Library Insurance: Instant Online Quotes from $11/Month

Not all people have the budget to buy books and other printed materials from a bookshop. This is why libraries exist where people can rent books, which might be a more economical option. 

Your library, similar to a museum, has liability if something bad happens to visitors. For example, a reader might sit on a defective chair and splat on the floor. Someone might pay to use your library as an auction house. And in case this auction event is uninsured, then expect the participants to come after you if a stampede or any other accident happens. 

Purchase library insurance. You can use this to cover lawsuits and grant compensation if third parties successfully hold you liable for accidents. This can even recover the value of books and antiques in your library’s custody.

Types Of Library Insurance 

All institutions and organizations are responsible for having in place adequate insurance coverage from a reputable underwriter. Online resources like this discussion are available to provide an extra layer of expert knowledge, particularly with complex insurance considerations. 

For library institutions operating as a for-profit or non-profit, we recommend the following types of library insurance policies:

  • Commercial property insurance

  • General liability insurance

  • Commercial auto insurance 

  • Workers compensation insurance

  • Professional liability insurance

  • Directors and officers insurance (D&O)

General Liability Insurance For Libraries & Librarians

CoverWallet  Nationwide GEICO Hiscox
Per occurrence limit  $1,000,000 $100,000/$1,000,000 $500,000 $300,000/$2,000,000
Aggregate limit  $2,000,000 $100,000/$2,000,000 $1,000,000 $300,000/$2,000,000
Products and completed operations aggregate limit  $2,000,000 Included $1,000,000 $1,000,000
Advertising injury coverage aggregate limit  $1,000,000 Included $500,000 $1,000,000
Tenant’s legal liability coverage limit  $300,000 Included $300,000 $100,000
Waiver of subrogation included? No  No  No  Can be included
Hired/non-owned auto liability coverage included? No  No  No  Can be included
Equipment breakdown floater included? No  No  No  Can be included
Can you get a certificate of insurance online? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Name additional insureds? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Deductible $0 $0 $0 $0

Commercial general liability insurance is the most common inclusion in the bundled insurance for libraries and librarians. Your library needs this because it can face responsibility in case guests, readers, visitors, independent contractors, and other third parties sustain injuries or property damage within the premises. 

Use the table above to compare the general liability insurance of companies we recommend. 

General liability insurance works differently depending on the business that needs it. In the case of libraries, this insurance is useful in the following situations:

  • A guest falls from a height while searching for books at the top of a tall shelf 

  • A visitor sustains injuries after stepping on the wet floor of your library

  • An earthquake happened. A shelf fell and injured several guests

  • A phone was damaged while it was being charged in your library’s electrical outlet 

It should be noted that, in some cases, individual riders are required. These coverages are available as optional or automatic add-ons to the basic general liability policy of library and librarian insurance programs:

  • Hired/non-owned auto liability coverage

  • Waiver of subrogation

  • Rented premises liability coverage

  • Products and completed operations coverage 

It is also important to note that, in cases where the library wants to work as an independent contractor of projects, some clients will require proof of general liability insurance. They might also request to be named as additional insureds in your library’s general liability policy.

Professional Liability Insurance For Libraries And Librarians

CoverWallet  Nationwide  GEICO Hiscox
Per occurrence limit  $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000
Aggregate limit  $2,000,000 $1,000,000 $2,000,000 $1,000,000
Name additional insureds? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Waiver of subrogation included? Yes No No Can be included
Deductible  $500 $0 $0 $50/$10,000

Your library might not only store books but also take custody of rare books, documents, and other materials from museums, bookstores, notable figures, and others. Moreover, your library might enter into contracts with charities, trustees, and other entities. 

Professional liability insurance is also important when running a library. This provides coverage if an employee or your library, as a business entity, is held liable for committing:

  • Negligence 

  • Violation of good faith

  • Violation of fair dealing

  • Inaccurate advice

  • Breach of contract

  • Breach of confidentiality 

Use the table above to compare the professional liability insurance of companies we recommend. 

Commercial Property Insurance For Libraries

CoverWallet Hiscox Nationwide GEICO
Building coverage limit (minimum) $50,000 $25,000/$100,000 $25,000 $50,000
Contents coverage limit (minimum) $50,000 $25,000/$100,000 $25,000 $50,000
Outdoor signs Excluded Excluded Excluded Excluded
Accounts receivable  Excluded Included Included Included
Money and securities Excluded Included Included Included
Lock and keys  Excluded Excluded Excluded Excluded
Business interruption floater Excluded Included Included Included
Equipment breakdown floater Excluded Excluded Excluded Excluded
Inland marine insurance floater Excluded Excluded Excluded Excluded
Employee dishonesty floater Excluded Included Included Included

Commercial property insurance is important for any business or organization that maintains a physical location. Use the table above to compare the commercial property insurance of companies we recommend. 

