Private investigators are an integral part of discovering the truth, comprising of a group of detectives and former law enforcement personnel that use various surveillance methods to investigate computer crimes, conduct pre-employment checks, and a multiple of insurance fraud, workers compensation, and protection cases. This includes infidelity as part of marital disputes in court. As small business owners, they benefit from a comprehensive business insurance policy that protects them against legal risk from employees, vendors, and customers.
Many private investigators have an extensive background in law enforcement, military and security firms.
- The 3 Best Providers of Private Investigator Insurance
- What Kind of Insurance should a Private Investigator Have?
- How Much does Private Investigator Insurance Cost?
- Private Investigator Insurance in Texas: Requirements and Best Providers
- Private Investigator Insurance in Ohio: Requirements and Best Providers
- Security Guard Insurance: Coverage, Cost, and Best Providers
- Police Professional Liability Insurance: Coverage, Cost, and Best Providers
The 3 Best Providers of Private Investigator Insurance
We looked into two well-known companies and a digital broker to see if we can find quotes for small private investigation business with 3 employees. While we can get some quotes from the digital broker, CoverWallet, we are not able to get online quotes from the other 2 well-known companies: the Hartford and Nationwide.
CoverWallet: Best for Comparing Online Quotes
If you want to compare online quotes from several companies before making your final decision, you should consider CoverWallet. They are a digital broker, specializing in business insurance. They work with several leading business insurance companies and are able to provide quotes of these companies in one place so that you can compare and select the best one for you.
When you tell them that you own a private investigation business, they will be able to advise you which business insurance policies you may need to protect yourself and your business. If you are new to buying private investigator insurance, you should definitely check them out.
After buying a policy through them, you will be able to use their digital dashboard to manage all of your business insurance policies in one place. The digital dashboard offers very useful features such as downloading your digital certificate of insurance, filing a claim, or renewing the policy.
The Hartford: Best from a Reputable Name in Business Insurance
The Hartford is one of the largest insurance carriers in the nation, serving more than 1MM small businesses to date with several accolades under its belt, including an A+ rating from A.M. Best, an A1 Moody’s rating, an A+ Standard & Poors grade, and an ‘A’ score from Fitch.
When entering ‘detective work’ for a Florida-based business as an industry option, it offered the choice of commercial property, general liability, workers compensation, and commercial auto coverage. However, it was unable to provide a direct insurance quote and referred us to a partner firm, CommercialInsurance.NET
Nationwide: Best If You Prefer Working with An Agent
Nationwide is a big insurance player, serving over 500,000 small business customersto date with the highest score in the 2018 and 2019 J.D. Power Small Commercial Insurance Study, one of the most well-known customer satisfaction indexes.
Nationwide recognizes that private investigation businesses are diverse and different from one another. When selecting main profession as “Investigators, private” with a $150,000 payroll, it redirected us to an 888 number to complete a quote, providing a ID number to access saved information and to discuss your private investigation insurance needs with an agent who can help you figure out what types of insurance you might need to protect yourself and your private investigation business.
What Kind of Insurance should a Private Investigator Have?
Most, if not all, private investigators can benefit from the following 6 business insurance policies.
- General Liability Insurance
- Invasion of Privacy Coverage
- Commercial Auto Insurance
- Commercial Property Insurance
- Workers’ Compensation Insurance
- Assault and Battery Insurance Coverage
Not all private investigators need all of these 6 policies. Some might not need one or several policies depending the scope of work of your firm. Continue to read on to determine if your private investigation business need all of these policies.
General Liability Insurance for Private Investigators
Any business will benefit from a general liability insurance policy. It protects companies against financial loss resulting from property damage, bodily injury to customers, and fraudulent advertising or claims of copyright infringement by the public. Consider it the ‘go-to’ insurance for all types of businesses, not limited to private investigators.
Particular to private investigators, “invasion of privacy coverage” is extremely critical since this will cover private investigators against claims of “privacy invasion” which, as you can imagine, can be quite popular. Invasion of privacy is covered under personal and advertising injury section of general liability insurance. Sometimes, it can also be found in professional liability insurance for private investigators.
