Insurance for Local and Community Libraries

Public liability, employers’ liability, contents insurance and more for libraries of all sizes. Get a free quote now or organise a callback to discuss your needs.

What insurance do libraries need?

Running a library can pose a range of unique challenges and risks. Running community events, working with different volunteer groups and diversifying revenue streams all require your focus, on top of the day to day operations, and you need a product that covers the work you do.

Pubic Liability insurance provides protection against legal liability for bodily injury to third parties ,or damage to third party property, as a result of the library’s activities. For example, if a visitor trips over loose/damaged carpeting and injures themselves, they could claim that you were negligent in not having had the necessary repairs carried out, or preventing access to that area.

Many libraries operate a café or coffee shop, as well as hosting regular meeting and community activities, all of which add risk in terms of numbers of people and the increased likelihood or injury or damage. It is important that your insurers are aware of such features and it’s part of our job to fully understand your operations and present that detail to them, so as to avoid any problems when it comes to having to make a claim.

If your community library relies on employees and volunteers, then you are legally obliged to have Employers’ Liability cover. This ensures that your legal liabilities are covered, in case any of your staff or volunteers suffer an injury or illness whilst working at the library.

Contents insurance is important, as even a small community library could have up to £100,000 worth of contents at risk, when the value of all of the books, audio books, DVDs and office equipment, such as laptops, computers and printers, is taken into account. It’s important to evaluate the assets and insure to their maximum value.

You should also consider extended protection for your computer equipment, beyond just the physical risks of damage and theft. Reinstating lost data can be an expensive exercise, as can a repair in the event of breakdown, both in terms of downtime and the repair costs themselves.

Here at BHIB Charities Insurance we provide support to both community-run and larger libraries, so you can make an informed decision about the cover you need.

How we protect your charity

When you are running any type of not for profit organisation it is important to have the correct type of cover in place.

BHIB Charities Insurance policies can include:

Additional cover includes:


The level of cover your library requires will depend on the level of risk you are taking on. How many visitors do you have to your library? What type of activities are hosted there? Our friendly and professional staff are on hand now to help you answer these questions and more, making sure you are confident in choosing the right level of cover.

If you have any employees then you have a legal obligation to have employers’ liability cover up to at least £5 million. This includes permanent and temporary employees and those that work both full-time and part-time.

In terms of volunteers there is no legal obligation to have liability insurance in place to cover them. However, this is recommended to make sure your library is protected financially should a volunteer suffer an accident or injury while working for you.

Contents insurance can protect your library from having to replace any damaged or stolen stock and equipment. Even small libraries can have books and equipment worth tens of thousands of pounds, so taking on contents insurance can help your library avoid paying replacement costs if your contents are damaged or stolen.

Trustee protection can be a very important policy for libraries that have trustees. Trustee indemnity insurance offers financial security against claims for which a trustee may be held responsible. Examples could be financial loss, reputational damage, breach of regulations or unfair dismissal.

These claims can be financially crippling to defend, which is why trustee indemnity insurance is so important. Without trustee indemnity insurance in place, the library or the trustees themselves may have to pay the costs to defend the claim.

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