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Superstorm challenges definition of basement in NJ

HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) — What makes a basement a basement?

Some victims of Superstorm Sandy say their apartments flooded during the storm and they are not getting full flood coverage because insurance companies say their homes or businesses are technically basements and do not qualify.

According to the federal government, a basement is a structure whose floor is below ground level.

A Jersey City man is suing insurance companies, saying they unfairly denied claims.

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer and others are calling on the federal government to change the definition. They say the rules don’t reflect the reality of urban living.