Private investigator general liability limits default to $1,000,000 per occurrence limit for bodily injury and a $2,000,000 aggregate limit, with premiums varying depending on the state and past claims history.
>>MORE: How Much does General Liability Insurance Cost? and Best General Liability Insurance for Small Businesses
Professional Liability Insurance (or E&O) for Private Investigators
Professional liability insurance offers extra protection in the event of errors and omissions due to a lack of proper counsel. For example, if an employee background check does not meet proper protocols, a lawsuit by the hiring employer may be filed.
In addition, as noted above, privacy invasion coverage can be included in professional liability insurance for private investigators. You should contact an agent who understand business insurance well to ensure proper coverage included in your policies for your particular business needs.
>>MORE: Best Professional Liability Insurance Companies for Small Business
Commercial Auto Insurance for Private Investigators
Commercial Auto (or Auto liability) insurance covers private investigators in the event their vehicle causes bodily or property damage. Bodily injury pays for medical bills, lost income vehicle maintenance, legal costs, and emergency aid such as ambulance and paramedic services, whereas property damage pays for repairs. Most states require it by law, subject to limits, which is the maximum amount of insurers pay. This insurance is particularly relevant to private investigators who do a lot of field investigation work as opposed to desk research.
Most insurers combine bodily injury and property damage limits, with popular coverages as follows.
- 25/50/10, translating to $25,000 bodily injury per person limit, $50,000 bodily injury per accident limit and $10,000 property damage limit
- 100/300/50, translating to $100,000 bodily injury per person limit, $300,000 bodily injury per accident limit, $50,000 property damage limit
Note, auto liability insurance does not cover damages to your vehicle or your own injuries. This is usually covered using separate medical payments coverage.
>>MORE: How Much does Commercial Auto Insurance Cost?
Commercial Property Insurance for Private Investigators
Commercial property insurance protects your business from losses due to fire, theft, vandalism or natural disasters. It can help keep your business open in such events. They can also protect you against loss of income due to property damage.
If your private investigation business is large enough to own or rent a building or property, you need this insurance to protect your business property
Workers Compensation Insurance for Private Investigators
Workers’ compensation insurance pays for rehabilitation, death, disability, and medical coverage for your employees in the event they are injured on the job.
Each state administers its own worker’s compensation plan, with separate regulations governing the how workers are advised of their rights, claim form submission protocols, and more.
For example, if a private investigator gets hurt in the field while doing his work, all of his medical expenses and potential lost income will be covered by workers compensation insurance. Or a private investigator’s secretary subject to hours and hours of daily typing develops carpal tunnel syndrome may be eligible for workers compensation. Over exertion and repetitive motions is one of the most common claim types.
MORE: How Much does Workers Compensation Insurance Cost? and Best 7 Workers Compensation Insurance Companies for Small Businesses
Assault and Battery Insurance Coverage for Private Investigators
Assault and Battery Insurance protects you from being accused of harming other people. If an investigator in field work is being confronted by others, which leads to an injury. As a result, a suit is brought up against the investigator. Assault and Battery insurance will help pay legal fees, medical bills, and settlement fees related to the claim.
Being a private investigator might involve in confrontation with others. This is an important insurance that private investigator needs to protects themselves from the risks of their work. Make sure you talk to an experienced insurance agent who can help you acquire this insurance.
How Much does Private Investigator Insurance Cost?
Private investigators who opt for one or a combination of general liability, professional liability, auto liability, and workers compensation pay different rates, depending on the state the business is located and past claims history.
In order for us to estimate the total cost of business insurance for private investigators, we turn to the two well-known digital brokers, Coverhound and Coverwallet, who, we hope, can provide several quotes from several insurance companies.
Coverhound provided us with the following quotes:
- General liability Insurance: it could not provide a general liability quote for ‘investigators” but estimated average monthly premiums of $20 to $40.
- Professional liability insurance: it offered a match from A++ -rated Chubb for $59.34 or $712 a year for a $1MM occurence/$1MM aggregate policy with a $500 deductible.
