Private Investigators

The Private Investigator Act requires an private investigator company organized as a limited liability company (LLC) to obtain a general liability insurance policy with a minimum general aggregate liability limit of one million dollars ($1,000,000) for initial licensure, and to have the required insurance in effect at the time of license renewal and for the continued maintenance of the license. If the PI LLC has more than five managing members, the insurance coverage requirement increases by $100,000 for each additional member, up to a maximum required amount of $5 million. (Business and Professions Code Section 7520.3)

To demonstrate compliance with the insurance requirement, a Certificate of Liability Insurance is to be provided to the Bureau:

  • At the time of initial licensure;
  • When the policy expires and is renewed;
  • When a policy expires and a new policy is secured; or
  • Upon the Bureauís request.

The Certificate of Liability should be submitted to the Bureau by the insurer or the insurerís agent or broker electronically to or by mail to P.O. Box 989002, West Sacramento, CA 95798.

The Certificate of Liability Insurance must satisfy ALL the following requirements:

  1. Specify the PI company name (name should align with name associated with BSIS license).
  2. Specify the PI license number. (NOTE: Given that a PI applicant does not yet have a license number, this information is not required with the Certificate submitted at the time of application.)
  3. Specify the insurance policy number, and start and end dates of the policy period;
  4. Reflect that the policy covers a minimum general aggregate limit of one million dollars ($1,000,000).
  5. Reflect that the policy covers ONLY the PI company applicant/licensee. No other insured is permitted on the policy since doing so can potentially dilute the policyís aggregate limit coverage.
  6. Reflect that the insurance company issuing the policy will notify the Bureau, as a certificate holder, of a policy change. NOTE: The Certificate must reflect that the Bureau is listed as a certificate holder for the purpose of receiving notifications of policy cancellation or change in coverage limits (e.g., notation in the Description box on the Certificate affirming that the insurer will notify the Bureau of policy cancellation or a change in coverage limits).
  7. Reflect that the General Liability Insurance policy does NOT contain a retention provision.
  8. Must be signed by the authorized agent who brokered the policy or an employee of the policy insurer.

Questions regarding the liability insurance requirements for private investigator licenses may be submitted to the Bureau by email at or call 800-952-5210 or 916-322-4000. Due to high call volumes, the Bureau suggests contact by email.

Revised May 2017