Library Insurance Policy Information
Library Insurance. Libraries house a wealth of literature and other written materials, including magazines and scientific journals. In addition, they very often offer computer and internet access to members of the public, including courses that can be accessed most easily through libraries.
Libraries may further host public events ranging from language classes to reading clubs for young children.
Libraries are designed for the collection of various types of media, from written material and publications to records, electronic games, cassette tapes, compact discs (both audio and video), and other videotapes. The library may loan its materials to visitors, or be maintained for reference only, with visitors required to use its materials on premises.
Librarians are usually available to assist visitors with their research needs. Libraries may be private, institutional, or publicly funded. They often have extensive computer networks used by visitors for internet research. Many public libraries provide meeting space for reading groups or community organizations.
Some libraries have extensive collections of rare or valuable artwork, statuary, manuscripts, or related valuable literary or musical items.
By playing an important role in promoting literacy and knowledge, libraries provide services essential to the public good. Because libraries also face a multitude of risks that could threaten both their financial future and the body of knowledge they are the guardians of, however, it is crucial for library directors and officers to consider how to protect their assets.
Carrying the right types of insurance is a key part of this. To discover what types of library insurance policies needed, keep reading.
Library insurance protects libraries from lawsuits with rates as low as $47/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Below are some answers to commonly asked library insurance questions:
- What Is Library Insurance?
- How Much Does Library Insurance Cost?
- Why Do Libraries Need Insurance?
- What Type Of Insurance Do Libraries Need?
- What Does Library Insurance Cover & Pay For?
What Is Library Insurance?
Library insurance is a type of insurance policy designed to protect libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions from financial losses related to theft, damage, or destruction of their collections, assets, and properties.
This insurance covers the replacement cost of books, manuscripts, artifacts, equipment, and other assets that are damaged, stolen, or lost, as well as the cost of repairing or restoring damaged items. The policy also includes coverage for loss of income or revenue if the library is closed due to a covered event, such as a fire, flood, or theft.
The purpose of library insurance is to help institutions recover from unexpected losses and maintain their collections and assets for future generations.
How Much Does Library Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for libraries businesses ranges from $47 to $79 per month based on location, size, type of collections, claims history and more.
Why Do Libraries Need Insurance?
Libraries need insurance because they are vulnerable to a wide range of perils. Some of these perils will be shared by virtually every public or commercial organization, as well as by private residences.
Others are more specific to libraries themselves. Some perils result in minor costs that can easily be covered by a library's own budget, while others are of such magnitude that they could force a library to close permanently.
A variety of acts of nature - like earthquakes, wildfires, serious floods, and hurricanes - pose a risk to the library building itself, as well as the books and other assets therein.
Accidents such as fires and burst pipes have the potential to do similar damage to easily-compromised paper products, and criminal acts like theft and vandalism are always a threat, too.
Many libraries are bustling hubs of activity. With members of the public around all day, there is a high risk that someone will suffer some kind of injury, whether because a bookshelf that later turns out to not have been adequately secured falls on someone or because they slip in an icy parking lot.
In these cases, a library can be held legally and financially responsible for the resulting expenses, and the injured party may file a lawsuit.
While these are not the only hazards libraries can face, they do explain why it is important to carry library insurance.
What Type Of Insurance Do Libraries Need?
Libraries will need to carry several types of insurance to protect themselves from the financial consequences of a range of risks.
The exact policies a library may want to invest vary - your needs are influences by factors like the location of the library, the types of books it houses, its number of employees, and the age of the building, as well as the materials from which it was constructed.
For optimal coverage, it is advised to consult an insurance broker. Some of the essential types of library insurance needed, however, are:
- Commercial Property - Should a library be struck by an act of nature, an accident, an act of vandalism, or other unforeseen circumstances, this kind of insurance covers the financial cost of replacing or repairing damaged or lost physical assets. This includes the building as well as books, furniture, and computers.
- General Liability - Should a third party file a lawsuit after being injured or having their property damaged on the library's premises or as a result of its activities, this type of library insurance covers the resulting legal costs and settlement fees.
