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Let your insurance figure it out.
I know people drive without insurance - but not if they are still making payments(hopefully - they just add a charge to your car payment that is more than just getting insurance. Here in Arizona they suspend your license and not allow you to renew its registration for no insurance.

I suspect some of the older cars only have liability insurance and if the accident is their fault they have to pay to repair.
People do it all the time when they are making payments. It's insane if you ask me. They have to get caught for them to suspend the license. I have a buddy who is a cop in the city and I asked him how many people drive without insurance. He said at least 30%. They started forcing you to show proof of insurance to get your tags every year but all that did was spring up the Rodney D. Young places that sell it by the month.

I won't call anyone out here but there was a guy who actually admitted that he didn't have insurance and his Hellcat got stollen so there are probably 10 others in the same boat on this site that just wouldn't admit it.
 

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I was surprised to find out that only 5 shops or so work directly with GEICO where I live.

I think the insurance companies reign in what the costs are where a shop dealing with the customer directly can charge whatever they want on labor...
So who is sticking it to the customer...probably both as one shorts the customer in quality and one over charges.
I have never been at a shop that up-charges in a customer pay situation. It's usually the other way around, actually. We usually attempt to save them money where practical.

Possibly not blending adjacent panels. Maybe going with a used part. Options the customer can decide on.

But really the repair is the repair. Parts cost what they cost, and labor is at book time. The only real flexibility is in repair (repair time is an on the spot evaluation) time labor and there isn't much flexibility in that because the techs will just refuse.
 
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