Private investigators are hired to work a wide range of cases, from background checks and surveillance to missing persons and criminal investigations. When acquiring private investigation services, one of the most common concerns that clients have relates to cost. The cost of hiring a private investigation company can vary greatly based on variables such as the location, services required, complexity of the case and any applicable travel fees.
What Is A Private Investigation?
Private investigation refers to professional services that aim to assist individuals, corporations or law enforcement. Private investigators may conduct research, such as legal records, background checks or family history. They may also perform interviews with family, friends or witnesses of a crime to gather relevant information. Private investigators may use a wide range of tools and techniques to assist in the investigation, such as surveillance and database research. Most established private investigators hold a degree and certifications. The combination of proper training and hands-on experience ensures investigations are thorough, professional and efficient.
Factors Affecting The Cost Of Private Investigation
According to Thumbtack, the average hourly rate of a private investigator ranges from $40 to $100. Cost can vary considerably based on the training and experience of the investigator, as well as by location and services rendered. Clients can also expect to pay a higher cost for more complex jobs. When hiring a private investigator, consider the budget available for this service, as well as the estimated amount of time that the professional will require to complete the job. Ask the private investigator for a quote on services.
Some of the most common factors influencing the cost of private investigation include the following:
The services requested will dramatically impact the cost of private investigation. Some of the most common services offered by professional private investigators include background checks, civil investigations/asset searches, surveillance, insurance investigations, fraud, corporate investigations, accident reconstruction, domestic investigations and infidelity. A considerable amount of information can be located using online tools and databases, such as phone records, marriage licenses and adoption information. However, some private information is more difficult to obtain and may, therefore, be more costly.
Complexity of Case
Some cases are more complicated than others, which generally results in a higher fee. Tracking down an estranged loved one is often easier than locating a person that disappeared a decade ago. A private investigator will take this into consideration when providing a quote. The amount of evidence and information that has to be collected will also be a factor when calculating cost. It will usually take a private investigator more time to locate and gather a substantial amount of information compared to a case that requires minimal evidence. For example, it may be easier to conduct a background check than to authenticate paper documents or signatures.
Depending on the case, a private investigator may need to travel to complete the investigation. Sometimes private investigators may need only to travel out of the city or state. In more complex cases, a private investigator may be asked to travel to a different country. Transportation costs such as gas and airfare may increase the cost of services. Additionally, private investigators may charge mileage rates for fieldwork, such as conducting surveillance in an area or performing in-person interviews. If a client requires a private investigator to travel, these costs will be factored in determining the total cost of services.
Retainer For Investigator
Private investigators typically require a retainer before they will deliver services. A retainer refers to a nonrefundable deposit that is paid upfront and is put toward the services to be provided. The amount of the retainer can vary considerably based on location and the experience of the private investigator. According to Divorce Magazine, the average retainer for a private investigator ranges from $1,000 on the low end to more than $5,000 on the high end.
Contact A Professional Private Investigation Company
Not all private investigation companies operate in the same way. Some private investigators charge an hourly range which may cover all investigative services. Others may charge a flat rate each time they take on a new project which is usually limited to straightforward services, such as a background check. Before going forward with a private investigation company, request a written contract that outlines the services that will be provided. To learn more about the average cost of private investigation services or to speak with a professional private investigation company, contact the experienced private investigators at American Protection Group today.