- Cyber - Generally speaking, libraries now store their patrons' personal data, such as their home addresses and details of the books they checked out, digitally. Should this sensitive personal information be stolen and perhaps even made public, cyber insurance would be crucial.
- Workers Compensation - This type of insurance protects both employers and employees. In the event an employee sustains a work-related injury, it covers their medical expenses and also any lost wages if the worker is unable to resume their job for a time.
While these types of insurance are important for libraries, remember that every library is unique. Some libraries may house valuable antique books that require antiques and collectibles insurance, for instance, while every organization that uses vehicles over the course of their professional activities also needs auto insurance.
Your insurance broker will be able to advise you on the kinds of library insurance that best meet your individual needs.
Libraries' Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is high due to public access to the facility. Public and life safety code compliance is very important. Bookshelves must be stabilized to prevent collapse. Good housekeeping is critical to preventing trips, slips, and falls. Stairways, railings, and floor coverings should be in good condition.
Adequate lighting, marked exits and egress are mandatory. Steps must have handrails, be well-lit, marked, and in good maintenance and repair. Parking areas should be maintained free of snow and ice.
Background checks should be conducted on all individuals, including volunteers, who work with children.
In larger cities, libraries may attract unwanted visitors during operating hours, particularly when there is inclement weather. Security at the facility, as well as in the building, corridors, and any owned parking area needs to be carefully checked and reviewed to prevent harassment or assault of other visitors.
Libraries pose an attractive nuisance hazard. There should be adequate security after hours to deter trespassers. Personal injury losses may occur due to alleged wrongful removal, invasion of privacy, or discrimination.
Workers compensation exposure is moderate. Back sprains, strains, and hernias can result from lifting. Exposure to dust and other allergens can lead to respiratory problems. Repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome can occur from working with computers.
Workstations should be ergonomically designed. Security personnel should be trained to deal with unruly patrons. If there is a bookmobile, there should be regular contact with the main office.
Property exposure is moderate. Ignition sources are limited to electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems. Computer networks are extensive. Electrical wiring should be up to code and adequate for the library's use. Books and electronic media can be heavily damaged by fire, smoke, or water.
There should be fire prevention and detection devices. Sprinklers should be chemical-based instead of water-based to limit the potential for damage.
If lunchrooms, restaurants, or cafeterias are located on the premises, all cooking exposures must be adequately protected and controlled. Book restoration facilities should be included in contingency plans to clean up smoke, fire, and water damage after a loss.
In older buildings, valuation will be a concern, as there may be unique architectural features that are expensive to replace after a loss. If bookmobiles are used, there will be an off-premises exposure to loss due to collision and overturn.
Libraries may be targets for vandalism and theft. There should be adequate security after hours to deter trespassers.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty and money and securities. Background checks should be conducted for employees who handle money or have access to rare books. Employees who are in charge of ordering must not be the same ones who handle disbursements and billings. Inventories should be conducted at least annually.
Inland marine exposure includes computers, fine arts, and valuable papers and records for clients' and media information. Visitors may inadvertently or intentionally download viruses onto computers. Library inventory and visitor lending records are generally computerized. These records should be duplicated and kept offsite.
Fine arts can include statuary, paintings, artifacts, valuable historical documents, rare or historical books, and manuscripts which may be irreplaceable. Items should be appraised by qualified, independent experts.
Adequate controls must be present to prevent, detect and deter fire, vandalism, and theft. Items used or taken off the premises can be damaged in transit or stolen. If the library assumes responsibility for items of others, such as those used for an exhibition, bailees customers coverage should be considered.
Business auto exposure is normally limited to hired and non-owned unless a bookmobile or other mobile lending vehicle is used. Drivers must be trained in the proper handling of these larger vehicles and have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVR.
Vehicles must be maintained on a regular basis with all service documented. Backup warning systems should be considered because most bookmobiles operate in areas where children or adults with limited mobility are present.
What Does Library Insurance Cover & Pay For?
Libraries can be sued for various reasons, and insurance policies can help protect them by covering the associated costs. Here are some examples of potential lawsuits and how insurance can help:
Personal injury claims: Visitors to a library may sue if they are injured on the premises, such as slipping on a wet floor or tripping over a misplaced book. General liability insurance can cover the costs of medical expenses, legal fees, and any settlements or judgments that may arise from such a lawsuit.
