What is ‘safety’ all about?

By BEN COLEMAN, Safety Advisor to the Sun ’n Fun President

The subject of insurance was not very popular in my formative years. As a kid, I can recall my Dad complaining about insurance rates, especially when my older brother came of driving age. It was explained to me that insurance would pay you back if you had a wreck or got sick. I liked this “insurance” thing. Every year, you pay the insurance company money and if you have a wreck, they buy you a new car. Cool! If you don’t have a wreck, they get to keep the money. Not so cool! Not sure I like this “insurance” thing.

My innocence in childhood dictated that the solution it was simple. Don’t have a wreck or get sick and don’t pay for something insurance that you don’t need and will never use. Seemed like straight forward economics at the time.

Of course, the boundless clarity and innocence of childhood vanished when somebody clobbered the left rear fender of my first car, a bright red (older) Mustang, in the parking lot! My car policy at that time was the minimum insurance necessary for the loan company and didn’t cover the damage. Dad offered to help me fix the damage, but said, “Son, if you had collision insurance, the shop would have fixed it for you.” My response was, “Dad, if the car next to me didn’t clobber my fender, it wouldn’t have to be fixed!” A valuable lesson was learned that involved “underinsured” and “safety.”

If everyone was safe and made no mistakes, there would be no losses or damage and we’d save money and time. Add the human side of the equation with injury or death and it takes on a whole new meaning. Life is all about learning lessons. Leaving this world is a natural by-product of coming into this world, but should come naturally, not by accident. Most folks don’t fear their mortality at every waking moment, but they certainly shouldn’t accelerate the process!

The answer remains as simple as it was in my childhood way of thinking: Don’t have accidents. If you do have accidents or losses, you’d be wise to have the best insurance money can buy.

The absolute BEST insurance policy is to self insure yourself by being extremely “SAFE.” You will see this philosophy weaved ever so carefully throughout the new Sun ’n Fun Safety Program.

As our losses, injuries, mistakes, errors and defects diminish, so will our insurance rates. It is a direct ratio. This gives us more capital to apply to paint, benches, new pavilions, scholarships, etc.

This, my friends, is the secret to a successful safety program and system. Sun ’n Fun intends to be a leader in this effort to promote and implement safety in our industry. We invite you to join us.

Ben Coleman is an aircraft accident investigation expert, pilot, mechanic, and the new Safety Advisor to the Sun ’n Fun president.



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  1. Lmaynard6947 says

    What a crock of self-serving BS.  Here we go again with nonsense from Sun n’ Fun.  Went twice many years ago and will never go there again.  They have their hands out everywhere and are a for profit for a few orgainization.  They keep losing support and keep doing the samed stupid and self serving mistakes every year.  Attendance goes down every year and they just keep doing what they do.  This is a faint shadow of OSH.  Do they really think that we as pilots are so stupid that we need a lecture on insurance?  Duh?  It took them so long to figure out how insurance works that we now need to be lectured on it?  How transparent this is for last year’s storm debacle in which they showed their sheer greed and lack of concern for the show attendess and who are actually the paying attractions.  Keep up the bad work Sun ‘n Fun.  One day you will look around and see that only you and your few friends are looking back at you.

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