Is Digital Investigation Really Worth the Price Tag?

In the context of an insurance adjuster, digital investigation costs aren't as steep as you'd think. In this article we will touch on the services digital investigators can offer when it comes to claims management.

By Carla Rodriguez | Dec. 15, 2023 | 5 min. read

Digital investigation is the process of using open-source intelligence (link) to gather and analyze information about a person. It includes; social media and background checks as well as medical and lifestyle canvasses.

These services have proven extremely helpful in automobile claims, property and casualty, workers’ compensation, and liability. Any claim you can think of would benefit from a digital investigation even if it’s something brief like a background check.

 By 2025, the digital forensics market is projected to be worth $6.48 billion, according to a Mordor Intelligence report.


Top Digital Investigation Services


There are a couple of choices of digital investigations you could opt for. Here are the 4 top Digital Investigations services:

Social Media Investigation:

This service is one of the best ways for employers or adjusters to check a claimant’s socials. There are 6.8 new social media users every second worldwide. 61.4% of the total global population is on social media. Chances are at least one person involved with the claim has a social media account. You might just have a feeling your claimant is active on social media and you want to do some further digging. That’s what SMIs are for.

Background Checks:

Standard background checks include searching through the claimant’s federal, criminal, and civil records over the past decade.
The best investigators have years of investigative experience in their niche line of work and know how to find information that would take hours or days for the average person.

Bankruptcy filings, voter registration, professional license searches terrorist, and sex list searches are part of this background check.
These background checks are exhaustive because they combine a financial asset investigation and a criminal history profile on the subject. Opting for a bundled service saves you time and money on your case.

Medical and Lifestyle Canvasses:

Canvasses include pharmacies, clinics, hospitals, imaging centers, and sports canvasses. With regards to pharmacies, clinics,
hospitals, and imaging centers, Ethos canvasses these facilities within a selected mile radius of the insured’s/claimant’s address to determine if any records exist there about the subject.

Where records are identified, we inquire as to the dates, nature, and length of treatment, which helps in pinpointing the records that are of pertinence for retrieval. With sports canvasses, Ethos determines if a subject is active in any athletic league such as baseball, softball, soccer, golfing, bowling, etc. Includes a check of gyms or fitness centers to determine if the claimant is a member at said facility.

The rates for this service vary depending on how many facilities have to be checked. What you want to avoid is your investigator checking 30 facilities when all you needed to make the case were those first 5. Ensure that your canvass provider has the best interest of your case in mind.


What Does a Digital Investigator Do?

These professionals are skilled at collecting and preserving digital evidence to investigate cybercrimes, fraud, and any other investigation that makes its way online. A typical day for a digital investigator starts by using forensic software to look for information on a subject, detect malicious activity, and gather this evidence for the client.

Since digital investigators are first hand involved with the case they are often asked to testify about their findings in court. Inform your investigator that litigation is probable for your claim so they assign someone experienced in presenting to a jury.

Digital forensic investigators are diligent, meticulous, and resourceful. Their days involve a mix of technical skills, analytical thinking and communication across departments.

Their day consists of:

  1. Case Review: Gathering any updates or communications from the day before and prioritizing deadlines.
  2. Evidence Collection: Through ethical methods, they collect data from open sources about their subject.
  3. Forensic Analysis: This may include examining file metadata, and working with other forensic experts.
  4. Meet about case progress: Discuss ongoing cases and hand over findings to other departments.


Digital Private Investigator Cost

In the context of an insurance adjuster, digital investigation costs aren’t as steep as you’d think. Adjusters are looking into insurance claims and usually investigating only a couple of people at a time.

In many instances, an adjuster with a heavy workload using digital investigations for multiple cases should receive a lower rate. The more you spend the more you save. Makes sense!

These are some of the factors that go into pricing for this service:

Time required for the investigation:

The complexity and volume of information determine this factor. If someone has an extremely common name like John Smith, investigators will have a harder time tracking down the right one. This requires more time and resources.

Tech and tools:

If you want a specific technology used for researching your claimant or you want to excavate the deep and dark web this will influence the cost. Many companies will charge for this but at Ethos we use all of the resources available to us to find you the intelligence you need.

The urgency of your case:

If a quick turnaround is crucial you will experience additional costs. Rush fees apply when you need a case done right away. Whether you need footage of your claimant hanging up Christmas lights or overnight surveillance across state lines, we can do it.


Are Digital Investigation Costs Worth It?


In the realm of digital investigation, our focus is on utilizing open-source intelligence to gather and analyze information about individuals. This encompasses social media and background checks, as well as medical and lifestyle canvasses. These services prove invaluable in various insurance domains such as automobile claims, property and casualty, workers’ compensation, and liability.

The cost of our services considers factors like investigation time, technology usage, and case urgency, with a commitment to delivering efficient and cost-effective solutions for our clients.

You can rest assured that all of your investigations are being done ethically and will be valuable under any circumstance. Uncover a wealth of knowledge through digital investigation services today.

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