble this list from google for your area. My area doesn’t matter. Then call the other billboard operators in your market and ask them who they use. Most will hang up on you, but a few will tell you. It should not be hard to assemble a list of at least 10 prospects in your area. And you will get ancillary referrals from that group. As all states are different, you will need a list based on your state. You might also call Courtesy Outdoor and other outdoor lenders (again, pull from google) and ask them who they might suggest.

I received the quote from Bannercom and the proposal came in from Atlantic Risk Management (contact info below). What does the typical insurance policy cost, when insuring a 14x48 structure? Lastly, what should I budget for each additional structure?

Ken Stahl


BannerCom Inc.

Insurance premiums are completely based on what your policy limits are and what exactly you are insuring. There is no point in trying to compare your policy to someone else’s unless they are identical policies and you are in the same state. Due to different levels of litigation awards, all states have different premiums. A 14’ x 48’ does not have much different in the way of insurance to a 30 sheet poster unit, as the liability is about the same for both. As I discussed in my earlier posting, you need to get as many quotes as you can in order to get the lowest rate. You also need to pick and choose what you can afford to insure. You will want, at a minimum, $1,000,000 of liability insurance. You will also want an umbrella of another million or two to give you even greater security. If you are in an area prone to a lot of damaging storms, you might consider insuring the sign structure or loss of income – if the policy is priced in your budget. You can never have enough insurance. But carrying a $100,000,000 liability policy is probably not going to be in your budget.So, in the end, it all boils down to a risk/reward scenario of how little you can get away with yet be protected and able to sleep at night. That’s why competitive bidding is so important – every dollar you save can be used to increase your policy limits.