As homeowners assess the damage from Hurricane Sandy, many will be facing the process of filing insurance claims as they try to recoup from the historic storm.
Navigating the claims process -- understanding what a policy covers and how much of a cash payout should be expected -- can be overwhelming, especially after experiencing a natural disaster. One option is to hire a public insurance adjuster (PIA), a licensed middleman who works on your behalf to help determine what you're owed and who works with your insurer to make sure you get it. (See: " The $5,000 gap in your hurricane coverage.")
"Generally speaking, it's a good idea to use a public insurance adjuster, especially if the claim may be $10,000 or more," says David Barrack, the executive director for the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA). "It's really a judgment call for the policyholder, but we do try to help them get everything that's due."