This question is similar to How soon do I have to change difficulty levels to get the Mass Effect 3 insanity award?, but for Mass Effect 1 instead.
When you begin a new game in Mass Effect, there is a period between the opening cinematics and the first combat mission where you get to roam around the bridge of the Normandy. During this time, it's possible to enter the settings menu and change the difficulty of the game.
If I change the difficulty from a lower level to Insanity, and leave it at Insanity for the rest of the game, is it possible to receive the Insanity achievement?
I ask because I have a high level character that I used to beat the game at a lower difficulty, and I want to import that character into a new game so that I don't have to start an Insanity playthrough at level 1, but when I do the import, the new playthrough starts off using the lower difficulty, the game doesn't give me the option to begin the new playthrough on Insanity. As far as I can tell, the only chance I get to increase the difficulty is right after the opening cinematic.