I was reading through the September edition of the AAA magazine (not sure if it's available online to everyone or only members, but I suppose if you are really burning with curiosity you could check AAALiving.com) and came across a small item on page 39 entitled "Pet Coverage". To most consumers, I imagine that the information in the story will come as good news: AAA will pay up to $500, either for vet bills or to replace your animal if it dies, in a motor vehicle accident that is covered under the policy at issue. Other than the fact that anyone who has a companion animal will bristle at the notion that their companion can be replaced for $500, seems like AAA is recognizing that animals have value, right?
Don't be so sure. Fact is, most car insurance policies have a $500 limit for property damage anyway. I personally don't have AAA auto insurance (just the standard roadside assistance plan - which I've periodically needed and has worked, btw) so I haven't read their policy, but I imagine that's what's in there. So it's really just a matter of marketing spin, not anything new or improved from the evil-as-ever insurance empire.
The AAA article also reminded me of something I saw in the August (?) issue of Sports Illustrated. A horse jockey who used his whip to poke a horse in the eye was ordered to pay for the horse's vet bills and undergo an anger management class. My boyfriend asked me if I wanted to blog about that, but I decided against it at the time. I'm glad someone held the jockey responsible (if memory serves, it was a horseracing association, rather than the local authorities), but the penalties imposed did not go at all beyond what the law already provides for anyway.
Again, sorta reminiscent of the tainted pet food settlement that I've lamented about several times already. $24M seems like a lot, but does not actually include any payments beyond what the law minimally requires already.
Oh well. Change comes slowly.