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2013 Ford Escape: subbing insulative wrap for a heat shield

Heat shield above the catalytic converter is shredded and falling off. Can I just remove it, and cover the catalytic converter with some high temp insulative wrap with hose clamps?

Nope. There is an air gap between the converter and the heat shield. The air flow between the two provides a lot of the cooling/insulation. If you wrap the converter, even only at the top, you will contain the heat, might even make it worse. I doubt a hose clamp would survive the heat anyway.

Makes sense. Air flow is essential for heat shields around wood stoves, so it would logically apply here as well. Static build up is not safe. Follow up question: if I order the right part, can this be installed without removing the exhaust line?

You don’t want a fire or a melted cat. The wrap isn’t high-temp enough anyway.