Polarization dependence of bend loss caused by the polymer coating layer for a standard singlemode fiber (SMF28) is investigated theoretically and experimentally. Bend loss for SMF28 for both the TE and TM mode is calculated separately. Normalized polarization dependent loss is proposed for the characterization of the polarization sensitivity of bend loss for different bend radii. Corresponding experimental tests are presented, which agree with the theoretical results. Both the theoretical and experimental results show that the polymer coating layer has a significant influence on the polarization dependence of bend loss. © 2007 Optical Society of America.