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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.