Public libraries are important institutions for tax paying residents in most cities. Using funds from taxes, many communities set up libraries where patrons are able to borrow books, periodicals, DVDs, books on CD, and even downloadable books for e-readers. Libraries also provide reference services to help patrons find information on just about any topic. Business insurance is a must for libraries.
General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance is a must-have small business insurance policy. This type of policy provides a broad type of protection for the library, the patrons, and the employees. General liability insurance protects the library in the case of accidents, for instance if someone slips and falls on an icy entryway. The library is liable for such an accident if they failed to salt the walkway. This coverage can help pay for resulting medical expenses.
General Liability Insurance Includes:
- Premises Liability – The most important aspect of commercial insurance for a library is premises liability. A library is typically a busy place with patrons coming and going all day long. Premises liability is coverage for situations in which a patron is involved in some type of accident on the premises. For example, if a faulty bookshelf collapses, it could cause harm to a patron. Premises liability covers expenses related to such accidental occurrences.
- Products Liability – The products liability portion of the general liability policy covers any costs related to defective products. Any library that sells products to its patrons will be covered by this portion of their commercial business insurance.
- Completed Operations – The completed operations part of a commercial insurance policy protects the business from claims made after a sale, transaction, or service is completed.
Business Owners Policy
A business owners policy, or BOP for short, is a package of business insurance coverage that is typically used by small businesses. It is put together by an insurance company to cover all of the major liabilities for that business. This will include the general liability policy. The coverage in a BOP can be tailored to the specific needs of a library. For example, a BOP could contain coverage for the building and its contents, electronic data, valuable papers, new library branches, and employee dishonesty.
Business Auto Insurance
The business auto portion of a commercial insurance policy covers the costs incurred in automobile accidents. Some businesses use cars more than others, but even if there is only minimal use, this coverage is necessary. Libraries often employ a driver to deliver books to other libraries or homebound patrons. If this driver is involved in an accident with another car or damages the library’s vehicle by hitting a tree or sign, the commercial auto insurance policy will cover damages and some medical expenses.
Workers Compensation Insurance
If an employee of the library is injured or becomes ill as a result of working at the library, workers compensation insurance will help to pay for their medical care. Workers compensation is a required part of business insurance in most states to avoid the costs of litigation when an employee is injured or sick. The coverage can help pay for hospital visits, emergency care, physical therapy, and anything else necessary for the employee’s recovery.
Commercial Umbrella Coverage
In the case of a catastrophic event that results in very expensive bills, a commercial umbrella policy can help. Commercial Umbrella is coverage in a business insurance policy that is additional to general liability. It offers protection and payment above and beyond the limits set in the general liability policy. Commercial umbrella insurance is useful if there is any chance that a catastrophic event could occur at the library.