Re: RARA-AVIS: Memento

Date: 21 Aug 2001


Re your comment below:

> I would argue that they [insurance investigators]
> don't, unless specifically
> licensed as private investigators. One of the
> things
> that differentiates the PI work from other
> mystery/crime pieces is that license, in my opinion.
> I've recently argued here that professionalism is a
> key to the genre, as well (professionalism as versus
> amateurism, I mean), and a license is part of that.

I really have to disagree here. There are any number of ways in real life that one can be a PI without having a license. One can be an operative of a licensed agency, like the Op, without having a license of one's own.

One can work in a state or country that doesn't require PIs to obtain a license. Colorado, for example, has no such requirement.

Some states require free-lance insurance investigators
(as opposed to those employed directly by an insurance company) to have a specific insurance investigator's license. Some allow insurance investigators to operate under a general PI license. Still others require them to have both, if they accept both insurance and non-insurance cases. Others only require an insurance investigator's license if a certain percentage of their business is insurance; if the percentage devoted to insurance is under that percentage they are allowed to get by with the general PI license. That's all bureaucratic hoops that real-life people in the profession might have to jump through. For our purposes it doesn't really matter.

I've made the same point about the HB world being, essentially, a professional's world, but professionalism, in this context, means making your living at it. It doesn't mean getting the imprimatur of some state or national bureaucracy that's just there to generate revenue anyway.

An insurance investigator is just a private investigator who specializes in investigating insurance cases, so, for our purposes, insurance investigators are PIs.

Incidentally, that seems to be how the Private Eye Writers of America feel about it, too.


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