Licensing in Colorado has been required since June 2015. However, some private investigators are not playing by the rules. Hiring an unlicensed, uninsured, or a private investigator without a surety bond can be a substantial liability to you, your firm, and your client.
When it comes to hiring an investigator, it can be challenging to find a reputable and dependable firm. Like any profession there are excellent, good, mediocre, and “developing” private investigators out there. Working with an experienced and credible investigator can save you time and money. In the end, it can make or break your case.
Before you hire your next private investigator, it is advised that you follow these recommendations:
Colorado requires private investigators to be licensed. Ensuring that the investigator is licensed is an essential start. You can verify this through the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) license search: Check License Here! There are there are 2 licenses that are important to confirm your private investigator carries:
* State of Colorado Private Investigator I or II License
Insurance and Bonding:
Colorado only requires private investigators to carry a surety bond in the amount of $10,000. It does NOT require Errors and Omissions insurance. For example, Pilum Defense Agency has a 1 to 5 million dollar O&E insurance policy on each individual and the company. Prior to hiring an investigator request to see their proof of insurance, which will indicate the expiration date and the actual amounts of coverage. Practice due diligence by calling the insurance company to verify the firm is actually covered. There are 3 types of insurance you want to check:
*$10,000 Surety Bond
*Individual Investigator Errors and Omissions Policy
*Company Errors and Omissions Policy
Credibility and Experience:
It is important to determine what the investigation firm specializes in and select a person and/or firm that’s experienced in the type of investigation work you are seeking. Additionally, find out if the investigator has published any industry articles or taught a private investigation course. Doing a quick Internet search will show if they have a reputable LinkedIn page and professional website. Ask your colleagues in the industry if the firm or individual is known in the community.
Complaints and Disciplinary Actions:
It is wise to call DORA and ensure there are no complaints filed on the investigator and check they have a clean record. Lookup Licensee Discipline Here! Or File a Complaint Here!
Once you have found the right firm, the next steps are to ensure there is a written contract outlining the agreement between you and the investigator for the protection of both parties. It should detail exactly what services will be provided and how much it will cost. Lastly, make sure you receive a copy of the signed contract.
It is also important to be aware of the information your investigator is not legally allowed to obtain. As examples, private investigators may not wiretap, obtain records through use of pretexting, or hack into someone’s email or social media account. When Pilum Defense Agency works with partners, we have a legal and ethical responsibility to our attorney clients, their firm, and their clients. Our goal is to provide professional services and to deliver quality results.