AGRR Magazine

AGRSS CAP Program Answered Agents' Windshield Questions, Offered Windshield Safety Lesson to Rochester Locals

by Penny Stacey

More than 100 insurance representatives came together in Rochester, Minn., yesterday to get answers about safety. And they received many answers from Carl Tompkins, western sales manager for the Sika Corp. and chair of the AGRSS credentialing committee, Cindy Ketcherside, president of JC Glass in Phoenix and chair of the AGRSS Council, and Bob Beranek, president of Automotive Glass Consultants and chair of the AGRSS auditing committee.

One question was, "How do you know if a used car is safe?"

Beranek advised that unfortunately you can't always tell. He offered the idea of the toothpick test (sticking a toothpick between the glass and the pinchweld to see if it sticky upon removal), but warned this isn't a guarantee.

"The only assurance you have is to have it re-done by a respectable glass shop," he said.

Another question was one that came up at the recent Independents' Days Conference-who should be responsible for rust or corrosion when it's discovered? (CLICK HERE for related story.)

"There's a good chance [the shop] may look to the insurance company, who recommended the [previous] glass shop," Beranek said. "Many times it's been caused by a previous install."

Tompkins added, "Nothing sticks to corrosion."

Ketcherside also reminded the audience that rust and corrosion are safety issues.

"Not only do you have the problem on the corrosion end of it, you have the problem of saving a life," she said.

Another agent was concerned about how to handle rock chips. After explaining some tips for making sure the repair is done in a timely manner, Beranek requested that agents keep in mind that when their customers' windshields are repaired, the chip still may be visible.

"Please don't over-promise," Beranek said. "Depending on the type of chip, it will still be visible to the customer."

After this session, Mitch Becker of ABRA Auto Body and Glass discussed airbag safety (see video), and Kyle Stevers of the Minnesota State Patrol offered a rollover demonstration to show how bodies react to the rolling of a vehicle.

After a luncheon, the agents received continuing education certificates for their participation in the day's events.

Afterwards, a number of Rochester locals came out for a similar, more consumer-based, presentation provided by Mike Schmaltz, executive director of the Minnesota Glass Dealers Association (MGDA), which coordinated the event with AGRSS, Tompkins, Ketcherside and Beranek. Becker and Stevers also provided demonstrations for the group.

Tompkins recited words spoken by consumer advocate Ralph Nader at the 2005 AGRSS Conference when explaining why the group chose to launch its Consumer Awareness Program (CAP).

"Ralph Nader said something we've never forgotten, 'You will never … make a difference if you don't bring your message to each community,'" he said.

The group focused on explaining the liability involved in windshield installations and the cost that is incurred when a windshield isn't installed correctly.

"AGRSS is here to stay, AGRSS is here to serve and it's here to make a difference in your life today," Tompkins told the audience.

Beranek then took over and discussed the importance of a windshield to the structural integrity of a vehicle.

"Did you know that the windshield is a safety device?" he asked. "No one realizes [that it is]."

The group also viewed the legendary 20/20 video on unsafe auto glass installations and heard from Jon Fransway. Jon Fransway's sister, Jeanne Fransway, passed away in 1999 after an accident in which the windshield of the car she was driving in wasn't properly secured.

Ketcherside also took the stage to explain what kind of assistance the group in attendance could provide with this cause.

"The people you serve, they don't know [that the windshield is a safety device]," she said. "You're the ones that are going to be there … holding them, watching the tears, because a safety device didn't work … We need your help to let them know."

CLICK HERE for coverage from Rochester's local NBC station, KTTC.

Penny Stacey is the editor of™/AGRR magazine.


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