- A workers compensation policy saw a match from BiBERK (Berkshire Hathaway’s carrier) for $165.51/mo or $1,839 a year for a 100/500/100 plan.
- A commercial auto plan with 1 driver who drives less than 100 miles away from the company’s main address was not eligible for an instant quote, with an estimate of $320-350/mo.
- There is no quote for assault and battery insurance coverage, which we will need to inquire separately.
In total, it would cost a private investigation business a total of more than $600 a month to have all business insurance that they need to protect their business.
General Liability Insurance
Professional Liability Insuance
Commercial Auto Insurance
For the same business on Coverwallet, it returned a $1M/$1M professional liability quote from Chubb for $59 per month, with a request to contact an enrollment advisor for general liability, commercial auto, and workers compensation. Note, the $59 per month rate applies if paid annually.
Private investigation businesses are diverse and different from one another in the scope of work that you do. Even for the same type of work, different insurance companies offer different policies, coverages, and prices. So make sure you shop around with several companies or work with a digital broker like CoverWallet to compare several quotes before you select the best policies for you
Private Investigator Insurance in Texas: Coverages and Best Providers
Private investigators are legally required to have at least liability insurance in Texas. You need to show the certificate of insurance when you apply for a license to be a private investigator in Texas. Liability insurance includes both general liability and professional liability insurance. Below are the minimum coverage required in Texas:
- $100,000 for each occurrence for bodily injury, and property damage;
- $50,000 for each occurrence for personal injury, and
- a total aggregate amount of $200,000 for all occurrences.
It is also smart to have professional liability insurance to protect you and your personal assets from the liabilities related to your work. It will cover your clients’ negligence claims because they believe either you make mistakes or fail to perform.
The average cost of liability insurance for private investigators in Texas is around $500 a year.
The best providers of private investigator insurance in Texas are: Next Insurance, Hiscox, and CoverWallet if you want to compare online quotes from several companies.
Private Investigator Insurance in Ohio: Coverages and Best Providers
Similar to those in Texas, private investigators are also legally required to have liability insurance in Ohio. In order to obtain private investigator license, you need to show proof of liability insurance. You also need to show the certificate of insurance to keep your license active.
Minimum coverage of liability insurance in Ohio is $100,000 for each occurrence and $200,000 for all occurrences.
The average cost of liability insurance for private investigators in Ohio is $350 a year.
The best providers of private investigator insurance in Ohio are Next Insurance and CoverWallet if you want to compare online quotes from several companies.
Do private investigators need to have liability insurance?
Yes, most states require private investigators to have liability insurance to obtain and maintain their licenses. They include both general liability and professional liability insurance.
If you want to obtain liability insurance policy for private investigators, make sure to compare several quotes to select the best one for you. Working with a digital broker like CoverWallet is a good option to compare several quotes conveniently.
Security Guard Insurance: Coverage, Cost, and Best Providers
From the insurance perspective, security guards share similar risks and liabilities with private investigators. Even they have different job names, they perform similar work activities. That’s the reason why when it comes to looking for insurance as a security guard, it is the same as private investigators looking for insurance.
The kind of insurance a security guard would need is the same as those that private investigators need: general liability, professional liability, commercial auto, commercial property, assault and battery insurance, and workers compensation insurance if your security firm employs several security guards.
Since they have similar insurance policies, security guard insurance costs the same as well.
Lastly, you can also look for security guard insurance at the best providers of private investigator insurance: CoverWallet, the Hartford, and Nationwide.
Police Professional Liability Insurance: Coverage, Cost, and Best Providers
Similar to security guards and private investigators, police also needs insurance to protect them from liabilities related to their work. More than ever, police is facing increasing pressure of being sued nowadays. A professional liability policy can protect them from claims of negligence, failure to protect, false arrests or civil rights violations.
You might wonder if you still need your own professional liability insurance policy if the department and the city you work for have already had coverage. The answer is yes, it is a smart thing you should have your own policy. The department policy’s main goal is to cover the department’s interests, not yours. Your own policy will cover your own interests.
