Move Over, AAA: The Better World Auto Club Supports Sustainable Travel

Better World Club is the only emergency auto insurance company to support sustainable travel, and they also offer America's only 24/7 bike roadside assistance plan.  BWC is carefully targeting the greenies of the world, and they dedicate most of their website to showcasing their environmental policies and shaming AAA. AAA is the head honcho of emergency auto insurance, and their ungreen behavior inspired the founding of the Better World Club.

43 million Americans rely AAA's  auto-insurance and many of them remain unaware of the polluting policies. Daniel Becker, director of Sierra Club's global warming and energy program, says that most people don't realize: "AAA is a lobbyist for more roads, more pollution, and more gas guzzling." Sadly, consumers are unknowingly pumping funds into these policies, and giving AAA more credibility through their membership purchase. AAA uses the clout of those 43 million members, and their status as a good ol' middle-American company, to throw darts at Washington's sustainable travel proposals.

AAA is a lobbying king with a political agenda. In 1990, AAA gave the Clean Air Act a thumbs down. The bill failed, because, according to the press release: it would "threaten the personal mobility of millions of Americans and jeopardize needed funds for new highway construction and safety improvements." ( Safety is one of AAA's favorite buzz words). AAA also belongs American Highway Users Alliance (in fact, the Alliance meets in AAA's headquarters), which states the following premise: "Cars stuck in traffic waste fuel and emit more pollution than cars that are moving freely." The solution? Build more roads, of course!  AAA's by-line is "increased roadway capacity", and they've opposed almost every initiative for reducing auto pollution.

Enter: Better World Club, spokesman for sustainable travel. BWC supports environmental initiatives, such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. BWC donates 1% of revenue toward environmental cleanup and advocacy.  Sign-up includes free carbon offsets for the first 2,000 miles of green house gas emissions. Hybrid, biodiesel and electric car owners get a 10% discount when they sign up, and a 5% discount when they renew. Anyone who owns a car that gets 9 to 11 miles to the gallon, such as a Lamborghini Murcielago, or  Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD, will pay a 20% surcharge on their insurance.

BWC  states that their prices are lower than AAA's (or, when they aren't, they'll match), and that their service is just as good.  Articles on their site showcase AAA's ugly environmental policies. They even have a column called "AAA Watch" in their newsletter, Kicking Asphalt (which includes sustainable travel tips). Numerous charts compare the two companies. Yes, it would be nice if more of BWC's marketing was about what they do, rather than what they don't do, but they've got to start somewhere.

Image: courtesy of Better World Club