Jon Fransway is an insurance agent who learned early on in his career that auto glass replacement meant filing a claim and arranging service in order to take care of his clients. He enjoyed the usual vendor relationships and understood that good service and happy clients went hand in hand. Auto glass replacement became a much more personal subject for Jon when in 1999 his sister Jeanne died due to an incorrectly installed windshield. From that point forward, Jon devoted himself to spreading the word about a topic that most people never gave a second thought to – safe auto glass installation. Jon joins us today to share his perspective.
Q&A with Jon Fransway:
You are an insurance agent, how long have you been doing that and how did you get started?
Jon: I have been an agent for 25 years and was approached by a manager of the company I represent as a good candidate for what they were looking for in an agent.
As an agent how did you view the auto glass companies that called on you?
Jon: In the beginning of my career it seemed more like a good ole boy network. Glass companies would wine and dine as a way to get business. With no words of what they can do for my client as relates to safety.
How is it that you became an advocate for auto glass safety?
Jon: I have always been concerned about safety over time by attending continuing education by classes put on by glass shops. Since then I had become more and more interested based on what goes into a safe window installation in the aftermarket. With the past events related to my sister’s case, it was obvious I had to continue to try and make a difference.
Explain what you have done to spread the message about want happened to your sister Jeanne?
Jon: Since my sister’s death I felt compelled to tell the story as many times as I can, and companies started to listen and feed off that as a way to change the way they do business. The story has stayed in the headlines and in the newscast throughout the country. We’re starting to win! Being an insurance agent that deals with windshield claims on a daily basis, I understand the importance of a good installation. Again, holding her when she died knowing there was nothing I could do was unacceptable. I had to give her life meaning and if meant to take the time to spread the word to others as a way of saving lives in my sisters name. Also, since the stories about her that have been told on ABC’s 20/20, Eye on America as well as numerous other small market shows and training videos it is going to be with us to the end.
Some people would have taken an adversarial view of an industry that had caused the loss of a loved one, you didn’t, why?
Jon: Taking some sort of legal action was not going to bring my sister back. I felt making a difference through getting the word out on safe installations of auto glass meant more to others as it will protect them from this happening to their family. This gives Jeanne’s life meaning.
You have been an avid supporter of AGRSS® and have appeared at their annual conferences and narrate a video explaining the Validation process. How did that come about?
Jon: The industry needs help, hence AGRSS®. Known as the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard, it has been established to manage procedures in auto glass replacement. I have been happy to help them introduce the standard and the validation process through a video presentation. Our goal is for AGRSS® to be adopted by all insurance carriers and glass shops around the nation.
You recently attended Auto Glass Week in Memphis, what did you take away from that conference?
Jon: Auto Glass Week was an incredible experience and advancement in the future of Auto Glass. I am always well received and welcomed by the industry as a whole. I am so glad that all for the organizations came together to educate themselves as a group. Each company needs to understand the importance of auto glass replacement in the aftermarket, from whatever part they are. Insurance companies, installers, glass shop owners and the products companies that supply the various tools and techniques to perform their jobs well.
What changes do you hope to see in the auto glass industry?
Jon: I hope to see the groups together again at Auto Glass Week. Competition is good, it forces us to keep in shape with our business. The cars are changing and so are the products. It is all meant to do a better job for the consumer and keep them safe since the glass is a structural component of the car in a crash. The changes need to be more education and validation of the practices of the companies. Also, changes to promote safety vs. price or what we can give away as incentives rather than doing the job right.
What advice do you have for glass shop owners and technicians?
Jon: As previously stated, stay in shape in your business, not only on the bottom line but in safety. It is the right thing to do. Support the AGRSS® standard as a way of doing business.
What advice do you have for other insurance professionals and consumers who need auto glass replacement?
Jon: Do research on the glass shops that you use, make sure you choose the glass shop that stresses safety and not just price or you may pay the ultimate price like my sister Jeanne.
To me “Glass is Life.” Help me in my “Glass is Life” Campaign to promote the proper installation of auto glass in the aftermarket.
Thank you for sharing your story and passion Jon.