A professional liability claim against a police may be complicated and takes a long time with a lot of legal processes. Your professional liability insurance policy will help you pay for all legal and court fees if your department’s policy doesn’t provide sufficient coverage.
Here are our recommendations of police professional liability insurance providers for your considerations: Travelers, Hiscox, FEDS (Federal Employee Defense Services), and CoverWallet if you want to compare online quotes from several companies.
Learn more at the best malpractice insurance (or professional liability coverage) companies for police officers
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A Private Investigator salary in the state of California for a new Private Investigator is typically $40,000 per year. This can go up to $80,000 for an experienced Private Investigator who is known for accomplishing objectives on a constant basis.Are PIS worth it? ›
The “worth” of hiring a private investigator depends on the specific circumstances and needs of the individual. In some cases, a private investigator can provide valuable information and help solve a complex legal matter, but in other cases, the cost may outweigh the benefits.What are the benefits of being a private investigator? ›
- Versatile workday. Private investigators enjoy a diverse work environment that can be fast-paced. ...
- Flexible schedule. ...
- Competitive salary. ...
- Helping clients and businesses. ...
- Transferable skills. ...
- Skill requirements. ...
- Fluctuating work schedules. ...
- Potentially unpredictable hours.
- Newark, NJ. $26.87 per hour. 15 salaries reported.
- Fort Myers, FL. $26.69 per hour. 9 salaries reported.
- Albuquerque, NM. $26.53 per hour. 7 salaries reported.
- $25.89 per hour. 35 salaries reported.
- Tampa, FL. $25.36 per hour. ...
- Show more nearby cities.
In terms of private investigator vs. detective, the PI has the same rights and privileges as an ordinary citizen – they cannot, for example, make an official legal arrest, but only a citizen's arrest. Police officers, on the other hand, can obtain warrants, arrest suspects and enforce laws.Can a PI hack a phone? ›
Contrary to public opinion, private investigators cannot hack any form of electronic device including phones, computers, email and social media accounts. This misconception stems from popular TV dramas that depict falsehoods and departures from reality.Are PIs in high demand? ›
Employment of private detectives and investigators is projected to grow 6 percent from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 3,700 openings for private detectives and investigators are projected each year, on average, over the decade.Do PIs get guns? ›
They Can Carry the Gun
After all, their work ought to be discreet. Carrying a weapon also means they have to obey state gun laws just like any other citizen. States that do not require PI licensing treat private investigators as regular citizens, with the same right as any other person.
Taking improper shortcuts in an investigation or even misrepresenting facts is not a hallmark of honesty and can be bad for the private investigator. Truthfulness – Whether you say it or write it, it must be truthful. To put it simply, it must be a fact, and that fact is something that can be proven.
Unlike other professions, detectives rarely have set or consistent hours. They may need to travel for work, depending on the specifics of their job, or work night shifts. During high-crime periods or crises, detectives may need to work with other police officials to protect the public and mitigate risk.
Common jobs include pre-employment background checks, tenant screening, and skip tracing, a process to locate someone's current whereabouts. Investigators write reports and do bookkeeping, but it's not all a desk job.Is being a private investigators difficult? ›
Due to the sensitive nature of the profession, private investigating requires many learned skills to be successful. This does not mean that it is extremely difficult to become a private investigator; however, this does mean that you will need to put in a lot of time, work, and effort if you want to be successful.Why are you interested in working as a surveillance investigator? ›
I saw how effective surveillance can be in deterring and investigating crime, and I wanted to be a part of that. I also have a strong interest in technology, which is a critical component of modern surveillance.”What state is best for private investigators? ›
The best-paying state for private investigators and private detectives is California, a state with a notably high cost of living compared to the U.S. overall.What state is easiest to become a private investigator? ›
Becoming a private investigator in Alaska is relatively straightforward since most locations in the state do not require a special license to be a private investigator. Only a business license is required for those working independently, and this is relatively easy to obtain.What is the best major for private investigator? ›
The best degrees for a private investigator are traditionally rooted in law. This could include a bachelor's degree in criminal justice or pre-law. For those wanting to focus on the financial sector – including financial fraud – having a bachelor's in accounting would be an excellent choice.What is the difference between a private investigator and a private detective? ›
A detective is employed by a law enforcement agency, such as a city police department. In contrast, a private investigator is hired by individuals and companies to conduct investigations.What are the top 3 qualities of a great detective? ›
- The ability to follow the U.S. Constitution and the Law. Yes, having a firm grasp of the legal aspects of criminal investigations is vital. ...
