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.
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)
|Per occurrence limit||$1,000,000||$100,000/$1,000,000||$500,000||$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|
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.
|Per occurrence limit||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000|
|Name additional insureds?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Waiver of subrogation included?||Yes||No||No||Can be included|
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:
Violation of good faith
Violation of fair dealing
Breach of contract
Breach of confidentiality
Use the table above to compare the professional liability insurance of companies we recommend.
|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|
|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:
Cassettes, CDs, films, and other similar media
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.
Get all the best quotes from leading providers in a click of a button!
|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|
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
Rehabilitation and retraining
|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|
Get all the best quotes from leading providers in a click of a button!
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.
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
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
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
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
Lonnie Bell Insuranker
Policy Type: Business Insurance
Company name: Employers Insurance
Use anyone except Employers. Period. They are non-transparent and shameful. After I complained long enough to warrant a call from a supervisor, the supervisor called back from a PRIVATE NUMBER (no caller ID), left a message that they are not reversing their decision (without any communication with me), and failed to leave a phone number for me to call back. She was hiding! They also fact find via email and phone calls, which is terrific for speed and communication. However, after setting a precedence of email or phone calls, they send time sensitive information via email, without any heads up... they are hoping you miss it and forfeit via expiration. Evil policies. Go elsewhere.
This place is an absolute joke of a company and should be ashamed of the way they conduct business. I was hurt on the job at the end of July and it took them just shy of 7 weeks to issue out a paycheck to me. Yes the amount was back dated but still. Not many have the luxury of not receiving a paycheck for almost 2 months. To top it all off, the original adjuster marked me down for the wrong state which caused a problem from the get go, I've had 3 different adjusters now since each one can't seem to figure out the simplicity of my claim. All my paperwork which includes, my job, house, and drs visits all are from the same state and city but yet some how I have been filed under a completely different state 1500 miles away. They do not answer your phone calls or emails no matter how many you leave. I've had to escalate my frustrations to the supervisors of each of these individuals in order to even get some kind of response. I've had more communication and information given to me about my claim from the customer service representatives then the actual adjusters.......... please tell me how that works?! A serious overhaul needs to happen here in order to serve your clients the way they deserve to be taken care of. 10/10 do not recommend this company to a single soul on earth
I have never had the displeasure of working with a more incompetent and disrespectful person in my life. I’m an injured worker and the adjuster that was assigned to my case was named Carrie Furgeson. In the past 6 weeks that I’ve been injured and out of work I have only been able to get ahold of her twice, not for lack of trying. I have left countless voicemails, countless emails, and she ignores them all. When I am finally able to get ahold of her I’m greeted with terrible customer service. She is rude, she talks over me and I’m hardly able to get a word in edgewise. She spelled my name wrong on my documents even after I spelled it for her properly countless times, this caused a whole new issue with my bank. I have bill collectors from the hospital calling me demanding payment and Carrie Furgeson won’t do a single thing to help, or to get them paid. All of my documentation is in Colorado, my job is in Colorado, my address is in Colorado, all my Dr offices and appointments have been in Colorado and Carrie still managed to hold my claim because she wasn’t sure what state she needed to file it under. It’s been 6 weeks since my Injury and my company still hasn’t received the wage paperwork to fill out so they can get me my correct wages. When she’s not ignoring me she’s answering my questions with “I don’t know” well I don’t know how she got this job, because apparently she doesn’t know anything about it. She is a disgusting morose individual inside and out and I genuinely wish her the worst in all of her future endeavors. I highly recommend you don’t use this company. Please if you are a business owner and your looking into this company please don’t use them. I’m sure they have the cheapest payment and that’s why companies use them in the first place, but you will be doing your employees a grave disservice by forcing them to venture into this absolute dumpster fire of a company. I would rate 0/5 if possible but 1 was the lowest I was allowed.
Their general liability insurance purchase process is simply the best online experience I've ever had in my life!
As long as they cover your line of business, you're literally covered! best rates, best coverage, best online experience, best professionals, can't be happier that I chose them!