What is a Private Investigator Bond?
Private investigators in many states are required to have a valid license to legally operate their business. Posting a private investigator bond is part of the licensing requirement and is a form of security for both the public and the state licensing authority.
A private investigator bond ensures that licensed private investigators follow the legal standards of their trade and comply with law enforcement requests when necessary.
A private investigator bond involves three distinct parties: the principal is the private investigator posting a bond; the surety company provides the bond; and the obligee is the state’s licensing authority mandating that a bond be in place.
If a client suffers damages because a private investigator does not work according to local laws, then a claim can be made against the private investigator bond.
Who Needs to Obtain a Private Investigator Bond?
Private investigator licensing requirements vary between state and local jurisdictions. To determine whether you need to obtain a private investigator bond, you should check with your state and local agencies, such as the Department of Public Safety.
Even if your official job title isn’t private investigator, you may still need a private investigator bond. Other jobs that may require a private investigator bond or a similar bond for licensing include investigative assistants, private investigation agencies, private and protective security agencies, and security guards and agencies.
How Do I Get a Private Investigator Bond?
You must submit a brief application online to obtain a private investigator bond. Once the surety company reviews your application, they will provide a quote for the private investigator bond you need.
What Does a Private Investigator Bond Cost?
Each state requires a different bond amount for licensed private investigators. It is helpful to check with your state or local offices to determine this amount, because it will play a role in the premium you pay for your private investigator bond.
The required bond can range from $2,500 to $50,000, but you are not responsible for paying the entire amount. The surety company will charge a percentage of the bond, which can range from 1 to 10% of the total.
Can I Get a Private Investigator Bond with Bad Credit?
A private investigator bond may cost more for those who have a low credit score or adverse credit history. Legitimate claims made against a bond are ultimately the responsibility of the private investigator, which is why a review of personal credit is necessary.
If you have had recent trouble with a bankruptcy, court judgment, or tax lien, you may be seen as a higher risk to the surety, and be required to pay a higher percentage for your private investigator bond.