What Insurance Coverages do Private Investigators Need?

private investigators

The popular image of private investigators is rich with visions of geniuses such as Sherlock Holmes, who always get it right, or existential anti-heroes such as Sam Spade, who dares to tell someone he just slaps, “You’ll take it and like it.” The reality of the world of private investigators, however, is quite different.

Modern private investigators often work for public organizations, lawyers, and insurance companies. Rather than searching for a bejeweled falcon figure, they may perform background checks, investigate insurance claims, check into computer crimes, and search for missing people. You know, though, that just because cases are not always romantic does not mean they carry no danger.

The very nature of these varied duties puts private investigators at legal risk. In order to function with any level of freedom, your client needs reliable protection as a PI. Here are insurance coverages you should recommend before they start investigating anything else.


Perhaps not surprisingly, private investigators should carry various types of liability insurance, including:

  • General liability – Protects against personal injury or injury of another person or damage to their property while performing work duties
  • Auto liability  – Covers your clients whether they drive a company vehicle or their own cars during work
  • Property protection – Protects your clients’ work location, if they own it
  • Workers’ compensation – May be required to protect your clients in the event of on-the-job injuries even if they work alone

Another specialized type of liability coverage is professional liability, or errors and omissions coverage, commonly called E&O insurance. This type of insurance protects your client against professional negligence or mistakes that cause harm to clients, including financial losses. If a PI fails to thoroughly research a situation and provide faulty or incomplete information that causes a client to make a poor decision, such as hiring an incompetent contractor, this coverage is designed to protect against liability claims.

Additional Options

While various types of liability insurance are logical choices for your private investigator clients, there are also other important policies they may want to consider. These include:

  • Invasion of privacy – As a private investigator, your client may run a high risk of facing invasion of privacy charges.
  • Assault and battery – Depending upon the circumstances, including the natures of any employees they have, your clients may want protection against accusations of physical harm from other people.
  • Fidelity bonds – This coverage protects your clients’ finances against the actions of unscrupulous employees.

Different packages are available because variables will be different for all private investigators. If your clients are involved in any sort of security work, for example, including serving as a bodyguard, or if they work on domestic cases, assault and battery coverage may be a good investment for them. To choose the best insurance policies for your clients’ needs, seek advice from a knowledgeable specialist.

About Cochrane and Company

For more than six decades, Cochrane & Company has been proudly at the forefront of the insurance industry. Our experience has enabled us to innovate in powerful ways, reimagining the E&S market, and providing technology solutions that make it easy to do business with us. Licensed in all 50 states, we proudly serve clients across the nation, providing personalized and powerful solutions to help you become an even better partner for your clients. Speak to one of our experienced professionals today by calling (509) 462-1148.


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