For some homeowners hit by Sandy, insurance payouts fall short; inexperienced adjusters blamed

Many homeowners who got slammed by Superstorm Sandy are finding that their flood insurance checks are nowhere near large enough to cover repairs.

Consumer advocates put some of the blame on errors by the multitude of adjusters who were hired in a hurry after the disaster.

They say policyholders are being shortchanged — sometimes by tens of thousands of dollars — because of some adjusters' overreliance on computer programs, rather than construction know-how, to estimate rebuilding costs.

The insurance companies that process flood insurance claims for the federal government dispute that large numbers of customers are being paid less than what they are owed.

They say the vast majority of adjusters do a methodical, professional job, and any oversights are easily corrected.