After reading this post, you will discover how much a Private Investigator charges for his or her services; why they charge these fees and some of the tools they use.
Like a lawyer, Private Investigators typically accept a retainer and bill on an hourly rate.
Clients are also billed for expenses, such as mileage. All these should be specified in the retainer agreement. It is important to always get a written agreement from your Investigator or anyone you pay money in exchange for a service.
Rates will vary depending upon the location of the subject and Private Investigator. The cost of living in a particular area will also affect price. For example, an Investigator in New York City will charge more than one in Upstate New York.
Hourly rates vary from $75 to $300 per hour. Any unused retainer is returned to the client unless a flat rate was specified in the retainer agreement. Flat rate fees are common for certain areas of investigation such as for pre employment and other background checks.
Investigators have some overhead costs that are included in their fees. Specialists such as forensic and financial investigators charge a premium for their specialty and experience in a particular area. Investigators also have to purchase HD video recorders, camera and other recording equipment.
Databases are an important source of information for Investigators. These are not available to the general public and contain detailed personal information. Databases charge monthly or per search fees. Moreover, an investigator must have access to multiple databases for best results. Investigators must use their years of knowledge and experience to determine how to conduct their investigation using databases. There is a wealth of information that can be obtained.
For example, if an investigator discovers an unfaithful spouse, then he or she may then use databases to obtain detailed information about the spouse’s lover.
There are nationwide investigative firms, but they typically charge more because of the increased overhead. You don’t really get any value in hiring such a large firm. Since a large firm will hire a local investigator, there is loyalty to the firm. When you directRather, hire a local investigator