Hey all, looking for some advice on what to do about the bent hood on my 2003 Civic coupe. Had a low-speed fender bender in March where my front end hit the back bumper of an SUV which left my hood pushed up and back on its hinges and the grill bent in. I drove it home with some trepidation where my boyfriend popped the grille back out to its original shape (it’s plastic after all) and he and I adjusted the attachment hinges for the hood so that it sits closer to the way it did originally. We took a look under the hood and everything appears to be in its intended place - all visible bolts bolted, everything straight and firmly attached to its mounts. There’s still a noticeable gap around the front of the hood because the hood panel itself was curved back on itself in the collision and that we couldn’t fix ourselves (Specifically it’s the supporting structure welded to the underside of the hood that’s been creased. You can see if you look at the picture of the underside of the hood that there are bends in each of the long pieces running front to back about midspan). So it always looks like the hood’s unlatched but I’ve been driving it problem free for several weeks.
The question now is - should I fix the hood or not? If so, should I get the original hood fixed or get a new hood attached and repainted?
I originally chose not to notify my insurance company or file a claim because the cost of getting a new or used hood attached and painted was quoted at between $600-800 and up depending on who I asked while my collision deductible is $1000. Front-end damage makes that driver at-fault in Florida. Plus the other driver refused to exchange to insurance information.
New wrinkle to the story - I recently switched to a new insurance company and they require an inspection before providing collision insurance. I’m afraid that they will see the damage and refuse to insure me or that things will escalate from there.