- Report writing. ...
- Critical thinking. ...
- Communication skills. ...
- Ethics. ...
- Collaborative attitude/teamwork.
The pros and cons of being a private investigator include choosing your hours and clients, learning a variety of new skills, and helping others, but at the cost of facing potentially dangerous situations, finding clients, and dealing with stressful situations.Can a PI track text messages? ›
Can A Phone Detective Obtain Text messages? Like wiretapping a phone to listen in on conversations, a private investigator can't read text messages without the individual's consent. Laws vary from place to place, but a private investigator more than likely won't be able to obtain text messages.
Private investigators, law enforcement, and government officials can see your search history by asking your Internet Service Providers for your browsing data. This browser data is often collected by the government when wanting to prevent a crime or track criminal activity.Can investigators track your phone? ›
A licensed private investigator runs legal searches of cell phone records through databases, networking, personal contacts, and even various surveillance techniques.Why are PIs sold out? ›
"Demand for Raspberry Pi products increased sharply from the start of 2021 onwards, and supply constraints have prevented us from flexing up to meet this demand,” said Upton.Does PI make good money? ›
US PI Hourly Rate
An hourly rate for a rookie American Private Detective is usually around $16 per hour. This would equal a salary of approximately $32 000 per year; however, PIs get paid travel time, mileage, and report writing time.
The average salary for a private investigator in Florida is $40,000 per year.Can PIS use drones? ›
Drones allow the private investigator real time imagery that can become a business record which they can be validated in court. That being said, aerial drone imagery can be used along with Google Earth to demonstrate how the topology has changed over time.How much money do private investigators make in California? ›
$37,700 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers.Can a private investigator in Texas carry a gun? ›
A Private Investigator has no authority in Texas to carry a concealed firearm beyond that of a private citizen. Private Investigators are prohibited from breaking Federal, State or Local laws in the course of conducting any investigation or surveillance.What are the 7 qualities of an investigator? ›
List seven characteristics commonly found in good investigators. Being passionate about following the truth, being detailed oriented, patient, tenacious, objective, conscious of own thinking and biases, and being knowledgeable about the skills needed to conduct evidence and present that evidence in court.What personality type do you need to be a private investigator? ›
Private detectives are enterprising and investigative
They also tend to be investigative, which means that they are quite inquisitive and curious people that often like to spend time alone with their thoughts. If you are one or both of these archetypes, you may be well suited to be a private detective.
- Frame the question. It is important to frame the question in the right way, so that it is a testable question. ...
- Identify the variables. ...
- Plan the investigation. ...
- Remember the variables! ...
- Make predictions. ...
- Record results. ...
- Obtain more evidence. ...
- Consider the evidence.
Once they are found, the private investigator will need to confirm it's them and give them the paperwork. Many private investigators will do this by engaging the subject in a subterfuge conversation about what they're doing. For instance, they might dress up as a delivery person, then knock on the target's door.Are you obligated to talk to a private investigator? ›
Private investigators often also interview subjects and witnesses. However, because there is no legal obligation to talk to a private investigator, this could prove to be a time consuming and difficult part of the process.Can private investigators get hotel video? ›
Yes, a PI can get access to hotel surveillance. Depending on the jurisdiction and laws in place, a PI may need to obtain permission from the hotel management or local law enforcement before accessing any footage.What is the main difference between a detective and an investigator? ›
However, sometimes the difference between these titles lies in their specialization: Some workplaces offer the detective title for those who handle homicide and/or missing person cases; further, the criminal investigator title is given to those who handle a broader range of investigations (such as fraud and other ...What are 3 responsibilities of a detective? ›
They conduct interviews, examine records, monitor suspects, and participate in raids and arrests. Detectives typically investigate serious crimes, such as assaults, robberies, and homicides. In large police departments, detectives usually specialize in investigating one type of crime, such as homicide or fraud.What is the hardest part about being a detective? ›
To answer the question more specifically, one detective might say the hardest part is being overworked, one might say the hardest part is seeing abused children, one might say the hardest part is being on-call and being called away from family more often than regular patrol.What skills are required to be an investigator? ›
- Good communication and interview skills. ...
