Accident investigation

Accident investigators work on behalf of detective or investigation agencies, or with insurers/financial service providers. The accident investigators on the NIVRE Register can also use the title of Register-Expert (re).

Detective and investigation agencies are subject to the terms of the WPBR (the Dutch Private Security Firms and Detective Agencies Act), which sets out a number of requirements with which they must comply. The act describes what is meant by 'detective work': 'the collection and analysis of data for third parties'.

These organisations must also comply with the requirements of the Dutch Ministry of Justice, which states that a private security firm or detective agency must have the relevant private detective agency permit (a 'POB vergunning') and that investigators and accident investigators must be able to show proof of identification supplied by the chief of police.

In addition, detectives and accident investigators are obliged to comply not only with the NIVRE code of conduct but also with the rules of conduct as set out in the 'Privacy Conduct Code'.

An accident investigation for insurers/financial service providers involves clarifying the circumstances relating to incidents (possibly leading to insurance claims) or suspected fraud. This makes it possible to assess the circumstances relating to an incident correctly. An investigation of this kind can therefore also result in the identification of fraud committed by a policyholder or other person involved. These cases involve criminal offences (such as false declarations or embezzlement). Investigators will be able to clarify circumstances not only in the field of 'non-life' insurance but also circumstances relating to life insurance cover, employment disability insurance and personal injury (for example by means of observation).

Surveys in these areas can be tactical or technical. Technical damage experts determine the causes underlying claims on the basis of evidence at the location of an incident, for example by determining the cause of the fire, but also by analysing evidence relating to burglaries.

Tactical damage experts use information that has been obtained as a basis for advice about an incident. The combination of all the information required, both tactical and technical, will provide an overall picture of the incident and result in a sound fact-finding investigation.

The NIVRE requires accident investigators to follow a range of courses and seminars in order to supplement their expertise and knowledge, and it devotes considerable attention in those courses and seminars to communications skills, integrity and the conduct of accident investigators.