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I just received a check in the mail from an insurance company for reimbursement on a fender bender caused by a third-party maniac. I've been to two different body shops, not showing them the insurance company's estimate but it seems that the shops have access to the insurance estimate. They always take my VIN and punch it in a computer. Their estimates are almost identical to the insurance's. This seems like a scam to me. It seems that someone should be able to fix it for less and I could actually pocket some of the money for loss-of-use/inconvenience purposes. Who's got the inside scoop on this business?
 

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If its just the bumper and bracket replace it yourself,just have body shop paint to match or check ebay as theres always bumpers for sale.
 

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They can use their computers to look at an insurance level quote. It actually costs them less. I got the inside from a guy I know who works for a reputable shop as an estimator. They can use a cost for a brand new part, find a much cheaper one and over quote the paint and install. Now I know that body work sucks, but as long as insurance covers it and it does not hurt you to bad on premiums then it is whatever.
 
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