What Is a Private Investigator Bond?
Private investigators, also known as private detectives, are required to get licensed by the local and state authorities in the places they operate. Often, a part of the licensing process is posting a private investigator bond. The bond amount is set by the licensing body, so there is no nationwide bond amount requirement.
A private investigator bond works as a protection for the regulating bodies and the general public. Its purpose is not to safeguard your detective business. In fact, it is required so that the customers who seek your ‘private eye’ services will get a professional and reliable treatment from you. The bond also guarantees your cooperation with criminal justice agencies if the need arises. Being bonded is a strong sign to people that your detective business is compliant with the law.
Just like other types of surety bonds, a private investigator bond is a contractual agreement between three parties. Your private investigator business is the principal that needs to post a bond. The local or state authority that will license your business is the obligee, and the surety is the bond underwriter.
If your private detective company does not abide by the rules that govern your trade, an affected party can make a claim on your bond. The consequences can be grave, and are described in the Questions section below.
Questions about Detective Bond Private Investigator Bond
Who needs to obtain a private investigator bond?
Private investigators are required to post a private investigator bond, so that they can get a license to operate legally by a local or state authority. The conditions and amounts vary from place to place, depending on your location of business.
The list of professions that need a private investigator surety bond also includes investigative assistants, private investigation agencies, private and protective security agencies, and security guards and agencies, among others. Before you start your licensing process, it’s best to consult the relevant authorities to check the exact requirements for your business.
Licensed private investigators, and other bodies who need to post a bond, are expected to adhere to high professional standards in their work. They have to meet their legal obligations to customers, as well as assist law enforcement bodies whenever necessary. The private investigator bond guarantees to licensing authorities that the bonded party will execute its responsibilities and act in a lawful way.
How much does a private investigator bond cost?
The price that you need to pay to get a private investigator bond depends on the bond amount you are asked to obtain as a part of the licensing requirements, as well as on the strength of your personal and business finances.
The required bond amount varies, depending on local and state requirements. It can range between $2,500 in states like Arizona and West Virginia, and $50,000, such as in New Hampshire. Most states, including New York and Utah, require private detectives to post a $10,000 bond. The bond amount also depends whether you need to get a bond as an individual or as an agency. Normally, agencies need to post a higher amount. Checking with your local and state authorities is the best way to determine the exact bond amount in your case.
Getting bonded does not mean that you have to pay the full bond amount. Instead, you have to cover only the bond premium, which is a percentage of this amount. For the standard bonding market, the typical premiums range between 1% and 3%. Thus, for a $10,000 private investigator bond, you might end up paying as little as $100-$300.
How exactly is your premium determined? When you apply with your surety, it examines your finances. The most important factors considered include your personal credit score, business finances, assets and liquidity, plus your professional experience as a private detective. If your profile is strong, you can expect to pay a smaller bond premium, as you will be considered a low-risk applicant.
Make sure to consult our surety bond cost guide, to get a complete overview of how your bond price is set.
|Surety Bond Cost Based on Credit Score|
|Surety Bond Name||Surety bond amount||Above 700||Between 650-699||Between 600-649||Below 599|
|Private Investigator Bond in New York, Utah and others||$10,000||$100-$150||$100-$300||$250-$500||$500-$1,000|
|Private Investigator Bond in New Hampshire||$50,000||$375-$750||$500-$1,500||$1,250-$2,500||$2,500-$5,000|
Can I get a private investigator bond with bad credit?
Even bad credit applicants can take advantage of Lance Surety Bonds’ excellent bonding rates. We run an exclusive Bad Credit Surety Bonds program, to allow private investigators with low credit scores, tax liens, bankruptcies, or civil judgements get the bond they need.
You can expect a higher bond premium, usually in the range of 4%-15%. This compensates for the higher risk that is involved in getting bad-credit applicants bonded. Still, you can rest assured that with us, you are getting the best rates according to your specific circumstances, whatever your credit score is. We forge close connections with top A-rated, T-listed surety companies, so we can shop around for your bond.
How do I get my private investigator bond?
You can start the process of obtaining your private investigator bond with Lance Surety Bonds today. Just apply online by completing the form and including all required documents. We will deliver your free, no-obligations bond quote in no time.
Our How to Get Bonded page is a good reference on how bonding works. For any further questions, don’t hesitate to call us at (877) 514-5146. Our bonding specialists will happily help you with your application process, or offer the expert advice you might need.
How are bond claims handled for private investigators?
Private investigator bonds need to be differentiated from insurance. Unlike the latter, bonds are not a protection for your business, but for your customers. It is a safety net for them, guaranteeing that you will provide quality services. In case you fail to meet your obligations, a harmed party can file a claim against your bond.
Proven claims are a serious threat for your private investigator business. At first, your surety will reimburse the claimant up to the penal sum of the bond. Soon after, you need to repay the surety for all costs.
Besides the financial damages, claims can harm your reputation as a professional. That is why it’s a good idea to avoid claims, as getting bonded after a proven claim can be much more difficult.