Employment-related claims: Employees or job applicants might sue the library for discrimination, wrongful termination, or harassment. Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) can help cover the legal fees, settlements, and judgments associated with these claims.
Copyright infringement: Libraries can be sued for copyright infringement if they reproduce or distribute copyrighted materials without the proper permissions. Intellectual property insurance can help cover the legal fees, settlements, and judgments arising from such lawsuits.
Data breaches: If a library's computer system is hacked and sensitive information is compromised, they may face lawsuits from affected individuals. Cyber liability insurance can help cover the costs of legal fees, settlements, judgments, and other expenses related to a data breach.
Professional negligence: If a librarian provides inaccurate or misleading information that leads to financial or personal harm, they could face a professional negligence lawsuit. Professional liability insurance (also known as errors and omissions insurance) can help cover the costs of defending against these claims and any resulting settlements or judgments.
Property damage: If a library is responsible for damage to someone else's property, such as a neighboring building, they could face a lawsuit. Commercial property insurance can help cover the costs of repairing or replacing damaged property, as well as any related legal fees, settlements, or judgments.
In each of these examples, having the appropriate insurance coverage in place can help protect the library from the financial burdens associated with lawsuits, allowing them to continue serving their community.
Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification
- SIC CODE: 8231 Libraries
- NAICS CODE: 519120 Libraries and Archives
- Suggested Workers Compensation Code(s): 9101 School - All Other Employees, 8810 Clerical Office Employees NOC, 7380 Drivers, Chauffeurs, Messengers, and Their Helpers NOC - Commercial
Description for 8231: Libraries
Division I: Services | Major Group 82: Educational Services | Industry Group 823: Libraries
8231 Libraries: Establishments primarily engaged in providing library services, including the circulation of books and other materials for reading, study, and reference. Establishments primarily engaged in operating motion picture film libraries are classified in Industry 7829.
- Centers for documentation
- Circulating libraries
- Lending libraries
- Libraries, printed matter
- Rental of books
Library Insurance - The Bottom Line
Not all broom and brush manufacturers insurance policies are the same. You can learn if your business has the best fit insurance policies by talking to an experienced commercial insurance broker.
Library Insurance - The Bottom Line
To find out more about the specific types of library insurance policies you'll need and how much coverage you should carry, consult with a reputable broker that is experienced in commercial insurance.
Additional Resources For Non-Profit Insurance
Find useful articles on business insurance for non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations, charities and associations.
- Animal Shelter & Pet Rescue
- Classic & Collector Car Clubs
- Fraternal Organization
- Goodwill Insustries
- Labor Union
- Parent Teacher Organization
- Public Administration
- Red Cross Chapters
- Salvation Army
- Social Work Services
- Veterans Groups
- Volunteers of America
- Youth Groups
- Specialty Community Service Organizations
- Specialty Nonprofit Agencies
The non-profit industry is an essential sector of society that plays a crucial role in addressing social issues, providing vital services, and promoting community development. Non-profits rely on donations, grants, and volunteer work to fund their operations, and any financial loss or liability can significantly impact their ability to serve their mission.
Insurance can protect non-profits from unexpected financial losses, accidents, and legal liabilities that can arise from their operations. For example, a non-profit organization may need insurance to cover damages to their property, injuries to volunteers or employees, or legal costs associated with lawsuits.
Non-profits also face unique risks such as loss of donations, damage to reputation, and loss of funding. Business insurance can help mitigate these risks by providing coverage for financial losses, reputational damage, and other non-tangible losses.
In addition, non-profits often work with vulnerable populations, such as children, the elderly, or individuals with disabilities. Insurance can protect non-profits from liabilities arising from the care and services they provide to these populations.
Overall, commercial insurance is an essential component of risk management for non-profit organizations. It helps protect the organization's financial stability, reputation, and ability to fulfill its mission and serve its community.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Directors and Officers Liability, Employee Benefits, Professional, Umbrella, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Fine Arts, Musical Instruments, Commercial Articles Floater, Computers, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.