Private investigators are employed to provide a highly professional service and are entrusted to produce reports and make recommendations. Often a great deal will be riding on these recommendations and every investigator knows it is important to get their facts right. However, even with all the experience and training in the world, mistakes do happen. In such circumstances a private investigator professional indemnity insurance policy can help protect against any legal case which arises as a result of the error.
The Association of British Investigators says a private investigator professional indemnity insurance policy is "an absolute business requirement" for anyone operating in the industry. Should an error be made a legal case may be laid against the investigator in question in relation to financial harm or loss, libel, slander or defamation. Other risks include being sued for breach of confidentiality and breach of copyright. A professional indemnity insurance policy will cover the legal costs of defending such claims made against an individual investigator or business. Cover will normally also be provided should any employees of an agency behave in a dishonest manner and steal from a client or another person while carrying out their duties. Any compensation or legal bill which results from such an action will often be included in the professional indemnity policy.
If an individual investigator or firm is found by a court to have been in neglect of their duties, any damages awarded against the policyholder will also be covered up to a certain limit agreed at the start of the policy. In some cases cover can mean an individual escapes having to cover a bill which runs into hundreds of thousands or even millions of pounds.
Professional indemnity insurance was once only considered by the likes of private medical experts and accountants, but a more legally aware and litigious society has led to a greater need. An individual or firm can face being sued for a variety of reasons. Professional indemnity insurance not only aims to give peace of mind but also effective cover in the event of being sued. Many providers aim to provide fast and efficient services so an individual investigator or firm can move to defend their reputation quickly and continue providing a top service to clients without the distraction of having to worry unduly about the outcome of a court case.
Even historic events can sometimes be covered by policies under what is called retroactive cover, provided a legal claim is lodged after the start of a policy, and many investigators arrange for cover to continue after they retire or stop trading so they do not get caught out by a case which arrives in connection with something which took place before they shut up shop. With all these factors combined, private investigator professional indemnity insurance provides a valuable safety net and protection which can safeguard the future of a business in some circumstances.