Hi, I lost control of my bike (chain broke) and hit a parked car, made some scratches and one of the side panels fell off. A mechanic gave a ballpark estimate of $800-1400 based on pictures of the damage, but the car owner has just filed a claim with her insurance company. The insurance company called me to inform me that their payment recovery firm will pursue me for all of the cost of the repairs. The car owner is asking me to pay her directly for the deductible and that she’d just let the insurance company pay the rest (i.e. I’m not liable for it), but the insurance company has told me that they will ask me to pay for all of the damage (including the deductible, which they will reimburse her for).
What should I do? Should I pay the deductible directly to the car owner (under the table) and let her insurance handle the rest of the damage and hope that I can keep ignoring their request for payment recovery? Or should I pursue the more legal / clear path of just handling the payment directly with the insurance company (probably paying a lot more than the deductible)?