Tips for New Professionals

Most reputable investigation firms start their investigation with an independent confirmation of claimant information (i.e., the ‘prep’ or what is sometimes called the ‘pre-surveillance workup’). But everyone doesn’t always take that crucial step, and unfortunately skipping the prep is the best way to quickly use up your budget with nothing to show for it.

Are you new to the profession? Save money. Do the prep. Here’s a few pointers on the best way to reduce unnecessary spend on your surveillance. These tips are tried and true for a reason.

Elderly couple moving boxes

People Move

Out of date information can have an investigator chasing the wrong lead and wasting time. People don’t always let their adjuster know when they move, for example, and this oversight could result in days spent surveilling a property where the claimant doesn’t even reside.  Some simple preparation can prevent this outcome and eliminate budgetary waste.

Photo of double car garage with vehicles parked

People have more than one vehicle

Most people only have one vehicle registered in their name, but consider how easy and often people hop in their spouse’s car. So do claimants! Beyond the basic step of learning the car the claimant owns, a solid “prep step” might be running vehicles that belong to partners or family members. If a claimant were to emerge from an underground parking structure in their partner’s car, for example, a fully prepared investigator should immediately recognize this possibility.

Photo of laptop keyboard and calendar

Social media knows your claimant better than you

Beyond a picture and some relatives, a claimant’s social media may provide a window into their social calendar. These days, upcoming and even past events are documented in one’s social media history. More than a snapshot, this can provide a true and detailed account of a claimant’s pre-and post-claim activities.

Profile photo of five different individuals

No two assignments are the same

It can be easy to forget that investigation is a job unlike no other—an investigator never has the same workday twice. Likewise, no two cases are the same. Prep is always necessary because necessary details like a claimant’s age, history of employment, and claim details are always unique, and deserve a uniquely crafted surveillance strategy. So doing the prep is just better use of your money.


The “prep” might be just a first step, but a necessary one. With a better picture of the claimant, more insight is gained towards the best time to start a file. Surveillance can be coordinated around an event we know the claimant to be attending. If the claimant is on holidays, we can postpone surveillance and save some money. Small details can translate into big savings on an investigation and all it takes is a little prep.

Looking for more ways to save on your surveillance investigation? Contact the experts at Xpera: 1-888-842-8112 or