Buy this type of public library insurance and you’re sure to get reimbursement for losses in case your library’s building gets damaged or destroyed. Commercial property insurance can be categorized as:

  • Replacement cost (identical replacement in case of loss/damage)

  • Historical cost (compensation based on original cost to acquire property)

  • Functional replacement cost (cost to acquire an alternative property which will perform the same function)

Covering the building is just the first job of commercial property insurance. As for its second job, commercial property insurance can recover financial losses if valuables inside the library get damaged or lost. Common items covered are:

  • Books

  • Valuable papers and records

  • Memorabilias

  • Manuscripts

  • Maps

  • Cassettes, CDs, films, and other similar media

  • Computers

  • Furniture and appliances

It’s very important to insure the items of your library with commercial property insurance. It’s estimated that libraries in the USA experience a 4%-8% overall loss rate when books and other properties get lost or damaged due to theft, inventory errors, and carelessness of the user. 

Compare Library Insurance Quotes

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Business Owner’s Policy For Libraries 

CoverWallet Hiscox GEICO Nationwide
General liability aggregate limit  $2,000,000 $300,000/$2,000,000 $2,000,000 $1,000,000/$2,000,000
Commercial property coverage limit  $50,000 $25,000/$100,000 $50,000 $25,000
Optional policies can be added? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Name additional insureds for free? Yes Yes Yes Yes
BOP discount? Yes Yes Yes Yes

Purchasing a business owner’s policy allows you to hit two birds with one stone. This type of public library insurance bundles general liability and commercial property insurance into a single policy that’s cheaper and easier to manage. 

In the table above, you can take a look at the features of the business owner’s policy of the companies we recommend.

In other words, there’s no need to get a commercial property and general liability insurance separately as there’s a business owner’s policy that allows you to get both in one single purchase. 

Depending on which insurance company you work with, a business owner’s policy might also offer professional liability, cyber liability, workers compensation, and other insurance solutions as optional add-ons. 

Tools And Equipment Insurance For Libraries

A library can’t run well without audio-visual equipment, archival equipment, restoration equipment, circulation equipment, and other types of implements. You can insure all of the equipment owned by your library with tools and equipment insurance. 

Usually offered as an optional add-on to commercial property or general liability insurance, tools and equipment insurance takes care of expenses if audio-visual equipment, archival equipment, and other implements get damaged, lost, or destroyed because of:

  • Fire

  • Theft

  • Vandalism

  • Malicious mischief

  • Water damage 

  • Impact 

  • Operator error

You must know that while it’s available as a stand-alone policy, most insurance companies that provide coverage online sell tools and equipment insurance as an add-on to the general liability, business owner’s policy, or commercial property insurance for libraries. 

Commercial Auto Insurance For Libraries

If the library owns and operates any vehicles, they must be covered with adequate insurance to protect the library against a claim, as well as to provide adequate protection for employees or trustees operating the vehicles.

Commercial auto insurance covers cars, trucks, commercial vans, bookmobiles and any other vehicle owned by the library. It is also possible to obtain automobile coverage for personal vehicles used by staff for library business, although these vehicles must also be adequately insured by their owners. 

Directors And Officers (D&O) Insurance For Libraries

Essential to any organization with a board of directors, officers, governors and/or trustees, a separate directors and officers (D&O) insurance policy must be purchased. Before consenting to act as a trustee, director, or officer of a company, individuals will often ask to see a copy of the D&O insurance policy, to be sure the coverage is adequate should there be a lawsuit filed at a later date.

Directors’ and officers’ insurance policies include the legal costs of individual trustees should they need to defend themselves against a claim. D&O insurance for libraries provides indemnification for governing individuals and puts them at greater ease when considering whether to give their time towards the library’s operational and management oversight.

In some jurisdictions, D&O coverage is required by law in order to protect those who serve their community in public service roles on a voluntary or cost-reimbursement basis. It is important for an organization to understand the regulatory requirements for their library’s operations according to regional laws.

Libraries may choose to publish a request for quotations in order to ensure their collection and assets are adequately insured. By using the policy categories and considerations outlined in this article, libraries can smooth the process and ensure that all areas of substantial risk are appropriately mitigated. 

Workers Compensation Insurance For Libraries

A library can’t operate well without employees. It’s possible to run things on your own. However, operations won’t be smooth. 

