If you can get the car and want to take it to get an estimate then go ahead. That MIGHT be to your advantage. Maybe not. In my expierence it all depends on the insurance company responsible and the appraiser that is going to write the estimate. Some insurance companies will use thier own appraisers or use an independent and the repairing shop will use that estimate, not the one you had them write. Also, since I know most of the appraisers that come to my shop I try to find out the person assigned to this claim. If it is one who writes a good clean estimate then it’s no problem and I will only write one if the customer really wants one. If it is one who does not do such a good job then by all means I write my own and give the customer two copies, one for them and one for the appraiser, they are more inclined to “carbon copy” mine that way.
Should you be concerned about other damage? Yes but dont worry about it. The appraiser should look underneath and inspect the impact bar on the bumper and the rear body panel.
You pick the shop, not the insurance company!!!
And yes, they will try to use, used parts. But again, from expierence, its not a big deal. Its a genuine Ford part, its just used. When used/lkq comes in I inspect. If its good other than a little clean up which is to be inspected the we use it. If its a POC then I reject it. Even though its used its still better than the “salt water salvage” new aftermarket crap. But I doubt the appraiser can even find a rear bumper for your Escort in a cost effective distance from you. If you insist on new OEM then 1, you will get turned down faster than Gomer Pyle asking Rachael Welch for a date and 2, come on, its a 99, a new bumper might total the car and 3, most likey Ford quit making it.
You might have read the part in a post that said adjusters are trained to save money. Well they are in the fact they are not to write for items they cannot see or write for anticipated damage. If the guidelines say for them to use lkq/used parts or new aftermarket then they do. BUT…the thinking that they are going to low ball an estimate and leave off needed items is 25 years out of date. Insurance companies now know the value of doing a proper job means a satisfied customer. A satisfied customer means customer retention and even new prospects. Besides, no self respecting shop will let it slide by. They will call in a supplement