SWG Secure for Private Investigators

May 13, 2020

By the end of 2019, there were 2,283 licensed private investigators in Ontario, according to stats from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, (1) and over 70,000 working in Canada.

This industry has grown exponentially over the last 50 years, and regulations are continually being updated.

Private investigators deal with a variety of different clients, and these clients often carry misconceptions about what to expect when hiring an investigator. For instance, in Canada where privacy laws are relatively strict, investigators are more limited in what information they can obtain compared to the United States.

South Western Group provides specialized coverage for private investigators and other security professionals and companies. We can help brokers interested in serving this market to navigate the ins and outs of this industry.

Rules and Regulations for Private Investigators in Canada

The private security and investigative services industry is regulated by the Private Security and Investigative Services Act (PSISA). Under this act, private investigators are required to hold a valid licence, and are held to a code of conduct and rules and regulations. For example, the following are regulations in place for Ontario:

Private investigators shall not pretend to be police officers (e.g. by wearing badges, uniforms, or other symbols of authority on their person or vehicle) and cannot make arrests or conduct other police work.

A licensed business must carry general liability insurance in the amount of at least $2,000,000. (2)

Private investigators must also ensure they follow municipal, provincial, and federal privacy laws. For example:

Under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), consent is required for the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information.

According to the Ontario Trespass to Property Act, private investigators cannot enter someone’s property if it is not authorized, or remain on someone’s private property after permission has been withdrawn. (3)

If a private investigator breaks any of these regulations, they could lose their licence, receive a fine, and/or face imprisonment.

SWG Security

SWG Secure provides coverage not normally offered by traditional insurers. Businesses that provide security guard services, private investigators, alarm systems, and locksmiths as well as others requiring entry to private living quarters, need a unique type of protection.

Our program takes into account all factors relevant to your client’s situation, helping to avoid unpleasant surprises down the road. You can trust us to evaluate the complete risk picture, offering coverage for all potential exposures, including failure to perform, bodily injury, legal expenses, property damage, and a host of other circumstances.

You may have turned down this type of high-risk client in the past, but with South Western Group’s support, you can provide a wide range of coverage options at fair and competitive prices.

Coverage Highlights

Commercial General Liability (Occurrence Form):

Failure to Perform

Personal Injury

Fire Extinguishing Agent Release

Products & Completed Operations

Legal Expense & Defense Cost Reimbursement – $25,000 Each Occurrence; $25,000 Annual Aggregate

Bodily Injury and Property Damage – Broad Form

Non-Owned Auto (including physical damage)

Incidental Malpractice

Contingent Employers Liability

Employee Benefits Liability – Claims Made – $1,000,000 Limit

Tenants Legal Liability – $250,000 Sub-Limit

Lost Key Cover – $50,000 Sub-limit

Blanket Additional Insured’s Clause

Subcontractor Protocol

Other coverage available

Property Insurance

Business Interruption - Profits/Gross Earnings/Extra Expense

Crime Coverage – Employee Dishonesty – Form A

Fidelity – third party feature

Cyber Liability

Employee Benefits Liability

Employers Liability

Mechanical Breakdown

Errors and Omissions – Claims Made - $250,000 Limit Each Occurrence; $250,000 Annual Aggregate (higher limits available)

Visit our website for more details

Content is current as of the date of broadcast and is subject to change without notice.


  1. http://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/PSIS/PSIS_main.html
  2. https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/05p34
  3. https://www.legalline.ca/legal-answers/rules-and-regulations-for-private-investigators/