You need workers’ compensation insurance as soon as your library is employing one or more people. This insurance assumes your responsibility of providing benefits in case an employee sustains a work-related injury or disease. Here are some example situations where workers’ compensation insurance helps:

  • An employee falls from a height while sorting the books of your library

  • An employee gets involved in a vehicular accident while traveling to get stocks or to attend an event

  • An employee develops a disease because of work-related conditions 

So what costs are covered? You can use workers’ compensation insurance to cover these expenses:

  • Emergency medical care

  • Hospitalization

  • Medication

  • Rehabilitation and retraining

  • Lost wages

  • Death benefits 

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Library Insurance Cost

Cost per Month Cost per Year Deductible
General liability insurance $30 $360 $0-$500
Professional indemnity insurance $35 $420 $500-$1,000
Commercial property insurance $61 $732 $1,000
Business owner’s policy $91 $1,092 $1,000
Workers compensation insurance $57 $684 $2,000-$5,000
Directors and officers’ liability insurance $80 $960 $1,000-$1,500

The average library insurance cost is $30 per month or $360 per year for a $1 million general liability insurance. This assumes that your library has 5 employees and generates $500,000 or less per year.

There are many individual considerations when obtaining a quotation for library insurance from a qualified underwriter. The list of quantifiable information required includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • Size of the library’s physical collection

  • Value of donated items, artwork and rare collections

  • Number of physical locations

  • Age of buildings

  • Number of employees

  • Number of patrons who make use of the library’s public facilities

For a more solid understanding of the cost of library insurance, take a look at this table that shows how much the best companies charge for their $1 million general liability insurance for libraries:

Cost per Month Cost per Year Best for
CoverWallet $21 $252 Library insurance online quotes comparison
Hiscox $23 $276 Library insurance with worldwide coverage and automatic policy renewal
GEICO $25 $300 Cheap commercial auto insurance for libraries
Nationwide $29 $348 Library insurance with numerous endorsements

Compare Library Insurance Quotes

Get all the best quotes from leading providers in a click of a button!

Best Library Insurance Companies 

We’ve examined the features of the library insurance package of many insurance companies. We then did a quick filter and narrowed the numbers to these choices. These are the best library insurance companies. Read to know their pros, cons, and cost of a $1 million general liability insurance. 

CoverWallet Library Insurance


  • Compare library insurance quotes online

  • Cancel a policy anytime

  • Easy online policy management

  • Add an unlimited number of additional insureds with ease 


  • Not an insurance company but an insurance broker 

CoverWallet is an insurance broker that allows you to compare the quotes of different insurance companies offering library insurance. With its online quotes platform, this company can show you the features of different library insurance packages, so that you know which provides the best bang for your buck. 

But note that comparing quotes isn’t the only thing that CoverWallet helps you with. Once you’re done comparing, you can then proceed to buy a desired coverage through this company’s platform. And in case you want further information, you can choose to do the purchase with the help of an agent.

Best for: Library insurance online quotes comparison

Average cost: $21 per month

Our rating: 10/10

Hiscox Library Insurance


  • Worldwide coverage

  • Automatic policy renewal 

  • In-house team of insurance adjusters

  • Policy bundle discounts


  • You can’t get commercial property insurance as a stand-alone policy 

Hiscox’s library insurance package consists of a general liability, business owner’s policy, and cyber liability insurance. Your insurance package from this company renews on its own every year and provides worldwide coverage. 

Another great thing about Hiscox is that your policies are highly customizable,  as you can decide how many limits they’ll have. Moreover, upgrades are available at an additional cost, such as tools and equipment coverage, media liability coverage, primary and noncontributory coverage, etc. 

Best for: Library insurance with worldwide coverage and automatic policy renewal

Average cost: $23 per month

Our rating: 10/10

GEICO Library Insurance


  • Multiple discounts on commercial auto insurance

  • Get a discount for other business insurance policies if you’re a previous GEICO customer

  • Easy online claims reporting 


  • Depending on your business profile, the library insurance quote might come from a partner 

This company covers lending libraries and other types of libraries except for those involved with motor stock footage and motion picture commercial distribution. 

GEICO’s library insurance offers commercial auto, business owner’s policy, general liability, professional liability, and other insurance products. We highly suggest this company for commercial auto insurance for your library. 

GEICO’s commercial auto insurance doesn’t only cover your library’s vehicle but also any equipment attached to it. Moreover, you can get discounts for clean driving history, commercial driving license, safe driving equipment discounts, and others. 

Best for: Cheap commercial auto insurance for libraries

Average cost: $25 per month

Our rating: 9/10

Nationwide Library Insurance


  • Numerous endorsements to the library insurance package

  • Solid financial strength

  • Call an agent directly or find one online


  • Insurance policies from Hiscox are underwritten in partnership with third parties 

Nationwide’s library insurance is made up of business owner’s policy, general liability, professional liability, and umbrella liability insurance. Go for this company if you’re looking for an insurer who also offers banking and investment services for businesses. 

Aside from the policies we mentioned above, Nationwide’s library insurance also offers endorsements such as hired/non-owned auto liability coverage, directors and officers liability coverage, and employment practices liability coverage. 

Best for: Library insurance with numerous endorsements

Average cost: $29 per month

Our rating: 9/10

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