Sunday, 7 December 2008


Hasn't Chicago (and surrounds) been in the news? USA President Elect Obama aside, Chicago city ran a high school art contest TO CREATE CITY-WIDE AWARENESS OF DOG-FRIENDLY CHICAGO. Ok, we love it, see previous post. Here is the winner - to be displayed on 1.3 million vehicle parking stickers.

AND, Michigan car insurer Progressive offers Pet Injury Coverage if your dog or cat is injured in a car accident - regardless of fault! As an ex-yank, I can say that ANYTHING offered 'regardless of fault' is indeed progressive.

The Detroit News reported Auto insurers add pet policies. Stating the bleeding obvious:
  • The coverage reflects what pet owners have known for years and some corporations are just now realising: The bonds run deep with fluffy friends.
  • It's an opportunity to provide a new coverage that right for the market.
  • The market is huge with 2 million dogs and 2.5 million cats.
  • Customers love their cats and dogs.
Our comments - DUH! Most domestic pets in Australia carry $10 MILLION liability insurance with your home contents policy (check with your insurer). Common law clearly puts pets as chattel; yep, same as a handbag. This is an interesting angle when dealing with legal stuff. I digress: chattel means no innate rights - that's why Barking Mad is about pet Owners, not dogs or cats, or horses.

Animal rights organisations state their preference clearly in their name - rights for animals meaning a reform of common law/chattel/pet. Barking Mad has an interesting case on foot as a dog was present in a legal assembly (our right of political expression), but the owner was fined for dog in prohibited space. If the dog is chattel (so too a banner, or a loud-speaker), necessary for political expression then how can its owner be fined under council by-laws?

Barking Mad contacted both AAMI and NRMA insurance asking them to promote a product (pet liability insurance) that they currently offered. Both declined. What are they missing? With 2 out of 3 homes with pets, when will they switch on? I recall working with a major industry around the Sydney Olympic Site (and time) to install water tanks. They had a mega-huge flat surface; a perfect catchment with drainage in place. They thought I was nuts. Need I say more?

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