- Ability to use various forms of equipment or technology. ...
- Thorough knowledge of the law. ...
- Honesty and good ethics. ...
- Critical thinking, deductive reasoning, social perceptiveness and problem-solving skills.
- They Get Creative When Relieving Themselves. ...
- They Will Dig Through Your Garbage. ...
- They Have A Trick For Following Your Car. ...
- They Might Not Like Their Title. ...
- They Don't Need A College Degree. ...
- It's Not All High Stakes. ...
- They Like To Stay Cozy. ...
- It Can Be Super Boring.
Detectives must be able to analyze complex problems of the case and be able to find solutions. Critical thinking is important to reach logical conclusions based on the evidence. Detectives must use these skills to remove personal prejudice and opinions and objectively investigate cases.
Criminal Investigators are eligible to choose from a variety of medical insurance policies and other healthcare insurance options and take advantage of flexible spending accounts. Programs available include: Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program. Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP)What makes a good investigative interview? ›
In order to conduct a successful interview the interviewer needs to be able to (1) create good rapport with the interviewee, (2) describe the purpose of the interview, (3) ask open-ended questions, and (4) be willing to explore alternative hypotheses.How can I be a good surveillance operator? ›
A good video surveillance operator will have a sharp technical mind and be capable of working with all different models of video equipment. As more and more surveillance machines move into the digital age, strong computer skills will increasingly play an important role.How much is the private investigator industry worth? ›
The market size, measured by revenue, of the Private Detective Services industry was $7.3bn in 2022. What was the growth rate of the Private Detective Services industry in the US in 2022? The market size of the Private Detective Services industry increased 2.1% in 2022.How do I become a PI in GA? ›
To work as a private detective in Georgia you will need to complete a basic training course. You have the option of completing this within six months of being hired, and the course must be from a state-approved provider and include: 70 hours of classroom instruction including: Industry history.How do I become a PI in Florida? ›
To work as a private investigator in Florida, you'll need a license through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Licensing. The Department also issues licenses to PI interns and PI agency managers and requires a separate firearms license for armed PIs.What is the day in the life of a private investigator? ›
Many detectives and investigators spend days “in the field,” but some work in their office most of the day conducting computer searches and making phone calls. Some of the work involves confrontation, so the job can be stressful and dangerous. Some investigators are licensed to carry handguns.How much does a private investigator cost in the US? ›
On average, private investigators charge $105 per hour.
Most people pay between $99 and $150 per hour for private investigation services.
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|32,050||4.9 %||1.3 %|
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Initial registration application fee: $39.00 Form: Private Security Services Initial Registration Application Form. Renewal registration application fee (PIs in Virginia must renew every two years): $34.00. Reinstatement application fee (if your license lapses): $17.00. Replacement registration ID fee: $34.00.Do you need a license to be a PI in PA? ›
Like most states, Pennsylvania requires a license to work as a private investigator.Can a PI carry a gun in Florida? ›
Private Investigation and Firearms
A private investigator or private investigator intern, age 21 years or older, who possesses a Class "G" Statewide Firearm license, may carry a concealed firearm when it is required by their duties and approved by the licensed employing agency.
How much a private investigator costs in Florida depends on various factors. While your private investigator may charge an hourly rate, they also may not. For basic services, you should expect to pay around $75-$125 an hour. If specialized services are needed, it may be $150-$350 an hour.How much do pis make in Florida? ›
The average salary for a private investigator in Florida is $40,000 per year.