LIBRIS Speaks to the Needs of Independent Bookstores

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Created by the American Booksellers Association specifically to meet the needs of independent bookstores, LIBRIS offers tailored and affordable property, liability, and workers’ compensation insurance through local brokers across the country.

“Bookstores have a strong local connection and we don’t want to disrupt that,” said LIBRIS program manager Richard Poling, adding that the LIBRIS Board, which includes bookstore owners and ABA staff, has been particularly mindful of the desire of ABA members to keep their dollars in their communities.   

When bookstore owners shop for insurance, Poling said, in addition to considering the price of the services and their relationship to the provider it is important to determine whether the insurer understands the book world, can accommodate special needs, and is planning to service the industry far into the future.

Many brand-name insurers target the bookstore industry, he said, but very often they only provide a non-customized product that lumps bookstores in with all types of retail establishments without differentiation. 

Because LIBRIS serves the bookstore market exclusively it understands such issues as valuation of inventory, seasonal fluctuations, the special needs of events and author signings, the liability associated with online sales, the growth in sideline products and services to supplement book sales, and the coverage required for bookstore cafés and restaurants. LIBRIS insurance plans are custom-made to fit the particulars of bookselling and include the automatic adjustment of inventory value for peak selling seasons.

“It’s a membership service — it’s owned by ABA, and it does nothing but service the bookstore industry,” said Poling. “The coverage forms are tailored for bookstores,” and LIBRIS strives to provide very competitive pricing.

Insurance options offered through LIBRIS are backed by Great American Insurance Group, said Poling, and LIBRIS acts as an advocate on behalf of bookstores to ensure their specific needs are met. Each claim filed is reviewed by the Board of Directors of LIBRIS, thereby assuring that claims are properly and professionally handled.  Since its founding in 1997, LIBRIS has paid $9 million in claims. Read what other booksellers had to say about LIBRIS here.

To find out more about LIBRIS or for a quote, contact Whitney Balaun at (888) 694-8585 or visit A LIBRIS representative will also be available to talk to booksellers at several upcoming events, including the MPIBA trade show and Winter Institute 2014